r a l p h l a u r e n . c o m / 5 0
C r e a t i n g n ew h e i g h t s The new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere. Spirit of Mountain Exploration. montblanc.com/1858
Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s
Letter from the Editor
here’s a Word for It. By Jay Fielden 33
Hang ’Em High
From a velvet tux to some seriously sharp boots, seven standout pieces to keep you from blending in with the wallpaper. By Jon Roth 40
The Nib of It
In defense of the ultimate analog implement, the fountain pen. By Jon Roth 42
The Shoe Whisperer Would
you ly to Tokyo just to get your shoes shined? By Matt Jacobson 45
The Shirt from Khartoum Even
men who don’t care about their clothes have a few good stories hanging in the back of their closet. By Jim Crace
Down the Middle he Fifty-Fifty
might be the most elegant martini variation you’ve never had. By Kevin Sintumuang 48
The Comfort of Strangers
his fall, our favorite watches have you prepared for any occasion. By Nick Sullivan 54
It’s About Time For years, George
Bamford’s customized luxury timepieces had high-end watchmakers up in arms. Now they’re lining up to hire him. By Max Olesker 58
The Watch That Won the
One Swiss watchmaker chose the biggest sporting event on the planet to make its case to a new generation. By John Kenney
Cut from the Same Stone
Brunello Cucinelli leads one of the world’s most elegant fashion houses. He’s also spent the past 20 years commissioning classical sculptures made from the same marble favored by Michelangelo. As Cucinelli celebrates his 40th anniversary, we chisel the tale (just not in stone). By Michael Hainey 69 48
Anything can call up old memories. But the surest route to total recall? It’s in whatever bottle you kept on your dresser. By Andrew O’Hagan My Five Scents
Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s
Shameless Plugs he seamy, stippled
plugs of yore have been replaced by hightech, robot-assisted transplants so good they look downright natural. By Jon Roth 74
Luca Guadagnino, the director of the forthcoming Suspiria, reveals his visual inluences. By Nathan Williams
What You Wear When No
An iconic London tailor tries to disrupt the bespoke experience. By Nick Sullivan Two Esquire editors battle it out over loungewear. One’s Looking
Bored to Death
Unknown Legends Each of the
Are we having fun yet? One author rips on the pretentiousness of “adult” parties. By Heather Havrilesky following mavericks is a champion in a ield of one. By George Pendle
Willem Dafoe is taking on a role sacred to artists: Vincent van Gogh. It’s a long way to come for a kid from Wisconsin. By Ash Carter Beat the Devil
100 Oahu Calling Hawaii’s most
bustling island is riding a new groove rooted in its heritage. By Kevin Sintumuang 106 Shelf Promotion Are books now just
another design element? By Jon Roth 110 Easy Street Your off-duty look
should be a ready-for-anything uniform that’ll take you anyplace she wants to go. 120 The Other Giacometti Diego
Giacometti is inextricably bound to his older brother. Now his work has achieved its own acclaim. Here’s how each helped shape the other. By Stephen Wallis 126 Cold Comfort Corduroy. Tweed.
Denim. Cashmere. Let’s get back to texture. 134 Have Car, Will Adventure A new
wave of explorers are taking their 4x4’s on the road less traveled. By Kevin Sintumuang 140 The Big Chill Where to ind the best
parka for this winter. By Nick Sullivan 20
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
ON THE COVER Willem Dafoe photographed exclusively for Esquire by Marc Hom. Styling by Matthew Marden. Casting by Emily Poenisch. Produced by Stephanie Weed for Liz Lang Production. Grooming by Benjamin Thigpen at Statement Artists using Oribe and iS Clinical. Prop styling by Shawn Patrick Anderson for ACME Brooklyn. Jacket by Giorgio Armani. Shirt by Ascot Chang. Trousers by Lanvin. Shoes by Pierre Hardy.
Letter from the Editor
THERE’S A WORD FOR IT COME WITH US INTO THE TERRA INCOGNITA OF, UM, WHATCHAMACALLIT No subject brings out the egghead in writers quite like style criticism. Foodies, car heads, sports nuts, not even cineasts
Fashion, on the other hand, has always had that extra burden, because unlike so many of these other male-saturated cultural obsessions, it emerged from a realm saturated by women and therefore has had to justify masculine consideration. Fashion, as a word—even now, when more men than ever have become comfortable wearing brands (Valentino, Gucci, Vuitton, Saint Laurent) for which there is simply no other description—unfairly retains an antique connotation of frivolous money-spending and vanity. Our vocabulary at Esquire still self-consciously hopscotches around this weird linguistic predicament. Style is almost a synonym for fashion, and it’s a word all guys are universally comfortable with. We use it all the time here. But it isn’t as accurate as it once was, even six months ago; it no longer says it all. The clothes in the magazine can’t just be chicly classic and chosen for the oice when there’s such a thing as WeWork—and, well, Silicon Valley’s athleisure addiction. They need to relect a wider spectrum, including the thrilling moments in life that call for you to get out of your comfort zone: cool sneaks; the choice watch; statement pieces; or even a full look you can’t believe you’d wear until it’s on, like the Thom Browne suit LeBron busted out during the NBA playofs. It was a style moment—he wore it naturally—but it was, well, an even bigger fashion moment. At times, there’s simply no other word. As rich and elastic as the English language is, you do occasionally stumble onto a total blank—think how strange it is, for example, that the verb “to lie” has no antonym; there isn’t a word that means “to tell the truth”—or very limited options. So even though we haven’t yet coined a word for the new way we’re all beginning to dress, the photographs inside, in the meantime,
—Jay F I E L D E N
A few praiseworthy things of the moment: LeBron in full Thom Browne kit; a bourbon made from red corn; a shark-nose E28 BMW 5 Series.
T U M B L E R B Y B A C C A R AT; B A C C A R AT. C O M .
to apologize for their obsessions by trying to prove the worlds they cover are worthy of your time; it’s simply a given. This isn’t just because painting, writing, and acting are considered bona fide forms of art or because designing clothes traditionally—and wrongly—hasn’t been. Look at all those other aforementioned high priests of appreciation and opprobrium. Insecurity isn’t the vibe, even though the things they dig are pure surface pleasures. They couldn’t care less, for instance, about proving that a shark-nose BMW 5 Series has any grander signiicance other than the pure #BDE of its design; or that some pampered bottle of small-batch bourbon also needs to demystify humanity’s existence; or that a new two-tone GMT should relect not just the precise time but larger truths about the meaning of life, too.
The Big Black Book Editor in Chief
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E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
SAM OR PLES BEF
HANG ’EM HIGH F R OM A V E LV E T T U X T O SO ME SE RIO USLY SHARP BO O TS, SEV EN STA N DO U T PI EC ES T O K EEP Y O U FRO M BL E ND ING IN WITH THE WAL LPA P ER By Jon Roth
B o o t s o f f t h e G ro u n d Cowboy boots don’t feel like a costume when they skip the decorative stitching. (Spurs not included with purchase.) Boots ($2,100) by Brioni; brioni.com. Eames hook ($199) by Herman Miller; dwr.com. Oceania wallpaper ($32 per foot) by Calico; calicowallpaper.com. photographs: Allie Holloway
Going Gr een Want to prove youâ€™re no stranger to black tie? Show up in literally any other color. Jacket ($2,375), shirt ($745), and bow tie ($165) by Dolce & Gabbana; dolcegabbana.it. Fratelli Reguitti Italy valet ($549) by Patina NYC; 1stdibs.com. Woods wallpaper by Cole & Son; leejofa.com.
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Off the Grid It takes confidence to let superbly simple pieces speak for themselves. Briefcase ($4,750), scarf ($860), and MosaĂŻque wallpaper ($274 per roll) by HermĂ¨s; hermes.com. Coat hanger ($70) by Afteroom Studio; menudesignshop.com. Fall 2018
G e t O u t t a T ow n The bold weave of this topcoat makes it a statement in the city. The rich wool texture makes it an asset further afield. Coat ($1,450) by Z Zegna; zegna.com. Hooks ($155 for set of two) by the Citizenry; the-citizenry.com. Vintage colonial wallpaper; similar styles on ebay.com.
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Male Pattern Boldness A Fair Isle sweater attracts attention (the good kind) like no other knit. Sweater ($1,795) by Isaia; isaia.it. Coatrack ($450) by BCMT Co.; blackcreekmt.com. Wallpaper ($225 per roll) by John Derian for Studio Printworks; johnderian.com. Fall 2018
B l u e St r e a k A double-breasted chalk-stripe suit is strong enough to cut through the static. Suit ($12,095) by Kiton; kiton.it. Hooks ($650 for pair) by Bea Hive Vintage; 1stdibs.com. Atacama wallpaper ($250 per roll) by Farrow & Ball; us.farrow-ball.com.
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Classic Fusion Chronographe Italia Independent "houndstooth" Blue Titanium. Created in collaboration with the Italian lifestyle brand. Case and bezel in titanium. Chronograph movement. Dial and strap made of vintage Rubinacci fabric â€œhoundstoothâ€?. Limited edition of 100 pieces.
BOUTIQUES 4(+0:65(=,5<,-0-;/(=,5<,),=,93@/033: )(3/(9)6<940(403(:=,.(:7(34),(*/ +(33(:693(5+6/6<:;65:(5-9(5*0:*6 ;LS!
THE N IB OF IT IN DEFENSE OF THE ULTIMATE ANALOG IMPLEMENT By Jon Roth I knew a man once who couldn’t bring himself to buy a fountain pen. He wanted to. He thought they were beautiful. He loved how they moved across a page. But he worried that they were an afectation, a personality placeholder, like always wearing a bow tie, or liking Phish. I feel sorry for that man, because fountain pens are one of the great life-enhancers. They turn simple tasks into pleasurable ones. Hold one in your hand and realize the weight of the thing, the inely tuned balance between cap, shaft, and nib. Press it to the page and notice how smoothly it glides, the ink, at irst glistening darkly, drying before your eyes like a watercolor. Use one and you
may ind that you write better— more legibly and more cogently— because the tool you are using holds you to a higher standard. Certainly you’ll ind that you write more often, just for an excuse to use it again. I know that in 2018 the written word comes mostly from keyboards and touch screens, just as I know that some folks are satisied scribbling their grocery lists with a chewed-up Bic. But you may not be some folks. You may fall for these cunning constructions of resin, ink, and steel. And if you do, don’t hold back. Meisterstück gold-coated fountain pen ($935) by Montblanc; montblanc.com. Notebook ($4) by Rhodia; dickblick.com.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photograph: Jeffrey Westbrook
THE SHOE WHISPERER WOULD YOU FLY T O TOKY O JUST TO GET YOUR SHO E S S H I N E D?
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
By Ma t t Jac obso n
photograph: Richard Majchrzak
My irst shine there took nearly an hour and was performed by Yuyasan completely by hand, in a white French-cuf shirt, which at the end of
BRIFT H’S regulars include the BEST-DRESSED (AND -HEELED) I N DUS T R I A L I S T S in Japan.
For the best shoe shine in Japan,
head to Tokyo’s Aoyama shopping district. There, in a windowless atelier tucked above a nightclub and a tailor’s shop, you’ll ind Brift H. Some might argue that there is a better shine elsewhere—there’s always a local favorite, and the shine man’s role can include everything from buddy to shrink. But I submit that the two-man staf here delivers what may be the best shine on earth, and certainly the best experience. The space is tiny. Upon entering, you’re faced with a beautiful bar stocked not with artisanal whiskey but rather Brift H’s proprietary shoe polish. It’s as safe to use as the hand cream it was developed from, but putting this stuf in the hands of an amateur won’t produce the results that these masters coax from leather, cream, and cloth. Yuya Hasegawa is the 34-yearold owner of Brift H (the name is a portmanteau of bright, footwear, and Hasegawa). He described to me the genesis of his career, when he was a “broke” 20-year-old. “I needed a business that didn’t require an investment,” he said. “This is when I thought about shoe shining in Tokyo Station. The irst day, I was able to earn 7,000 yen [about 44
From top: Brift H’s house polish; the no-glove treatment; Jacobson’s friend Chris Cox with Takehiro Kitami and owner Yuya Hasegawa; Hasegawa and Yuki Kotani work their magic.
the day still showed not a smudge of polish. He used 600-grit sandpaper to sharpen the edges of the sole and heel stack. Through my friend, who acted as interpreter, we discussed the relative shine to be applied to the cap toe compared with the relative matte inish for the rest of the shoe. Green tea served in a Champagne glass winked to the atelier’s former use. Except for minor touch-ups, I like to leave my shoes with a professional. Normally I rely on SoCal’s best shiners, but more than once I’ve had shoes ready to mail across the globe for Yuya-san’s attention. Yet I’ve always found an excuse to visit Japan instead. So much the better—just being in the room at Brift H is as exceptional as the shine you get there. Brift H, the Wax (black), $24; lastandlapel.com
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photographs: Matt Jacobson
F RO M K H A RT O UM By Jim Crace
E V E N M E N W H O D O N ’ T C A R E A B O U T T H E I R C L O T H E S H AV E A F E W G O O D S T O R I E S HANGING IN THE BACK OF THEIR CLOSET I own a shirt I’ve been wearing, on and of, for 50 years. In 1968,
I was working in Khartoum, the then-drowsy and cordial capital of Sudan, and living in a lat-roofed villa in Bahri, an unfashionable out-of-town neighborhood across the Blue Nile bridge. I had not expected such friendliness from my neighbors, nor— when I packed for the triple-hop light from London, via Rome and Cairo—had I foreseen the abrasive powers of the desert heat. Walking the streets was, according to one seasoned British colleague, “like wading through warm Guinness.” You can imagine how my factory-made clothes fared in such conditions. The elastic waists of my underpants were the irst to stretch and sag, and then—given I cycled everywhere—all my gussets and armpits were left embarrassingly threadbare by the twin attacks of sweat and friction. None of this was helped by the attention of Sabino, the unusually tall, low-paid southerner whom I’d inherited by default as a “yardboy” along with the rental of the house, and whose job it was to scrub my clothes. He used to sit cross-legged in his tatty galabia and assail my cufs and collars with a rasping mixture of water, carbolic soap, and sand. The best of my wardrobe was soon reduced, like Hamlet’s king, to shreds and patches. What I needed were some replacement clothes. Sturdier ones, built for hardship. My Guinness-loving friend directed me to Souk 2, the more authentic and less expensive of Khartoum’s marketplaces, where he said I’d ind a row of street tailors, all of whom could make a lasting shirt and an enduring pair of trousers. “I know which one you’ll pick,” he said with a mischievous grin. And he was right. What Englishman with little spoken Arabic, faced with such a bewildering choice of craftsmen equipped with identical sewing machines, would not select the one sitting behind a sign that announced his name in Roman script to be MAD ATTA? We made a beeline for the Mad Hatter of Khartoum, ordered our bespoke clothes from him, and then, like Alice, meekly drank his sugar-laden tea to close the deal. Bald and bucktoothed, he even looked the part: straight out of Wonderland. The Mad Hatter rolled out his cloths and measured me without a word. One week later, I returned to collect a full wardrobe in tough local cotton, with strengthened gussets and pits, and
illustration: Kelsey Dake
with cufs and collars designed to outwit the worst Sabino could ofer them. None of my ive new shirts were stylish, of course. They did not sport a single dart or pleat. Their tails were square-cut and unshaped. But they were undoubtedly made to last. My particular favorite was a long-sleeved yellow shirt that didn’t suit my sun-reddened complexion one bit, but that I loved for its blaring cheerfulness. This shirt outlived the others and is still hanging, half a century later, in my closet, with hardly any wear or tear to prove its age. It’s more than slightly faded now but still robust. Not a single thread has lifted. Every button is irm and intact. And to this day it its me, I believe. Why save that one shirt? The others Mohamed Atta stitched for me were just as strong, but when I moved from Sudan to travel through Africa later with a small bag, I had to make a choice. I hung on to the toxic mustard one because of its amusing and afecting history; those had been exciting, joyful times. I let Sabino keep the rest, even though they didn’t truly it. He accepted them with a complicit smile, which both of us recognized to be a silent and long-overdue admission of his guilty past. There’d come a time, a few weeks after my dealings with the Mad Hatter, when I began to realize that rather than attack my new bespoke outits in the villa’s yard, Sabino had started taking them home to wash. And he was taking more time to return them. So long as I had a clean set of gear every blistering Sudanese day, however, I was unbothered by mere laundry delays. Unbothered, that is, until I ventured for the irst time into Bahri market, a rough place not comfortable for outsiders, especially those dressed, as I was, in imperial attire. I was startled to see I wasn’t the only khawaga (European) there that evening. Across the street, drinking a Fanta at an open-air stall and holding court to all and sundry, was a tall and regal igure, wearing too-short trousers and a familiar garish yellow shirt with sleeves that hardly reached his wrists. It wasn’t until he turned and the lantern light caught his face that I recognized Sabino. By day, he was the yardboy of an Englishman; by night, the ill-dressed dandy of the souk, the impostor of the borrowed shirt. I knew at once I would have to keep and wear that shirt until eternity, or it fell apart, not for its style or durability but for the yarns stitched into it.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
L i bD a tr i on nk s
DOWN THE MIDDLE THE F IF T Y-FIFTY MIGH T BE THE MOST ELEGANT MARTINI VARIATION YOU’VE NEVER HAD
By Kevin Sint um ua ng Are you ready to become an in-the-know iconoclast? Do you want to alarm hoary steakhouse bartenders? Then start drinking Fifty-Fifty martinis. The bulk of the recipe is handily in the name— one part gin to one part vermouth. To those of us who believe vermouth is the Garfunkel to gin’s Simon, the Fifty-Fifty is sacrilege. But for the enlightened, this drink is a revelation: a balanced mix that pays respect to both ingredients in equal measure. It is gentler. Less “paint the town red” and more “let’s be in bed around midnight.” The Fifty-Fifty’s rise as today’s cool-kid martini is due to the perfect storm of two trends in the bar world: the rise of quality, interesting vermouths, often from local brands like New York’s Atsby and Oregon’s Ransom, and the comeback of proper, Fifty-Fifty low-alcohol aperitifs that Ma rtini whet the appetite without an abundance of buzz. To 1½ oz gin attempt the three-martini 1½ oz dry lunch with the Fifty-Fifty vermouth would be the prudent way 3 dashes to do it, although you may orange bitters still get a call from HR. Stir ingredients over Experimentation is as ice and strain into a easy as browsing the gin chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. and vermouth shelves, but a classic combo is Plymouth and Dolin Dry, just as it’s made at N. Y. C.’s Pegu Club and D. C.’s Columbia Room. Nick Strangeway, legendary English barman and cocreator of the brilliant new Hepple Gin, likes his with Regal Rogue Daring Dry from Australia, but failing that, Noilly Prat. I’ve been digging Beefeater with the new honey-like Martini & Rossi Ambrato vermouth. The Fifty-Fifty will likely bring much hate from the my-way-or-no-way martini club, but don’t be like them. Try the drink and rediscover what makes the martini such an eternal cocktail in the irst place: one elegant drink for many people and any mood.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photograph: Peter Hoang
DEF Y EL PRIMERO 21
Z E N I T H , T H E F U T U R E O F S W I S S W AT C H M A K I N G Cellini Jewelers New York
CH Premier Jewelers Santa Clara
King Jewelers Aventura
Luxury of Time Orlando
Swiss FineTiming Chicago
Oster Jewelers Denver
Horologio Las Vegas
Westime Beverly Hills
w w w . z e n i t h - w a t c h e s . c o m
THE C OMFORT
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
OF STR ANGERS T H I S FA L L , O U R FA V O R I T E WAT C H E S H AV E Y O U P R E PA R E D FOR ANY OCCASION By Nick Sullivan
Pane rai The endlessly intriguing California dial—which uses some Roman numerals, some Arabic—was a hallmark of many of Panerai’s earliest military dive watches. The design actually originated with Rolex, which made its own early dive watches the same way. Luminor California 8 Days DLC ($7,700); panerai.com.
Ulys se Nardin A veteran in marine chronometers, Ulysse Nardin once supplied timepieces to some of the world’s largest navies (including ours). Like its predecessors dating back to 1860, the new Marine Torpilleur Military is a certified chronometer, but its big, open face and eggshell dial are distinctly modern. Marine Torpilleur Military ($7,900); 212-257-4920.
Zen ith This patinated bronze timepiece is a retro homage to a muchcoveted 1960s chronograph called the Cairelli, named after the Roman military distributor that issued it to Italian air-force pilots. Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback ($7,700); zenith-watches.com.
photographs: Jeffrey Westbrook
Clockwise from left:
Pa tek Philippe Those who revere Patek Philippe but also like their watches to feel modern and functional have prized the gamechanging Aquanaut since its creation in 1997. This year, the timepiece takes another turn toward the contemporary with the introduction of its first chronograph movement. Aquanaut chronograph ($43,770); patek.com.
Richar d Mille The deeply expensive watches Richard Mille turns out may weigh heavily on your wallet, but their groundbreaking materials—this ultrastrong carbon-andquartz model comes in at just 32 grams— are the last word in lightweight. RM 67-02 ($132,000); richardmille.com.
Montbla nc The two hemispheres buried in the dial of the 1858 Geosphere actually rotate in real time once every 24 hours, just like the earth itself. Day and night indicators around the dial and a second time zone at nine o’clock make it highly functional as well as beautiful. 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition ($6,300); montblanc.com.
IWC Rather than release more of the same, IWC celebrated its 150th anniversary by introducing a radical departure from its usual tool watches. The Tribute to Pallweber (after the Austrian who designed it in 1884) is based on a digital pocket watch, with a series of numbered jumping disks that map out time through two tiny holes in its dial. Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” ($23,100); iwc.com.
P R O P S T Y L I N G B Y M I A K O K AT O H
Well-Timed Cl ockwi se fro m top left:
Cartie r Most men gravitate toward a rugged tool watch for their daily beater, but it’s good to have something unashamedly dressy in reserve for a special occasion. This year, Cartier revives its art-deco-period Tank Cintrée, a superslim elongated Tank that circles the wrist with an elegant curve that’s bound to catch the eye. Tank Cintrée ($20,400); cartier.com.
Ro lex The only watch more talked about this year than the new steel Rolex GMT-Master II with a red-and-blue bezel is this, the same watch in steel and Everose gold. Thanks to its Cerachrom brown-and-black coloring, it’s already being referred to as a modern “Root Beer” (a term coined by fans after the yellow-gold and steel versions from the 1970s). When the watch hit the market in the summer, resale prices skyrocketed. Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II ($14,050); rolex.com.
Tudor Just about every watch Tudor has issued since its 2013 rebirth has been reliably sound in terms of aesthetics, function, and (best of all) price. It’s so consistent, in fact, that its new designs feel like old friends. No surprise, then, that the brand-new Black Bay GMT, with its red-and-blue ceramic “Pepsi” bezel and snowflake GMT hand in matching red, has already joined the ranks of the greats. Black Bay GMT ($3,900); tudorwatch.com.
Bell & Ros s Many of Bell & Ross’s watches are inspired by aviation, but 2018 is the first year the brand actually designed a plane: the hightech, high-speed BR-Bird. The unexpectedly affordable BR Racing Bird chronograph based on that aircraft proves just how far the watchmaker will go to push its craft to new heights. BR V2-94 Racing Bird ($4,400); bellross.com. Fall 2018
IT’S ABOU T TIME F OR Y E A R S , G EO R G E B A MFO R D’S C USTO MIZE D TAK E S O N LU X U R Y T I M EP I ECES H A D H I GH - EN D WAT CH M A K E R S U P IN ARMS. NO W THE Y’ RE L INING UP T O H I RE H I M . By Max Olesker
At his London store, Bamford tells us about his partnership with TAG Heuer. Opposite: The TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford, a customizable riff on a classic.
Hip to Be Square
adores watches. He adores them with a breathless, irrepressible, boyish enthusiasm. He adores how they look, how they work, and how cool they are. (He adores the word cool, too.) He can talk about watches endlessly, his energy and passion only increasing as he gathers steam. “My first love was a Breitling Navitimer that cost 200 pounds, a gift from my parents in 1995, when I was 15 or 16. And that Christmas, I took it to bits. I used a penknife, and you’ve got to imagine—the Internet wasn’t around back then. There was no ‘How do I do this or that?’ No YouTube tutorial. I’ve still got the watch.” That experience was Bamford’s lightbulb moment. “I just loved this small mechanical engine that powered something so fabulous!” He knew he had to learn more. Bamford’s penchant for mechanical things is understandable. He is heir to the JCB fortune—the initials stand for Joseph Cyril Bamford, George’s grandfather, who founded the construction-equipment manufacturer in 1945—and his desire to
“I always H A D THIS MOTTO, ” Bamford says of his customizable-watch company. “ ‘If you can
IMAGINE IT, we can CREATE IT.’ ”
understand machines predates his infatuation with watches. “As a kid, I used to take things apart: televisions, blenders, anything mechanical.” He grew up loving classic cars, but watches were what eventually captured his heart, and personalizing them has become his business. Now 37, Bamford founded BWD (Bamford Watch Department) in Fall 2018
2003, and it’s here, in the company’s plush HQ on South Audley Street in London’s Mayfair, that we irst meet. It’s a shrine to the BWD aesthetic—racing helmets, a dazzling variety of watches on display, and lots of Steve McQueen memorabilia. “You can’t beat McQueen. I’m obsessed. I love the racing heritage, love the whole thing. He’s just the coolest guy.” Here, Bamford meets clients, who then have the opportunity to get their wristwatches customized by BWD’s team of in-house technicians. “I always had this motto: ‘If you can imagine it, we can create it,’ ” he says. “The BWD website ofers over 52 billion options, but we’ve got loads more here.” An interactive screen on the wall showcases the full range of possibilities. “You can have your initials engraved; you can change backings, color schemes, the whole lot.” The origins of BWD can be traced back to Bamford’s university days, when he was studying photography and design at Parsons in New York City. “In my spare time, I used to go to lea markets and trade watches. I’d say, ‘I’ve got a TAG Heuer. I want to trade it for a Speedmaster. I’ve got a Speedmaster. I want to trade it for this. . . .’ ” Bamford’s eye for detail was already working in his favor. “I’d change the strap of a watch and someone would go, ‘I really like that!’ So I’d go, ‘Can I have that crappy watch and that good one?’ And I’d trade one for two. . . . It was never to make money or anything—I just wanted the watch.” After graduating, Bamford started personalizing his own watches, at irst purely for fun. “I wanted to have something unique, so I customized. I wore one, my father wore one . . . and then we got orders.” The business evolved organically, initially operating from a Hotmail account. “It was the most amateur-hour thing. But it all started happening and I was like, ‘This is really cool!’ ” At the beginning, the watch houses viewed his exploits with horror. He was a renegade outsider, ripping apart their prized devices and replacing dials, bezels, and straps. “I went to Baselworld [the annual watch fair] and felt I would be hit by lamethrowers,” he says. He stuck to his guns and defended his personalization, a retail tradition he dates back to the ’20s. “Back then, you could have more or less anything made bespoke, from luggage to a Bentley.” Bamford is determined to bring that luxury of choice to the watch industry. “Fourteen years ago, it was a buzzword. Now it goes hand in hand with luxury. You go to any high-end brand, they’ll ask, ‘Do you want personalization with that?’ You go to Hermès, Vuitton, Goyard, they’ll say, ‘Would you like it stamped with your initials? Do you want other colors? We can make that for you.’ It’s not a buzzword anymore—it’s a real thing.” As our meeting ends, Bamford hands me a number of business cards. One simply says: “You Fucking Rock.” Another, which he gives to clients after a sale, is unexpectedly sincere. It reads: “You 56
can get on without us but we cannot get on without you. Thank you so much.” His actual business card is made from metal, a decision that came about after a disastrous meeting with a client in Japan. “I handed over this shitty paper business card, and it ended up being a three-minute meeting. The translator said, ‘You have ofended him with your card.’” Bamford resolved to return with a more impressive ofering. “I handed it over to the guy . . . and we spent the best part of four days together. I was like, ‘I’ve always got to have a metal business card.’ ” Bamford’s business cards perhaps reflect the combination of qualities—fervor, earnestness, attention to detail—that have led to his company’s latest and greatest achievement: a partnership with TAG Heuer. “Jean-Claude Biver [CEO of TAG Heuer and president of LVMH’s watch division] is the god of watches. He came to see me about three years ago, and he said, ‘You should work with us.’ And I nearly fell of my chair.” It was a chance for Bamford to be embraced by the watch industry he’d adored for so long, and to contribute to the timeline of a company he’d long worshiped, whose iconic Monaco watch adorned the wrist of Steve McQueen in the Le Mans movie poster on the BWD meeting-room wall. He is clearly, and rightly, overjoyed at the development. “The irst time I went to see TAG and they showed me everything, it was like, ‘I can make watches out of that material?’ ‘Of course!’ ‘Really?! This is fucking cool!’ ” At TAG Heuer’s headquarters in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Bamford is kidin-a-candy-store giddy. For one thing, we meet in the oice of the aforementioned giant among watch men, Biver. “This is one of the best oices in the world!” says Bamford. It’s a large, airy space tastefully decorated with mementos of Biver’s years in the industry, as well as a poster of McQueen brandishing that Monaco watch. Bamford is doubly excited because our meeting today is the irst time the fruits of his labor here will be revealed to anyone outside TAG’s innermost circle. Biver is away, but we are accompanied around the factory by Sébastien Roche, TAG Heuer’s vice-president of product and supply chain. Roche is the man who ultimately agreed to E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Clockwise from top left: Bamford (left) and TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver display their watch collaboration; Steve McQueen and his Monaco in Le Mans (1971); BWD’s custom collabs with TAG Heuer and Zenith; at its Switzerland HQ, TAG Heuer receives a guest from its Formula One partner.
Hip to Be Square regular pattern, but forged, molded carbon, which has a surface at once matte and shiny, feels smooth and cool in the hand, and is lighter than metal but every bit as durable. “We create sports watches,” says Roche. “So the challenge was to create a carbon Monaco that ofers the same kind of performance as the regular steel one, that remains water-resistant with a size identical to the original. It’s a square watch, so size is critical; it has to sit on your wrist exactly. We had to completely rethink the way to build it.” The carbon iber of the prototype is indeed exquisite, with a subtle patina that shifts and changes under the light. It feels light but solid. The full wire-frame model reveals a forensically detailed modernization of the classic. “There are so many references,” says Bamford. “Steve McQueen’s watch had two white subdials. So with this, I wanted the subdials to be luminous,
“The first time I went to see TAG, it was like, ‘I can MAKE WATCHES
OUT OF THAT MATERIAL?’ ‘Of course!’ ‘R E A L LY ? ! This is cool!’ ”
the collaboration. “George raised the question in a very precise way,” he says. “When I said ‘Yes,’ I was crystal clear: We have to make it happen. If you say ‘We’ll try,’ it means you don’t believe in the project. If you say ‘Yes,’ it means you’ll do it.” We embark on a whistle-stop factory tour, taking in the product and development departments, full of 3-D-printed watch prototypes and normcore-clad graphic designers at standing desks; the “torture room,” in which prototypes are strapped to various machines and placed under a number of increasingly brutal stress tests to ensure functionality; the studio of the company’s in-house “art provocateur,” New York graiti artist Alec Monopoly (yes, his work includes a painting of Steve McQueen); and the museum, a gorgeously laid-out archive of TAG’s history, featuring innumerable rare and beautiful timepieces. Finally, in a quiet corner of a product-design oice, it’s time for the reveal: the TAG Heuer Bamford collaboration. What Bamford proposed, and TAG agreed to, was an updated take on the Monaco watch, in carbon fiber. Not common- or garden-weave carbon, which has a Fall 2018
so all those dots are going to be illuminated. Look how crisp the lines of the edges are. And just look at the carbon!” It’s time to leave, and we return to Biver’s ofice to debrief. There we meet Catherine EberléDevaux, TAG’s heritage director. She unveils McQueen’s actual Monaco watch, worn in Le Mans. “Special, isn’t it?” says Eberlé-Devaux with a smile. Bamford very nearly falls of his chair. The future is looking bright for BWD. “I love this pivot to working with the brands,” says Bamford. And it’s more than just TAG. “We’re working with Zenith and Bulgari, too.” The company has also launched its very own watch, the Mayfair. Based on the “service watches” Bamford lent his clients while their own watches were being customized, it’s a quartz-powered dive watch with an elegant circular dial, and it can, of course, be personalized in numerous ways. Above all, Bamford is overwhelmingly excited about the Monaco, because BWD’s collaboration with TAG means he is now indelibly etched into the annals of watchmaking—his timepiece will be something for future watch enthusiasts, collectors, and devotees to pore over and rejoice in. “Yes, right now this is the present, but at the same time I’m now standing in history. . . . What we’re creating is part of watch history. I’m like, ‘This is so cool!’ ” He’s right. 57
THE W ATCH THAT WON THE WO RLD CUP IS IT POS SI BLE T O TA K E OW NERSHIP OF A PIECE OF TIME ITSEL F? O NE S WIS S WATC H MAKER SEEMS TO T HI NK SO , A ND CHOSE TH E BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT O N THE PLANET TO MAKE I T S CA SE A ND T O SEL L ITS BIG, BRASH VISION TO A NE W GENERATIO N.
feel all the emotions!”
mild July night.
Usain Bolt and Jay-Z, two of the house’s fans. Right: For Hublot execs Biver and Guadalupe, the future lies in cutting-edge design and engineering.
for the tournament—which has gathered hundreds of people from all over the watch world—journalists, retailers, staf, collectors, customers—to celebrate the Cup and mark the launch of a new watch it has specially designed just for the event. As we settle into our seats to see the second semiinal, it isn’t hard to obey the oicial diktat. We do feel all the emotions. The match is an allin knockdown drag-out between upstart Croatia and this year’s surprise old-guard hanger-on, England. The two teams trade audacious, penetrating attacks, and near misses in the irst half from England’s Harry
“God Save the Queen” seems a poor choice to ire up a team). And I say briely because, of course, in that quirk unique to soccer, the game isn’t over just yet, even when the stadium clock shows time has ended. Instead, the sideline oicial holds up a sign posting “added time.” In all of sports, there is probably no concept more mysterious and tantalizing than these seemingly random few minutes, determined by the referee alone, added to a soccer game to ofset injury stoppages and other downtime during the match. In a tight match like this, the length of time added often means the diference between victory and humiliation, redemption and despair.
Hublot is like a CANARY-YELLOW ’78 Porsche— BU I LT TO
GRAB YOU R E YE and your wallet.
Kane and Jesse Lingard tease the crowd, but the Three Lions fail to build on their early lead. Croatia ties it up, and the tension gathers until a thrilling go-ahead Croatian goal late into overtime briely quiets the huge bloc of England fans rising up in rows behind the end to my left, who have been standing in full-throated song all night (though the dirgelike 60
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
B E LV E S T . C O M
Game Faces miracles of microchip functionality but to centuries-old traditions of Swiss mechanical watchmaking. Which is actually a much more challenging proposition altogether.
often-staid industry, the company is staking its claim by pushing aggressive innovation in materials and design, and making fresh overtures to reach a new and wider audience.
High-end mechanical watches
Hublot is a relatively young watch company, yet it has recently been setting a quick pace for the rest of the industry. Founded in 1980 by the scion of an old Italian watchmaking family, Carlo Crocco, it set out from the start to fuse traditional watchmaking with
are marvels of human ingenuity, tiny machines built of minute metal springs, gears, and levers intricately arranged just so to mesh with and scrape against one another to parse out the passage of time. Their enduring appeal derives from the appre-
Magic—it sells for $26,200—to get past Croatia.
And it’s these precious minutes that Hublot has harnessed and leveraged for all they’re worth. When viewers around the world looked to see how much time remained until the final whistle, their screens zoomed in and revealed the number of minutes in glowing green sitting atop a simple, all-cap, unmissable HUBLOT logo, nestled in a signature the planet saw it. Not bad for building brand recognition. Unfortunately for England, the
few extra minutes on the night weren’t enough, of course—the score remained 2–1, and Croatia went on to its irst-ever World Cup inal. For Hublot, the tournament marked its own notable debut: The company launched its first smartwatch, or “connected watch,” called the Big Bang Referee. In addition to the usual smartwatch functions like email, phone, and itness monitoring, the Referee came kitted out with an array of digital features specially designed for the avid 62
the Cup even began, though it can be bought online from resale sites like Chrono24.com for about $9,000. Special versions of the Referee were provided to, well, the referees. These included all the features of the civilian model and a few just for them, the coolest being goal-line video review so that refs, just by glancing at their wrists, could determine for certain whether a close efort fully crossed the line. For all the hype generated by the new watch, though, it seems likely to be a one-of. “For the time being, we do not plan any other connected timepiece,” says Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. Hublot’s truest ambitions seem hitched not to the latest
ciation and delight taken in the extraordinary workmanship required to make them. Wearing one is like strapping a small work of art to your wrist. But like eloquent essays in the age of Twitter, their continued place in the world is by no means assured. It’s an open question whether a generation raised by iPhone will choose to wear a watch at all, and indeed, Swiss mechanical watch exports declined 11 percent between 2014 and 2016. In 2017, the Apple Watch—a computer for the wrist—outsold all Swiss mechanical watch brands combined. Which is why Hublot is making an ardent appeal—maybe more so than any other traditional watchmaker— to the Snapchat crowd. Within an
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
gan showing up on the wrists of athletes and musicians. The brand’s success attracted the attention of luxury behemoth LVMH, which purchased Hublot and later installed Biver as head of all its watch properties. Biver brought a protégé, Guadalupe, along to run Hublot, and together the two have grown the company against the odds, not least by signing up ambassadors like Usain Bolt, Dwyane Wade, Eli Manning, and Jay-Z to spread the word, guys with sizable sports, music, and, more important, social-media followings outside the usual Swisswatch comfort zone. Hublot has posted record-high sales in each of the last three years. (co nt inued o n pag e 1 3 9 )
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The Art of Living
CU T FROM THE SAME STO NE B R U N EL L O C U C IN E LLI L E AD S O NE O F THE WO RL D ’ S M OS T ELEGA N T FA SH I ON H OU SES. H E ’ S A L S O S P E NT THE PAST 20 YE ARS C O MMISSION I N G CLA SS I CA L S CU LP T U RES MA D E FR O M T H E S A M E MARBL E FAVO RE D BY MIC HE L AN GELO. A S CU CI N ELLI CELEB R AT ES H I S 4 0 T H A N N I V E RSARY, Michael Ha iney C HISE L S TH E TA LE ( J U S T N OT I N S T ON E) . . .
photograph: Giacomo Bretzel
The Art of Living
The village of Pietrasanta in Italy
The bottega of third-generation sculptor Stefano Giannoni, who carves each piece by hand.
traces its lineage to Roman times. It’s small (around 20,000 inhabitants), nestled between the bank of the Mediterranean and the foot of the Apuan Alps. Its streets, unlike those in many of the ancient towns in Italy you may have walked, are not a jumble of blind twists and pathof-most-resistance turns but are instead laid out on an elegant, rational grid. The Roman Empire can be thanked for that. (The legion preferred to lay streets on grids because it made towns easier to defend.) Most of the people in Pietrasanta
make their living as they have for centuries: farming the tomatoes and other crops that surround the village or working with the stone that comes from the mountains outside of town. Those mountains are the area’s most dramatic feature, primarily the one the locals call the Tacca Bianca—the “White Scar.” When you stand outside sculptor Stefano Giannoni’s workshop, it’s impossible not to find your gaze pulled to that mountain and the facade that serves as a backdrop to the village. When I was at Giannoni’s studio this past summer, I assumed that the broad white patches on Tacca Bianca were lingering sheets of snow that had escaped the spring melt, tucked between the assorted trees on the
Renaissance Men dark face of the mountain. Giannoni corrected me. “That’s not snow. That’s where the stonecutters have taken out the stone,” he said. “It’s one of the most perfect veins of stone in the world. Carrara marble. Michelangelo carved the David from it. Every great sculptor to this day, from Henry Moore to Jean Arp to Botero, works with stone from that mountain because it is the most classic stone, the stone of every great sculpture from the classical era.” This stone, and its link to the greatest works of antiquity, pulled the designer Brunello Cucinelli to Pietrasanta 20 or so years ago. To those who have the pleasure of knowing him, Cucinelli is the uncrowned philosopher-prince of men’s wear. Spend time in conversation with him and he’ll want to talk (thank God) about anything but clothes. Mostly he’ll want to talk about the great thinkers and the big thoughts. He’ll quote Marcus Aurelius, Martin Luther King Jr., and Confucius from memory. He will tell you he believes he has lived three previous lives (one with the Athenians, one in ancient Rome, and most recently one during the Renaissance)—and you’ll believe him. Years ago, I came away from a conversation with him with a list of books that ranged from Memoirs
In addition to classics, Cucinelli commissioned a bust of a modern master: Steve Jobs (center). The stubble proved difficult.
Umbrian town from which his wife hails and he runs his business and where he has built his home. At the time, he carried a curious, crazy vision he was not sure he could even achieve. Then a friend showed him one of Giannoni’s sculptures. “I came up with this idea of creating a collection of the great sculp-
“I truly believe that ONLY THE
HUMAN HAND, the hand of the craftsman, can PRODUCE BEAUTY.” —BRUNELLO CUCINELLI
of Hadrian to a biography of Bobby Kennedy. Cucinelli is a man who reminds you that the most important thing to pursue in life is not the acquisition of goods—it is the acquisition of knowledge. So it was to be expected that Cucinelli would find his way to Pietrasanta, a birthplace of the classics—certainly in regard to the stone that is at the center of great sculpture. This was in 1998. Cucinelli was 16 years into restoring Solomeo, the
tures from antiquity, of those men who have enlightened me and inspired me,” Cucinelli tells me. “But it was important that the sculptures be exact copies of the ones done by the great artists like Canova, those that were in the Uizi and the Capitoline and other museums, and this was for two reasons. One, sculptors copying the ancient Greek statues is a tradition that dates back to the Romans. Second, I wanted Fall 2018
to create a gift for people who saw them. Someone might not be able to get to the Capitoline but could see the work in my garden or home.” When Cucinelli appeared in Pietrasanta, Giannoni was spending most of his time making assorted works of little consequence. A third-generation sculptor, he had at age 16 apprenticed himself to his father and uncle. “I spent the first three years simply tasting the marble, what we call learning the stone, before my father even allowed me to inish a piece,” he says. From his father, he acquired skills and insights that few other sculptors possess. His father, over his life, had executed two copies of Michelangelo’s Pietà, widely considered to be one of the most intricate and diicult pieces ever executed in stone, mainly because so much of the work involves lush folds of fabric that appear almost real. Giannoni’s father’s special skill was as a pannista—a tailor in 67
The Art of Living
stone, a sculptor who could make stone look like a garment. Unfortunately, in the decades since Giannoni undertook his apprenticeship, the demand for hand-carved classical statues had diminished. The irst culprit was, strangely enough, the Catholic church, which drastically reduced statuary commissions after the Vatican reforms of the 1960s. The second culprit, as it is with so many things these days, was technology. Robotic arms can now make an exact copy of a marble fireplace mantel and all its intricate details—something that takes an artist weeks, if not months— in only a fraction of the time. Once, there were countless stone studios in Pietrasantra; Giannoni’s is one of four remaining. “ W hen I met Stefano,” Cucinelli tells me, “I asked him why no one was making classical statues anymore. He told me it was simple: because no one commissioned them.” Cucinelli thought about this truth overnight. It troubled him. He is a man who knows that often what is needed is a customer to place a personal order—whether for suits or for sculpture. He had always been inspired, too, by the Renaissance Italians and how they embraced their responsibility to be patrons of the arts. The next day, Cucinelli told Giannoni he wanted to commission ten statues, including ive busts of the great philosophers—Aristotle, Socrates, Plato—most of them copies of Canovas. And just like that, in a single day, Cucinelli became the modern-day Medici of Marble. In the years since, he has commissioned 51 pieces from Giannoni. “I truly believe that only the human hand, the hand of the craftsman, can produce beauty, can capture the natural low of shapes. All of this beauty disappears under the burden 68
of technology’s absolute precision,” he says. “Stefano’s only concession to technology is a pair of compasses and a pantograph to reproduce shapes. His workshop still feels like a Renaissance bottega.” It is in this little bottega that you will most often ind Giannoni. He’s almost 50, with a head of curly hair and a joyous grin. Some days, depending on the time, you will be greeted out front by his ten-year-old daughter, Bianca, who will be working with the chips and chunks he’s cast of from blocks of marble. Giannoni is a quiet man, and were it not for the battered hat on his head— fabricated from a sheet of newspaper and coated in white dust—he’d look at home in another century.
Cucinelli and Giannoni with his carving of Antonio Canova’s The Three Graces. Above: A block of Carrara in Giannoni’s bottega awaits his hammer and chisel.
Well, except for that bust on a high shelf behind him. There, nestled between Aristotle and Sophocles, isn’t that . . . Steve Jobs? Yes. As Cucinelli explains, “Jobs is one of the greats.” Possibly. But as Giannoni says, Jobs—or at least the sculpting of him—was a great hassle, primarily because of Jobs’s perpetual
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
stubble. It took the sculptor a few tries to render this detail properly. When he irst attempted to replicate it exactly, the efect was to make Jobs’s face too fat. Giannoni discovered that for stone, there had to be fewer follicles. Jobs is the most recent of the works Giannoni has executed. All are either in Solomeo or on Cucinelli’s estate. The pieces in his home are arranged in a logical order: In the garden are the artists and great artworks, on the ground floor are the emperors, and upstairs in the library are the thinkers. Cucinelli spends most of his time upstairs, seated in front of his ireplace, with busts of Plato, Socrates, and Epicurus looking down at him. “In the evening,” he says, “I talk to them. I do. Because this is a place to relect—to commune with ideas, to be inspired. And how can you not be when you are in their presence?” He’s looking forward to seeing the next pieces he has commissioned, renowned figures of the present day: Mandela, Einstein, King. “I want to leave some sort of legacy of these who I have known, who have mentored me in this day and age. The sculptures, I hope, don’t simply reproduce the works of our ancestors, of these great artists and great minds. I hope, too, they remind us of our humanity and the eternal values that we are linked to.” He is placing more pieces around Solomeo and estimates there are at least ten years’ worth of commissions to be executed. “I believe we all have a responsibility to be guardians of creation—safeguarding the beauty of nature, of the world that surrounds us. This is why I wanted to restore Solomeo, and why I wanted to place art in the village.” I tell Cucinelli that he is a man who seeks what the greats did, to know the answers to the profound questions of life. And one of the questions they wrestled with is, Which is greater—truth or beauty? He hesitates and tries not to answer. Finally, he relents and says, “Beauty. It is eternal. Beauty is the star by which we must navigate, for it always leads us to the truth.”
S CE N T S By Andrew O’Hagan
A N Y T H I N G C A N C A L L U P O L D M E M O R I E S — T H E R E V O F A C A R E N G I N E , A W O R N - I N T- S H I R T. B U T T H E S U R E S T R O U T E T O T O TA L R E C A L L ? I T ’ S I N W H AT E V E R B O T T L E Y O U K E P T O N Y O U R D R E S S E R .
One of the reasons we read novels is for the smells. Only a few
pages into Proust’s great masterpiece, we meet the smell of vetiver in an unfamiliar room. Later, the sudden smell of petrol brings back hours spent motoring by the sea at Balbec. Early smells can have an unreasonable power. I can still recall vividly the scent of my mother’s rice pudding—a smell of burnt milk but also of a great and short-lived happiness—and the smell of cigarettes in a small bathroom can bring back my father in an instant. Yet I can’t have had that rice pudding more than three or four times, and my father never lived with us much. (Maybe that’s the point.) But the smells you can really preserve, outside the mind, are those that come in a bottle. I am a hoarder of scents and colognes; I can’t pass one without trying it, and have missed more than one plane in my life owing to the House of Guerlain. This essay is about my favorite ive. And inching into ifth place is a scent from my Hungry Teens. The ’80s, for me, were made for Paco Rabanne. Near where I grew up, there was a disco called Amanda’s: a grubby little basement under a shopping mall, but to us it was Studio 54. It smelled from one end to the other of Paco Rabanne. The great perfume scribe Luca Turin once said that men should always smell slightly grim, meaning not too lowery, I think, and redolent of activity, leather, and spices, though I don’t imagine he was thinking of Amanda’s. Paco Rabanne is as bright and zingy as a Moscow mule. It’s also musky and ambery, and four drinks in you can still smell the rosemary. I first got serious about scents when a girlfriend bought me a bottle of Mouchoir de Monsieur, and then another one, Jicky, both Guerlain classics. I found them harsh and pungent, with too much earthy civet, like incipient decay. Yet I’ve gone back to them recently and find them exquisite. Though neither makes it into my top five, they put me in touch with the one at number four: Guerlain’s Mitsouko. Invented in 1919, Mitsouko smells of ripe peaches, of cinnamon and roses, a strange and oriental smell. It perks you up and makes you think. When things are slow at my desk, I spray some Mitsouko onto my sweater. It doesn’t help with the prose, but it means I’m the nicestsmelling dunce in the class.
illustration: Kelsey Dake
My number three is Cuir de Russie by Chanel. It vies with Cuir Cannage as the best-smelling leather-and-tobacco-based perfume. The irst, though, has the edge due to its smokiness. It’s loud, so don’t wear it to Mass, unless you’re the priest, in which case anything goes. If you’re into scents, you’re into the romance of them and the stories they evoke: Cuir de Russie was invented by Ernest Beaux, who was born in Russia, and there’s something tumultuous and imperial in its odor. You might be stuck in a packed subway under Penn Station at rush hour, but in your head you’re a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man called Rasputin. In everyday life, it’s not enough to smell better. You have to smell the best, outrageously nice. Other people can smell “fresh,” or “clean,” but you have to smell like the bee’s knees of olfactory excellence. I once ofered my daughter’s half-brothers a weekly allowance in exchange for them not wearing Axe body spray. The house smelled like the locker room of the Denver Broncos, and I tried to take action, with the help of a bottle of New-York by Nicolaï. The scent will triple your chances of being loved by other people. It is second on my list. Bringing that nice leather snif into company with lemon and vanilla, cloves, lavender, and thyme, it’s perfection, and not too sweet. When I rule the world, it will be issued free of charge to anyone sufering an especially shitty day. At number one there’s a strong list of contenders, the kinds of perfumes that can only be number one. Stalking the ring (not interested in any other spot on the list) are Guerlain’s Habit Rouge (a bit too powdery and sweet), Cool Water by Davidof (beautiful and bright but can’t go the distance), and the endlessly likable Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur—an airline ticket to romantic places, with mango, pink pepper, frankincense, and myrrh. But the scent that tops them all takes the best of what I’ve said and makes it new. It is Danger pour Homme by Roja Dove. Every time I wear it, which is most nights out, someone asks me what it is, and they lean in for more. Among the base notes are cedar and rhubarb, oak moss and leather. But you can also smell violet in there. Now that I’m older, I believe a night should end as the perfume fades, but with Danger, my perfect scent, there is always a lingering remembrance of things past.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
The Art of Living
SHAMELESS PLUGS ONCE T HE NA DI R O F MA L E VANITY, THE SEAMY, STIPPL ED PL UG S OF YORE HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY HI G H -T ECH, ROBOT-ASSISTED TRANSPL ANTS S O GOOD TH EY LOOK DO WN R I G HT NATURA L—UNTIL SOMEONE ASKS, “W EREN’T YOU BALD LAST WEEK?” By Jo n Ro th
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
CALIBER RM 60-01 REGATTA
RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUES ASPEN • BAL HARBOUR • BEVERLY HILLS • BUENOS AIRES • LAS VEGAS • MIAMI • NEW YORK • ST. BARTH • TORONTO
The Art of Living
Look closely at a small but grow-
ing subset of men today and you’ll ind their hairlines are moving south. Maybe it’s a colleague back from vacation and noticeably bushier at the temples. Maybe it’s a hard-living movie star whose hair looked stringy in a mug shot, then suddenly robust on the red carpet. In cases like these, the odds are good you are looking at a successful hair transplant: The kind of procedure that once provoked razzing comparisons to Chia Pets is now so subtle, a stranger couldn’t detect it without a “before” photo handy. The list of well-known men who cop to hair transplants is a short one. In the U. S., Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean and *NSync star Joey Fatone have both broken the silence—you need a thick skin to survive a boy band, after all. The most outspoken advocate may be Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who after years on the gridiron with a smooth pate retired, then appeared on local TV having gone from bowling ball to Furby. “When I irst got it, I wasn’t sure about it,” he said in the segment. “But I know I look a little better, because I was driving through a fast-food restaurant one day . . . and this girl goes, ‘You look like Brian Urlacher, but he looks a lot older than you.’ ” While Urlacher gets paid to fess up (he’s now a spokesman for Restore, the clinic that performed the transplant), more and more guys have stopped hiding the fact that they’ve redistributed some assets up top. In most cases, people are bound to notice a diference—that’s the whole point of the operation. “It’s becoming something that people are more comfortable to speak about,” says hairstylist Martial Vivot, who runs two high-end men’s salons in Manhattan. Vivot’s cuts run from $125 to $420, so his salons attract a self-selecting clientele of the very hair-conscious—guys at the forefront of our slow admission as men that, yes, we do care about how we look. He estimates that about 15 percent of them have had transplants, most of them in their 30s and 40s. “The techniques have improved so much. Now they are able to implant following the natural way of your hair,” he says. “Jobs that were done in the ’80s . . .” he shudders audibly over the phone and goes on to describe plugs that look like the hair “on one of those kids’ dolls.” Dr. Robert Bernstein, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University, has been instrumental in taking the treatment out of the dark ages. He’s been performing transplants since 1995, has coauthored more than 38 papers on the topic, and is a recipient of the Platinum Follicle Award (it’s a thing) from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (also a thing). His clients’ most common complaint when they walk through the door? “They don’t feel like themselves. They look in the mirror and say, ‘That’s not who I am. I feel younger, cooler.’ ” Which is not to say that every guy with an image crisis is a good candidate. They need to demonstrate signiicant hair loss. (If detected early enough, male pattern baldness can be staved of with drugs like Propecia and Rogaine.) They can’t be too young. (It’s hard to predict a hair-loss pattern on guys in their 20s.) And they can’t get their hopes up too high: Transplantation can work wonders, but in most cases it won’t restore the mop anyone had at 17. So how does it work? Basically there are two options: one for older guys with more extensive hair loss, and another for younger candidates with 72
reason to be concerned about a surgical scar. In follicular-unit transplantation, a narrow strip of skin is removed from the back of the head, where growth is thicker even in more advanced cases of balding, then dissected under a microscope so follicles can be replaced in thinner areas. “If it’s done right, the procedure can look completely like your own hair,” Bernstein says, though it leaves a slight scar. The latest technology, follicularunit extraction, skips the scarring entirely and better suits younger guys with ample supply of hair at the back and sides. A highly specialized robot called ARTAS removes follicles one at a time for a seamless efect. Bernstein started employing it in his oice in 2011. “Really the breakthrough has not been the natural results in the front,” he says— that was already achievable—“but not having a donor scar in the back.” Like Vivot’s haircuts, these transplants don’t come cheap. Costs vary by patient, but Bernstein puts them in the ballpark of $15,000 for someone who is “signiicantly balding but not totally bald.” He estimates that about 40 percent of his clients are inance guys, followed by professionals in law, medicine, and architecture, followed by media types. “Then after that I would say just your average joe. People will save up money to pay for the procedure,” he says. “Hair is very, very important. It’s often a surprising priority for people.” Surprising, maybe, but only because guys have so carefully avoided talking about hair loss for so long. You take Viagra? No big deal. You see a therapist? So did Tony Soprano. Somehow balding is the one topic men still shy away from—such a taboo that many don’t try to ix it, even though they could. But because the results are so apparent, those who do opt for a transplant are faced with two options post-op: They can look the other way and shrug when a friend asks, “Where did that hair
You take VIAGRA? No big deal. You see a therapist? SO DID TONY SOPRANO.
BALDING is the ONE TOPIC men still S H Y AWAY F R O M .
come from?” or they can pull an Urlacher and explain their investment. Some guys want a vacation house. Some guys want a Swiss watch. Some guys want to be able to look in the mirror again—a lot of guys, in fact. Bernstein’s $15K procedure is a drop in the $3.5 billion bucket men help ill up every year trying to keep their hair (or add a little more). Which suggests that for every Urlacher out there, proving to the world that even a 258-pound linebacker will go under the knife, there are a lot more guys with a lower profile walking taller thanks to the extra inches they’ve gained up top.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photograph: Philip Friedman
CALIBER RM 67-01 EXTRAFLAT
RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUES ASPEN • BAL HARBOUR • BEVERLY HILLS • BUENOS AIRES • LAS VEGAS • MIAMI • NEW YORK • ST. BARTH • TORONTO
The Art of Living
SPELLBOUND No filmmaker engages all ive
LUCA GUADAGNINO, THE DIRECTOR OF CALL ME BY YOUR NAME AND THE FORTHCOMING SUSPIRIA, REVEALS HIS VISUAL INFLUENCES, F R O M I TA LY T O RADIOHEAD
senses quite like Italian director Luca Guadagnino. His films are cinematic psychostimulants, an exceptional kind of sensory overload—something he has honed over a 20-year career as the director of ilms like A Bigger Splash (2015) and Call Me by Your Name (2017). Apart from sight and sound, taste, smell, and touch become the means of his By Nathan ilms’ transportive narratives—for example, Tilda Swinton’s orgasmic bite of a prawn in I Am Love (2009) or the downward yank of Primo Reggiani’s briefs in Melissa P. (2005). The New Yorker said watching Swinton was “the best sex you will get all year.” Where many filmmakers would skip these details in favor of action, Guadagnino lingers over them, creating a languid portrait of how people live and interact. Rather than deter the drama, they heighten it. Suspiria, by cult Italian ilmmaker Dario Argento, was an early inluence. Argento is an Italian director, producer, critic, and screenwriter best known for his inluence on the horror-ilm genre, particularly in the thriller or crime-iction subgenre known as giallo. “I saw [Suspiria] when I was 13,” Guadagnino recalls. “It was an experience that went beyond my comprehension and allowed me to think that you can do something unpredictable and powerful with cinema.” He continues, “It was something deep that rooted into me, to a degree that never left me, to the point in which now I’m remaking it.” Born in a small Sicilian town and raised in the sizzling climes of Ethiopia, Guadagnino was exposed to a wealth of culture at a young age. Sense of place is paramount to his ilms. Critics have gone so far as to dub them “postcards,” a description the director rebukes. If true, he says, “it would be a small plan.” Instead, he plants his stories in authentic places—not to abet the drama, but to underscore it. “Place is everything to me,” he says, “because if you do not put the characters into a specific place, then you have a disconnected narrative that is only there for the aspect of drama.” Guadagnino’s true muse is the Italian landscape, both his home and where a majority of his ilms are made. Could he fathom living elsewhere? “I always live in a sort of ‘beyond,’ ” he explains. “That’s my attitude in life. I am always restlessly thinking of being somewhere else even though I
photograph: Mikael Olsson
enjoy being in Milan.” Simply, it’s the place he’s most afected by. Following his mission, Guadagnino also employs fashion and music to astounding efect. On A Bigger Splash, he collaborated with Dior’s former creative director Raf Simons to create costumes for Swinton. Fashion designer Silvia Venturini Fendi even has a producer credit on I Am Love. Guadagnino has directed short Williams ilms for brands like Fendi, Giorgio Armani, and Cartier through his production agency, Frenesy. “I have so many friends who are fashion designers who are so inspiring to me in the way they see the world,” he told WWD. With music, Guadagnino generally favors classical but has injected songs into his ilms by artists like Sujan Stevens and the Rolling Stones. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is scoring his remake of Suspiria. All told, the director’s use of sound and cinematography is a perfect recipe for emotional turbulence, with pulsequickening scenes about love and heartbreak shining through. One scene at the end of the gay love epic Call Me by Your Name is particularly shattering. Timothée Chalamet’s character, Elio, is reeling from an unrequited ling with Oliver (Armie Hammer). “Ma Mère L’oye,” by French composer Maurice Ravel, softly plays as Elio, sitting on the couch crying, is comforted by his father (Michael Stuhlbarg). Stuhlbarg delivers a moving speech about fully embracing that emotional pain. The scene was shot in three takes. What brings audiences to tears, however, leaves Guadagnino unmoved. “That’s cheesy,” he says when I suggest that ilming these scenes must bring a tear to his eye. “No. You are like a dressmaker working with a piece of cloth. You’re sewing it together, so you’re not seeing the thing in the same way the client of a couture house will see the inal piece. You see the making of it.” He continues, “It takes a long time to be detached enough from your work so that you can see that in a way in which you can feel the emotion that as a ilmmaker you wanted to communicate to others and your audience.” When his ideas come, they are acExcerpted from cidental, he explains, not divine. And “The Eye” however they’re put to celluloid, he has by Nathan Williams no regrets. “I’m that kind of person who Published by doesn’t have to deal with regrets.” Artisan Books.
The Art of Living
S u i t Yo u r s e l f
SAVILE ROGU E A N ICONIC LONDON TAILOR COMES TO NEW YORK TO DISRUPT THE BESPOKE EXPERIENCE
By Ni ck S ulli va n
As rising stars in the art world, Sotheby’s employees Bernard Lagrange (right), son of Huntsman owner Pierre, and Caspar Jopling (left), need to look as good as the art they’re dealing. So they underwent Huntsman’s Bespoke 100 process.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photographs: Allie Holloway
The Art of Living
In the age of online retail—that’d
be right now—bespoke suiting is a sort of sartorial Rorschach test. Some people, the same who despise off-the-rack and click-to-buy, embrace the license to deine their own style on their own terms. For (many) others, the process is a bit of a faf. When one can buy a designer suit with nothing more than a credit card and an Internet connection, and the suit will arrive at the doorstep that very day, why opt for the months of toe-tapping that tailored suits require? Belgian inancier Pierre Lagrange asked himself the same question when, in 2013, he bought Huntsman of Savile Row. He now owned one of the most respected tailors in the business, and one of the oldest, it having opened in 1849. But he knew that men’s shopping habits had changed with the times, and that many of his would-be clients no longer could commit to the full bespoke experience. Could Huntsman change too?
Clockwise from top: Huntsman of Savile Row; its legendary head cutter, Colin Hammick, who developed the tailor’s signature suit in the 1950s; the Bespoke 100 experience includes measuring, ﬁtting, and selecting cloth.
Lagrange’s answer, of course, was yes. His solution, Bespoke 100, debuts this month at Huntsman’s recently opened New York location. Named for the centennial anniversary of the tailor’s move to Savile Row, the idea is simple: same bespoke indulgences; more afordable, swifter turnaround. Well, almost the same. The full Huntsman treatment, which the shop calls Bespoke 1849, affords clients a full spectrum of cloths, and the suit is crafted at Huntsman’s Savile Row headquarters. The process takes around three months, which is the industry standard. Bespoke 100 offers fewer fabrics, and the suit’s construction
S u i t Yo u r s e l f is outsourced to one of a few select ateliers in Europe and Asia, including one whose tailors have dressed Shanghai’s elite since the 1920s. That brings the turnaround down to an Bernard Lagrange and average of eight weeks, Jopling in their new or as little as six weeks Huntsman suits. The jacket if the client is available is single-buttoned, longat crucial moments in skirted, and slant-pocketed, all of which focus the the process. balance on the slimmest Outsourcing lowers part of the torso. Translation: the cost as much as 40 You’ll look taller and ﬁtter. percent, but Lagrange claims that doesn’t mean a decline in quality. “It takes 60 to 80 hours to make a bespoke suit,” he tells me, regardless of the continent on which it is assembled, so each garment receives a similar level of attention. As with all of Huntsman’s clients, those who choose Bespoke 100 receive at least two ittings to ensure the silhouette is just right. Above all, Huntsman preserves the most vital step in any bespoke experience: the consultation with the cutter. The cutter is the most highly trained member of a tailor’s staff, the one who measures you, discusses cloth and other details, then uses what’s known as the “rock of eye”: the sixth sense of any good cutter to literally size you up by sight and translate those measurements into a chalk pattern that serves as your suit’s template. The best cutters—like Huntsman’s creative director, Campbell Carey—are the gods of Savile Row. “Cutting is the design,” Lagrange says. “If the cutter designs a garment properly and gives the proper instructions, the rest is relatively easy.” Ralph Fitzgerald (opposite, bottom), the London-trained cutter at Huntsman’s stateside location, is uniquely adept at handling the, shall we say, buoyant pace at which New Yorkers move through life. “There are so many people who want something personalized but have been shut out by the cost,” Lagrange says. He hopes to change that. “I suspect we will get people who will want both Bespoke 1849 and Bespoke 100. Up to a certain level of cloth quality, the two are fundamentally the same. We’re just offering a new way of looking at bespoke.” huntsmansavilerow.com Fall 2018
The Art of Living
WHAT YOU W E AR WHEN NO ONE’S LOO KING
There’s a man I work with who says the height of pleasure for him is a weekend when he gets to stay in loungewear. Just saying that sentence, I feel my throat close up. If your way to relax after a hard day at the office is stripping down and slipping into your most badass Snuggie, go right ahead. Just make sure your blinds are down. And if you are in the hospital, by all means, you are forgiven Michael Hainey the indignity of being made to wear those paper pajamas. And if you are looking to avoid incarceraCON tion and want to feign insanity by walking around Manhattan in your pj’s like Vincent the Chin, then yes, okay. In any other situation, loungewear is a sign of a weak mind. This whole obsession with “being comfortable” is a gateway drug to lazy style, which begets lazy thinking, which begets pure laziness. The road to hell is populated by lazybones in loungewear. I admit—I was raised Catholic. And when you are raised Catholic, you learn to put up with the vestments, no matter how hot it gets or how long the day. So, yes, I wear a tie in the summer. To the beach. I do. And, yes, certain friends have circulated rumors that I sleep in a suit. With my shoes on. (No comment.) If your clothes are so seemingly painful for you to wear that the moment you get home from work you have to rip them off and pull on your little onesie, well, all I can say is grow up. You’re a man, aren’t you? Are you such a blob that you actually have special clothes that you wear in order to lie on a couch and watch TV for five hours straight? Are you 12 years old? They say that character is who you are when no one is looking. True. And I’ll add this: Style is what you have when no one is watching. What you wear at home matters. A cluttered office is a cluttered mind. And a comfy-cozy-onesie loungewear style-sense is a lazy, infantilized mind. Don’t give in. 80
for loungers. For homebodies. For the indolent, even. That’s because I do not “go hard” on weekends. I am not running around to every bottomless brunch and gallery opening and half marathon. I prefer to spend those days like some kind of minor aristocrat. I cook, I read, I write. I mess Jon around on the piano or in my sketchbook. I’ve got a Roth garden. And yes, I watch a lot of Netflix. These are PRO not activities you want to perform in a three-piece suit. This is the definition of leisure, and I believe in dressing for it. You know what’s appropriate for the office? A jacket and tie. You know what’s appropriate for drinking coffee, burning some incense, and listening to the Goldberg Variations on Sunday morning? Thick socks, wool slippers, and an out-there bathrobe (dressing gown, call it whatever) that shows you know how to enjoy life. Don’t spend all day in the robe. Move from there to a henley and fitted sweats. (Cotton is fine, but I’m looking into cashmere.) By dinnertime, maybe put on actual pants. That’s the other beauty of at-home dressing: It’s not just an excuse to get comfy. It’s a way to get comfortable with clothes you’re not ready to wear yet in the real world. Like, say, white jeans. Every men’s mag will tell you to buy a pair. I’ve bought several, and they stayed buried at the bottom of my dresser until I spent a few weekends breaking them in at home. You’d be surprised how mundane an otherwise unconventional piece of clothing becomes after you’ve worn it through a few Sundays. Last week, I finally took them outside. My colleague thinks there is some moral decay woven into loungewear, that with drawstring pants comes the erosion of all that makes us men. I say drawstring pants are flexible, and we should be too— open to accommodating the situation, open to trying new things. Sleeping in a hair shirt doesn’t make you a hero.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
illustrations: Louise Pomeroy
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The Art of Living
BORED TO DEATH A R E W E H AV I N G F U N Y E T ? Hea the r Hav r i l esk y R I P S ON THE PRETENTIOUSNESS OF “ A D U LT ” PA R T I E S . Adults are not always so fun. Sometimes I go to parties illed with ma-
ture people who know things and act their age and I’m quickly illed with despair. I walk in the door and greet the host and mill about, but in the pit of my stomach I know that leaving home was a huge mistake. I will not be surprised and delighted. I will not learn something new. I will not even enjoy the sound of my own voice. I will be lulled into a state of excruciating paralysis and self-hatred and other-people hatred. Let’s be honest, some days, sensible middle-aged urban liberal adult professionals are the most tedious people in the world. I know that I should feel grateful that these people, my peers, are enlightened, that they listen to NPR and read The Atlantic, that they join book clubs and send their kids to the progressive preschool and the Italian-immersion magnet. I should feel cheered by the fact that I know human beings who hold national grants to improve government policy on something or other, or who work with troubled teenagers. These people are informed and intelligent. These are the people I should want to know. But I am an ingrate. My lack of gratitude might be a product of despair, which pairs badly with my lukewarm Hawaiian-surfer-themed microbrew. I should be thankful that almost everyone at this party skimmed The New York Times this morning. I should feel glad that they read the latest book by Donna Tartt so they can tell me that they didn’t think it was all that good, in the vaguest terms possible. I should see this as an opportunity to hear myself say words out loud about the latest book by Donna Tartt, throwing in speciic arguments about what qualiies as good writing and what makes a book worthwhile—but without insulting anyone or swearing for no reason or making spit ly out of my mouth in the process. But I might get long-winded and say too much. There is a palpable pressure to never say too much here. There is an imaginary egg timer for every comment. The sand runs out, the eyes go dead. I should be glad just to be here, to be invited out of the house so I can stand beside a table of food I didn’t personally prepare, all of those bad salads with the quinoa and the mushy bits of avocado and the overcooked pasta and the giant lumps of bland feta and the little bits of green stuf that have no discernible lavor. I should feel thankful to be slowing down in sync with this diverse and informed tribe, to be aging gracefully among these mild-mannered international humans in their denim shirts, in their
linens, in their comfortable shoes, in their terrible newsboy caps, holding their beers until they sweat and grow warm, sipping their glasses of pinot grigio but never having a second glass, helping themselves to an intolerably weak margarita that needs a sign that says Adults Only on the side because it is served in small blue Dixie cups and it looks and tastes exactly like lemonade. After one cup I quickly calculate that I will need to drink the whole pitcher of Adults Only Lemonade to catch a buzz. For a while I try to do this. But catching a buzz is not the point at a gathering like this one. In fact, the point is to avoid catching a buzz. Sure, these professional adults once used to drink too much and say the wrong things when they were much younger. But they’ve accumulated enough experience over the years to realize that the more appropriate thing is to resist such an impulse, to ile down their more unsightly edges, to blend in. It’s not that they don’t still have unpopular opinions and bad urges. They’re just mature enough to know these things make people uncomfortable, end friendships, hijack careers. You can’t go to a party and act like you’re at a party. You’re too old for that. You might speak out of turn or contradict yourself or ofend someone. That’s not how adults do it. Among adults, everything must exist within clearly deined boundaries and limits: No heels are uncomfortably high (and everyone leaves their shoes at the front door anyway), no music is too loud, no lipstick is too dark, no food is too spicy, no drink is too strong, no conversation lasts too long. No one yells or points or mocks, even just for fun. No one has any obvious personality disorders. No one is quiet or seems lonely. No one looks desperate or sweaty. No one is inappropriate or has lipstick on her teeth or is wearing overly large statement jewelry. No one is calling attention to himself for no reason. No one is anxious to cause a stir. No one feels trapped, not outwardly. Such feelings—the longing, the anger, the envy—all of that should have been lifted away decades ago, evaporated, whisked away by linen blends and decaf cofee drinks and probiotics. Everyone should appear calm and properly hydrated now. Everyone should claim to feel just right in their terrible shorts, their legs crossed like Europeans, their temples graying by the minute, their pleasant expressions saying, “I see your point, I understand, that is also true.” Everyone should be smiling with their eyes and talking with their hands. They’d like more pasta, but they could also live without it. I can’t do it. The quiet restraint, the lack of discernible needs or desires, the undiferentiated sea of dry-cleaned nothingness, the small sips, the half smiles, the polite pauses, the autopilot nodding. It
photograph: Grant Cornett
feels like we’re all voluntarily erasing ourselves, as if that’s the only appropriate thing to do. So I sit in the backyard, on the grass, alone, away from the adults. I think about what it means to blend into the scenery until you disappear. I wonder why that’s the point. A dog approaches with an oblong toy made of clear, melon-colored plastic. The dog gets up in my face. The dog has strong needs, strong preferences. The dog is an individual, demanding and unique. The dog’s breath smells like dead ish. I grab the slobbery stick it’s clutching, but the dog’s teeth are locked on to it. I hold tight to one end of the slippery thing, which looks like a translucent penis in a ribbed condom. The dog won’t let go. The dog is conlicted. The dog wants me to throw the toy, but it also wants to retain possession of the toy, forever and ever. It wants excitement, but it also wants to savor the thrill of ownership. The dog
URBAN LIBERAL adult professionals are the MOST TEDIOUS people in the world.
doesn’t mind contradicting itself. The dog is impolite. The dog’s eyes are bloodshot. The dog wants everything, all at once. The dog drops the toy, and I’m holding the slimy thing in my hands, and then the dog lunges for it again and almost bites my hand, because my having the toy seemed not okay for a second there. “DROP it,” I say, in a less-than-polite tone. “DROP IT. DROP IT.” The dog looks me in the eye and chomps and doesn’t let go. “DROP. IT.” I growl in a low voice. The dog drops it. I toss a wet dick across the grass for hours. The grass is artiicial. The dog is never quite satisied. I feel good. This is much better.
MOMENT By Jay McInerney
REFLECTIONS ON THE ENDURING
I N F L U E N C E A N D A P P E A L O F S AV I L E R O W ’ S TOMMY NUTTER
I came to London to promote Story of My Life. That was the last book that I wrote set in the milieu of Bright Lights, Big City. It was a pretty heady period in my life; for better or worse, I was taken to be an avatar of the eighties zeitgeist, which was invigorating but also limiting. I bought a number of pieces from Tommy Nutter. I was initially attracted by his rock ’n’ roll clientele. I didn’t feel the need for conservative tailoring. Formal suits weren’t for me, although that changed pretty much after Nutter died. After that, I started to have suits made at Anderson & Sheppard, and later at Huntsman. But the late eighties was a period when Savile Row was on the wane. And here was this very lamboyant tailor trying to shake up that establishment, doing new things with men’s wear without entirely breaking away from the traditions of tailoring. I went out a lot at night in those days. My attitude was always to dress up. People are often astonished by that now, by the idea that you would dress up like we did to go to nightclubs. Looking at photos from those days, you’d never mistake the moment for anything other than that period in time: the hair, the proportions of those quite long, oversize jackets. In some ways, I think that the late eighties and early nineties were the last moment in history to have a very distinctive visual signature. If someone were to revive Nutter today, it would be kind of artiicial: Tommy Nutter was Tommy Nutter, although part of his DNA is in the guys at [former Nutter colleagues] Chittleborough & Morgan now. But he was unique; he brought an edge to Savile Row. That was very much part of the look then. And that was the moment.
From the book
What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky Published by Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
illustration: Kelsey Dake
P I N K
P O N Y
o eu in Pink
J O I N U S I N T H E F I G H T AG A I N S T C A N C E R 1 0 0 % o f t h e p u r c h a s e p r i c e f r o m t h e â€œ L i v e L o v e â€? l i g h t p i n k t- s h i r t s w i l l b e d o n a t e d t o t h e P i n k P o n y F u n d of The Polo Ralph L auren Foundation or to an international net work of c ancer charities . G l o b a l l y, 2 5 % o f t h e p u r c h a s e p r i c e f r o m t h e s a l e o f e a c h i t e m i n t h e P i n k P o n y c o l l e c t i o n i s d i r e c t e d t o a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l n e t w o r k of c ancer charities; within the U nited States , proceeds benefit the Pink Pony Fund of The Polo Ralph L auren Foundation .
R A LP H L AU R E N .CO M / P I N K P O N Y
The Art of Living
UNK NOWN THE R E I S N O P R I Z E F O R D E F Y I N G B E L I E F, N O G O L D MEDA L F OR CHEAT I N G DEAT H, N O SWASHBUCKLERS, LAWMEN, FLYING ACES, AND AFRONAUTS IS A C H A MPI O N
P e te r F r e u c h e n
Among Arctic explorers —is there a manlier job?—there was
Reporters who visited Edward Nkoloso, the director of Zambia’s
one who outmanned them all: Peter Freuchen. In the irst half of the 20th century, the towering Dane marched over glaciers, jumped across icebergs, ripped of his own gangrenous toes with a pair of pliers, and also found time to write Hollywood movies and win The $64,000 Question. Freuchen spent years living in and around Thule in northern Greenland, hunting narwhals and walruses with the Inuit. It was here that he was once caught in a blizzard and found himself buried alive in a tightly packed cocoon of snow. He tried to claw his way out with his bare hands, but the snow had turned to ice and his ingers froze as they scratched at its surface. Freuchen was buried for well over a day, and things looked grim when he had an idea. Working quickly, he moved his bowels and fashioned his excrement into a chisel-like instrument. When it was frozen solid, he used it to slowly tunnel out of his ice prison. It was then a simple three-hour crawl on hands and knees back to camp.
space program, often declared him a lunatic. After all, it was 1964 and he was vowing that his young country would beat both the U. S. A. and the USSR to the moon. This seemed unlikely; Zambia trained its astronauts by having them roll downhill in a forty-gallon oil drum, swing from a tree on a rope, and loat downriver in a tub—all to simulate the weightlessness of space, he explained. In the Western media, Nkoloso was painted as a cautionary tale of the dangers of giving Africans their independence. But if he was crazy, it was like a fox. He’d fought alongside the British in the Second World War but turned against them in the battle for Zambian sovereignty. Tortured and imprisoned, he set up the space camp in 1960 as a living satire of Western pretensions, mocking the costly race between First World countries. But it was also whispered to be a cover for training revolutionaries in the ight for freedom. “Some people think I’m crazy,” Nkoloso said, “but I’ll be laughing the day I plant Zambia’s lag on the moon.” The reporters didn’t realize it, but he was laughing already.
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LEGE NDS GRAN T M O N EY F O R T EA R I N G U P T H E R U L E B O O K O F L IF E. EA CH OF T HE F OL L OW I N G IN A FI E L D O F O N E— A N D E S Q U I R E S A L U T E S T H E M . By G eorge Pe n d le
A d r i a n C a r t o n d e W i ar t
Heath er Stewart
Adrian Carton de Wiart fought in wars across the globe and, like
Where other pilots feared to ly was where you could ind Heather
Monty Python’s Black Knight, often left parts of his body behind as he went. In a campaign in Somaliland in 1914, the British oicer was shot twice in the face, losing an eye and a portion of one ear. In the First World War, he took bullets in the skull, ankle, hip, leg, and ear again. His left hand was shattered in an artillery barrage, and when the doctor refused to amputate two damaged ingers, de Wiart tore them of himself. He was such a regular visitor to a nursing home back in England that he kept his own pajamas there. At sixty, de Wiart escaped from the Nazis in Norway; he later crashed a plane into the Mediterranean, only to be captured by the Italians. He made ive fruitless attempts to escape and showed fear only when his captors asked him to aid in their peace negotiations: De Wiart was terriied that the civilian suit they ofered to stitch for him would make him “resemble a gigolo.” It was with considerable relief that he discovered it was “as good as anything that ever came out of Savile Row.” He died at the age of eighty-three of natural causes.
Stewart. “All-Weather Heather” had begun lying commercially when she was thirty, transporting big-game hunters around Africa, but the British aviatrix soon took to traicking khat, the amphetamine-like drug of choice for teetotaling Muslims in Somalia. As that country descended into civil war and her plane became peppered with bullet holes, Stewart decided she needed a change of scenery and chose war-torn Sudan. She lew Catholic missionaries and aid workers into the country and wounded rebels out. The loor of her plane often ran thick with blood, and she was forced to plug her nostrils with VapoRub to combat the stench of gangrene in the small fuselage. While many other bush pilots ran guns at great proit, Stewart transported enslaved Sudanese from their captors to freedom. On occasion her plane would sink into the mud of a dirt runway and she’d be stranded for days amid puf adders and scorpions, but she said she’d rather be lying rebel commanders than carrying “a bunch of fat tourists to look at lions.”
The Art of Living
A hulking yet dapper igure who claimed to be Oscar Wilde’s
The wiliest saloon busters of the Prohibition era were not Eliot
nephew, Arthur Cravan was renowned for insulting the Parisian avantgarde, of which he was supposed to be a member. “I do not wish to be civilized” was his motto. Cravan once announced that he was going to commit suicide in public. He appeared wearing only a jockstrap and proceeded to berate the rubberneckers who had turned up for the event. In 1916 in Barcelona, before thousands of onlookers, he fought the reigning heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson. Drunk, Cravan was knocked out after six rounds but swiftly recovered and made of with his share of the box-oice takings. He used the money to buy passage to New York, where he was engaged to give a lecture on the new “futurist” art. He arrived characteristically inebriated, pushed his way through the highsociety crowd, clambered onto the stage, and proceeded to undo his trousers, until a group of policemen intervened. The artist Marcel Duchamp declared it a “most wonderful” lecture. In 1918, at the age of thirty-one, Cravan set sail from Mexico to Buenos Aires. He was never seen again.
Ness and his famed Untouchables but a rotund former postal clerk named Izzy Einstein and a dough-faced cigar salesman named Moe Smith. These G-men didn’t carry guns or bust down doors; they’d dress up as grocers, coal merchants, or icemen. As Izzy put it, “Who’d ever think a fat man with pickles was an agent?” Once, they pretended to be a bickering married couple, with Moe dressing in drag. Other times Izzy would simply knock on a speakeasy door in his normal clothes and say he was a Prohibition agent looking for a drink. The doorman would take one glance at this bug-eyed wiseguy and let him in with a chuckle, at which point the sentry would be swiftly handcufed. Knowing that Izzy was Jewish, some bootleg bars would insist that all newcomers take a bite of a ham sandwich before they got a drink, so Izzy developed the subtle technique of blowing out the ham from the sandwich as he ate it. In ive years they arrested 4,932 sellers of hooch, accounting for more than a ifth of all Prohibition arrests in the Lower New York district.
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Bas s Reeves
Léo Ma jor
Eighty miles west of Fort Smith, deep in the heart of the lawless
Can one man be an army? If so, Léo Major was it. The Quebecois sniper
Indian Territory, lay the “deadline.” Here, in the late 19th century, outlaws would hang up cards warning certain lawmen that if they ever passed this point, they would be killed without hesitation. Many of those cards were addressed to Bass Reeves. Born into slavery in Arkansas, Reeves escaped during the Civil War and took refuge among the dispossessed natives. He learned their customs, languages, and tracking skills and after the war parlayed these abilities into a post as one of the irst black deputy marshals west of the Mississippi. His belt was shot in two, the buttons were shot of his coat, and his bridle reins were cut in half by a bullet while he held them, but somehow he always survived. By the end of his career, he could lay claim to more than three thousand collars, although undoubtedly his toughest job was tracking down his own son, who had killed his wife. (Reeves caught him, too.) With his white stallion, he was thought by some to be the basis for the Lone Ranger, but Reeves was an altogether grittier igure.
was twenty-three years old when he stormed the beaches of Normandy. It cost him the sight in his left eye. Major should have been sent home, but he refused to go, arguing that he needed only one eye to aim his rile. Soon afterward he drove over a land mine and broke his back, but once again he declined to be discharged, escaping from a Belgian hospital to rejoin his unit. During the Battle of the Scheldt, he captured ninetythree German soldiers as they slept. But it was in the Dutch city of Zwolle that Major’s legend was assured. He had volunteered to go on a twoman reconnaissance mission behind enemy lines. When his partner was killed, Major went berserk. His ferocity led the Germans to evacuate, believing they were under attack from a whole army. Returning to Montreal after the war, Major made no mention of his exploits, even to his wife. It was not until 1969 that his story was revealed, when several residents of Zwolle knocked on his door, delighted to have inally found the one-eyed man who single-handedly liberated their city.
AS HE ENTERS HIS FIFTH DECADE IN FILMS, W I L L E M D A F O E TA K E S O N V I N C E N T VA N G O G H — A R O L E S A C R E D T O A R T I S T S E V E RY W H E R E — IN A NEW MOVIE DIRECTED BY JULIAN SCHNABEL. I T ’ S A L O N G WAY T O C O M E FO R A K I D F RO M A P P L E T O N , W I S C O N S I N .
By A S H C A RT E R Photographs by MARC HOM Styling by M AT T H E W MARDEN
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Thirteen years ago, while ilming The Life Aquatic in Italy, Dafoe met the Italian director Giada Colagrande, whom he married shortly thereafter. He now spends half of each year in Rome. “My heart’s in both places,” Dafoe says. “Italy still has very strong traditions. That’s a burden, and it’s a blessing.” In New York, “it’s kind of a tradition of no tradition, except for money. I love this city, but it’s only because it’s a place of entry and an international city that it still has any culture at all, because what really rules? You go down the West Side Highway and you see those buildings going up, and it’s like, who’s gonna live in these? What do they cost? What’s going on? “New York is dear to me,” he says, “but it’s changed so much. For me, it’s a city of memories and ghosts.” “We used to tell a joke when we were kids,” Dafoe has said. “You
and a Japanese death god. A prisoner of Auschwitz and an SS oicer. A clean-cut Fed and a lascivious sociopath with rotten teeth and a pencil mustache. A vampire, a priest, and once, for an experimentaltheater piece, a nun. A London banker and a Florida motel manager. T. S. Eliot and the Green Goblin. Willem Dafoe, among the most distinctive actors of his or any generation, is also one of the most protean. Later this year, he will appear in both DC’s Aquaman (December 21), as the Atlantean scientist Nuidis Vulko, and Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate (November 16), his 99th movie, as Vincent van Gogh. Dafoe can seemingly play anything, except maybe a well-brought-up, middle-class midwesterner, which, of course, is what he is. “I’ve got to admit,” the 63-year-old performer says over poached eggs and wheat toast at Morandi in Manhattan’s West Village, “sometimes I look at my life and think, How did I end up here?” Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Dafoe left the University of WisconsinMilwaukee for New York in 1977—the year of the blackout, the “Son of Sam” killings, and the wholesale arson of the Bronx—and fell in with an avant-garde theater collective soon to become the Wooster Group. Together with the Kitchen, Max’s Kansas City, and CBGB, they would help to shape a cultural moment that is now the subject of as much fascination as in de siècle Paris or Weimar Berlin. In 1980, Kathryn Bigelow cast Dafoe as the leader of an outlaw biker gang in her debut feature, The Loveless, and a series of reputation-making roles quickly followed: in William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., Oliver Stone’s Platoon, Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning, and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. Even as he continues to work with contemporaries like Abel Ferrara and Paul Schrader, Dafoe has been embraced by some of the new century’s most original and disparate ilmmakers, from Wes Anderson to Lars von Trier to Sean Baker. He has been nominated for an Oscar three times, each for best supporting actor: irst in 1986 for Platoon, then in 2000 for Shadow of the Vampire, and most recently in 2017 for The Florida Project. For Dafoe, Morandi is both convenient and sentimental. Its owner, Keith McNally, was once the proprietor of Lucky Strike, a downtown bistro around the corner from the Wooster Group Performing Garage. “Lucky Strike was like our kitchen,” Dafoe says. It’s hot—the humidity is pushing 90 percent and McNally’s zeal for European authenticity extends even to the au naturel air-conditioning—but Dafoe is perfectly at ease in an open navy cardigan over a T-shirt. He sips a green juice. “I’m like the boy next door,” Dafoe once said of himself, “if you live next door to a mausoleum.” He is congenitally menacing. Yet ofscreen, he is warm, well-mannered, and surprisingly attractive. Sitting across from him on a sunny June morning is a little like being in a haunted house with the lights on and suddenly noticing the elegant architecture. He moves with the earned poise of a dancer, a by-product of four decades of physically demanding performance and 25 years of Ashtanga yoga. As the conversation progresses, you begin to get used to his face like you would any other. Every once in a while, though, his eyes suddenly pop open, his cheeks contract, and he lashes that crazed, gap-toothed grin. 92
know what Houdini’s greatest escape was?” Punchline: Leaving his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. Dafoe, whose real name is William, is the seventh of eight children born, in 1955, to William Dafoe, a doctor, and his wife, Muriel, a nurse. “I always feel like my irst brother took the bullet for me,” Dafoe says, “because he became the doctor. And almost all my sisters became nurses, so I was able to do something else.” He adopted the nickname Willem as a teenager to distinguish himself from his father. His parents were rarely home and the household was “always chaos,” he says. “Basically, my sisters raised me. We never had family meals, except maybe on Sundays. My mother would cook a big something or other and just put it in the refrigerator, and you’d slice of something and eat it.” By the time he was cast as the title character in Martin Scorsese’s 1988 ilm The Last Temptation of Christ, which outraged the religious right for its depiction of a fallible Jesus, William and Muriel had been born again as evangelical Christians. (“I do not believe [our son] would do anything blasphemous,” Muriel told the Orlando Sentinel for a story about the controversy.) But Dafoe says his parents weren’t especially devout when he was growing up. “We would go to church as a family—it’s one of the few things we did together—but it was more social than anything.” Still, the Protestant ethic was strong. “My father used to say, ‘You’ve gotta produce! You’ve gotta produce!’” Dafoe says. “All my life, soda pop was not allowed in the house. No alcohol. My parents were both teetotalers. Occasionally my mother would have a book club, and the most exotic thing in the world was they’d pull out a cofee urn. They didn’t drink cofee! We’d sneak down and load up whatever was left over with cream and sugar. It was like heroin! “When my father came home and there was a problem [with one of us], he would take us to his study,” Dafoe says. “One of the few things we had of any value was a Flemish oil painting called The Happy Family, a homeand-hearth kind of thing. He’d put us in front of that, take of his belt, snap it a few times, and say, ‘You have a decision: Be a member of the happy family—or get this.’ We’d say, ‘I want to be a member of the happy family!’ ” William died at age 97 in 2014, two years after Muriel. “On his deathbed—I could tell he wasn’t going to be around much longer, and kind of jokingly I said, ‘Well, what’s your conclusion? What is life?’ He took a long, thoughtful pause, and he said, ‘Will, life is a test.’ Wow. That gives you an idea of what kind of guy he was.” (A portrait of Dafoe’s father as a inancial executive, painted as a prop for the 2014 movie A Most Wanted Man, hangs in the actor’s home oice.) Dafoe’s seven siblings all went to the University of Wisconsin, then a hotbed of student protest. In 1970, a group of antiwar activists bombed the Army Mathematics Research Center, killing a 33-year-old physicist. “I’d be hitchhiking down to Madison when I was a teenager,” he says, “sleeping on their couches, smelling pot, having my sister Dee Dee explain her interpretation of the White Album to me.” Dee Dee took Dafoe to see a sketch-comedy revue called Kentucky Fried Theater, staged by some UW students who would go on to make Airplane! and The Naked Gun. “That really made me think, I could be doing this,” he says. “You don’t have to be a card-carrying industry person.” An even earlier inluence was Sterling Holloway, best known as the voice of Winnie the Pooh, whose Disney LPs entranced Dafoe as a child. (“I wish I’d never listened to The Grasshopper and the Ants,” he says. That one “fucked me up.”)
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In 1973, Dafoe enrolled as a drama student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, then dropped out in the middle of his sophomore year to join a nontraditional local company called Theatre X. Video from a 1975 production called Civil Commitment Hearings, featuring a long-haired, 20-year-old Dafoe reciting testimony from county-court transcripts, can be seen on YouTube. “My parents were like, ‘When you really know what you want to do, we’ll help you,’ ” Dafoe says. “They put all my brothers and sisters through undergraduate and graduate school. Me, nothing, because they thought I was gooing around, but I was okay with that.” He worked part-time at a bindery and then a luncheonette counter. “I knew that if I really needed money, it would be a phone call away, but I kind of enjoyed the romance of living paycheck to paycheck.” While touring with Theatre X in Amsterdam, Dafoe met Richard Schechner, the founder of the Performance Group, who told him to come to New York. So he did. After a few months of couch suring, Dafoe moved into an apartment on East Tenth Street. The rent was $225 a month, which he split with a roommate. “I was intending to have a commercialtheater career on some level when I moved here,” Dafoe says, “but then I found myself going downtown and seeing these loft performances. I felt an energy.” He began working as a stagehand for the Performance Group (“I was a terrible carpenter”) and quickly ingratiated himself into the collective, just as it was re-forming into the Wooster Group under the directorship of Schechner’s protégée, Elizabeth LeCompte. To someone whose idea of boundary-pushing theater is Hamilton, the oeuvre of the Wooster Group will seem almost aggressively confounding. One early piece, titled Route 1 & 9, mixed unlicensed excerpts of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with pornographic video and Pigmeat Markham comedy routines performed (by Dafoe, among others) in blackface. After a New York Times critic called the show racist, the New York State Council on the Arts cut the group’s funding. LeCompte appealed, unsuccessfully, and a number of prominent artists wrote letters in support. (Would they do so today? one wonders.) “Some people felt discomfort when they watched the performance and thought, Should they be doing this?” Dafoe now says. “That’s an interesting place for an audience to be.” A 1984 piece called L.S.D. (...Just the High Points...) juxtaposed an interview with Timothy Leary’s onetime babysitter and a sped-up rendition of The Crucible, prompting a cease-and-desist letter from Arthur Miller’s attorney. “If you want to understand Willem, you really do have to understand his interest in experimental theater,” says Paul Schrader, who cast Dafoe as a drug dealer to the rich in the 1992 ilm Light Sleeper, the irst of their six collaborations. “It’s probably a larger part of his creative focus than motion pictures.” When asked what efect this background has had on Dafoe’s movie work, Schrader says, “It makes him more of a chameleon as an actor, because when he does these theater things, he really gets outside his comfort zone—not only in terms of performing styles but also in terms of nudity and socially scandalous stuf. And that’s a comfort zone most actors don’t like to get out of. Willem is fearless.” Wes Anderson, who has worked with Dafoe three times, most recently on The Grand Budapest Hotel, says, “He is a performer of much broader definition than actor might normally suggest. I saw him dance with Baryshnikov at the Théâtre de la Ville. I also saw him in Richard Foreman’s Idiot Savant at the Public in New York, which for me is almost more of a moving, living sculpture than a play. I have always loved working with Willem because he has all the tools and skills and experience and clarity and coniFall 2018
dence you could ask for. But he is also up for virtually anything.” Anderson calls Dafoe “one of my favorite actors anywhere.” Soon after joining the Wooster Group, Dafoe became romantically involved with LeCompte, leading her to break things of with Spalding Gray, then another company member. “It was complicated, because we were all working together,” Dafoe says. “In fact, the three of us lived in the same loft, but we divided it in half.” (Dafoe and LeCompte remained partners for 27 years; they have one son, Jack, a 36-year-old judicial clerk, and a twoand-a-half-year-old grandson named Tom.) Gray, whose posthumously published diaries express envy toward his loftmate’s early success in Hollywood (“Diicult adjustment to Willem and the movies—some jealousy”), later became famous as a solo performer for his series of autobiographical monologues, notably Swimming to Cambodia. “This concept of turning your life into work interested me but also repelled me,” Dafoe says. “Sometimes I’d watch Spalding and think he was having experiences in order to create material. “I was more down with inding a mask and actually losing myself,” he says. “When you take on someone else’s actions and someone else’s thoughts, a beautiful thing happens. You learn something. You feel more alive, because there’s more possibilities. And then you’re beating the devil.” In 1979, Dafoe landed a bit part in Michael
Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate after hearing the director was looking for “ethnic faces.” He was ired for laughing too loudly at a dirty joke in between takes. “When I came to ilm, it seemed not that different than what I was doing, from an actor’s point of view,” Dafoe says. “From a social point of view, it was very diferent. Everyone was talking about their houses, and their horses, and their agents. I thought you were supposed to be talking about poetry, and paintings, and the beautiful books you’ve read. This was my romantic thing.” Heaven’s Gate was a financial catastrophe that ruined its director’s career, sank a studio, and brought the artistically freewheeling interregnum known as New Hollywood to an end. “Auteur became a dirty word in America,” says Dafoe, who later narrated a documentary about the lop. “I think the people born slightly before me had a more fruitful period,” he says, citing Jack Nicholson. But, he adds, “envy is poison. Of course I have it, but I don’t allow myself to have it.” Dafoe has “a certain art-house cachet, so he gets asked to do unusual projects,” Schrader says. “But when you’re in that situation, you have to be careful that you don’t take yourself out of the marketplace. If he’s of in Rome with Abel Ferrara, the next stop is going to be for Disney.” Schrader is referring to Ferrara’s Siberia, a dream story inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book, and Togo, a Disney movie about a dogsled driver, both of which will star Dafoe. In 2002, the same year that he played a sex-addicted audiovisual salesman in Schrader’s underrated Auto Focus, Dafoe assumed the part of Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. “It was early in this game,” he says. “I remember friends were like, ‘Really? A comic book?’ When you look back on that, it’s pretty funny.” Reports conlict, but Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Travolta, Jason Isaacs, Bill Paxton, Billy Crudup, and Robert De Niro are all said to have been ofered the role before Dafoe. Playing a superhero or villain was still regarded by most serious actors as a potential career killer. Now it’s a job guarantee. The consensus shifted abruptly after Spider-Man became the irst movie to gross $100 million in a single weekend, an event that transformed the movie business no less than the failure of Heaven’s Gate. Six- (co nt inued o n pag e 1 3 8 ) 97
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C A S T I N G B Y E M I LY P O E N I S C H . O N - S E T P R O D U C T I O N B Y S T E P H A N I E W E E D AT L I Z L A N G P R O D U C T I O N S . P R O P S T Y L I N G B Y S H A W N PAT R I C K A N D E R S O N AT A C M E B R O O K LY N . G R O O M I N G B Y B E N J A M I N T H I G P E N U S I N G O R I B E A N D I S C L I N I C A L .
F R O M H O N O L U L U â€™ S N E W F O O D S C E N E T O T H E E P I C M O U N TA I N S A N D B E A C H E S O F T H E N O R T H S H O R E , H AWA I I â€™ S M O S T B U S T L I N G I S L A N D I S R I D I N G A N E W G R O O V E R O O T E D I N R E D I S C O V E R I N G I T S H E R I TA G E T H AT W I L L F E E D Y O U R S O U L I N M O R E WAY S T H A N J U S T P O K E A N D P O I By K E V I N S I N T U M UAN G
Surfing the gentle waves of Waikiki can be a magically surreal experience. Opposite: Graveside, the (now-defunct) North Shore skate bowl. Fall 2018
It was a question, but I read it as a mission statement: “We must ind shave ice. Now.” That was my ive-year-old daughter’s irst wish when we got of the 11-hour light from New York City to Honolulu. Not to hit the beach, not to hunt for waterfalls, but to devour thin lakes of ice shaped into a lufy mound, served in a bowl and doused with a variety of fruit syrups— ice cream and fruit toppings optional, but highly recommended. Shave ice is to a kindergartner what a mai tai is to an adult when it comes to the thing you crave most as Hawaii’s warm air and fragrant lora welcome you to the most isolated population center in the world. They are the cliché desires of a mainlander—as those who live in the contiguous 48 are called— but I’ve found from visiting this archipelago over the past 15 years that Hawaii has a special way of making clichés feel authentic, even on Oahu, the most visited of the islands, and one synonymous with the high-rises of Waikiki. The island can often be more of a stopover for those seeking the even slower tropical rhythms of Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island. That’s too bad because Oahu has increasingly become an even more soulful place in touch with its land and history. Honolulu has emerged recently as the kind of dining destination where one makes reservations at places like Sushi Sho before booking a light. And when the vibe on the continental U. S. feels as divisive as ever, experiencing the spirit of aloha is refreshing. If everyone brought a little bit of that back home, America might truly be great again. Oahu moving beyond its colonial and industrial history feels organic, holistic. Take our irst shave ice of the trip at Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, a place in a strip mall not far from the Kahala neighborhood. Shave ice, while deeply satisfying on a hot day, can taste, and look, as artiicial as, well, a snow cone from the mainland. Started in 2011, Uncle Clay’s uses natural ingredients derived from the wide diaspora that makes up Hawaii’s food ways. You can get it topped with a powder of puckery li hing, a sweet, sour, salty dried plum commonly found in Hawaii’s crack-seed shops, named after the preserved fruit snacks they sold from China. There are the expected guava and pineapple syrups, but made from the actual fruits, no neon colors added.
Shave ice is thought to have been brought to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants.
Matcha syrup is an option, as is lilikoi, an indigenous passion fruit. It’s as if they’re saying, Maybe this is the way shave ice should’ve always been. You can also feel this reclamation of Oahu’s heritage at Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi, a nonproit organization whose goal is to help restore Hawaii’s agrarian past before the sugarcane and pineapple industries scarred the land—the last sugarcane plantation on the island shut down as recently as 2016. In He‘eia, a verdant marshland with a backdrop of the lush crinkles of rock and foliage that make up the Ko‘olau mountains, my family and I took part in a volunteer program to till the earth, manually, with our bare feet in the mud, up to our torsos. For a city person whose instinct is to avoid mud, it’s a kind of revelation once you get brave enough to jump into the brontosaurus-footprintsized hole. The stuf smelled, well, earthy. Alive. We were breaking up the ground to plant kalo, also known as taro, a culturally important staple. Kalo was one of a few plants that the original Hawaiians carried with them across the water, using only the stars and an uncanny understanding of the ocean to navigate, yet most of it is imported. In fact, Hawaii as a whole still imports around 85 percent of its food. But the agricultural renewal is steady. In Kunia, among the fertile central plains of the island, Manulele Distillers is producing a variety of beautifully funky agricole rums from ancient, heirloom varieties of sugarcane that, like the kalo, was irst brought to Hawaii from the South Paciic centuries ago. All this on the site of a defunct Del Monte plantation. And in restaurants across the island, there is a greater efort to support local farms. The bounty can be seen irsthand at the Kapi‘olani Community College farmers market every Saturday morning or at the mini empire of local-centric restaurants from chef Ed Kenney, one of the leaders of sustainable farming practices on the island. Oahu’s seedier urban area is also going through a revitalization. Chinatown has always been a home to Asian communities, but it also carried a reputation of being a brothel-esque hangout for sailors and soldiers from its inception in the mid-1800s through World War II and the years following it. When I irst visited Chinatown in the early aughts, I turned the car around. A little too “up and coming,” let’s say. Today I shopped for modern aloha shirts at Roberta Oaks, looked for vintage aloha shirts at Barrio Vintage, browsed the worn curios at Hound and Quail, and had a craft cocktail at the Pig and the Lady followed by one of Hawaii’s most avant-garde meals at Senia. The neighborhood, which is illed with the worn beauty of turn-of-the-century brick architecture, feels like it has inally arrived as an organic neighborhood destination, a pleasant contrast to the mall-ness of Waikiki, just a few miles away. But in a place where rainbows are on the license plates, beauty manages to pop up in unlikely places. In our rental car, my daughter asked me, “Daddy, do you know there’s a place where people not only sing in harmony but live in harmony?” The answer, she tells me, is Oahu. Where did this spot-on truism come from? In the rearview mirror I see that she’s reading from a travel brochure she grabbed from a kiosk in Waikiki. When it comes to Oahu, the poetry is everywhere.
A winding road on Oahu’s rustic North Shore.
Taking in the view of downtown Honolulu from Manoa Valley.
The calm waters of the Ko Olina lagoons, home to the new Four Seasons.
Where to Eat, Drink, and Sleep Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) Farmers Market Use the jet lag to your advantage and get up early on Saturday to head to this farmers market, where you’ll ﬁnd stalls selling grilled abalone caught off the coast of the Big Island and an outpost of Chinatown’s Vietnamese street-food mainstay the Pig and the Lady—it’s never too early for some oxtail pho. The farmers market is the easiest way to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s broad food culture. Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 11:00 or Tuesday evenings from 4:00 to 7:00. 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu
Koko Head Cafe Whether you believe in brunch or not, you need to come to chef Lee Anne Wong’s cheerful spot to experience some of the best examples of Hawaii’s melting-pot cuisine. You can’t go wrong with
anything from the skillet section, like the breakfast bibimbap, a spicy Korean dish served atop perfectly crisped rice. A poi biscuit is also a must. 1145-C 12th Avenue, Honolulu; kokoheadcafe.com
Sushi Sho This ten-seat restaurant is one of the most refreshingly surprising sushi places in Oahu, if not America. Chef Keiji Nakazawa specializes in edomae-style sushi, where the emphasis is on extreme aging as opposed to pristine freshness. If you manage to snag one of the two seatings (5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.) at $300 per person, you’ll be treated to revelatory umami bombs like a lobster marinated in Chinese wine for up to 15 months and a monkﬁsh liver served with a local baby watermelon that’s been pickled for three years. Nakazawa is also a kind of sake sommelier—don’t skip the pairings. 383 Kalaimoku Street (in the Ritz-Carlton), Honolulu
isn’t the case with Mina’s Fish House and chef Michael Mina at the Four Seasons in Ko Olina. The wood-ﬁred shellﬁsh platter, which includes lobster, crab, oysters, and shrimp perfectly grilled with miso butter, will have you thinking that the icy shellﬁsh platters you’ve had at every French bistro have it all wrong. The abalone spaghetti in yuzu butter with caviar is the kind of decadence that’s life-afﬁrming. The line-caught ﬁsh served pan-roasted or grilled is delightfully exquisite in its simplicity. As a seafood restaurant in a Four Seasons, they could have easily made it fussy but had the restraint to leave well enough alone. 92-1001 Olani Street (in the Four Seasons), Kapolei
Pouring perfection at Bar Leather Apron.
Mina’s Fish House It is the ironic curse of so many seafood restaurants on island resorts: They fail to deliver. But this
Chef Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho also knows his sake.
What passes for commuting in Honolulu.
Senia The pedigrees of chefs Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush give you a good indication of the approachable yet avant-garde dishes you’ll find at Senia. They’ve worked at the Willows Inn and the Fat Duck, respectively, and both put in time at Per Se. You may be reluctant to spend a dinner at a high-minded place like Senia when there is so much singular, culturally speciﬁc Hawaiian food to explore on the island, but it’s worth it for the signature dish alone, grilled cabbage with shio kombu, dusted in a mosslike covering of moringa leaf. It will reshape the way you think of cabbage. 75 North King Street, Honolulu; restaurantsenia.com
Views from the top of the Koko Head Railway Trail.
Things get eclectic in Honolulu’s Chinatown.
Mud Hen Water Chef Ed Kenney, along with Alan Wong, is often credited with helping to modernize Hawaiian cuisine while holding a deep respect for tradition. Mud Hen Water is Kenney’s latest outing and is international in scope— there is a baked banana dish that is a play on a stuffed potato with ﬁxings of bacon and coconut. It’s located next to the casual lunch spot Kaimuki Superette and across from Kenney’s ﬁrst restaurant, Town, which is an Italian restaurant by way of Honolulu. 3452 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu; mudhenwater.com
Bar Leather Apron If you’ve experienced the Tokyo cocktail scene and
Senia’s bone-marrow platter, complete with sweet rolls.
It feels like everyone on Oahu knows how to surf.
the speakeasies of New York, BLA will give your jaded self a bit of déjà vu with the whole reservations-only, enterthrough-an-ofﬁce-building shtick. But these really are the best drinks you’ll have on the island, and bartender/owner Justin Park and his guests are gracious hosts. The musthave is the E Ho‘O Pau Mai Tai, made with raisininfused rum, coconutwater syrup, and localblossom honey and smoked in kiawe—the same wood commonly used in Hawaiian barbecue. 745 Fort Street #127A, Honolulu
Kahala Resort It’s not easy to ﬁnd oldschool, uncrowded vintage glamour in Oahu, but the Kahala nails it. Built in the ’60s but having gone
through gracious renovations throughout the years, the Kahala is a luxury resort that is the perfect size—even at full capacity the place doesn’t feel crowded, which can’t be said of any of the megaresorts in Waikiki located 15 minutes away by car. In other words, if you want exclusivity plus access to the bars, restaurants, and shopping of crowded Waikiki, this is your place. Is that a dolphin swimming in the lagoon outside your room? Yes, it is. A dolphin sanctuary is located on-site, and you can arrange to swim with them. 5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu; kahalaresort.com
Four Seasons Ko Olina This sophisticated new
More from the Notebook: Many will say supermarket poke is the best, and it just might be. Try Foodland (at Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard, and other locations) or Tamashiro Market (802 North King Street). You’ll ﬁnd tiki drinks everywhere, but the best tiki experience is at the La Mariana Sailing Club (50 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu), a kitschy place in an odd industrial area that has been around since 1957. If you’re lucky, the legendary blind pianist Ron Miyashiro will be playing.
Four Seasons property is located on the Kohola lagoon, with its gentle, lapping waves. Some rooms have aweinspiring views of the vast, undeveloped west coast. While it has one of the poshest kids clubs anywhere (it’s complimentary), it strikes the perfect balance of being family friendly without feeling like the kids have the run of the place. There are even overnight camping programs for children ages ﬁve and up, which means parents can catch the sunset at the adultsonly inﬁnity pool with a local craft brew in hand, for once. All the restaurants are worth a visit, but the standout is Mina’s Fish House (see previous page). 92-1001 Olani Street, Kapolei; fourseasons.com/oahu
Clockwise from top left: Books are spotlighted like a movie set in this New York City apartment; a selection of Phaidon editions on offer at Roman & Williamsâ€™s the Guild; specially designed jackets from Juniper Books make a statement on the shelf.
a catalog of what’s in our heads. A stranger, looking over your bookshelf, knows right away where you like to let your mind wander. In 1978, book collector John Fleming said it in the pages of this magazine: “Show me your books, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Director John Waters said it . . . differently in what’s become a cri de coeur for booklovers everywhere: “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” Men have been overcompensating with their libraries since well before Gatsby (of the uncut pages) or the British “gentlemen’s libraries” of the 1800s. (The minimum requirement then was 10,000 books, too many for most of us to read in a lifetime.) But here amid the rising tide of the Information Age, with all the world’s knowledge sitting in our back pockets, it seems our books have become more essential than ever—though maybe more as accessories than as vessels of knowledge. They turn up on Pinterest in picture-perfect color-coded arrangements, and on Instagram (#bookstagram, #shelie) next to steaming lattes. They line the walls in restaurants and hotel lobbies—and even eyeglass stores, in the case of Warby Parker, where they sell a selection of paperbacks beside hip acetate frames. When ebooks irst arrived, we worried about losing the real thing. Today a book’s physicality is such a selling point it’s at risk of becoming a prop. Thatcher Wine, founder and CEO of bespoke library outitter Juniper Books, doesn’t quite agree. “Books have become very fashionable to decorate with,” he concedes, “but there’s a diference between the traditional way, which was to get a bunch of junky Reader’s Digest books, and our style, which is much more intentional.” Wine founded Juniper Books 17 years ago after assembling a 3,000-volume library for a friend. His clients come to him for any number of reasons: Some want to look well-read; some want the complete works of Kurt Vonnegut; some want to have a wall of books because their architect told them they should. He’s outitted the libraries of Gwyneth Paltrow and the NoMad Hotel, and he’s seen just about every fad in book display: fetishes for speciic publishers (Penguin Classics are especially hot right now), preferences in spine color (cream is classic, but mustard yellow is trending), arrangements in rainbow gradations or sans book jackets, even books placed with the pages facing outward for a wall of neutral white. These may sound like libraries for people who 108
Clockwise from above: The distinctive orange of a Penguin paperback puts it on par with National Geographic for a pop of color; two custom-jacket projects from Juniper Books— one in the New York furniture showroom of Grange, another in the lobby of the Tennessean hotel in Knoxville.
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only like the idea of books, but Wine defends the approach. “Your books have to do something while they’re waiting for you to read them,” he says. “So they should look good. And if rearranging books is your hobby, that’s better than what a lot of people do.” Many people do arrange to the point of distraction, and their systems are as telling as their books. In an essay for The New York Times, Sloane Crosley describes hers as a “sentimental library,” organized by memories and associations, that varies by room. The heady novelists—Nabokov, Woolf— sit beside and counteract the television; the essayists she admires— Sedaris, Ephron—go above her desk. Crosley isn’t driven by an Instagrammable approach, but she’s aware of it. “Aesthetics in literature are important,” she writes, “but literature as aesthetics makes me nervous. When did a candle-topped pyramid of paperbacks become a symbol of depth?” Dwight Garner, New York Times book critic and Esquire columnist, arranges alphabetically by author regardless of subject, which works if you have a good memory for writers’ names. “It pleases me to see it all together, because that’s how I read,” he says. “Good writing is good writing in whatever form it takes.” Garner’s not color-coding his collection anytime soon (“That makes me want to vomit,” he says) but cops to a perverse attraction to the pages-out shelf: “I can’t speak in favor of it, but it appeals to me. There’s something sensual about it. I enjoy looking at those shelves— and I enjoy wondering what’s behind them, too.” Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the duo behind the New York City design irm Roman and Williams (responsible for the Standard Highline and the Ace Hotel NY) use no system at all. Standefer says, “We never organize our books by color—or even subject. We leave them unsorted. It promotes new discoveries and surprises.” In their recently opened SoHo home-goods store, the Guild, the designers built in a basement library, reached by a staircase lined with Phaidon art books. “We wanted to show that books are part of a creative home,” Standefer says. “They’re less a profitmaking object for us than creative-spark inducers.” But sparks won’t ly if the books never leave their shelves—that’s the risk we run if we treat them as totems of well-readness instead of what they really are: tools. A well-thumbed library can certainly be beautiful, but it’s more important that books get read than that they get photographed. If someone can look at your library and conclude only that you have a good eye for color—well, maybe just buy a few cans of paint instead. 109
On him: Coat, shirt,
and trousers by LOUIS VUITTON; louisvuitton.com. T-shirt ($98) by M. SINGER; nordstrom .com. On her: Jacket ($1,700) by JOHN ELLIOTT; johnelliott .co. T-shirt ($78) by AG; agjeans .com. Skirt ($740) by OFFICINE GÉNÉRALE; 212249-4053. Charm necklace ($980) by MAYA BRENNER; mayabrenner.com. Gold ring ($4,400), gold chain necklace ($2,200), and gold ball pendant ($1,400) by SPINELLI KILCOLLIN; spinellikilcollin.com.
Jacket by BERLUTI; 212-439-6400. Sweater ($875) by LANVIN; 212-812-2866. Trousers by PRESIDENTS; m5shop.nyc. Belt ($120) by MARGARET HOWELL; margarethowell.co.uk. Calatrava watch ($19,730) by PATEK PHILIPPE; patek.com.
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Left, on him: Sweater, shirt, and trousers by BOTTEGA VENETA; 800845-6790. Belt ($300) by DSQUARED2; dsquared2.com. Loafers ($511) by ARMANDO CABRAL; armando-cabral.com. Navitimer 1 chronograph ($6,040) by BREITLING; breitling.com. On her: Coat, sweater, skirt, and boots by BOTTEGA VENETA; 800-845-6790. Goldmaster ring ($3,650) by CARTIER; cartier.com. Below, on her: Sweater ($975) and skirt ($1,975) by MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION; michaelkors.com. Boots by BOTTEGA VENETA; 800-845-6790. Tank watch ($2,550) by CARTIER; cartier .com. On him: Coat ($3,800) by GUCCI; gucci.com. Sweater ($295) by HECHO; matchesfashion.com. Shirt ($295) by COACH 1941; coach.com. Jeans ($750), SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO; ysl.com.
On her: Sweater ($685) by STELLA MCCARTNEY; stellamccartney .com. Bag ($1,850) by BURBERRY; burberry.com. On him: Jacket ($4,990), SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO; ysl .com. Trousers ($788) by LEMAIRE; lemaire.com.
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Opposite, on her: Sweater ($370) by A. P. C.; usonline.apc.fr. Skirt ($648) by HELMUT LANG; helmutlang .com. On him: Coat ($995) by HERNO; 212-226-1432. Shirt ($88) by BONOBOS; bonobos.com. This page: Suit ($3,895) by BELVEST; belvest.com. Sweatshirt ($135) and sneakers ($310) by A. P. C.; usonline.apc.fr. Shirt ($190) by MR P.; mrporter.com. Belt ($88) by BONOBOS; bonobos.com. Umbrella, stylistâ€™s own.
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Opposite, on him: Jacket ($4,990), SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO; ysl.com. On her: Sweater ($685) and trousers ($865) by STELLA MCCARTNEY; stellamccartney.com. Juste un Clou bracelet ($3,050) by CARTIER; cartier.com. This page, on her: Coat ($1,870), sweater ($570), and boots ($1,025) by JW ANDERSON; j-w-anderson .com. Gold ring ($4,400) by SPINELLI KILCOLLIN; spinellikilcollin.com. Umbrella ($350) by DAVEK; davekny.com. On him: Sweater ($1,095), T-shirt ($415), and trousers ($1,295) by LANVIN; 212-812-2866.
Her hair by Christopher Naselli using Hair Ritual by Sisley. Makeup by Brigitte Reiss-Andersen using Chanel. Grooming by Kumi Craig using R+Co.
A S A S I B L I N G , A N A S S I S TA N T, A M O D E L , A N D A C O N F I D A N T, D I E G O G I A C O M E T T I I S I N E X T R I C A B LY B O U N D T O H I S O L D E R B R O T H E R , S C U L P T O R A L B E RT O G I A C O M E T T I . N O W T H AT D I E G O ’ S F U R N I S H I N G S H AV E A C H I E V E D A C C L A I M I N T H E I R O W N R I G H T — A N D C O M M A N D E D E Y E - O P E N I N G P R I C E S AT AU C T I O N — I T ’ S T I M E T O E X A M I N E H O W EACH HELPED SHAPE THE OTHER. By S T E P H E N WA L L I S
Alberto Giacometti’s expressive, hauntingly gaunt igures are among the
most iconic works of the past century. They’re also the most expensive sculptures on the planet; his Pointing Man sold for a record $141 million, in 2015, to the hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen. But in recent years, Alberto’s younger brother Diego has proved no slouch himself when it comes to fetching the kinds of prices that turn heads at blue-chip auction houses. Together, the Swiss-born Giacomettis are the most celebrated brothers in all of 20th-century art. And yet Diego spent most of his adult life in Alberto’s shadow, serving his brother’s idiosyncratic genius as a loyal assistant in a cramped, disheveled, barely heated Paris atelier. It wasn’t until after Alberto’s death, in January 1966, that Diego, then 63, fully dedicated himself to his own work. A craftsman at heart, he found his métier in furnishings and decorative objects, developing an original artistic language that echoed ancient Etruscan and Greek styles while incorporating sculptural elements drawn from nature. In what became his signature style, he embellished the arms of chairs, the legs and stretcher bars of tables, the frameworks of ceiling lanterns, and the inials of bookshelves with a captivating array of tree and leaf forms, as well as crea-
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Diego Giacometti in his brother’s studio in 1966—the year of Alberto’s death— with Alberto’s Bust of a Man (1965).
tures including birds, stags, horses, dogs, cats, and frogs. The slender forms and hand-modeled surfaces of his exquisitely crafted pieces—usually in bronze—evinced unmistakable similarities to his brother’s brooding, attenuated sculptures, but the spirit was always lighter, even whimsical. Over the last 20 years of Diego’s life, his admirers included a coterie of Parisian tastemakers and cultural luminaries. Inluential decorator Henri Samuel ordered pieces for clients such as Jean Seberg and Romain Gary. Film producer Raoul Lévy (And God Created Woman), art dealers and collectors Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, and couturier Hubert de Givenchy became devoted patrons. “If you were a wealthy person in Paris in the ’70s and ’80s, you needed to have a Diego Giacometti table in your house,” says Cécile Verdier, the former Paris-based cohead of design at Sotheby’s. “You had to—there was no question.” That legacy continues to resonate with contemporary interior-design eminences like Jacques Grange and Juan Pablo Molyneux, who have used Diego’s pieces in their projects, while fashion designer Marc Jacobs installed a pair of Diego stools in his Manhattan townhouse. “His work can live with any category of other furniture—in a very classic or modern interior,” says Pauline De Smedt, head of design at Christie’s in Paris. “Plus, its poetry moves people. I don’t know how to say it in English—it’s like it is coming from your dreams.” “He created something that nobody else had done, his own vocabulary, his own universe,” says Verdier, whose department last year sold a monumental Diego bookcase with bronze birds and trees, made for book publisher Marc Barbezat, for a record $6.3 million. “These sculptural elements add poetry and lightness, which for me is a key to his art.” The bookcase sale is one in a string of escalating records at successful Diego Giacometti auctions, most notably the sensational $34.5 million sale of 30 works by Diego (and one by Alberto) from Givenchy’s Loire Valley château, staged by Christie’s, in March 2017. Most pieces had been commissioned by Givenchy over a 20-year period, and thanks to avid interest from buyers across the globe, all 21 lots sold above expectations. Best in show was an octagonal table that went for $4.4 million, ive times the high estimate. It featured an oak top and a sensuously hand-molded bronze base with slender, stylized igures—typifying the masculine elegance that is Diego’s hallmark. Of course, even needle-moving prices like those at the Givenchy sale are well below the sums commanded by Alberto’s sculptures, which hold the top three spots for the most expensive sculptures ever sold at auction—all above $100 million. A more instructive comparison is to look at prices for Alberto’s decorative works. The current record, achieved earlier this year at Sotheby’s, is $9.9 million, for a 1952 bronze chandelier that Alberto designed with small sculptural elements, including one of his famous walking men. “In the same category, 122
From top: Alberto’s Diego Standing in the Living-Room in Stampa (1922); detail from a Diego lantern (early ’80s); chair by Diego (early ’80s). Opposite: Table and chairs by Diego (1983) from the Givenchy collection.
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the market basically recognizes them in the same region of importance,” says De Smedt. The lives and careers of the brothers were deeply intertwined from the time of their births, just a year apart in 1901 and 1902. They were raised in a small village in the Swiss Alps, where their father, Giovanni, a well-known painter, kept his studio door open to his children, according to Catherine Grenier, director of the Giacometti Foundation and author of a recently published biography of Alberto. “It was mostly Alberto who was making drawings, paintings, sculptures in the studio with his father,” she says, explaining that in those days Diego and his younger brother, Bruno, who later became an architect, “were not so interested.” Alberto moved to Paris in 1922 at the encouragement of his parents to pursue a career as an artist. Driven and immensely talented, he quickly found himself at the center of the city’s art world. His irst biographer, James Lord, claimed that no one doubted the signiicance of Alberto’s talent. Except, at times, Alberto. Conident and charismatic, he was also prone to bouts of melancholy and self-doubt. While Alberto was an intellectual, Diego was 124
an earthier type who took delight in the rhythms of the natural world. After a scattered start to his career, he moved in with his brother for a time in Paris, helping out in the studio. He took on that role formally in 1929 when Alberto asked him to be his assistant. The brothers’ relationship was one of mutual support and dependence that lasted nearly four decades, with the pair spending countless hours working side by side in Alberto’s impossibly cluttered 250-square-foot studio at 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron, in Montparnasse. Among the most mythic artist studios of that era, the space has been meticulously re-created at the recently opened Giacometti Institute in Paris— complete with wall scribbles; paint-splattered tables littered with plaster models, brushes, and sculpting tools; and even Alberto’s makeshift bed in the corner. Simone de Beauvoir, a close friend of Alberto’s who also modeled for him, described the studio as “submerged in plaster.” Diego, whose role expanded over the years, assisted Alberto with bases, supports, and molds for his sculptures; oversaw patinas for his bronzes; and coordinated with foundries, framers, and galleries. Most famously, he frequently sat as a model for his brother’s paintings and sculptures, such as E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Bookshelf (late ’60s) and lamps (circa 1965) by Diego. Opposite, from top: Diego working on a chandelier for the Musée Picasso (1983); a table and chandelier (circa 1970) from the Givenchy collection; Alberto, Diego, and Annette Giacometti (early ’50s).
the 1954 Grande Tête de Diego—an ax-like bronze portrait, accentuating Diego’s expansive forehead and sturdy jawline—which brought in $50 million at Sotheby’s ive years ago. Both men were passionately committed to the work and put in long hours, often eating little. But man, did they smoke a lot. Alberto reached 80 cigarettes a day, according to a letter written by his wife, Annette. (Diego never married but had a companion named Nelly, whom he lived with for 15 years.) Dealers and friends— including legendary names like Breton, Balthus, Picasso, Sartre, and Beckett—would drop by for visits. This was Paris’s heyday as the world’s art capital, with Montparnasse as the city’s avant-garde heart. Treated for stomach cancer in 1963, Alberto sufered from poor health in the inal years of his life. He also grappled with increasing anxiety, perhaps fueled by the pressure of his success, and he had trouble inishing works. Along with Annette, Diego kept him on track and saved him from destroying works he deemed failures. According to Grenier, “Diego would tell him, ‘The work is perfect. Now you must stop.’ ” In the early ’60s, having begun to take on some of his own commissions, Diego moved into a studio around the corner from Alberto’s. Among his most important early clients were the Maeghts, the art dealers and collectors who enlisted Diego to create stair railings, lamps, tables, chandeliers, and more for multiple residences as well as for the Maeght Foundation in the south of France. Alberto’s death hit Diego hard, but it was also a creative awakening. He soon built up a steady stream of commissions that grew into a backlog. He often worked alone—though he did share his studio with a beloved cat—and some clients waited years for pieces from the charming perfectionist, whose precise casts and patinas were nothing short of an obsession. “He was a pretty romantic person,” says Verdier. “It’s not like he was a company, making 25 tables a day. He worked when he had inspiration.” Each piece Diego made was basically a one-of. While he would recycle elements of existing tables and chairs, he was constantly reworking his models to add a new igure. “Each time, it was a unique piece, and that’s what everybody wants now,” says Bruno Jaubert, (co nt inued o n pag e 1 3 9 ) Fall 2018
ITâ€™S TIME TO G E T BAC K TO TEXTURE: C O R D U ROY. T W E E D . DENIM. CASHMERE. THEY ARE THE N EV E R - L E T - YO U -
This page: Suit ($4,675), vest ($1,625), and shirt ($495) by Brunello Cucinelli; brunello cucinelli.com. Opposite: Jacket ($4,900) and turtleneck sweater ($1,700) by Stefano Ricci; stefanoricci.com.
Paul Galv in AT H L E T E , DESIGNER
An all-star Gaelic footballer, Galvin has come a long way from his mulleted youth playing for his hometown club, Finuge. These days he designs his own men’s-wear collection for the Irish retail giant Dunnes Stores, and look—now he’s in Esquire showing you how to pull off a suit.
This page: Jacket, vest, shirt, and trousers by Ralph Lauren; ralphlauren.com. Boots ($330) by Grenson; grenson.com. Opposite: Sweater ($1,075) and trousers ($1,195) by Giorgio Armani; armani.com.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Daryl Bengo RAPPER
The SoundCloud rap movement has caught on in Ireland, but calling Bengo a SoundCloud rapper would be selling him short. His music rivals the best of what youâ€™ll hear statesideâ€” imagine Young Thug, Migos, and Future swirled into one Celtic package.
Thomas Garnett MUSICIAN
If youâ€™re lucky enough to be barhopping in Dublin, look for Garnett and his acoustic guitar. You can find him covering the likes of Nina Simone, Bob Marley, and Amy Winehouse at any number of local watering holes.
This page: Coat ($5,500) and sweater ($2,025) by HermĂ¨s; hermes .com. Jeans ($215) by AG; agjeans .com. Boots ($395) by Allen Edmonds; allenedmonds.com. Opposite: Jacket ($1,895), sweater ($495), shirt ($550), and trousers ($650) by Canali; canali .com. Sneakers ($50) by Converse; nike.com.
Think of Maser as Dublinâ€™s homegrown Banksy. The street artist (who now exhibits fine art, too) is just as likely to make a political statement on an eight-story flat as he is to spend an afternoon painting a mural for a local youth organization.
Coat, sweater, and scarf by MP Massimo Piombo; mpmassimopiombo .com. Trousers ($228) by Michael Kors; michaelkors.com. Shirt by Paul Galvin; dunnesstores.com. Shoes by John Lobb; johnlobb.com.
Paul L y nc h WRITER Plenty of pressure comes with writing a big, ambitious Irish novel, but Lynch’s Grace—a coming-of-age story set during the Great Famine— earned the kind of global praise that gets an Irishman those elusive Joyce comparisons.
Jacket ($1,395) and trousers ($450) by Paul Smith; paulsmith.com. Shirt ($175) by Rowing Blazers; rowingblazers .com. Tie ($325) by Brunello Cucinelli; brunellocucinelli .com. Shoes ($1,785) by John Lobb; johnlobb.com. Production by An Lár Films. Grooming by Adrian Cullen at Dylan Bradshaw.
A Ford van converted into a badass Sportsmobile.
E s q u i r e â€™s B i g B l a c k B o o k
EXPLORING THE WO R L D I N YO U R CAR DOESN’T M E A N D R I V I N G A N RV F R O M PA R K I N G L O T A T O PA R K I N G L O T B . A N E W WAV E O F EXPLORERS ARE TA K I N G T H E I R 4 X 4 ’ S O N T H E ROA D ( WAY ) L E S S T R AV E L E D . By
KEVIN S I N T U M UAN G
“There are no garages just around the
corner—and there are no corners.” —Roy Chapman Andrews, “Across Mongolia by Motor Car,” Harper’s Magazine, June 1919 I wonder what Roy Chapman Andrews would have thought of the quilted seats. I’m in Mongolia in a cushy Ininiti QX80 bumping along a dusty, washboard road. In a few miles the terrain changes. We splash through a ield of mud that requires alarmingly heavy countersteering to keep the car modestly straight. I’ve seen only one sign. Laughably plopped down in the middle of nowhere, directing folks to nowhere. GPS is useless. Local Mongol guides, whose ancestors have navigated these plains for centuries, are a necessity. Sometimes they point toward the horizon, to the mountains that are close to 200 miles away, past the million little tufts of grass, and say, “That way.” But the latness of 135
these plains is deceptive. You can encounter dips in the earth big enough to swallow a full-sized SUV... like this one. And, I’m told, occasionally a herd of antelope will rush in front of you, kamikaze-style. Welcome to the “roads” of the Gobi Desert. These are some of the very same trails that Andrews, the paleontologist/adventurer who is said to be the inspiration for the character Indiana Jones, traveled nearly a century ago in Dodge Series One Touring cars as part of the world’s irst motorized expedition in Asia—one of the most ambitious car-based adventures at the dawn of the age of the automobile. To put that in perspective, Jeeps, which were purpose-built for rough terrain, wouldn’t be invented for another two decades. Even in 2018, a car feels out of place among the gers of nomadic Mongols. Pass a group of horses and the young ones may race you for a few hundred feet, just as they did in Andrews’s time. It brings meaning back to horsepower. And that’s why I’m in a place with one sign. I wanted to experience one of the major nexus points in what has become a growing trend: utilizing your truck or SUV as a tool to travel into the wilderness and explore a lesser-known world, as opposed to the thing we use to commute to work as we listen to NPR. The activity has a catchy name: overlanding. Attendance at Overland Expo, the trade show/gettogether for auto-adventure enthusiasts, has grown from fewer than 1,000 people in 2009 to more than 14,000 folks in 2018. And as our national parks become even more crowded—330 million people visited them in 2017, 58 million more than in 2006—overlanding ofers a much easier way for the more intrepid to escape the crowds in relative comfort. The appeal becomes as obvious as the overwhelming silence one experiences in a place hundreds of miles away from a road. In the Gobi, where there are virtually no trees, you can’t even hear the wind unless you’re in it. While overlanding requires a capable car, the genuine prerequisites are an adventurous spirit coupled with a purpose beyond simply driving. That’s how it started for Andrews, who in 1918 traveled in the Gobi by auto before launching a larger expedition in the 1920s, which would be the irst to discover authentic dinosaur eggs. Though not everyone who takes their car of the beaten path does it to have a close encounter with the Jurassic period—I’m here as part of a fossil-inding expedition with the Hong Kong chapter of the Explorers Club and the Mongolian Institute of Paleontology to mark the centennial of Andrews’s journey—a simple Instagram search will reveal numerous overlanders who are in it for more than the likes. Many quit their jobs to seek out a nomadic life. Others do it while aiding communities or scientiic research. But looking for a deeper connection to nature is enough. It began that way for Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie, an artist couple from northern California. “We’ve been camping since we met 17 years ago,” says Ginsberg, “and just had this overloaded 136
Tacoma with camping supplies, and we thought: You know what would be so cool? To have a vehicle so we could get to more inaccessible places.” But not just any 4x4 would do. Once you catch the overland bug, gearing up the right rig can become an obsession. The Ferraris and Bentleys of the overland world are companies that specialize in bespoke adventure vehicles, already outitted with proper lifted suspensions, rugged tires, and air-intake snorkels (so your engine will still work in deep water). AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) specializes in Wranglers ready to rock climb. New Legend 4x4 will sell you kitted-out vintage Scouts exquisite enough for a Wes Anderson movie. East Coast Defender makes apocalypse-worthy Land Rovers. And Sportsmobile is the go-to company for badass van conversions. Lillie desired a Sportsmobile. But not just any Sportsmobile. He wanted an extendedbody, diesel-powered Ford Super Duty, which, of course, they don’t make anymore. So every Tuesday he checked out the Sportsmobile web-
site—that’s when it updates its list of used vehicles. About three years went by. Then the day the exact model he wanted showed up, Lillie also received news that one of his friends had passed away. He took it as a sign. “We decided that life is short and we better get living it,” he says. He bought the car immediately for $75,000. They have since made signiicant upgrades to the van (which they also use as a mobile art studio): A custom pop-top. Memory-foam mattresses. One of their favorite accessories? “We put in a 200watt solar system so we can make a smoothie,” Ginsberg tells me. This is a huge step up over what E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Toyotas are workhorses of the trail (right). For style, it’s hard to beat vintage Land Rovers (below, left and right). You’d be surprised what crossovers like the Inﬁniti QX50 can handle (bottom).
Andrews endured. He subsisted on lots of macaroni. Water would sometimes have to come from brackish wells also frequented by thirsty camels. An industry has grown in recent years around car equipment that allows you to be more selfsufficient in the wilderness for longer and in greater comfort. There are toilets. Showers. Even fridges. Dometic makes an ultraeicient batterypowered cooler with a capacity of 144 cans. That’s a lot of Coke Zero for the middle of nowhere. But your car doesn’t have to be an Ikea showroom wrapped in a Mad Max fever dream for you
company that provides overlandbased guided trips and skills trainWant to ing, even recommends taking an Overland? auto-mechanics course at a comTHREE EPIC munity college before you start WAYS TO START overlanding: “You’ll want a set of tools for your car and want to know Hit Moab how to change a tire in the mud and The Utah adventure ind out why something’s rattling.” paradise is considered a good starting point if Ingenuity comes in handy, too. you want to head out in My favorite anecdote from Across your own SUV. “It’s great Mongolian Plains, written by Anfor one to six days,” drews and photographed by his says Jake Quiñones of wife Yvette Borup Andrews, inNew Mexico Backroads. “You’ll come across volves running out of motor oil other people during your and asking locals if they can rentrip, but as a beginner, der their mutton fat as a replacethat’s a good thing.” ment. Amazingly, the car ran, but the smell of roast lamb made him Rent a hungry and rations were low. Sportsmobile Indeed, when there’s little to no Durango, Coloradobased Tonto Trails will mobile-phone reception, let alone rent you fully equipped AAA, kindness travels far. If you tricked-out vans (from come across a traveler in need, you $2,500 a week) and can’t assume that someone else suggest itineraries for will stop and help, because there newbies and experienced adventurers alike might not be someone else. At the in the Four Corners beginning of our journey, we enarea. tontotrails.com countered a Frenchman in an old Land Cruiser stuck in the mud and Do Mongolia pulled him out using a tow strap. Over two weeks, you He had been stuck for hours. I’ll can travel by 4x4 from never forget his look of appreciaLake Hovsgol in the tion and relief once he was sprung north to the Gobi in the south and explore the free. Earlier in the expedition, a Flaming Cliffs, where QX80 towed a truck miles through Andrews was the first the mud to its destination. to discover authentic Can SUVs this posh and adfossilized dinosaur eggs. vanced still capture the spirit of From $6,800; nomadic expeditions.com automotive adventuring that Andrews experienced in the 1920s? There is a passage in Andrews’s account when he realizes that, by being in Mongolia with a car, he’s kind of ruining Mongolia. “The fact that [the automobile] was a glaring anachronism did not prevent me from abandoning my horse . . . and stretching out comfortably on the cushions of the rear seat,” he writes. “I felt half ashamed to admit to myself as the miles sped by that the springy seat was more comfortable than the saddle on my Mongol pony.” It’s understandable, and right of him, to be conto consider your irst backcountry adventure. cerned for what the auto would do to a place like While basic upgrades cost only a few thousand the Gobi. But as vehicles continue to become more dollars, you’d be surprised how far a stock SUV autonomous and the world becomes covered in or truck can take you these days. Andrews’s car Wi-Fi, overlanding more than ever represents one had very modest modiications and a motor with of the few, relatively easy ways to go analog and double-digit horsepower. My QX80 has 400 horse- experience the wild. And to truly appreciate the power. It’s unmodiied and handles the Gobi like wild is to want to keep it wild. I like to think that I a champ. There is also a QX50 on the trip, a pug- experienced the same life-changing otherworldnacious little crossover made more for urban en- liness of the Gobi that Andrews felt 100 years ago. He might not have approved of the quilted seat vironments, but it still survives the desert. Grit and know-how are more important. Jake that was coddling me. But he certainly would have Quiñones, who runs New Mexico Backroads, a sat in it. Fall 2018
Beat the Devil (co n t i n u e d f rom p a g e 9 7 )
teen years later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has outearned all of Star Wars and James Bond combined. This past summer’s Avengers: Infinity War makes Spider-Man look like Adam West–era Batman. “They’re getting bigger, bigger, bigger,” says Dafoe, who spent ive months in Australia last year ilming James Wan’s Aquaman. Aquaman has always been a small-s kind of superhero. He could breathe underwater, speak dolphin, and ride giant sea turtles, but that was about it. In Wan’s version, he’s a tattooed, bearded man-god with a cool eyebrow scar. “A lot is on Jason Momoa’s shoulders,” Dafoe says of the movie’s lead. “But a lot will depend on the world, which is quite spectacular.” Whereas Spider-Man was “very handmade— a lot of the efects were mechanical,” Dafoe spent much of his time on Aquaman hanging from wires in front of a green screen. “I was almost never on terra irma,” he says, a challenge he welcomed. “The particulars aren’t there, so you can dream. It’s pretty pure pretending.” Plus, he says, “I like doing physical stuf.” Still, he has misgivings about the ascendant franchise model of moviemaking. “It’s really scary,” he says. “We aren’t that far from an age where there’s ten people sitting around a room deciding what people want. Because they have the numbers.” Many actors say they do “one for them, one for me,” which in practice typically means one for the paycheck, one for the prestige. For Dafoe, the ratio is more like one-to-ive, and a number of the smaller projects he takes on never get an awardsseason campaign, or even a proper release. Some are not available on the major streaming services. Yet he continues to take his chances in the “Wild West world” of independent ilm when he could just stick with studio-backed Oscar hopefuls. So when Dafoe says, “I believe in director-driven cinema. I believe in personal cinema,” it’s not just talk. It’s a commitment. “He’s about experimentation,” says Sean Baker, who directed The Florida Project. “He wouldn’t take a role unless he saw something in it that he hasn’t done before. That catharsis thing.” Has Dafoe been tempted by the “Golden Age” of television? “Not at all.” He concedes that “TV is what everyone talks about now. In many cases, it’s where the talent is going.” But, he says, “there’s 138
a comfort in TV. It’s like getting a circle of friends for free. When you’ve got an hour and a half to lay something out there, it’s more of a confrontation. It allows more of a shift of perspective and a greater possibility to challenge how you think.” We’re sitting on a bench in Abingdon Square Park in the West Village one week later. (“What do I do, take you to the High Line? Take you to the Whitney? A cool restaurant?”) “I like this, actually,” Dafoe, now in a T-shirt and khakis, says convincingly of the continuing heat wave. “It slows everybody down. We’re like a bunch of birds at an oasis.” At Eternity’s Gate, which was selected for the Venice and New York ilm festivals, is being mixed at a postproduction facility nearby. The ilm, Schnabel’s sixth, takes place during the last two years of van Gogh’s life, up to his death, at age 37, by suicide. According to Dafoe, “It’s not a forensic biopic.” Initially, Schnabel says, “I didn’t want to make this movie. But somehow I felt I had to. I thought if I didn’t make this movie with Willem, we would be missing an opportunity that seemed to be implicit in the fact that the two of us even knew each other.” They met roughly 30 years ago at the now-defunct nightclub Nell’s on West 14th Street, another Keith McNally co-venture, when Schnabel was a rising star of the “go-go” 1980s art market, represented by the Mary Boone Gallery in SoHo. Did Schnabel consider Dafoe’s age a problem? “No,” he says. “Vincent van Gogh was pretty world-weary and torn up by 37, and I think Willem is in pretty good shape for a 63-year-old guy.” Next to the few surviving photographs, Dafoe appears visibly older. But he bears a striking resemblance to the painter’s expressive self-portraits. “I never thought of using another actor,” Schnabel says. “There’s nobody else who could have done what he did.” Among the challenges of playing van Gogh is painting van Goghs, which Dafoe had to do on camera. “Julian was a beautiful teacher,” he says. “He was very generous because he’s a strong personality, and you know goddamn well he wishes he was doing the painting. Sometimes he even talked to me while I’m doing it. ‘Go for the burnt umber! Mix it with the raw sienna!’ “How to hold the brush is huge,” Dafoe says. (According to Schnabel, “It’s more like holding a sword than a pencil.”) “If you start to hold it correctly, then you’re in dialogue with Vincent van Gogh. It really is a series of gestures and actions that make a thing, which is just like painting. Julian talks about ‘making marks.’ Painting is an accumulation of marks, each in relation to the other. He also says there’s no mistakes in painting. You go avanti. You go forward.”
and Dafoe has already wrapped two movies since January: Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn, from the novel by Jonathan Lethem, and The Lighthouse, the second feature from Robert Eggers, the director of The Witch. Next week, he’ll ly to Puerto Rico to inish Dee Rees’s adaptation of E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted. Dafoe doesn’t like to watch movies while on location. “It kind of disturbs my imagination,” he says, “which sounds precious, but you just don’t want to have the noise in your head. You don’t even want the noise of your own life. I love it when you go somewhere and you don’t have any friends, you don’t have your usual places, you don’t have your common references. It allows you to jump in and have another life.” He has two demands whenever he commits to a project: good cofee and a juicer. His morning ritual, even on set, begins with meditation and yoga. He brings his own mat. “It takes about an hour and a half, so sometimes that means getting up at 3:00 A.M.,” Dafoe says. “Maybe I’ll try to do it at lunch if there’s a very long setup, but it depends on whether you’ve got a costume or makeup. Sometimes it’s impossible.” Less well-known is Dafoe’s practice of keeping a journal, which he’s been doing “almost daily” for more than 40 years. “I really am the product of a certain time,” he says. “They’re very practical. Not even relective. Just reporting as an exercise to learn how to express myself. I also write down jokes, phone numbers, reminders, things I heard, things I saw.” He mentions that Robby Müller, the cinematographer on To Live and Die in L. A., died two days earlier. “I write that down. “I’ve got books and books and books,” he says. About two dozen live in a cabinet opposite his desk in New York. (Dafoe keeps the rest in storage.) A few are speckled composition notebooks; others are hardbound in leather. It’s clear, paging through them, that these volumes will never form the basis of a memoir. Most are almost completely unreadable. “They were in a place that was watertight,” he says, “but just the change in temperature afected the ink.” Dafoe’s dense, slanted handwriting now bleeds through the paper, one set of lines layering over another like cross-hatching. The text is interrupted here and there by a drawing or a pasted-in memento: newspaper clippings, foreign banknotes, naughty Polaroids. The hoarding of experience often conceals a denial of death. But if Dafoe ever felt a stab of existential angst at the irreversible degradation of his personal history, the feeling has long since passed. “I want to make a show of this, to wallpaper a gallery,” he says. “Sometimes the page will be totally indecipherable, and then certain words will stick out, and they’re really signiicant. It’s freaky—like, Ouija-board time. Really beautiful. “Sometimes they’re very colored by a ilm I’m doing,” Dafoe says, lipping through one notebook. He stops and reads a quotation from T. S. Eliot that he copied down while making the 1994 movie Tom & Viv, about the poet’s troubled marriage. “The kind of pattern which we perceive in our own lives only at rare moments of inattention and detachment . . . is the pattern drawn by what the ancient world called Fate.” He closes the book. “I don’t really go back,” Dafoe says. “I never read them.”
The Other Giacometti
World Cup Watch
(con t i n u e d f rom p a g e 1 2 5 )
( continued from p age 62)
Credits Photographs & Illustrations Table of Contents, p. 19: Dafoe: Marc Hom; chair: ©Philippe Fuzeau/Musée National Picasso-Paris; watch: Jefrey Westbrook; p. 20: Skaters: Brennan Cunningham; Lagrange and Jopling: Allie Holloway; shoes: Richard Majchrzak. Letter from the Editor, p. 22: Fielden: Matt Jacobson; James: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE; car: Backgrid; bourbon: Philip Friedman/Studio D. The Shoe Whisperer, p. 44: Wax: Courtesy Last & Lapel. It’s About Time, p. 54: Bamford: Angela Moore; p. 55: watch: Angela Moore; p. 56: Bamford and Biver: Ivan Simeon; car: Courtesy TAG Heuer; p. 57: McQueen: Courtesy TAG Heuer; watch briefcase: Angela Moore. The Watch That Won the World Cup, p. 58: Tickets, nesting doll: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D; watch, clock: Courtesy Hublot; p. 60: Bolt: Ian MacNicol; Jay-Z: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertain-
rial. “Plus, now we see the creations of Diego in another way—not only as furniture but as sculpture. And it has changed the market for his work.” Diego’s highest-proile commission was also the one that’s easiest to see in person today: a 50-piece group of seating, tables, and lighting for Paris’s Musée Picasso, which opened in the Hôtel Salé in 1985, just a few months after Diego’s death from a heart attack while he was recovering from cataract surgery. The museum commission helped boost his reputation (and prices), but almost immediately questions arose about fakes and unauthorized casts. Though he often signed his work “Diego,” or stamped it with his initials—to him, Giacometti would always be his brother’s name— he kept very few records and did not number his pieces. Investigations by French and U.S. authorities in the late ’80s and early ’90s revealed the existence of numerous fakes, including quite a few sold by major auction houses. “There is no record whatsoever of what he made, and there still isn’t any recognized authority, any committee, for Diego’s work, so it’s a totally blurred area,” says De Smedt. “The provenance is absolutely key.” Despite the concerns over fakes, demand for Diego’s pieces is soaring—and increasingly global, thanks to growing interest from Asian buyers, according to Verdier, who notes that there was a surge of interest in Diego’s work following a major exhibition dedicated to Alberto in Shanghai in 2016. Indeed, many inexperienced buyers, unfamiliar with Diego, make the mistake of conlating the two brothers. “It was quite interesting to see, at the viewing for the Givenchy sale, a lot of people were quite unclear about the link between Diego and Alberto,” says De Smedt. “Were they father and son? Who made what?” The latest opportunity to compare their work side by side comes in November, when De Smedt and the team at Christie’s will stage a special sale in New York of pieces by Alberto and Diego. Keeping in mind their considerable diference, De Smedt notes the undeniable links between the two. “It’s obvious in the touch, in the way that everything is so thin and elegant and the way that the material is worked,” she says. “You can almost feel their ingers going through the piece.”
Today, when you visit the company’s factory in Nyon, Switzerland, a storybook-tidy town outside Geneva, it is striking as a hive of quiet, focused activity. In bright, spacious rooms, workers in lab coats hunch over workbenches and peer through jewelers’ lenses at miniature assemblages. It looks like it would be pleasant to work here. (While holding up to the light a beautiful, intricately grooved brass disk a little bigger than a quarter—the base layer of a watchcase—like an asshole I fumble it and it falls to the loor, wobble-spinning noisily. I won’t be working here anytime soon.) After a tour of the assembly stations and the polishing rooms, our group is led to the R&D wing for a glimpse of Hublot’s stated mission: development of new materials. We are about to behold the alchemy behind the red sports car of the watch world, the Unico Red Magic. A guide speaking lawless colloquial English (damn these Swiss!) explains how the company patented a process that allows it to make a ceramic watch in a beautiful and vibrant red that had been unattainable before. The plan is to bring forth further models in other brilliant colors, expanding the idea of how a luxury watch should look. We are next shown another material developed here at Hublot, Magic Gold, a variety of gold that’s meant to correct one of the metal’s fundamental laws: its vexing softness. Gold often quickly shows dings, marks, and other signs of wear; Magic Gold, however, is virtually scratchproof. Virtually because, “of course, it can be scratched, if you really try—but you would have to work very hard to do it,” our guide allows. The material gains its hardness through an underlying scafolding of ceramic. To make it, a porous ceramic block is injected with liquid gold at high temperature and pressure. The gold is basically exploded through the ceramic so thoroughly that the resulting material is more gold than ceramic—enough to merit its karat rating. The resulting watches are indeed gold—an ancient precious metal—but at the same time they are something entirely new. Presenting its traditional mechanical watch movements in this new-old material, and in the bold and brash colors it is pioneering, Hublot hopes to put itself at the forefront of an ancient technology. And it’s maybe in this sense that the company is getting its arms around time itself. Now, if it could patent a process for England to score goals, it just might have something. Fall 2018
ment; Biver: Pascal Sittler/REA; Guadalupe: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Hublot of America; watch, factory: Courtesy Hublot; p. 62: ID pass: Jefrey Westbrook/Studio D; referee: VI Images; Lingard: Jean Catufe; watch: Courtesy Hublot. Cut from the Same Stone, p. 66: Giannoni with chisel: Courtesy Cucinelli; workshop (2): Michael Hainey; p. 67: Statue in garden: Wolfgang Stahr/Laif/Redux; Giannoni, sculptures (2): Michael Hainey; p. 68: Cucinelli and Giannoni, marble: Courtesy Cucinelli. Shameless Plugs, p. 70: All images: Getty Images. Savile Rogue, p. 78: Storefront, Hammick: Courtesy H. Huntsman & Sons. Unknown Legends, p. 86: Freuchen: Getty Images/Ralph Morse; Nkoloso: Wiki Commons; p. 87: De Wiart: Cecil Beaton; Stewart: Mirella Ricciardi; p. 88: Cravan: Getty Images/Apic; Einstein and Smith: Getty Images/ Bettmann; p. 89: Reeves: Wikipedia Commons license; Major: Dutch Picture Collection. Oahu Calling, p. 100: Skateboard park: Mark Kushimi; p. 101: Woman suring: Brooke Dombroski; p. 102: Shave ice: Maristella Gonzalez/aconstellationjournal.com; car: Mark Kushimi; p. 103: Woman in chair: Lindsey Higa/pineappleice.com; boat at beach: Brooke Dombroski; p. 104: Nakazawa: Courtesy the Ritz-Carlton, Waikiki Beach; drink: Courtesy Bar Leather Apron; woman with surfboard: Malia Murphy; p. 105: Chinatown, hiker’s feet: Desmond Centro; surfboard: Brooke Dombroski; Senia: Ryan Yamamoto. Shelf Promotion, p. 106: Apartment: Nikolas Koenig/OTTO; p. 107: Brown bookcase: Adrian Gaut/Roman and Williams; Dickens bookshelf: Courtesy Juniper Books; p. 108: Penguin books: Daisy Corlett/Alamy; p. 109: Bookshelves (2): Courtesy Juniper Books. The Other Giacometti, p. 121: Giacometti: Sabine Weiss/Fondation Giacometti; p. 122: Painting: Alberto Giacometti/Fondation Giacometti; bird detail: ©Isabelle Bideau/Mobilier National; chair: ©Philippe Fuzeau/Musée National Picasso-Paris; p. 123: Room: ©Christie’s Images; p. 124: Bookcase, lamps: Courtesy Sotheby’s; p. 125: Giacometti in studio: Martine Franck/Magnum Photos; room: ©Christie’s Images; Diego, Alberto, and Annette: Alexander Liberman ©J. Paul Getty Trust/Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Have Car, Will Adventure, p. 134: Van: Courtesy Sportsmobile; p. 136: Infiniti: Wouter Kingma; Land Rover: Courtesy Graeme Bell of A2A Expedition; p. 137: Green Jeep: Jake Quiñones–New Mexico Backroads; silver Toyota: Basil Lynch. Esquire: The Big Black Book is published by Hearst Communications, Inc., 300 West 57th Street, NY, NY 10019-3797, USA; 212-6492000. Steven R. Swartz, President and Chief Executive Officer; William R. Hearst III, Chairman; Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Executive Vice Chairman; Catherine A. Bostron, Secretary. Hearst Magazines Division: David Carey, Chairman; Troy Young, President; John A. Rohan, Jr., Senior Vice President, Finance. © 2018 by Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Canada BN NBR 10231 0943 RT. Editorial and advertising offices: 300 West 57th Street, 21st Floor, NY, NY 10019-3797. Esquire: The Big Black Book is not responsible for return of unsolicited manuscripts or art. To purchase additional copies, visit blackbook.esquire.com. Printed in the USA.
The Last Word
Lost and Found
THE BIG CHILL YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BUILDING PIPELINES FOR NIXON TO ROCK THIS W I N T E R ’ S B E S T- L O O K I N G PA R K A By Nick Sullivan The trouble with being a vin-
tage hound is that what starts out as an innocent trawl on eBay quickly turns into a trip down the rabbit hole. You’ll ind some vintage-cool pieces, then start Googling the stories behind them, and eventually you empty your pockets. One such treasure is Woolrich’s Arctic parka, made since 1972—at least, according to company lore. When the Nixon administration green-lighted the $8 billion Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1973, the story has it that Alyeska (the oil conglomerate created for the project) called on Woolrich to design extra-warm parkas for its construction workers toiling away in Alaska’s extreme conditions. The result was made of a lame-retardant Nomex aramid material and was issued with matching pants in dark ir green. The Arctic parka became a mainstay of Woolrich’s own branded lines (a late’70s version I found on eBay is shown here) in a lighter blend of cotton and nylon. This fall, for those who like their vintage brand-new, Woolrich is reissuing the Arctic parka in shades of black, tan, and more for $825. Late-’70s Arctic parka by Woolrich; similar styles available on eBay.com.
E s q u i r e ’s B i g B l a c k B o o k
photograph: Richard Majchrzak
ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. © 2018 DEWAR’S, WHITE LABEL, ITS TRADE DRESS, TRUE SCOTCH, THE CELTIC DEVICE AND THE JOHN DEWAR SIGNATURE ARE TRADEMARKS. BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY – 40% ALC. BY VOL. *THIS IS ONLY SPECIFIC TO THE WHITE LABEL PRODUCT.