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Liam Neeson Benedict Cumberbatch Colin Firth Jonah Hill Ringo Starr Tony Blair Iggy Pop
(and, yes, you too, Farage!)
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Editor’s Letter Foreword Brought to you by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: it’s Generation Y’s quarter-life crisis. Step away from the smartphone! BY WIL HARRIS
Dresser John Varvatos’ European ﬂagship; stay Superdry on the slopes; Style Shrink; plus Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors.
Grooming Gerard Butler leads out the new fragrance by Boss Bottled.
Why you should take a punt on American football; The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan has brains and beauty; singer of the summer George Ezra pounds the beat; The Riot Club wraps up.
What I Wear GQ sheds light on the wild style of hip-hop star Bipolar Sunshine.
Travel Three artful city stays and Milan’s worst hotel.
Watches Rolex’s running mate, Tudor Heritage, reissues the Advisor.
Bachelor Pad 63 113
Designers March & White kit out the GQ private lounge.
Exposure GQ and Warner Music hosted stars of rock, pop and fashion at the summer’s hottest roof party.
The Lab Smart watches that track your ﬁtness progress and four safe places to keep your valuables.
Tony Parsons Leather trousers? Check. Bangles and bandanas? Check. Free bus pass? Check! Meet Britain’s hellraising pensioners.
Michael Wolff How Vice Media tightened its grip on the business of journalism. 150
Hugo Rifkind How not to... get older.
Cars Jason Barlow ﬁnds the new Land Rover Discovery a drive worth seeking out.
Taste Marcus Wareing steps up at new opening Tredwell’s; London’s kebab-beating Middle Eastern restaurants; plus, Abergavenny gastronomy.
The truth behind Michael Gove’s shock shufﬂe over to chief whip; Eric Fischl’s Art Fair Paintings; The Children Act by Ian McEwan; Dorian Lynskey on the new fuss-free wave of British music in the US; Martin Samuel on why optimism was David Luiz’s fatal ﬂaw; plus this month’s cinema essentials. OCTOBER 2014 G 21
ON THE COVERS Benedict Cumberbatch Photograph by Frederic Auerbach Suit, £2,000. Shirt, £200. Bow tie, £90. Cufflinks, £90. All by Spencer Hart . spencerhart.com. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com Pharrell Williams Photograph by Hunter & Gatti Coat by Burberry Prorsum . uk.burberry.com. Blazer by Lanvin, £1,800. lanvin.com. Shirt by Maison Martin Margiela, £850. maisonmartinmargiela.com. Bow tie by Thomas Pink , £45. thomaspink.com. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com Kim Kardashian Photograph by Tom Munro Colin Firth Photograph by Mariano Vivanco Tuxedo, £550. Shirt, £129. Bow tie, £45. Cufflinks, £155. Fragrance, £55. All by Boss. hugoboss.com Ringo Starr Photograph by Marco Grob Jacket, £725. Shirt, £130. Tie, £62. All by John Varvatos. johnvarvatos.com. Sunglasses by Boss Orange, £155. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com Jonah Hill Photograph by Greg Lotus Tuxedo by Samuelsohn, £819. samuelsohn.com. Shirt, £140. Bow tie, £60. Both by Eton . etonshirts.com. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com
251 252 254 254 255 256 256 259 261 262 262 264 272 275 276 276 278 281 282 282 283 285 286 288 290 292 302
Men Of The Year 2014 Jamie Dornan Peter Capaldi Agi & Sam Lewis Hamilton Michael Lewis Oscar Murillo Benedict Cumberbatch Tom Kerridge Paolo Nutini Ewan Venters Pharrell Williams Ringo Starr Jonah Hill André Balazs Tony Blair Douglas Booth New Order Alex Salmond Christopher Bailey Iggy Pop John Bishop Liam Neeson Colin Firth Van Morrison Kim Kardashian Jim Morrison
Douglas BOOTH Photograph by Sandrine Dulermo & Michael Labica Suit, £600. Shirt, £129. Bow tie and cummerbund, £115. Fragrance, £55. All by Boss. hugoboss.com
GQ’s guide to getting everything done – every day; plus Sex Shrink, Anthony Joshua, and boosting ﬂexibility and strength with “broga”. 180 166
Rod Liddle More guided missiles from GQ’s weapon of mass direction.
Features & fashion 140 155 159 166 184 302
Game of thrones A former Tory insider gives his predictions for a momentous year in politics. BY ANDY COULSON
Stockists All the labels featured in this month’s issue, from A to Z.
Deﬁnite articles GQ meets designer Angelo Galasso, who puts his style stamp on a wealthy niche of solo players. BY BILL PRINCE
GQ Intel Work up an appetite at a career-speciﬁc secret dining club.
The mother of all stories New York’s hottest literary event comes to the UK, and GQ celebrates with an extraordinary true tale.
Dawn of the dead Why Mexico’s drug war has led those caught in the crossﬁre to worship the angel of death. BY EVGENY LEBEDEV
191 GQ Power
The return of the native Freelance creative director Carlo Brandelli is back at Kilgour, this time at its new Savile Row store. BY BILL PRINCE
Audi’s new hybrid science-ﬁction cars and future fashion in our 14-page guide to life’s fast lane. EDITED BY PAUL HENDERSON
Alastair Campbell meets Chuka Umunna
GQ’s question master meets the possible future Labour leader. OCTOBER 2014 G 25
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DYLAN JONES PA TO THE EDITOR & EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR Annabelle Morell-Coll DEPUTY EDITOR Bill Prince CREATIVE DIRECTOR Paul Solomons CREATIVE FASHION DIRECTOR Jo Levin MANAGING EDITOR Mark Russell FEATURES DIRECTOR Jonathan Heaf ASSOCIATE EDITOR Robert Johnston SENIOR COMMISSIONING EDITOR Stuart McGurk COMMISSIONING EDITOR Charlie Burton HEALTH & SPORTS EDITOR Paul Henderson ART DIRECTOR Warren Jackson DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Phill Fields SENIOR ART EDITOR John Hitchcox SENIOR DESIGNER Jon Snell DESIGNER James Ramsay JUNIOR DESIGNER Joseph Sinclair Parker PHOTOGRAPHIC DIRECTOR Russ O’Connell DEPUTY PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR Georgina Breitmeyer ASSISTANT PICTURE EDITOR Cai Lunn STYLE & GROOMING EDITOR Jessica Punter FASHION PRODUCTION EDITOR Grace Gilfeather FASHION ASSISTANT Holly Roberts CHIEF SUB-EDITOR George Chesterton DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Jennifer Bradly SENIOR SUB-EDITOR Aaron Callow JUNIOR SUB-EDITOR Lee Stobbs GQ.CO.UK FASHION EDITOR Nick Carvell GQ.CO.UK FEATURES EDITOR Matt Jones FEATURES ASSISTANT Stephanie Soh GQ.CO.UK INTERN Alice Howarth COMEDY EDITOR James Mullinger CONTRIBUTING STYLE EDITOR Sascha Lilic LUXURY EDITOR Nick Foulkes LITERARY EDITOR Olivia Cole EROTIC AFFAIRS EDITOR Rebecca Newman FENG SHUI EDITOR Tracey Emin TABLET PROJECT MANAGER Liam Keating SENIOR TABLET PRODUCER Charlotte Tooth TABLET PRODUCER Emma Dahlquist
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This year, in a particularly stellar array of GQ Men Of The Year, it would be invidious to single anyone out. Though if there was an award for having a unique ability to touch people’s hearts, then the winner would undoubtedly be VAN MORRISON. Among our decorated and celebrated Men Of The Year – once again ably supported by Hugo Boss – the winner of this year’s Legend award has been touching people’s hearts since 1967, when he wrote and recorded “Brown Eyed Girl”, and in the 50-odd years since has delivered an arsenal of devotional rhapsodies. Successful musical miscegenation is rare, yet over the years Morrison has convincingly fused rock, soul, blues, R&B, jazz and traditional pop styles (including doo-wop), with the result being more than the sum of its parts. His music has always bypassed trends; it hasn’t just coexisted in some quasi-spiritual parallel world – one ﬁlled with haunting keyboards, onomatopoeic vocals, brushed drums, acoustic bass and barely perceptible wind instruments – it’s always been the canon to curl up with after a night on the tiles. And it doesn’t matter how ingrained your musical allegiances are, whether you like garage, alt-country or nu-metal, in the privacy of your own home the Man conquers all. Morrison was chill-out before there was chill-out. For a while, his records replaced those of Marvin Gaye as the most popular tools of seduction. His ﬁrst proper statement of intent was 1968’s Astral Weeks,
although since then there have been dozens of records ranging from the prosaic to the bewildering – every one exploring Morrison’s obsessional quest for personal enlightenment. Along the way he has written the occasional pop classic too: “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)”, “Bulbs”, “Bright Side Of The Road”, “Have I Told You Lately”, “Blue And Green”, to name only a few. Lyrically he has been obsessed with the lost, legendary dreamland of Avalon, and of course, the rain-soaked Irish countryside. There has also never been anything postmodern about Morrison’s oeuvre, nothing ironic or self-referential. There are no knowing references, no cute acknowledgements, nada. Jeez, even The Beatles were postmodern, and had been so almost from the off – by 1965 Paul McCartney and George Harrison were chanting “Tit, tit, tit...” in the background of John Lennon’s “Girl”; at this point in their career, Morrison’s Them were still learning how to squeeze into black leather waistcoats. Two years later Lennon was already referencing “She Loves You” on “All You Need Is Love”; but there was no way Morrison was going to be caught winking as he explored his Hibernian mysticism. With Morrison there was never a knowing nod, while every missive was mediated without context. There was nothing postmodern about kaleidoscopic onomatopoeia. No, Morrison has always semaphored authenticity, a righteousness that has meandered in and out of fashion for half a century.
Photograph Getty Images
OCTOBER 2014 G 43
Like any maverick, Morrison has done some odd things. As well as being overwrought and pompous he has embraced Scientology, dabbled with Gestalt therapy, recorded a (surprisingly good) duet with Cliff Richard, and covered a song made famous by a Muppet (Kermit The Frog’s “Bein’ Green”). But, hell, you expect this kind of nonsense from your heroes. After all, he’s a soul in torment, isn’t he? Isn’t that what it says on the tin? He didn’t do disco, like The Stones, but he tried everything else. In the Eighties he whizzed through as many belief systems as he could ﬁnd, rushing between Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian mysticism and Rosicrucianism as well as the teachings of Gurdjieff. He became a spiritual plane spotter, or, as one critic put it, like a “football fanatic determined to visit every ground”. For Morrison, success has rarely been more important than achievement. His is not the world of Grazia or Mail Online , but then their world isn’t his either. He regards music as a vocation, not a step towards celebrity. “I believe that an artist does not belong to the public but to himself,” he’ll say. “I don’t want anyone to know about my personal life because it is my personal life.” His aversion to the press is legendary – particularly to those who try to stiﬂe him by deﬁnition. “Nobody asks a bricklayer about laying bricks,” he once said, “why ask me about writing songs? There’s no difference. I just do what I do.” “It ain’t why,” he once sang, “it just is.” You can chart Morrison’s spiritual journey through his records, as he sings incessantly about convening with higher bodies, yet it’s the sound of these communions rather than the experience that we take with us. While he can often be overt in his devotional songs, he tends to summon an emotion rather than espousing anything in particular. Which means that, for many people, Morrison talks to God so that they don’t have to. As the New York Times critic Peter Gerstenzang put it, “Writing Van of the moment: After more than 50 years of inspiring music, the Belfast Cowboy is GQ’s Legend Of The Year
about the songs of Van Morrison is rightly seen as something of a paradox. Perhaps that’s because, for all his scholarly use of multiple musical styles and references to Yeats and Joyce, the Belfast Cowboy’s work is more sensual than it is intellectual.” He also goes on to say that, while “it’s great to hear Morrison sing about the dark, disturbed Madame George... Sometimes, though, all you want to listen to is ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ because, at that moment, ‘sha la la’ says everything a rock fan needs to know.” The very idea of being a pop star is just anathema to him. He is genuinely enigmatic, and goes to great lengths to distance himself from the world of pop. Some years ago he wrote a letter to the Irish Sunday Independent, complaining about their constant references to Van Morrison the Rock Star, “To call me a rock star is absurd,” he wrote, “as anyone who has listened to my music will observe. On the one hand I am ﬂattered by the sudden attention, having spent most of my life living the role of antihero and getting on with my job.” On the other hand... In Morrison’s eyes, being a troubadour is a noble vocation, like being a craftsman or a poet – someone who works with his hands, if only to lift a pen. Of course, Morrison also has something of a reputation for being a professional grouch, although he couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about his GQ Men Of The Year shoot with our photographer David Bailey. He got a bit testy as the shoot dragged on – any photo shoot that lasts longer than ten minutes is considered to be too long by Morrison – yet when he arrived he bounded up the stairs clutching a bow tie that was given to him by Bob Dylan back in the Seventies. So, not only did Morrison confound his reputation by actually bringing a prop to a photo session, but – for a while, anyway – appeared to be enjoying himself so much that he was actually caught on camera laughing with joy. Enjoy Van Morrison’s hosanna, enjoy the issue.
Dylan Jones, Editor 44 G OCTOBER 2014
Contributors Andy COULSON As the ﬁnal conference season before the 2015 election approaches, Andy Coulson advises the parties as they look to bolster support – and limit damage. “The parliamentary boundaries are so weighted towards Labour that they will win even if they poll the same number of votes as the Tories,” writes David Cameron’s former director of communications, in his last feature before his conviction for phone hacking. “The Tories need around 36 per cent and hope Labour fall to 30 per cent – a monumental task.”
Evgeny LEBEDEV “Ultraviolence has a long history in Mexico,” says Evgeny Lebedev. “The pattern will be hard to break.” In a country where brutal drug cartels and corrupt police ofﬁcers are driving up the death toll, the owner of the Independent and Evening Standard reports from the city of Ciudad Juárez, where a fearful and grief-stricken population are turning away from Christianity – and ﬁnding comfort in the cult of death itself. “No matter how twisted, idols ﬁll a void no secular thought can,” says Lebedev.
Hugo RIFKIND We sent Hugo Rifkind to proﬁle our Philanthropist Of The Year, Tony Blair. “Say ‘Blair’ and ‘philanthropist’ and people start sniggering,” says the Times and Spectator writer. “In part, that’s his own fault for not often bothering to explain the mechanics [of his charity work]. But actually, if people were rational, they’d realise that however disastrous Iraq was (very, I’d say) it was nonetheless born out of a very straightforward desire to make the world better. So it’s not so weird that this is what he wanted to do.”
AA GILL On GQ.co.uk, AA Gill contemplates dabbling in ﬁlm writing: “The romcom is where I ought to start. It’s all very well thinking about cowboy movies and continental miserablist existentialism, but if you’re a Brit, your place is holding your sides and laughing.” And the formula for the perfect romcom? “Nothing must get in the way of the smooth, righteous denouement. We don’t want to be stopping to tie up loose ends. There has to be that little stutter of the false ending. And then straight on to the church.” Wil Harris may only be 31 but that hasn’t stopped the onset of an early midlife crisis, detailed in this month’s Foreword. After googling his anxieties online, Condé Nast’s Head Of Digital realised that he was in fact suffering from the now all too common “quarter-life crisis”. How does one get through it? “My advice is to poll your friends and see that most of them are going through the same thing; stop following celebrities on Twitter and realise that only you are responsible for your own happiness,” says Harris. “And see a therapist.”
Paul SOLOMONS The 2014 Men Of The Year awards marks GQ Creative Director Paul Solomons’ tenth annual portfolio. In the past decade he has overseen the shoots of 230 winners and produced 50 covers, including Jay-Z, Lana Del Rey and Daniel Craig, to name a few. “I was lucky to attend Men Of The Year before I worked for GQ,” says Solomons. “Then it was held in bars and restaurants, and the awards were made from wood. Today it has grown into what must be one of the biggest and most star-studded events of the year.”
48 G OCTOBER 2014
Photographs Sudhir Pithwa; Rex; Greg Williams
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THE QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS Tormented by the millennial perils of social-media anxiety and a dire economic future, meet the generation who have turned ‘fear of missing out’ into a way of being S TO RY BY
s I counted down the 365 ever-shortening days to my fourth decade, the outlook for the next ten years was looking bleak. I was disillusioned with my job, my longterm relationship hadn’t worked out and I was facing the next chapter of my life with a little money in the bank, no discernible career path and certainly no love interest. Anxiety increasing, I decided that my best chance of navigating a route to happiness was to ﬁnd a successful peer to emulate, and that peer was Matt. Matt was a guy I worked with: tall, successful, attractive and a solid “man’s man” with a gorgeous wife, cute kids, a spectacular house and a distinctly unreformed drinking habit. I made a point of spending as much time with Matt as possible. Standing outside our London local on a Friday night, I asked the object of my idolatry how he’d managed it all, hoping that some imparted wisdom from him would reassuringly ease me into my next few years. “Easy,” he said. “Your teens are just years for mucking around and having a laugh. Your twenties are the same but with more money. Settle down in your thirties and sort the family out, then pay for it all in your forties. Simple.” And with that, he downed the rest of his pint of Guinness and headed to the bar for another, leaving me feeling like I’d been gunned down in a nonchalance drive-by. Facing the prospect of a decade in no-man’s-land, and with Matt proving no help, I did what we have all long been programmed to do: turn to the internet for advice. There’s nothing like a good google to make you feel better about yourself, and as I tapped my way around the worldwide weird, one thing became clear: it wasn’t just me. My generation is feeling the grim reality of our emerging adulthood, and is feeling more than a little hard done by. Sociologists have coined a phrase for our state of anxiety (obviously) – the quarter-life crisis. Forget buying a Porsche when you’re 50; like everything else, Gen Y-ers are doing it earlier and bigger than their parents. The theory goes something like this: millennials are coming of age in one of the most challenging environments that young adults have ever faced. We have been clocked in the face with the one-two punch of an absolutely dire economic situation to graduate (literally) into, and
We are feeling the grim reality of our adulthood. Forget buying a Porsche when you’re 50; Gen Y-ers are doing it earlier and bigger than their parents
nonstop access to everyone else via social networking (thus ensuring addictive and destructive self-comparison). The quarter-life-crisis movement even has its own poster child in the form of Hannah Horvath, the permanently put-upon lead character of HBO’s Girls, played by Lena Dunham. (Irony alert: according to last year’s Forbes Top 100 Up And Comers list, 28year-old Dunham earned more than £4 million during 2013). If it seems like it’s all going wrong for a lot of us, the ﬁgures seem to back up the theory. Graduate unemployment is hovering around the eleven per cent mark. As two-thirds of graduates get a ﬁrst or a 2:1, having invested in education to get ahead in life, 41 per cent of those graduating now say that their new job doesn’t require a degree. With bachelor’s degrees becoming more and more common (stand up, media studies), aimless millennials are taking on even more study (and even more debt) in a bid to stand out from the crowd. In the United States, the number of students staying on to complete a master’s degree has grown 43 per cent since 2002 – making master’s grads now as common as bachelor’s grads were in the Sixties. Eighty per cent of these courses are oriented towards a speciﬁc professional vocation, signalling fairly candidly that education purely for the sake of education is not a great route to getting ahead in our post-recession world. With traditional employment now unattractive (or unavailable) for many grads, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a signiﬁcant uptick in the number of millennials who are eschewing it altogether in favour of starting their own businesses. However, even here, where we could be congratulating ourselves for taking such a bold step into independence, it’s hard not to feel utterly worthless compared to our peers. The latest round of big-publicity smartphone apps all have young founders now worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions despite being barely on the career ladder. Evan Spiegel, creator of selﬁe-sharing app Snapchat, is 24. Sean Rad, the improbably named founder of Tinder, is 27. Meanwhile, making waves in Silicon Valley this year is secret-sharing app Whisper, whose creator Michael Heyward is well on his way to triple-digit millions at 26. We might all dream of coming up with the next big hit app or digital tool, but chances are, if we haven’t done it by 30, we won’t. OCTOBER 2014 G 55
If work affairs aren’t providing much for twenty-somethings projected to make a minimum of half a million each this year while to feel optimistic about, then affairs of the heart aren’t providing still in their mid-twenties. It’s enough to make any guy sit up and any consolation. You might think that with less career to worry think – where did it all go wrong for me? about, we would spend a bit more time ﬁnding fulﬁlment elseGore Vidal said, “It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.” where – but it seems not. In fact, the average age for men getting There’s nothing quite like today’s world of social media to ram married has climbed from 25 in 1981 to a decade-busting 32 today. that sentiment home, for better or for worse. Pundits say, “We are (Women hardly have it much better, with their average marriage more connected than ever before,” and while that makes it easier age just breaking 30 in 2010.) Why are for us to stay in touch with our friends we marrying later? Experts suggest (good), it also makes us way more susthat economic factors – the inability to ceptible to bouts of outrageous jealousy actually pay to get married and settle tinged with the now-ubiquitous “fear of down – are having an effect. missing out” or FOMO (bad). Money aside, an impromptu poll of The likes of Rihanna, Gosling and their my social group gives me a sneaking Twittering peers are not making it any suspicion that it’s down to the preveasier for us. Before the mass adoption alence of worldwide willy-waving – of social media, celebrities had been the feeling that, unless you’ve found hived off to some sort of “other” world, a partner who’ll do everything you’ve where nobody real lives, observed only seen on RedTube recently (and do through very long and very expensive it while looking doe-eyed into your lenses. But the invention of Twitter iPhone camera), you haven’t actually and Instagram have given us a clear found The One. This would seem to be picture of the fact that they, too, live born out by trends in sexual partners, in our reality – it’s just that they’re a with one in ﬁve men now having had lot better at it than we are. They use more than ten intimate relationships by the same phones and ﬁddle with the their mid-twenties. same retro photo ﬁlters, but their lives Even if you do get married, chances are signiﬁcantly more exciting – more are it won’t last (sorry). The divorce Laurent-Perrier than, well, Perrier. rate among 25-29 year olds is twice the Which doesn’t mean that, in the average across all ages. It’s a dire stat(e absence of direction, we won’t try to emulate their social-media selves. of affairs). Feeling overwhelmed by the currently The word “selfie” was added to the projected outcome of the post-birthday Merriam Webster dictionary this year, landscape, I pondered a question: if deﬁned as “an image of oneself taken Google could diagnose my anxiety, by oneself using a digital camera could social media help alleviate the especially for posting on social netpeer pressure? Scanning the list of works”. The dictionary geeks might as people I follow on Twitter, it became well deﬁne it as “an image taken for the evident that their average age was purpose of making one’s life appear sigsomewhere in the mid-twenties. niﬁcantly more glamorous than it actu(Given that most of the people I follow ally is”. (It’s no surprise that the rise of are probably successful and almost the selﬁe has been mirrored by the rise certainly famous, I found this immediof the hashtag #humblebrag.) All of which left me no closer to resolvately alarming.) Fuelled by those twin temptresses IMDB and Wikipedia, I set ing my quarter-life-crisis anxiety. Your upon a binge of discovering just how twenties are a ﬁrst step out of academia old and successful my celebrity peer – where achievements are simply deﬁned group actually was. on a scale of A-F – into a world in which The results were, it’s fair to say, you have to self-quantify your own depressing. Prime among my ire was success. But in our 24/7 interconnected Rihanna who, at 26, is arguably the world, the priority has moved away from most inﬂuential musician in the world the pursuit of our own view of happiright now. Cutting her breakthrough ness, to instead establishing whether our album at 19 years old, she earned an own deﬁnition of success neatly matches impressive £28m last year, putting that of our peers (or, frankly, whether we The lives of others: Technology makes us judge our own my own paltry pounds to shame. incite reciprocal jealousy in them). experiences unfavourably against those of our peers Heartthrob Ryan Gosling, the actor What is the nature of happiness in a who can reliably take home the “most world where you’re intimately aware of appropriate man to allow your girlfriend to fancy” award, is 33 everyone else’s? An old friend of mine used to say, “If you’re looking and worth in the region of $1m for every year of his beautifully sideways, you’re not looking forward.” cheekboned existence. One Direction are all under 23 and drownWhen the state of the world around us means that forward is ing in women (much to the consternation of their fans) and money looking pretty darned grim, it’s hard not look around you and (£59m last year, much to the consternation of me). wonder: “Are they happy? Should I be happy? Or am I just, you And that’s not even counting those who are successful despite know, slightly screwed?” having no discernable talent at all. The cast of TOWIE are all Wil Harris is Head Of Digital at Condé Nast UK.
Gore Vidal said, ‘It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.’ There’s nothing like social media to ram that sentiment home
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Illustration Ben Jennings
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CHARLIE BURTON Burning bright: Kate Moss after dark and after hours, smokin’ for Roxanne Lowit
Photograph Roxanne Lowit, courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, and The Little Black Gallery, London
GIRLS ON FILM IT SOUNDS so easy. Take one of the world’s most beautiful celebrities, invite her in front of your camera, have her to strike an attitude and – click – how could you fail to get a great portrait? In truth, only a few manage to capture that peculiar mix of id and ego that makes such a shot iconic – and a new exhibition, Girls, Girls, Girls!, showcases the masters, from Roxanne Lowit (who’s behind this Kate Moss image) to the late, great Bob Carlos Clarke. It’s a tough job, but, boy, do they know how to do it. ● 16 September - 2 October. 13A Park Walk, London SW10. thelittleblackgallery.com
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Music bulletin! There are four million songs on Spotify that have never been played – until now. A new streaming service, Forgotify, automatically selects neglected tracks so you can be the ﬁrst to hear them. forgotify.com
Solving a perennial suiting problem When it comes to buying a suit off the peg, there’s a frustration we’ve heard of from so many men – why on earth does each size of jacket come with a ﬁxed size of trouser? Herewith, high-street brands that sell sharplooking separates... The face design is based on the solar system to mirror the fact that the mechanism turns around one screw
YOUR WRIST JUST GOT UPGRADED The last big innovation in mass mechanical watch design came in the early Eighties, when the original quartz Swatch blasted the industry apart. This year, that same brand has done it again. The Swatch Sistem51 contains a self-winding mechanical movement made from an unprecedentedly small number of parts (51, as the name suggests). In other words, it delivers traditionalist technology at a fraction of the usual cost – so you can own a mechanical timepiece and won’t worry about taking it on a rough-and-tumble night out. CB £108. swatch.com Two more disruptive watches
ALTIPLANO 900P BY PIAGET You work in: A corporate juggernaut. Buy from: Nick Hart at Austin Reed. We like: Gabardine three-piece suit. £509. austin reed.co.uk At just 3.65mm thick, it is the thinnest watch on the market. The trick? Building the movement into the dial and case back. £20,600. en.piaget.com
The self-winding movement can retain 90 hours of power, so it won’t run down if you don’t wear it
EL PRIMERO LIGHTWEIGHT BY ZENITH Eschews traditional materials in favour of carbon, silicon and aluminium to create a piece that weighs only 15.45g. £13,600. zenithwatches.com
Photographs Matthew Beedle; Anton Corbijn/Courtesy Schirmer/Mosel, Munich; Full Stop Photography
You work in: A tech start-up. Buy from: Jigsaw. We like: Tonal tartan suit. £395. jigsaw-online.com
TheBook THIS MONTH’S MOST WANTED... COFFEE-TABLE BOOK
You work in: An ad agency. Buy from: Hentsch Man. We like: Red ﬁligree suit. CB £550. hentschman.com
Let’s be clear: this is no mere tie-in. The director Anton Corbijn’s Looking At A Most Wanted Man (chronicling his adaptation of the John Le Carré thriller about a Chechen ex-con caught up in the war on terror) reads more like Corbijn’s personal scrapbook – a collection of memories
preserved like pressed ﬂowers. Designed by GQ’s Warren Jackson, it comprises photographs all shot by Corbijn, often between takes, accompanied by glosses and anecdotes in his own hand. And there’s a second, weightier dimension to this project: A Most
Wanted Man provided Philip Seymour Hoffman with a ﬁnal leading role prior to his death last February. While it is dedicated to the actor, the book doesn’t allow Hoffman to become its sole focus, and Corbijn resists writing lengthy pronouncements about him. Instead,
where the actor does appear, we get a few quiet lines about a moment the pair shared, and a moving sense of how thankful Corbijn is that it happened. CB Looking At A Most Wanted Man by Anton Corbijn is out now (Schirmer/ Mosel, £45).
OCTOBER 2014 G 65
Hotel bulletin! “Hard-core coddling”, as the American press has termed it, is the growing industry trend for googling guests so as to give them hyper-personal service (asking about their job; congratulating them on an anniversary). Or as we term it, “stalking”.
THE EZRA EXPERIENCE George Ezra talks Miley Cyrus, groupies and going down and out in Paris
Coat, £480. T-Shirt, £45. Jeans, £109. All by Boss. hugoboss.com. Chain, George’s own
FROM GEORGE Ezra’s songs, you might have him pegged as the pensive type. But you don’t rack up more than 35 million streams on Spotify and take your debut album to No3 in the UK charts without a sense of adventure. Take his InterRailing trip, on which he wrote “Budapest” (acclaimed as the “song of the summer”). “Paris was the last stop and I had nowhere to stay,” says Ezra, 21. “So I started to sleep in a doorway at Gare Du Nord. Then I saw two people getting beaten up, so I went to the hospital around the corner and slept in A&E.” He manages to squeeze a healthy dose of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll into his roving lifestyle, too. The last time he got high? “At Latitude,” he says. “I hadn’t seen my friends in a while, so it felt necessary.” What about his groupies – what are they like in bed? “Well, it depends, doesn’t it? There’s no uniform behaviour.” But as to how many there have been: “That I wouldn’t know – and nor will the readers of GQ!” There is one woman to whom Ezra is often linked, though. For a while, he would tweet Miley Cyrus as if she were his girlfriend, just to prank his audience. “But then I realised I actually quite like her music,” he admits. “I saw her in Amsterdam and it’s crazy live.” Bring on the internet-breaking collaboration! SS l George Ezra's single “Blame It On Me” is out on 15 September. His UK tour begins on 16 October. Photograph Rhys Frampton Styling Jessica Punter Grooming Tim Pateman at Phamous Artists
The Blame game: Hertford singersongwriter George Ezra’s third single is out this month
THEY DON’T CALL IT A PARTY FOR NOTHING 66 G OCTOBER 2014
On stage, the Tory conference is all stuffed shirts and speechifying – but off stage it’s a vortex of intrigue and immoderation, hard drinking and hook-ups. Ahead of this year’s (from 28 September) here are four staples you won’t see on the official agenda...
The gangs. Anchorman-esque political posses stalk the events. Take the all-male team behind chairman Grant Shapps – a group including a former Abercrombie model, that calls itself “The Wolf Pack”. The spies. Labour send in people undercover. Many have
come undone on the lingo – nobody uses the word “pinko” to insult the left any more. The dark arts. This is the ﬁnal conference before the general election and will be rammed with lobbyists trying to inﬂuence the 2015 manifesto. The carousing. The bathtub in
Lord Strathclyde’s suite used to be ﬁlled with champagne bottles for his infamous soirées. The Spectator party is now the glamour invitation, while Policy Research Unit events have a reputation for excess – their 2011 bash led to an inquiry. Caroline Davies
Film bulletin! Netﬂix might be the place you go for marquee dramas, but it’s also ﬁnding favour as the home of bizarre B movies. Miami Connection, Troll 2, Vampire’s Kiss – they’re all there. And the surprising thing: they’re highly addictive.
HOW TO GET UP TO SPEED
JARGON WATCH You can work out what a “ﬁeld” or a “uniform” is. These terms are less self-evident…
WELCOME TO THE NFL! This September, a run of three regular-season American football games begins at Wembley. But who should you support? And, erm, what’s a ‘down’ again? GQ has you covered...
Hear: The Dave Dameshek Football Program podcast (Free, on iTunes) An NFL.com analyst, Dameshek is known for his fan-like enthusiasm, and his opinions have become required listening. Read: forum.nﬂuk.com Where British fans chew over the latest games but mainly speculate about Wembley.
Down One of four “plays” during which the offence must try to move the ball at least ten yards. If they succeed, they get a new set of downs.
Bomb A long pass thrown to a receiver.
Audible A signal from the quarterback to change tactics.
DETROIT LIONS: A HERO TO GET BEHIND AND A VILLAIN TO DENOUNCE
A very long pass thrown as a desperate last resort.
SO WHO’S MY TEAM? There’s one for every fan type 28 September
VS Bookies’ favourite: Miami Dolphins (4/11)*
Calvin Johnson, (Position: wide receiver) Although he’s nicknamed “Megatron”, record-breaking superstar Johnson moves like lightning – and was ranked No2 in the 2014 NFL Top 100. Oh, and to top it all, he’s a good guy.
Ndamukong Suh (Position: defensive tackle) He’s effective, but has been ﬁned more than $200,000 for multiple incidences of dirty play – including kicking someone in the groin. “He’s just nasty,” according to an (anonymous) fellow NFL player.
Oakland Raiders For: Underdog lovers From one of US’ most dangerous cities, the Raiders have not made the playoffs since 2002.
Miami Dolphins For: Aesthetes Just want to buy a cool kit? This autumn, green (for which the team was once mocked) is very on-trend.
That terrible new Miami Dolphins “Fins For The Fish” song. An excerpt:
VS Bookies’ favourite: Neither, it could go either way
Can’t you feel us circlin’ Dolphfans / Can’t you feel us schoolin’ around? / We got ﬁns to the left, ﬁns to the right / We’re at the only game in town / Oh Oh Oh Oh.” Detroit Lions For: Bruisers
Atlanta Falcons For: Commitmentphobes They have the least loyal fans, but were just one incomplete pass away from the Super Bowl in 2013.
Now that’s writing. THREE WAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR (OR JUST FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM)
According to the NFL’s Josh Sitton: “They’re a bunch of dirtbags. That’s how they’re coached.”
VS Bookies’ favourite: Dallas Cowboys (2/5)*
Jacksonville Jaguars For: Premier League supporters This young team joined the NFL in 1995 and since 2012 has been owned by Fulham FC’s Shahid Khan. 68 G OCTOBER 2014
Dallas Cowboys For: Glory hunters True legends, the Cowboys are nicknamed “America’s team” owing to their popularity across the US.
Kelly Hall @kbhall82 Boyfriend: Matthew Stafford (Lions)
Leila Lopes @officialleilalopes Boyfriend: Osi Umenyiora (Falcons)
Lauren Tannehill @laurentannehill Husband: Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins)
Story Charlie Burton Photographs Getty Images; Instagram
*Odds provided by Ladbrokes. ladbrokes.com
SAM CLAFLIN Age 28 CV The Hunger Games, Snow White And The Huntsman Do you feel the need to dress well now you’re in the public eye? “Yes. I have a tendency to touch things up with a little accessory here and there, whether it’s a scarf or a handkerchief or braces or whatever. Even to the point where, when I’ve been given an outﬁt, I have to wear my own socks or something that’s got a touch of me.”
AUTUMN DRESS CODE Based on the exploits of Oxford’s Bullingdon, Lone Scherﬁg’s The Riot Club is sure to cause a stir in the Establishment (looking at you, Boris!). Its cast is full of bright young things – who better to model the season’s hottest coats? Matt Glasby The Riot Club is out on 19 September.
MAX IRONS Age 28 CV The White Queen, The Host, Red Riding Hood You’re a former model. How did you break into that? “I was going to the video shop with my [ex-] girlfriend and we were having a ﬁght. Then a big SUV pulled up and this guy got out and said, ‘I’m a photographer, I’d like you to come and work with me.’ I just assumed he was a massive creep. He drove off and I was bemused. Then my girlfriend said, ‘That was Mario Testino!’”
Coat by John Varvatos, £948. johnvarvatos.com. Shirt, £620. Shoes, £790. Both by Dior Homme. dior.com. Trousers by Tiger Of Sweden, £169. tigerofsweden.com. Socks by Pringle, £8. At Sockshop. sockshop.co.uk
Coat by Burberry London, £1,895. burberry.com. Jacket and waistcoat by The Kooples, £425 (part of suit). thekooples. co.uk. Shirt by Sandro, £117. sandro-paris.com. Trousers by Dunhill, £400. dunhill.co.uk
70 G OCTOBER 2014
Literary bulletin! The latest in a run of screen stars to turn their hand to ﬁction: Gillian Anderson, whose sci-ﬁ thriller A Vision Of Fire is out on 9 October (S&S, £12.99). You can take the girl out of Comic-Con...
TheRules DOUGLAS BOOTH Age 22 CV Jupiter Ascending, Noah, Romeo & Juliet How did you research the role? “We spoke to a guy who’d been in the Bullingdon Club and he said when they have dinner it’s like going to Narnia: because through those doors you’re protected by the history of the club. I’d be much less inclined to do something naughty on my own than with ten of my mates. This is an extreme version of that.”
JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY Age 24 CV Jamaica Inn, Downton Abbey Any fashion tips for us guys? “Men’s fashion is more interesting than women’s. They get all the best shoes. I love a good brogue, anything like that. What do I like to see on a guy? Nothing too ‘Oh, bloody hell! That’s a jacket!’ It should just kind of be there but not so intense that it’s the only thing you can see.”
SAY IT WITH STYLE JACK FARTHING Age 28 CV Poldark, Blandings You went to Westminster School then Oxford. Do you recognise the level of entitlement here? “No. That’s one of the best things about this as an actor, I think and, hopefully, as an audience member. You’re looking into somewhere you don’t normally see. I know that’s what really interested Laura [Wade, on whose award-winning play, Posh, The Riot Club is based]: she’s looking behind the curtain, behind the closed door.” There’s nothing more revealing than mispronouncing a luxury brand. Here’s a guide to getting it right MOËT & CHANDON Wrong: Mo-way and shan-don Right: Mwet eh shan-don It doesn’t look like the “t” ought to be pronounced, but Claude Moët was of Dutch descent rather than French. PORSCHE Wrong: Porsh Right: Porsh-uh Follow “Hey Porsche”, that dreadful Nelly track: don’t neglect that second syllable. HERMÈS Wrong: Her-mees Right: Er-mez Easily confused with Hermes, the Greek god. In French, no “h” and a short “e”. Simple. RALPH LAUREN Wrong: Ralph Lau-renne Right: Ralph Lauren (as in Lauren Hill) This is not a French fashion brand. This one is American and, as such, should be spoken as it’s written. COINTREAU Wrong: Con-tro Right: Qwan-tro To think, it’s been sitting in your drinks cabinet for all these years and you didn’t ever know its name. Olivia de Courcy
Jacket, £1,995. Skirt, £595. Both by Jonathan Saunders. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols.com. Rollneck by Guess, £85. guess.com
Jacket by Dunhill, £1,990. dunhill.co.uk. T-shirt by Burberry London, £175. burberry.com. Jeans by Dior Homme, £420. dior.com
Jacket by The Kooples, £525. thekooples.co.uk. T-shirt by Sunspel, £55. sunspel.com. Jeans by Zadig & Voltaire, £175. zadig-et-voltaire.com
Photograph Sam Christmas Styling Jessica Punter Grooming Lee Machin at Caren using Phytoplage Hair Craig Taylor at One Represents using Kiehl’s Make-up Emma Leon using Radical Skincare and Nars Manicure Sabrina Gayle at LMC Worldwide using Chanel A/W 2014 and Chanel Body Excellence
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WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
Tech bulletin! Wikipedia banned the US House Of Representatives from accessing the site after it discovered an unprecedented number of government edits. GQ hears that’s got certain edit-happy British MPs a little nervous…
The upper crust: Duffy’s Abyss coffee table resembles a stylish slice of land and sea
ANTIHERO, DIAGNOSED A criminal psychologist unravels the mind of Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby from gangster epic Peaky Blinders
BREAKING BAD may be over, but TV’s obsession with unhinged protagonists shows no sign of abating. This month’s case in point is Cillian Murphy, as razor-sharp gang leader Tommy Shelby in series two of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders (starting in October). But the debate rages: is the occasionally merciful antihero actually a bona-ﬁde psychopath? We asked criminal psychologist Dr Naomi Murphy, who works at HMP Whitemoor, for her diagnosis. Here, the crux points... Behaviour: Shelby kicked off series one by hiding a shipment of stolen guns from both the police, the IRA and rival gangs. Symptom: Grandiosity; disregard for authority. Analysis: “One common feature of a psychopathic mind-set is a sense of antipathy [to authority ﬁgures], often associated with a sense of being hated by your parents,” says Dr Murphy. “Brutality or humiliation is often a feature of their childhood.” Behaviour: Tommy marks the date in his diary when the Blinders will converge to kill their arch nemesis Billy Kimber. Symptom: Antisocial behaviour. Analysis: “A common misconception about people who are psychopathic is Story Oliver Franklin
OF THE TABLES
To bastardise Gertrude Stein, a table is a table is a table, right? Not when it’s statement furniture like the Abyss (pictured) from London-based design studio Duffy – it’s the kind of piece that transforms a front room from domestic necessity into interior-design project. Sculpted from glass, wood and Perspex, the design is based on a 3-D geological map, complete with islands, oceans and inky chasms. Only downside? With a surface that looks this striking, you’ll want to ﬁnd a new home for all those art books. CB Limited to 25 editions, £9,800 each. duffylondon.com
that their violence is all a means to an end, but grudge-bearing is actually a signiﬁcant part of it,” says Dr Murphy. “The guiding ethos of someone who is psychopathic is ‘get in ﬁrst; I’ll hurt you before you hurt me’.” Behaviour: Shelby has a dangerous addiction to opium – in the show his fondness for the drug is attributed to shell shock from ﬁghting in the First World War. Symptom: Poor behavioural controls. Analysis: “Alcohol use and drug use are often a common way that people cope with PTSD, but drug use is common among people who are psychopathic, because it facilitates
that disconnect from their emotions,” says Dr Murphy. Behaviour: Shelby moves in with Annabelle Wallis’ character, Grace – who happens to be a spy for Special Branch. Symptom: Superﬁcial charm. Analysis: “Superﬁcial charm, which I think Tommy characterises, is another feature of this personality type,” says Dr Murphy. “There’s something very attractive about him, even though he has this callous, brutal streak. Perhaps she sees the vulnerability in him.” Diagnosis: Stone-cold psychopath. OCTOBER 2014 G 77
Years since John Burton-Race last had a restaurant in London. Now, the Michelin-starred chef is back with The New Angel – a sumptuous room that recalls Nineties neoclassicism. 39 Chepstow Place, W2. thenewangelnh.co.uk
Style bulletin! Good news: that ﬁne-rollneck-under-blazer trend from last year? It’s back with a vengeance. Some men have even taken to wearing it with an evening suit. Sans tie, obviously.
GQ INSIDER BY HARRY COLE
Rising star: Lauren Cohan rides out the zombie apocalypse in Fox’s The Walking Dead
It came as a surprise to some Tory MPs to ﬁnd out via a press release that they had been promoted to parliamentary private secretaries. Who says the coalition’s dysfunctional?
An awkward diary clash when Theresa May, Ed Miliband and George Osborne all held media parties on the same evening. “I thought I would come and see the next PM,” quipped one guest... at the chancellor’s do.
What was the summer’s best under-the-radar festival? We’d make a bid for an impromptu 250-personstrong event in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire. It’s unlikely architect? Iain Duncan Smith.
DEATH BECOMES HER COMBINING HOLLYWOOD looks with Home Counties inﬂections – surely the best way round – Lauren Cohan has come a long way from the Surrey town where she was raised. “I still don’t know if I’m American or English,” says the 32-year-old US-born actress. Her identity crisis can’t have been helped by her role as Maggie Greene in TV horror hit The Walking Dead, for which she adopts a Georgian accent while ﬁghting “walkers” (show lingo for zombies). Next up is Sylvester Stallone’s Reach Me, and after that her “psyche has asked for some lightness”. So will she return to Britain? “Nothing substitutes an English sense of humour, but American TV is so cool. I wouldn’t be anywhere other than here, but when the time comes and The Walking Dead is over...” Lauren, we’ll hold you to that. MG ● The Walking Dead series ﬁve is on Fox from 13 October. OCTOBER 2014 G 79
Photographs Rex; Harper Smith
Ed Miliband has allegedly promised Peter Hain the position of leader of the House of Lords if he gives up his safe Labour seat to a fresher face. That’s what Hain’s telling everyone, anyway.
Television bulletin! From one of the creators of Homeland comes Tyrant (think: The Godfather but in the Middle East). Rumours of ludicrous plot twists as yet unconﬁrmed. Starts this month on Fox.
1 Right move: Swapping the Smoke for a poolside palace on the White Isle is a low-cost no-brainer
s The power of three Value: £3m Swap: A two-bed Chelsea pied-à-terre. For: A trio of crash pads: a one-bed (1) Williamsburg warehouse apartment (£1m); a (2) two-bed central Madrid ﬂat (£1m); and a (3) condo plot in the Bahamas (£1m). Extra space? 529 per cent. The upgrade: Indulge a fantasy to build up your own global property portfolio. How about a Brooklyn duplex with exposed brick walls, a sleek Madrid apartment with a decked suntrap of a balcony and a plot of land in the Bahamas to build your own fourbed condo? corcoran.com (Williamsburg). knightfrank.com (Madrid and Bahamas) 1
s Island life Value: £1.5m Swap: A twobed Shoreditch warehouse. For: A four-bed (plus obligatory sofa/pool lounger/ ad hoc sleeping facilities) Ibiza villa with a shared pool. A rare opportunity to combine partying with a smart ﬁnancial decision. New year-round ﬂights to Ibiza from City airport and rock-bottom Spanish property prices make the island a great investment option. Extra space? There’s not much in it. But! The villa is 500 metres from one of Ibiza’s most beautiful secluded coves. Watch: The sun set over the mountains from your personal poolside chillout area. knightfrank.com
THE GREAT ESCAPE STARTS NOW Spiralling prices, sealed bids, monstrous group viewings – it’s enough to make you give up on buying in the capital altogether. In fact, what if you were to do just that? Here’s how you can upgrade by buying abroad...
t Into Africa Budget: £350,000 Swap: A two-bed Victorian terrace in Sydenham. For: A four-bed, 17th-century riad in Marrakech with a 21st-century design brief that still maintains
its traditional courtyard, roofterrace dining area and library. Extra space? 367 per cent. Coolest feature: The luxurious hamamm-inspired bathrooms. chic-marrakech.com
s The ultimate package Value: £6m Swap: A three-bed Pimlico townhouse. For: Year-round revelry with a (1) Rio de Janeiro penthouse (£3.3m), a (2) vintage Miami beach apartment (£1.7m) and an (3) Alpine ski chalet (£1m). Extra space? 233 per cent. The upgrade: A four-bed Rio penthouse with a roof deck for 360-degree views? Check. A Four Seasons-serviced Thirties apartment with ﬂoor-to-ceiling glass windows on Miami Beach? Do it. A three-bed ski-in, ski-out chalet in Courchevel? Why not. To recap, that’s nine bedrooms (plus two beaches and a mountain) for the price of three. Emily Wright indigoinvest.com (Rio). thesurfclub.com (Miami). knightfrank.com (Courchevel)
s A room with a view Budget: £1m Swap: A two-bed ﬂat in Highgate Village. For: A four-bedroom, sun-soaked Tuscan farmhouse on ﬁve hectares plus a pool. With a mix of rustic Italiano (alfresco dining, original chestnut wood beams) and reassuring updates (new wiring, fast-speed Wi-Fi), all you have to bring is la dolce vita. Extra space? 207 per cent. Maximise your investment: Under-ﬂoor heating will aid the transition from summer haven to winter hideaway. winkworth.co.uk 84 G OCTOBER 2014
#BeAnOriginal | originalpenguin.co.uk
ABSOLUTELY PHABULOUS Vertu’s new Ti ‘phablet’ combines functionality and brooding beauty for the ultimate luxury (big) pocket portal. Don’t take our word for it – just ask the editor...
AT FIRST I didn’t understand why I needed a mobile phone the size of Wiltshire. I had been perfectly happy with the combination of my iPhone and my BlackBerry, and wasn’t sure I wanted to trade them in for something that looked like a Buck Rogers Thunderﬁghter. How wrong I was. Mobile phones get larger every day, and the phablet (noun: a smartphone with a screen halfway between the size of a smartphone and a tablet) is quickly becoming the handheld device of choice. Not only do they offer a bigger screen for surﬁng, they also allow you to watch movies (actually, TV box sets) on the go. Sure, you need a sturdier jacket to carry them in, or maybe even a manbag or two, but this is the way the market is going. Even so, when my Vertu Ti arrived in the ofﬁce it was seriously imposing, landing on my desk in a big black box that looked as though it could have contained the Death Star. But when I opened it, the beautiful black Ti popped out like a luxury egg, fully formed, fully charged and ready to go. I didn’t warm to it immediately, as I needed to get used to the functionality, the intuitive nature of the icons and the way in which all the apps were displayed. But after a while I started to lose myself in it, wandering around the screen as though it were the internet itself. I particularly enjoyed the Vertu Life facility, which offers you exclusive access to events all over the world. No, I didn’t especially need to know that I could have a complimentary spa treatment at John Masters Organics in Hong Kong, but there was so much else on offer that I started to make notes of the various offers available, and intended to use them on a multi-destination trip to Asia next month. I’ve even started to get phone calls from the Vertu Concierge service, making sure I’m happy with my new piece of kit. It certainly beats getting cold calls from insurance companies. So, if you want a new luxury mobile phone – call it a smartphone, call it a phablet, call it what you will – then look no further than the Vertu Ti. It’s like a whole new world. Or at least a whole new Wiltshire. Dylan Jones Vertu Ti, from £6,700. vertu.com 86 G OCTOBER 2014
Desk job: Editor Dylan Jones browses the GQ website Suit, £500. Shirt, £129. Tie, £75. Watch, £350. All by Boss. hugoboss.com
Theatre bulletin! Selﬁe, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre this month. Shame they didn’t tap into the trend before the backlash began...
Politics bulletin! Usually Labour’s is the last party conference of the season – but this year it’s the Lib Dems’, starting on 4 October. Why? Word is that the organisers didn’t realise that their original date clashed with the Scottish referendum and had to urgently reschedule. Face palm!
Photograph Rhys Frampton
‘After a while I started to lose myself in it, wandering around the screen as though it were the internet itself ’ OCTOBER 2014 G 87
Literary bulletin! Chile’s answer to WG Sebald, Roberto Bolaño, might have been best known for his novels but The Secret Of Evil (Picador, £16.99) is an unmissable posthumous collection of short stories. Out on 11 September.
THE DESTINY HYPE CHART Move over Halo. Developer Bungie’s new behemoth has arrived. GQ tracks its quest to your console... Behind Halo – the video game for video gamers – there’s a developer called Bungie. And for more than a decade, that was the only title it made. But since 2009 the rumour mill has been on overdrive about a new Bungie project, Destiny – and every leak has provoked a storm of speculation. The game ﬁnally lands this month; here’s what the fans went through to get here... The game’s budget is said to be $500m. Bungie releases a Destiny documentary calling it “a bold new action game, set in a living world”. Bungie says the audio work was already complete. Bungie ﬁres celebrated in-house composer Martin O’Donnell. Destiny gets a T (“Teen”) as opposed to the M (“Mature”) rating. 4,638,937 fans play the Beta version; more than the whole population of New Zealand. CB
LIVE FROM THE GQ COMEDY CLUB! GQ’s Comedy Editor James Mullinger presents a haul of gags for whenever there’s a lull in the conversation...
Poster on a wall in Halo 3: ODST reads “Destiny Awaits”.
Bungie says Destiny will be a massively multiplayer action game.
LA Times publishes a contract showing plans for four Destiny games.
Bungie says this was a joke. September ’09 Date September ’14
At the end of a long week, a man leaves the office but – rather than going home to his wife – he meets up with friends and spends the weekend on a hunting trip. He ﬁnally gets home on the Sunday and his wife is furio us. They start to row; it lasts for what seems like hours. Finally, his wife says, “How would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?” “That would be ﬁne with me,” the husband replies. So Monday goes by and he doesn’t see his
wife. Tuesday and Wednesday come and go in just the same way. Then, on Thursday, the swelling goes down enough for him to see her out of the corner of his eye. “President Obama is sending a couple hundred troops to Iraq. We spent six years trying to ﬁgure a way to get out of Iraq. And now we’re back. But this time there is an exit strategy. Barack Obama has an exit strategy. In 2016, he’s gone.” David Letterman “Soccer is one of those things that
the rest of the world cares more about than we do – you know, like healthcare, education and gun control.” David Letterman “President Obama said that he is a fun dad who teeters on the edge of embarrassing his kids. Because nothing says you’re a fun dad like saying you’re a fun dad.” Jimmy Fallon Patient: “Doctor, doctor. I’ve come out in spots like cherries on a cake.” Doctor: “Ah, you must have analogy.”
A micro almanac of tracks that everyone should hear this month (from five records that actually matter) FROM DEBUTANTS with nothing to lose to returning acts with something to prove, September is replete with vital records. Here’s our rundown of what to download and when... 88 G OCTOBER 2014
08 SEPTEMBER “All the Rage Back Home” Taken from El Pintor by Interpol New York’s backroom miserabilists return with a reinvigorated love for delay-laden guitar sounds.
09 SEPTEMBER “Goddess” Taken from Goddess by Banks The much-vaunted Los Angeleno releases a debut that’s spent a year fermenting in the hype machine. Dark, mournful pop.
09 SEPTEMBER “Never Work For Free” Taken from Ritual In Repeat by Tennis A brilliant, synthy tune that you might think was by their touring partners from last spring, Haim.
22 SEPTEMBER “Left Hand Free” Taken from This is All Yours by Alt-J The Mercury Music Prize winners lost a guitarist after their previous run out, but are back to show that they can last the distance.
29 SEPTEMBER “One Lost Year” Taken from V for Vaselines By The Vaselines A standout turn on an album including collaborations with Belle & Sebastian and Teenage Fanclub. Joe Daniels
Photograph Getty Images
W W W. FA R A H .C O.U K
BOXPARK — Shoreditch | EARLHAM STREET — Covent Garden
Dance bulletin! First they took over TV – now Norway is invading music. Nico & Vinz, Axident, Ylvis... all of them are dominating the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad for a nation of ﬁve million people.
OCTOBER 1 6 - 1 7, 2 0 1 4 BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW WIRED.CO.UK/ 1 4 WIRED2014, our two-day event packed with disruptive thinking and radical ideas, will gather more than 40 speakers to bring the WIRED world to life. Be there and discover the future as it happens. Newly confirmed speakers include: Anne Wojcicki CEO & cofounder, 23andMe
High circles: Druzhba Sanatorium in Yalta, Ukraine, built in 1984, photographed by Frédéric Chaubin
Eric Ladizinsky Cofounder & chief scientist, D-Wave Systems
23andMe provides rapid genetic testing for people curious about their genetic make-up.
Ladizinsky builds the world’s fastest supercomputers and quantum processors.
SPACIAL AWARENESS A new lens on remarkable buildings THERE’S A double surprise on every page of Shooting Space: ﬁrst, the extraordinary architecture itself (whether that’s a brutalist icon, an autocrat’s folly or a manufactured landscape), but secondly – and more importantly – the person who photographed it. Many of the images come courtesy of artists that you’d never normally associate with buildings at all. Take Annie Leibovitz, the portraitist-in-chief of Hollywood royalty (and, indeed, actual royalty): it’s easy to forget the work she did recording the construction of the New York Times Building – a striking homage to Lewis Hine’s shots of the Empire State as a work in progress. Then there’s fashion photographer Frédéric Chaubin’s images of unworldly Soviet structures (above) that were thrown up in the USSR’s dying days, or the portraitist Nadav Kander’s eerie images of China’s rapid modernisation. This is the world you thought you knew – but glanced from one degree left of centre. CB Shooting Space by Elias Redstone (Phaidon, £49.95) is out in October.
Sam Bompas Founder, Bompas & Parr
Esther Dyson Founder, HICCup & The Way to Wellville
Photograph Frédéric Chaubin
Design studio Bompas & Parr specialises in flavour-based experiences, food research and design.
Intellectual, investor and trained cosmonaut, Dyson now focuses on community health.
Amber Le Bon
92 G OCTOBER 2014 Nicola Roberts Jimmy Q Katie Eary Jonathan Saunders Lou Dalton and Justin Haigh Clara Paget Marina Diamandis
Ben Cook, Max Lousada, Miles Leonard and Dan Chalmers
GQ co-hosted the annual Warner Music summer party, taking to the roof of Londonâ€™s Shoreditch House to enjoy the sounds of the season with superstar fashion designers, Hollywood A listers and popâ€™s ever-ready hellraisers.
Harriet Verney, Charlie Casely-Hayford and Phoebe Collings-James
Lilah Parsons, Calvin Morris and Diona Ciobanu Taylor Fowlis
Kit Neale and Caspar Hodgson
Alistair Guy and Adrien Sauvage
Sam Cotton and Agi Mdumulla
Photographs James Mason; Rex
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
YOU WANT WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU WANT IT FOREVER Is it better to burn out than fade away? Mick Jagger refuses to do either. After a lifetime of womanising, he sees no point repenting now. No sympathy for this devil, please – we should be celebrating a new breed of old men How should a man get older? When does the good
life bow graciously aside for the quiet life? When have you had enough meaningless sex with inappropriate strangers? When do you put down that spliff and put on those slippers? Thirty? Forty? Never? Should we cling desperately to our youth or gladly wave it goodbye? Exactly when do we stop putting it about and start putting it away? “You get about ten years and you stop,” Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography. “You take your medal and retire.” Keith was talking about heroin, but he could have been writing about any addiction known to man: alcohol, cocaine or online poker. It could be whatever ﬂoats your boat and fries your bacon. For most men, the abiding addiction of a lifetime is women. “You’re climbing the walls, shitting yourself, going bananas,” wrote Keith – and haven’t we all had dates like that? Men change their ways because the price of the things we love – the addictions that consume us – becomes too high to pay. The hangovers. The comedowns. The broken relationships and bad debts and teardrops on the dance ﬂoor. It is true of drugs, and it is true of alcohol, and it is true of gambling, and it is especially true of recreational sex. Most men get older exactly like Keith Richards – we give up a certain way of life when it is no longer worth the effort. We change our ways. Our obsessions start to drag us down. And so we leave them behind. But wouldn’t you rather get old like Mick Jagger? Eleven weeks after the suicide of L’Wren Scott,
Jagger – one month shy of his 71st birthday – was snapped sharing his Zurich hotel balcony with someone the papers called a “mystery brunette decades his junior”. Forty-three years his junior, to be exact – for the mystery brunette turned out to be an American ballet dancer called Melanie Hamrick, 27 – easily young enough to be Mick’s granddaughter and almost young enough to be his next wife. What many people found shocking was that Jagger had clearly been devastated by L’Wren’s suicide. “I fail to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way,” he said in a statement. Many sympathetic commentators remarked that
Mick Jagger outraged the world in the Sixties, and now he was outraging the world in his seventies
his face was “etched with grief”, although in fact his face always looks like that. L’Wren killed herself in March but, by June, Jagger was bouncing back big time. The world was shocked – and not because it didn’t think he could wait that long. Then the world was disgusted. He received an avalanche of abuse for getting back into the dating game when he should still be in mourning (and possibly a Zimmer frame). “And some people wonder why L’Wren was so depressed,“ sneered L’Wren’s sister Jan. “[Mick’s] daughter says that he is still heartbroken and so devastated about losing my sister and then you see these photos – he will never change.” She was far from Jagger’s only critic. When I tapped “Mick Jagger misogynist” into Google it came up with 180,000 results in just under a second. The mockery was scathing, with more than one commentator suggesting that the mystery brunette “looks like a carer in a nursing home”. Had Jagger strayed into Hugh Hefner and Peter Stringfellow territory? No, this felt like something other than a rich old man with a prized sexual trophy gripping his walking stick. This felt like something the world had never really seen before. A new way for a man to grow old. For by the time the Zurich photos were in the public domain, Mick had already moved on. A “source close to the band” told the Mail On Sunday, “The girl in Zurich was just a brief ﬂing but she isn’t the ﬁrst and won’t be the last. Mick is like an old dog who can’t be taught new tricks. He knows no other way. I’m not sure what the girl in Zurich thinks but she is a goner.” A goner! And it was exactly that attitude that infuriated Jagger’s many female critics. He wasn’t attempting to mend his shattered heart in the arms of another. Seventy-year-old men just want to have fun. Jagger outraged the world in the Sixties, and now he was outraging the world in his seventies. He once presented a brand new way of being a young man and now – incredibly – he was presenting a brand new way of being an old man. How do we change? Mick Jagger seemed to suggest – we don’t. What was undeniable was that this elderly gentleman – father to seven children, grandfather to OCTOBER 2014 G 95
Illustration Piotr Lesniak
FIGHT OR FLIGHT ﬁve, great-grandfather to one (Jade Jagger’s new baby granddaughter) – was causing more sexual controversy than all of One Direction combined. But what’s so great about staying young forever?
Being young is tough. Most of us are happy to leave the ﬁrst ﬂush of youth behind – to reach that tipping point when you are not trying to have sex with strangers, but actively trying to avoid having sex with strangers. For most men, life gets better as we get older. You ﬁnally have some money. You have settled into your career ﬂight path. You have a greater sense of self. And you are much more content, for it is never old men who feel that their life is slipping by, it is always young men. For most men, 30 is around the time when we start to get it right. You make better choices about everything – work, sex, where you put your energies, where you stick your penis, what you put into your body. You ﬁnd yourself in a more fulﬁlling job, living in a better place, going to sleep next to a more loving and beautiful woman. And suddenly you have more to lose – and that makes you pause and think before you covet your neighbour’s wife or honk up that half a gram of cocaine or get into a ﬁght in the ofﬁce. At 30 you realise – in the end, all men must sit down to a banquet of consequences. Whatever you have done in the past – binge drinking, illegal chemicals, sex in cars, getting into ﬁghts you could have avoided – you have started to put it behind you by the time you hit 30. From Keith Richards’ autobiography, it is clear that he was keen to get his heroin addiction behind him by the time he was in his early thirties. Smack was getting old. He did not want to die or to be a 40-year-old junkie. But Mick Jagger still shows absolutely no inclination to ever change his ways. “Some men drown their sorrows in drink,” said a friend. “Mick doesn’t drink much but he drowns his sorrows in women.” Women will not kill you as quickly as drugs or drink. But promiscuity inﬂicts its own collateral damage on betrayed lovers. In many ways Jagger is a true family man – adored by his kids, on friendly terms with his old partners. But Jagger has never been tamed by marriage and family. The quiet joys of hearth and home have not domesticated him. “He’s wonderfully kind and supportive,” Jerry Hall told Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. “He just isn’t very much of a husband.” Perhaps this is the lesson men can learn from Jagger. You can’t always have it all. But – if you are willing to pay the price – you can always have what you want. “Old age should burn and rave at close of day,”
We know the alternative to getting older is not staying young. The alternative to getting older is dying
Reports suggested that the brunette on the balcony
was not the ﬁrst “date” Jagger had on the Stones’ tour. “Through the good times and bad, the thing that never changes is Mick’s love for women,” said a source close to the Stones. “Sex is like a coping mechanism for him.” “Jagger, 70, ﬁnds new love with mystery brunette after the death of L’Wren,” gasped a Daily Mail headline. But what’s love got to do with it? Nothing – and even the idiot copywriters at the Daily Mail must have known they were writing nonsense. Here was the heart of the controversy. Jagger is from the post-Pill/pre-Aids generation that believed in the glory of recreational sex, meaningless fornication free of even short-term commitment. This is Sixties sex, rock‘n’roll sex. It is not Daily Mail sex. Treating sex like a takeaway pepperoni pizza does not mean Jagger cared nothing for L’Wren Scott. It does mean that women remain central to his life – his abiding obsession, his greatest interest, his favourite waste of time. Jagger may be a great-grandfather, but he is not the kind to lock himself in a darkened room – not unless the darkened room has a mystery brunette in it. Even rock stars get old. And there is an honour and
wrote Dylan Thomas. “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Yes, but does that include sleeping with women who are 43 years your junior? Or is that a rage too far? As the father of a daughter, I understand the widespread nausea. No dad wants to see his daughter with a man old enough to be her grandfather. But Jagger deserves enormous credit for showing us that being old is not the same as being dead, and for proving that getting old is not the same as getting neutered. When does the sap stop rising? Mick Jagger suggests – it doesn’t. You want what you want. And you want it forever. 96 G OCTOBER 2014
nobility in letting the past go, in waving goodbye to the wild years, in embracing the now. “What’s the point?” Robert Plant has said of a Led Zeppelin reunion. Plant speaks eloquently, and lovingly, of his old band: “Quite wonderful, an exercise in imagination and vigour, the work of young men.” And yet he has no interest in reunions, in dressing mutton up as lamb, in living in the past. Yet there is something undeniably reassuring in seeing Mick Jagger sow his seventy-something oats, because it makes time feel as if it is not passing. There was a joyous exultation in the comments of all those “friends” and “sources” who were glad to see Mick back in the saddle, as if by seeing Jagger with dancers in their twenties we could all convince ourselves that we are not closer to the grave with every passing day. Jagger embodies the impossible dream of rock music – eternal youth. In our hearts we all know that the alternative to getting older is not staying young. The alternative to getting older is dying. Yet, we must ask, is it possible to grow up without giving up? Jagger gets called an “eternal teenager”. It’s not meant as a compliment. But he is not really an eternal teenager at all – he is a new breed of old man, a kind the world has never seen before, a product of a special time and place in history, as distant from the rest of us as the D-Day veterans and the fallen of the Somme. And like those veterans of the great wars of the 20th century, men look at Jagger with a mixture of nostalgia and admiration and awe. They can call him all the dirty names in the Daily Mail thesaurus – and they do. But Mick Jagger proves that there is more than one way for a man to grow old. The other great rock stars have all become uncontroversial national treasures, as cosy and reassuring as the Queen Mum. Mick might have a knighthood but it is Keith (who was scathing about Jagger accepting his gong) who is the establishment ﬁgure – truly beloved, the man who repented his wicked past. And we all glimpse the reformed, better men we are in Keith but in Jagger we see the man we would quite like to be. The man who has the nerve to never change.
The winner of
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HOW NOT TO... ...get older Forget trying to act younger – try forgetting your age entirely. The trick to holding back the years is to embrace the present. After all, it’s always downhill from where you are...
t’s a few weeks ago, after a wedding, and I’m in the back of a moving car. Properly the back; the hatch bit where the parcel shelf ought to be, because it’s late, and there aren’t any taxis round here, and I’m getting a lift. There’s another guy squatting in here with me, too, and he looks about my age. The corners are pretty squashy, sure, but we are only laughing. For we are young. After a while, when we hit a patch of straight, I ask him how he knows the groom. “Through him,” he says, nodding at another guy I know – again, of about my age – in the seat in front of us. “And how do you know him?” I ask. “He’s my dad,” he says. This sort of thing keeps happening to me. When you get to be about my age, the whole concept of “about my age” suddenly gets incredibly broad. It’s anything between puberty and middle age. Sometimes I feel I’m only now coming up for air after a ﬁve-year window in which I had a pair of kids and waited for them to turn into roughly rational beings. And yet, even though it was only ﬁve years, I seem to be a completely different sort of thing from the sort of thing I was when I went under. At work, I’ve started realising that younger colleagues don’t draw much distinction between me and anybody up to 50. Older colleagues, who used to comment on how much younger than them I was – resentfully, and thus pleasingly – no longer do, even though the age gap between us hasn’t diminished. I’m just some guy. I’m bang on “that bloke” age. I’m nothing. 98 G OCTOBER 2014
Other people see it. I see that they see it. At Glastonbury last year, for example, my friend did a pee in a cup. Look, it wasn’t unreasonable; the Rolling Stones were on and the toilets were 70,000 people away. Only, he then poured the cup on the ﬂoor and it sort of went on this girl’s foot, a bit. She turned around in a fury to shout at us, which wasn’t unreasonable either, but the way she did it has haunted me ever since. It wasn’t like you shout at two young scamps larging it. No. It was more like how you shout at an old tramp, perhaps dressed as Santa, who has shat in your driveway. It was. It was like that. Actually it was worse, because then some bystander passed me a joint which I proffered to her as a peace offering, only for her to say, “No!” and then, “Ugh!” and then – and this was bad – “Aren’t you Hugo Rifkind?” To which I said, “No! Who?” but perhaps unconvincingly, because she responded, “But that’s what it says on
Generation gap: The truly young draw little distinction between a 30-year-old and a man in his ﬁfties
O Hugo Rifkind is a writer for the Times.
Illustration Stephen Vuillemin
the press pass around your neck” and then she added, “and we met last year when I was doing work experience at your newspaper.” And all I could do was stare at her, like Jeremy Paxman caught in a kindergarten with a crack pipe, wondering who it was that I’d become. It messes with your identity, age. It really does. The classic midlife crisis, I now realise, probably isn’t about wilfully not acting your age. It’s about not knowing how to, because you haven’t been concentrating for 20 years. The 55-year-old who buys a red sports car, for example, probably doesn’t want one then any more than he did at 19. He may very well want one slightly less. But he’s suddenly hit a point where his ﬁnances can match his desires and he hasn’t yet clicked that his desires ought to have moved on to cottages in the Cotswolds and tickets to Glyndebourne. I would never be that man, not least because I can’t ever so much as look at a sports car without imagining myself crunching it into a bollard. Sometimes, though, I do worry that I am failing to engender in myself the sorts of interests that will allow any sort of dignity 20 years hence. Sometimes, though, I really don’t. Sometimes I think to myself, “Hang on. Hang on, and pull yourself together.” Embrace the now. That’s the trick. For you will never again be younger, even if you once were. You will never look better than now, even if you once did. And to be three years shy of 40, with still-rich hair, and skin that doesn’t yet wholly sag, and a pair of delighted kids who shriek my name when I step through the door, and with the whole glorious ﬂuidity of experience between younger and older, all at my ﬁngertips, all at once... well, that’ll do. It’ll better than do. And one day, I’ll miss it all, with a passion that borders on pain.
Online store www.richardjames.co.uk Shop +44 (0)207 434 0605 Bespoke +44 (0)207 287 9645
E D I T E D BY
THE VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY Twenty-ﬁve years after Land Rover’s ﬁrst Discovery, the new Sport SUV blends the classic engineering you would expect with a reﬁned design you might not, says Jason Barlow
The beauty of brutalism: The Sport hopes to take a major slice of the projected 20 million SUV worldwide sales by 2020
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CARS WE START with Gerry McGovern. McGovern is Land Rover’s design director, a detail fanatic, and a man with an acute personal aesthetic. Woe betide if you arrive for a meeting wearing the wrong shoes, wristwatch or an ill-managed tie. McGovern will notice, and he will comment. But his advice may be worth listening to. He’s also a car designer who understands the bigger picture. It probably helps that he’s not a petrol-head per se, and is just as happy discussing modernist architect Richard Neutra, contemporary British art, or stainless-steel cutlery. This matters when it comes to a brand like Land Rover, because these are cars – vehicles – with a job to do, way beyond being accessories or entertainments. Track Land Rover’s evolution over the past decade or so, though, and it’s clear that its increasing commercial success has coincided with the elevation of design as the key differentiator. Respectful as he is of 1989’s ﬁrst-generation Discovery, McGovern smiles when it appears on the screen in his ofﬁce. (Eames chair? Tick.) “I’m not sure a designer ever went near that,” he says. Twenty-ﬁve years later, Land Rover is part-way through a meticulously plotted journey, with a set of values ﬂowing from its core luxury/ leisure/dual-purpose mission statement as the world prepares to buy 20 million SUVs by 2020. There is much to play for. “There was no Apple or awareness of it or its ilk among the previous generation,” McGovern says. “Design was treated as a secondary consideration. Now it’s at the heart of everything we do.” Emerging from the wreckage of the nationalised British car industry, Land Rover has since passed through BMW and Ford ownership. The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport established a sub-brand as smoothly upholstered as Bryan Ferry’s tonsils, capable of scaling mountains and sold in almost all of the world’s 196 or so countries. The smaller Evoque prised open a new niche, and has become as globally ubiquitous a symbol of desire as Kate Moss. That’s Range Rover. Land Rover has a different set of signiﬁers. The Discovery has morphed from its anti-design origins into something almost structuralist – “Someone described it as brutalist, like the South Bank,” McGovern says – and latterly a less polarising premium proposition. It’s also arguably the most capable all-rounder on sale. Now, Land Rover is readying the Discovery Sport, the ﬁrst in a whole new volley of models – it’s smaller, reasserts LR’s utilitarian roots without reintroducing manual window winders, and ushers in a new chapter in the McGovern-led
‘Design was once treated as SECONDARY. Now it’s at the HEART of everything we do’
CARS design epiphany. Other Discoverys will follow, each with a different remit but clearly related. The compact SUV is now the de facto family car, so there’s a limit to how far designers can really stretch out. Stance, balanced proportions and full volumes are all critical factors in car design, but antithetical when it comes to a shrunken utility vehicle. The Discovery Sport dodges a fair few bullets: castellated black surrounds on the wheel arches help the body-to-wheel relationship, the rising belt line adds a sense of drama, and the tapered “glasshouse” draws the eye in and down. In other words, it looks sporty. This isn’t an easy thing to pull off. Its exterior design was overseen by an Italian called Massimo Frascella. “This is the ﬁrst compact Discovery, so it has to offer all the versatility that the car is known for,” he says. “But our desire is to get ever more precise with the individual design elements. The windscreen has a faster proﬁle, and there’s reverse rake on the C-pillar and rear window. The back of the car is wider, so it looks really planted.” GQ is the ﬁrst outsider to see the new car, a scenario that’s freighted with equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation. But two things stand out: the sheer amount of effort that goes into the process, and the inherent rightness of the end product. Remember, this thing has to satisfy a whole heap of legislative demands, the design department is in a constant battle with the engineering one, and the overall development cost makes a Hollywood blockbuster look like a YouTube bedroom viral. There are new engines, a clever new multilink rear suspension promises to transform the on-road driving experience, and because it’s a Land Rover, off-road ability is paramount. But actually it’s the Discovery Sport’s interior that might be its most persuasive USP. Despite its compact size, there are three rows of seats, the second,
The overall development COST of the Sport makes a HOLLYWOOD blockbuster look like a YouTube bedroom VIRAL
New order: Gerry McGovern (inset) has developed the Discovery Sport to meet the aspirations of a more design-conscious generation. Despite its diminutive size, inside the Sport packs in three rows of seats
a sliding row, is integrated into a raised base for a “stadium” effect, the third folding away into the boot when not in use. All three rows get USB connectivity, audio feeds and an optional chiller. (There are no cheap seats in here.) The dash architecture is simple, with chunky rotary dials and analogue instruments rather than a fashionable TFT screen. The functionality suits it. Note, however, that the insert on this preview model’s seats is inspired by the detailing on McGovern’s prized Patek Philippe. Detail, you see. Although the man himself phrases it slightly differently. “It’s my job to be a pain in the arse,” he says. landrover.com OCTOBER 2014 G 107
AUTUMN WINTER 2014
TIGER OF SWEDEN EST 1903
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purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Model shown is a Maserati Ghibli S at £71,172 On The Road including optional mica paint at £660, 20” Urano design alloy wheels at £1,960, Silver brake callipers at £432, fine grain extended leather interior at £2,650 and carbon fibre trim at £1,710.
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E D I T E D BY
BILL PRINCE & PAUL HENDERSON
The CLUB UB
MIND O “I had to get broken down from being this narrow-minded individual to being able to express my feelings about food. People ask how I do what I do. It just happens now. I know my ﬂavours, I know what I like to see on the plate, and I put it together. ”
LISTENING O “Sound and communication comes ﬁrst in the kitchen. I can run mine with my back to [the brigade]. You know who’s who and you know when someone’s not responded to your command.”
Three’s company: Marcus Wareing’s Tredwell’s – open this month – will be the 44-year-old’s third restaurant
O “If you want to get anywhere in this industry – simple. Just work hard. I’m not the most talented chef in the world, but I’m one of the hardest working.”
FEAR O “My driving force as a young chef was the fear of failure. The fear of being beaten. The fear that my tiredness would overcome my strength.”
H A R D WO R K
The main ingredient What separates a mere mortal from a man who can command a two-Michelin-starred kitchen? GQ asks Marcus Wareing, chef patron at Marcus at the Berkeley hotel and owner of the Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance London hotel – and the new Tredwell’s in Covent Garden – to count the ways.
O “We always went into service starving hungry – your stomach was rumbling and you’d be half asleep but alive with adrenaline on an empty tank. How do you keep going? It’s because we love it.”
RESILIENCE O “I have got thick skin. It wasn’t always like that – it got tougher as the years went by, but that’s just part of the training. It’s mentally and physically tiring, but your skin needs to be thick so you can deal with it.”
Photograph Nick Wilson
O “In the early days, the feeling of a chef is complete exhaustion. It’s waking up after your ﬁve-hour sleep and coming into work and doing it again and again, getting a kicking as you’re going through. But tiredness is just a feeling.”
E N E RGY
OCTOBER 2014 G 113
Drawing interest (clockwise from above): A sketch of the Tredwell’s interior; salmon with cauliﬂower and chilli; pickled mushrooms with tarragon and ricotta; a plan for Tredwell’s basement dining area
Master chef: Marcus Wareing says of the Tredwell’s menu, ‘I want it to be a surprise; I hate giving too much away’
redwell’s, 4a Upper St Martins Lane, T London WC2. tredwells7dials.com
“Tredwell was very proper, and did things the right way,” he says of the Christie character. “And I wanted to be behind the scenes at Tredwell’s, this serious guy who’s investing into this restaurant. But at the front, it will be something a bit different.” Following his rebranding of his Berkeley hotel restaurant as Marcus (now as assuredly mononymous as Tredwell himself) in March, Wareing is taking his next cool side-step from the high end on to the high 114 G OCTOBER 2014
Photographs Rob Angell Design International; Nick Wilson
There’s a deft and capable butler, Tredwell, in Agatha Christie’s 1929 detective novel The Seven Dials Mystery, inconspicuously running a household with seasoned élan. Given the Seven Dials location of the latest restaurant opening in London’s Covent Garden, and the fact the man responsible, Marcus Wareing, will remain backstage in this particular project, its name – yes, Tredwell’s – is particularly apt.
street: he says the new restaurant will be a relaxed affair set over three ﬂoors, with Andrew Ward of Wandsworth’s Michelin-starred Chez Bruce as head chef. Wareing remains resolutely enigmatic on the speciﬁcs of the food – “I want it to be a surprise; I hate giving too much away” – but diners are promised a 40 or 50-dish menu of “modern British food with global inﬂuences” including Indian, American and even Australian, lots of sharing plates and two late-licence bars. And it’s not just the Wareing brand branching out. The chef himself is joining the judging team of BBC Two’s Masterchef: The Professionals this autumn, replacing Michel Roux Jr. He’s long been wary of television (“I’ve always been cast as a cold, hard, direct, say-it-like-it-is character. I was getting a bit tired of it, as there are two sides”) but in this case, “I didn’t look for television. It got me. Out of all the TV shows, I always said that Masterchef would be the one I would do. I just happened to be there at the right time.” Wareing can also add “consultant chef” to his CV, following his work on food movie Adam Jones, which is being ﬁlmed in London. The stars, Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, have visited him at Marcus to observe him in action. “I’m not teaching them how to cook. I’m teaching them how to be a cook,” says Wareing. “But I have so much to learn from these people [in the ﬁlm industry], too – the way they work, the way they think. With all that experience I can bring it into my restaurants and be a better manager of a kitchen and a better people person. That’s all I want to be,” he adds, with a dash of Tredwellian modesty. Jennifer Bradly
TASTE THE ROUNDUP The real Savoy: The Moonwalk was ﬁrst concocted at London’s Savoy Hotel in 1969
Forget the kebab… Three new Middle Eastern restaurants
Arabica Bar & Kitchen 3 Rochester Walk, London SE1. arabicabarandkitchen.com
The Palomar 34 Rupert Street, London W1. thepalomar.co.uk
Dindin Kitchen 52 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1. dindinkitchen.com
The set-up: Making it worth braving Borough Market’s hungry tourists, Arabica offers Levantine favourites alongside more unusual specialities from the “charcoal” and “raw” sections of the menu. Eat this: Hummus with Herdwick lamb ﬁllet (£6.50) and rare beef and bone marrow kofta (£10). Drink that: Mount Horrocks 2011 Watervale Semillon (£46 ).
The set-up: Bringing the ﬂavours of modern Jerusalem to Soho, eating here is like crashing an exclusive yet jolly party. Tuck yourself on to a glossy leather banquette and get stuck into the well-stocked bar. Eat this: Polenta “Jerusalem style” (£5 ) then the distinctly non-kosher pork-belly tagine (£13 ). Drink that: An Adonis – manzanilla sherry, Antica Formula and orange bitters (£7 ).
The set-up: This Persian fast-food joint in London’s legal district is a lunch haven; the aromas are enough to tempt even the most hard-working lawyers away from their desks. Eat this: The Executive Lunch (£9.50) which includes beef falafel, a herb soufflé and a walnut salad. Drink that: A Super Blue juice – blueberry, kale, beetroot, spinach, blackberry & apple (£2.89). Amy Matthews
THE BARTENDER Silver linings: The David Collins Studio-designed Connaught Bar, adorned with metallic silverleafed oak panels
Agostino Perrone at The Connaught Bar Describe your current bar: Designed by David Collins Studio, The Connaught Bar is intimate and glamorous with a really decadent atmosphere. The metallic silverleafed oak panels with velvet and leather furniture make it feel timeless and modern at the same time. The focal point is the bar itself which takes up one end of the room and is famous for serving up the ﬁnest cocktail bar traditions of the past, coupled with new ideas and innovations for the future. What is the key to making a great cocktail: Following your instinct is so important and that’s when you learn most. Research is also invaluable, understanding the cocktails, their history and why the ingredients make sense. What is your bartending philosophy? I have a saying: “It doesn’t matter what you do, but how you do it.” That is the way I work behind a bar. PH
Try Agostino’s The Moonwalk Ingredients O 25ml Grand Marnier O 25ml grapefruit juice O 4 drops rose-water O 100ml champagne Method O Shake all the ingredients (except the champagne) with ice. Strain into a chilled flute and top up with the champagne.
Photographs Romas Foord; Rebecca Nean
THE MOONWALK One of London’s most classic cocktails, this was conceived by Joe Gilmore, head barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, in 1969 to commemorate the ﬁrst moon landing. Legend has it that it was the ﬁrst drink that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin enjoyed on returning to earth, making it the ultimate celebration cocktail.
O The Connaught Bar at The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, London W1. 020 7499 7070, the-connaught.co.uk
OCTOBER 2014 G 117
TASTE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Abergavenny Train Time Walk
London Paddington to Abergavenny, from £50 (one way)
From two hours ten minutes (thetrainline.com)
The train station to the town centre takes just 12 minutes
Fig Tree Espresso’s shakes with apricot bakewell and tropical carrot cake
Food festivals are a serious business: there are at least six in the UK this month alone. But if you set aside just one weekend, it should be for the celebration of craft food and culinary heavy-hitters in Abergavenny (20-21 September. abergavenny foodfestival.com), headlined by Moro’s Sam and Sam Clark. After all, there’s a reason food lovers ﬂock here all year round…
The Walnut Tree Inn (top) and its Michelinstarred dining area (above); cakes courtesy of The Angel Hotel (below)
The private-dining cellar area at The Angel Hotel (above); a double room at The Kings Arms (below)
The Kings Arms’ 16th-century low-beamed dining area (above)
For a little Welsh market town, Abergavenny’s food scene has disproportionate clout. Which came ﬁrst: the festival – launched in 1999 – or the exceptional restaurants? They now, to some extent, feed into each other, but (1) The Walnut Tree Inn in the nearby Llanddewi Skirrid (01873 852797, thewalnuttreeinn.com) ﬁrst brought ﬁne dining to Wales in the Sixties, under Franco Taruschio. In 2008, Shaun Hill took the helm, and the restaurant remains the area’s most famous – one of only three in Wales with a Michelin star. Hill’s extraordinary bill of fare is a riot: ingredients are fresh and local but the dishes span the world, and are peppered with old faithfuls (Robert Carrier’s earthy pâté aux herbes sharpened by luminous piccalilli; John Dory matched with Jansson’s Temptation). Part of Hill’s rescue package for the inn (it had closed in 2007) was his partnership with the owners of (2) The Angel Hotel (15 Cross Street. 01873 857121, angelabergavenny.com). Famous for its afternoon tea – bone china, warm scones and a 32-strong menu of teas and infusions – this is the smartest place to stay in the town centre. An alternative in-town bed can be found at (3) The King’s Arms (29 Nevill Street. 01873 855074, kingsarmsabergavenny.co.uk) – a characterful 16th-century inn with low beams, quaintly uneven ﬂoors and a very decent gastropub. Note: for a taste of hostelries before they went all gourmet, head ﬁve miles north to the 900-year-old (4) Skirrid Inn (Llanvihangel Crucorney. 01873 890258, skirridmountaininn. co.uk), the “oldest pub in Wales”.
It makes The Kings Arms look like the Boom Boom Room. There’s a new wave of independent cafés in town, such as (5) Emmeline’s Homebaking (3 Baker Street. 01873 854676) with a hearty line in wheat-free confections. And (6) Fig Tree Espresso (15 Nevill Street) is a gem (with a secret garden): 27-year-old Jessica Hannay runs the show, her boyfriend Chris Purnell concocting the carbs (try the peanut-butter blondies) behind the scenes. But for big-gun restaurants, look to the villages. There’s (7) The Foxhunter (Nant-y-derry. 01873 881101, thefoxhunter. com), headed up by Marco Pierre White-trained Matt Tebbutt. This stationmaster’s house has a farmhouse feel but a ﬁve-star menu: GQ honed in on zingy courgette risotto with broad beans. Close by is (8) Llansantffraed Court Hotel
Matt Tebbutt, head chef at The Foxhunter, gets to work (above)
Llansantffraed Court Hotel (above) and its wood pigeon with mushrooms, beetroot and hazelnut (below)
(Clytha. 01873 840678, llch.co.uk) – a country house with verdant lawns and a terrace perfect for a Sunday roast, with vegetables plucked from its walled kitchen garden. And ﬁnally, no visit would be complete without a pilgrimage to Stephen Terry’s (9) The Hardwick (Old Raglan Road. 01873 854220, thehardwick. A465 co.uk) – mainly for the menu, from the delicate 56 (panzanella salad) 3 2 to the playful Llanfoist (Hardwick Fried Chicken with three variations on sweetcorn), but also for one of the eight A4042 rooms, as superluxurious and wellﬁnished as the food. Tidy. JB
Asparagus and carpaccio at The Hardwick
E N N Y AV
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TASTE THE HOTEL
Prices start from £250 per room per night, including breakfast. Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22. 01539 438062, brimstonehotel.co.uk
You know you are staying somewhere special when your host seemingly appears out of thin air upon your arrival, correctly recognises who you are, and guides you to your parking space with a welcoming smile. Of course, it helps that she is blonde and dressed in a stylish uniform of smart jeans, white shirt and tweed waistcoat, but when even your wife is impressed you can tell they are doing something right. Billed somewhat ambitiously as a “beyond boutique” hotel, the 16-room Brimstone just outside Windermere is a year old, cost more than £3 million to build and is simply... well, stunning. From the outside it is all dark wood and even darker slate, blending into the woodland beautifully. Inside, there is no reception, but guests are offered a warm and relaxed greeting in the ﬁrst ﬂoor reading room (which is where you will also ﬁnd complimentary drinks and snacks once you have settled in). However, it is when you get to the individual apartments that Brimstone really impresses. Our mezzanine suite (inset) was modern and immaculately furnished, with a luxurious designer-sofa seating area, a ﬂatscreen smart TV (handy with an unreliable phone signal), a real ﬁreplace and minibar stocked with local Jennings beer, Langtons gin and, er, Kendal Mint Cake; up a ﬂight of stairs is the bedroom and en suite bathroom. There are neat touches galore, such as a on-the-wall mood-lighting menu pad (take your pick from “lazy” and “tinkle”, through to “sexy”) and a romantic bath hidden behind sliding doors. Best of all, though, is the balcony with its bi-fold doors that bring the great outdoors into your great indoors. If that all sounds too good to be true, sadly you’d be correct. The Brimstone is part of the four-star Langdale Estate, a time-share resort that may have once been fashionable back when time-share resorts themselves were fashionable (ask your parents). The cabins and the main building don’t quite spoil the view from your balcony, but they certainly don’t improve it. Likewise, the nicest thing you could say about the Langdale Spa is that it is probably ﬁne for timeshare residents... enough said. (A refurb is in the pipeline, but it needs to speed up.) Brimstone doesn’t have a restaurant, and you are encouraged – take the hint – to order breakfast in your room. You can eat well on the estate if you book dinner at Purdey’s restaurant, or off the reservation at the nearby Wainwrights’ Inn, but it is difﬁcult to escape the fact that nowhere at Langdale quite lives up to the Brimstone. It would be a shame if that puts you off visiting, but it would be a far greater disappointment if the owners do not bring the rest of the estate up to Brimstone’s standards. PH
THE BOTTLE Tanqueray No. Ten
Photograph Full Stop Photography
“Bathtub” gins may currently be chasing thirst-frenzied crowds of early adopters, but for every small-batch marvel, there’s a beverage that wants to play with the big boys but somehow left his ball at home. So it’s gratifying to discover one of those big boys, Diageo, freshening up one of its mainstays: Tanqueray No. Ten. Distilled an hour outside Edinburgh, Scotland, in just ten stills (hence the name) it’s less a boutique brand than a bona ﬁde classic, heavy on the zesty botanicals, and following a redesign, housed in an art deco-inspired bottle (some see an elegant cocktail shaker, others an American ﬁre hydrant). Pass on the lemon and serve over ice with a splash of grapefruit bitters, or follow the bottle’s redesign and head straight for a Martini... BP The new Tanqueray No. Ten bottle is available at Selfridges and Alexander & James, £32.58 for 70cl. tanqueray.com
Slate expectations: The exterior of Brimstone’s £3m, 16-room ‘beyond boutique’ hotel in the Lake District
OCTOBER 2014 G 121
TASTE THE CLUB
Press 47 Whitcomb Street, London WC2. 020 7930 9955, pressnightclub.co.uk
In a best-seller battle royal, this month culinary kings and cookbook behemoths Tom Kerridge and Rick Stein go head-tohead... THE BOOK
When someone tries to buy your nightclub, it’s ﬂattering. When that person is Jay-Z, it makes it one of the most buzzed-about openings of the year. Here’s a user’s guide to Press, which launches ofﬁcially this month with the goal of bringing a slice of Ibiza to London’s West End... Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes Multi-award-winning Kerridge is best known for producing traditional food and ﬂavours every bit as big and bold as his personality. “I try to make each dish as good as I can; my own, personal, ‘best ever’. And that’s what I want to share with you in this book…” Rick Stein Fish & Shellﬁsh Legendary and lovable seafood elder statesman, famous for his many TV shows and his friendly takeover of Padstow. “Fish is still my ﬁrst love, and looking back over the ﬁrst 40 years of The Seafood Restaurant I still feel the same as I did then: there’s nothing more exhilarating than fresh ﬁsh, simply cooked.” This is a ﬁsh masterclass. The last time this many aquatic species appeared together was at the opening of Davy Jones’ locker. An updated edition of his deﬁnitive Seafood recipe book. With tips and techniques alongside a series of stunning recipes from around the world, the only thing missing from this book is a ﬁshing rod. When does the crowd get going? Early birds turn up at 10.30pm but the night starts to take shape at around midnight. What’s the scene? A Mayfair overspill of cosmopolitan professionals ranging from 22-35. Music policy? Thursday night is R&B/hip hop; Friday night is house (with big-name guest DJs from September); Saturday is commercial house/R&B/pop and rock. So, where’s the Ibiza at? With a central bar made of granite and ﬁbreglass, the club has an orbital set-up much like the open air bars lining the Med. Then there’s the opulence of the vast marble, red-carpet entrance, ﬂoor to ceiling LED lights, pyrotechnics, dancers and a remote controlled hydraulic stage. Entry: £20 per person on the door. What’s the dress code? Smart’s the word. Strictly no trainers. What’s the VIP offering? A luxed-out booth with table service and an intimate place to get on down. Tables start at £1,000. Valet parking is extra. Largest extravagance behind the bar?
All the bases are covered: from starters, salads and soups through to ﬁsh and meat main courses and puddings. If you liked the hugely successful Proper Pub Food, you will love this follow-up. Kerridge keeps things simple and tasty, creating dishes any home cook would feel conﬁdent taking on. Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes (Absolute Press, £25) features more than 100 recipes.
Rick Stein Fish & Shellﬁsh (BBC Books, £25) includes 120 recipes.
A 30-litre Midas Ace Of Spades champagne bottle priced at just under £200,000. Open: 10.30pm – 3.00am, Thursday to Saturday. Alice Howarth Photograph Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
The Olive Branch The whole county of Rutland is barely bigger than inner London. It is so small that it’s not even granted its own chapter in the Good Pub Guide, and is instead bundled up with Leicestershire. No matter. What it lacks in size, Rutland makes up for in stature: one of its hostelries is the guide’s pub of the year 2014. You can ﬁnd The Olive Branch in sleepy Clipsham, alongside, gloriously, not much else. The closed-down ale house was rescued in 1999 and transformed into a village pub so bustling that booking for meals is now almost essential. The reasons are legion – the 1890 chocolate-box-cottage exterior and sundappled terrace; the local ales; a great wine list with 15 served by the glass (and more if you ask nicely); Sean Hope’s Michelin-starred menu. This is not pub food. GQ ’s picks include spiky devilled whitebait
Dinner plus B&B at The Olive Branch and Beech House start at £135. Main Street, Clipsham, Rutland, LE15
tempered by a cool parsley mayo; a duo of pork belly and meltingly braised cheek; a slab of chocolate tart half-left only because it was the size of a wedge of Brie. The marmalade glaze on a sticky little scoop of ice cream brings good breakfasts to mind – reason enough to book into Beech House, just the correct side of chintzy for a countryside B&B, and overlooking The Olive Branch. The pub is so proud of the provenance of its
three-course breakfasts that it provides both a shop and tips for a food trail, charting the route from Lincolnshire honey to Grasmere Farm bacon. You should stock up. JB theolivebranchpub.com
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Custom art by Harland Miller and the Antony Gormley statue you can sleep in... Stellar names bring their vision to three city stays in London and New York
SoHo nights: NYC views from one of the 100 rooms at the Sixty styled by Tara Bernerd
HAVING “EXPANDED expeditiously”, the Thompson Hotels group he co-founded back in 2001 with the original 60 Thompson in NEW YORK, Jason Pomeranc exited the company last year to launch a new brand with a small group of properties that once fell under the Thompson banner. Fortuitously, one of them is the Life begins at Sixty: ﬁrst, now rebranded Sixty SoHo. Jason Pomeranc Reopening this month (SoHo unveils his latest take on New York restaurateur John McDonald’s dining Downtown chic on room is being readied for November), Thompson Street Pomeranc’s new approach to lifestyle hotels has been developed in tandem with his friend Tara Bernerd, the interior designer with whom he collaborated on Thompson Hotels’ London outpost, Belgraves, as well as its recently refurbished Chicago property. Pomeranc, who plans to open more Sixty hotels (the ocean-front Nautilus South Beach has just been announced) describes the new downtown property as “a great place to reboot our brand sensibility – more evolved, sophisticated, intellectual. We have moved on.” Accordingly, Bernerd’s burgeoning private client list informs the fresh aesthetic of “informal luxury”, discernible in a quiet, “home-from-home” atmosphere, underwritten by rich fabrics and planked timber ﬂooring throughout its 100 rooms and suites, custom art pieces created by Harland Miller, and a relaxed lobby where the focus will be on conviviality rather than key collection. For Vape-ers and nonsmokers alike, the seasonal roof garden has been re-done, with the promise of only-in-New-York, inner-city under-the-stars dining. sixtyhotels.com Signiﬁcantly less storied (in every sense of the word) yet beneﬁting from a no less spectacular aspect overlooking the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge in LONDON, Sea Containers House was originally built as a hotel in the Seventies, only to languish as ofﬁce space until its renovation to become – in part – Morgan Hotel Group’s ﬁrst Mondrian property outside the US. Fans of the brand won’t blink at some of the trademark effusiveness – the lobby revolves around an immense copper-clad reception area representing the hull of a ship – but you’ll need eagle eyes to spot some of the subtler original ﬁxtures and ﬁttings designer Tom Dixon has expertly woven in. The hotel’s 359 rooms share a similar nautical vibe – as well as custom art, Tom Dixon furniture and, in the larger suites, examples of the mid-century chairs designed by the building’s architect, Warren Platner, (the man responsible for the Windows On The World restaurant that topped New York’s World Trade Center). Indoor/outdoor dining will be available along the
In the picture: The River View Balcony suite at the ﬁrst Tom Dixon-designed hotel, London’s Mondrian
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TRAVEL Sleeping giant: Antony Gormley’s ‘Room’ is the art installation you can spend the night in – courtesy of London’s Beaumont
river-front terrace overseen by New York chef Seamus Mullen, and as well as a botanically derived cocktail bar, Dandelyan, there’s a rooftop bar, a 56-seat screening room and an Agua spa. morgansshotelgroup.com The world’s ﬁrst habitable sculpture comes on line this month with the LONDON opening of Beaumont, the ﬁrst hotel by Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, the duo behind several of the capital’s most successful restaurants. And in keeping with the Wolseley, the Delaunay, Café Colbert and the newly opened Fischer’s, the Beaumont is including art as an intrinsic element with Antony Gormley’s “Room”, a three-storey squatting ﬁgure attached to the exterior of the building (a former parking garage behind Oxford Street). As the name implies, inside is a wood-panelled room and, well, nothing else: the artist wants guests to occupy a space untainted by anything extraneous, including furniture, TVs or even a bathroom. Fortunately, these are available in the adjoining space within the building, making “Room” a sensory experience like no other. However, prepare to wait your turn: the restaurateur-hoteliers insist it will cost no more to stay in Gormley’s than it will any other one-bedroom suite. BP
Flying visit: The Four Seasons private jet takes passengers on its hotels tour
Innovating at the ﬁve-star-megabrand end of the market is never easy – but Four Seasons has stolen a march by launching its own private jet. An in-housedesigned Boeing 757 has been reconﬁgured to take 52 passengers on all-inclusive trips, stopping off at its most prestigious properties. Due to take off in February 2015, three 16- to 24-day inaugural itineraries have been unveiled and private charters will also be possible. fourseasons.com/jet Hit the deck: With views to mainland Turkey, the Bodrum peninsular is home to the new Mandarin Oriental
Stop press! The long wait for a Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) property in London is over, the group having signed a management contract with the Cadogan hotel, a favourite of Edwardian society now bang in the centre of Sloane Street’s shopping mecca. Following a £28 million investment, during which the room count will be reduced from 64 to 54, it is due to be completed in 2016. belmond.com
Sited on 60 hectares of Aegeanfacing olive groves on Turkey’s Bodrum peninsula, the new Mandarin Oriental Bodrum features ten restaurants and bars, a huge spa and just 109 rooms, meaning outright hibernation is available in this fastdeveloping resort area. For the more social, Bodrum – Turkey’s answer to Saint-Tropez – is 15 miles away. mandarinoriental. com/bodrum
IS THE PALAZZO PARIGI THE WORST HOTEL IN MILAN? 130 G OCTOBER 2014
The newly opened, overly lit Versailles-in-Dubai-style hotel on Milan’s Corso di Porta Nuova appears to be as unpopular as it is shambolic. GQ’s correspondent didn’t share a lift once in ﬁve days: “It’s an appalling place. Trying to get a copy of the New York Times every morning was comical and completely unsuccessful. Also, it was a novelty to be repeatedly interrupted by the concierge when I called to ask if my breakfast might arrive before dinner.”
All things come from the Earth XENOPHANES
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High and mighty: Oris’ latest pilot watch is its most complicated yet Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter by Oris, £2,350 (with textile strap); £2,420 (with steel bracelet). oris.ch
Altitude slickness The new Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter by Oris will ensure you always know where you’re at, even when your head is in the clouds AVIATION HAS always been a pillar of Oris’ business and it has been producing pilot watches since 1938, with the original Big Crown Pointer Date – a design that remains a signature of the brand to this day. Its new model is the most complicated pilot’s watch Oris has ever made, the world’s ﬁrst automatic watch to include a mechanical altimeter – destined to become an 132 G OCTOBER 2014
indispensable tool for pilots as well as mountaineers and explorers. An altimeter measures how far you are above sea level, thanks to atmospheric pressure decreasing the higher in the atmosphere you are (imagine the weight of a column of air 100km high pressing down on you). Perhaps the biggest challenge in its execution was the design of the altimeter hand itself. To make
the mechanism ﬁt within the case, the hand had to be very light but rigid enough to avoid inaccurate readings. The solution was to use laminated carbon ﬁbre: the result is that the hand is seven times lighter but ten times stiffer than an average watch hand. So if you’re a high ﬂyer – or even just a climber – this will be your essential kit. Robert Johnston
Mayfair’s gentlemen’s clubs are as well-dressed as their members, so we asked Elliot March and James White of architect and interior design ﬁrm March & White to clad GQ’s own private parlour in the style to which we’re accustomed. marchandwhite.com E D I T E D BY
1 3 2
Photograph Matthew Beedle
1 Cushion by Ralph Lauren Home, £355. ralphlaurenhome.com 2 Cushion by Madeline Weinrib, £308. madelineweinrib.com 3 Chair by FBC London, £6,695. fbc-london.com 4 Lamp by FBC London, £4,125. 5 From left: Frames by Ralph Lauren Home, from £125. Vase by Asprey, £365. asprey.com. Nut bowl by Ralph Lauren Home, £195. Frames, £400. Hurricane lamp, £995. Tea-light holder, £375. All by Asprey. 6 Candlesticks by Ralph Lauren Home, £395 for two. 7 From left: Tumbler by Asprey, £200. Vase, ﬂorist’s own. Decanter, £995. Frames, £75 each. Coaster set, £950. All by Asprey. Glasses, £85 each. Cocktail shaker, £595. Jewellery box, £4,500. All by Linley. davidlinley.com 8 Flowers by Jane Lawrence Flowers, from £45. janelawrenceﬂowers.com 9 Side table by FBC London, £5,096. 10 Frame by Ralph Lauren Home, £95. 11 Ashtray by Linley, £425. 12 Table by Linley, £650. 13 Rug by Promemoria , £7,596. promemoria.com 14 Ottoman by FBC London, £3,325. 15 On ottoman, clockwise from top left: Books by Asprey, from £100 each. Scotch by Royal Salute, £91.95. At The Whisky Exchange. thewhiskyexchange.com. Hip ﬂask by Linley, £95. Cocktail napkins by Ralph Lauren Home, £60 for four. Cigar cutter by Asprey, £195. Throw by Ralph Lauren Home, £995. Tray by Linley, £295. Tumblers, £95 each. Cocktail set, £295. All by Ralph Lauren Home.
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GQ E XCLUS IV E
ANDY COULSON In the thick of it: David Cameron and his wife Samantha leave the stage after his conference speech in Manchester, 2 October 2013
The next election will be the most unpredictable for decades, so this month’s party conferences are more important than ever. In his last feature before his conviction for phone hacking, the former Number Ten director of communications lays bare the race to Downing Street... S TO RY BY
ANDY COU L SON OCTOBER 2014 G 141
ANDY COULSON write this piece (in late June) uncertain of what my surroundings might be when I read the final, published version. An unusual but curiously effective motivation to focus the mind on what may have come to pass in British politics in the days and weeks in between... a period which may well ﬁnd a place in our history. The reasons why are unrelated to events connected to my previous jobs – despite the best efforts of some politicians who claim they will have a seismic impact on the general election, the future of Britain and possibly mankind more generally. No, much more signiﬁcantly, by the time this edition of GQ hits the newsstands, Scotland could be on the brink of independence, the coalition will be showing signs of the inevitable pre-election implosion and Nigel Farage will have decided (if only privately) which seat he intends to ﬁght in his bid to become his party’s ﬁrst MP. If it’s the heavily tipped South Thanet, he’ll be aiming to become my MP. That’s one house he won’t need to leaﬂet. So this will have been a key phase for our prime minister – a man who ﬁnds himself in a surprisingly positive position as he enters the ﬁnal conference season before the 2015 general election. For his coalition partners, the reverse is true. Nick Clegg, I suspect, would have hoped that almost four years in government might have transformed the reputation and electoral clout of the Liberal Democrats. In fact, it has rendered him if not a dead duck then certainly one that’s on the critical list. Conference for him will be about survival and damage limitation only. Ed Miliband, too, would have hoped for a better platform from which to launch his bid for ofﬁce. A terrible misunderstanding and mishandling of the economic debate and a personal leadership that has never got off the ground has left him suffering from that most dreaded and malignant of political diseases – weakness. Who, six months into the coalition, would have predicted that the Labour leader would be talking about “defying the odds” just ten months from a general election so statistically weighted in his favour? UKIP is the real surprise package of this political term and more media applications will have been made for its two-day conference this year than in all previous years combined. So how should each party approach the autumn conferences – the effective starting pistol for the 2015 general election campaign? The Tories meet from 28 September until 1 October in Birmingham – a city with good Conservative karma – and the economy is, of course, where they will want to anchor most of the debate and focus. I’ve written in these pages before about the scale and impact of the decision made by David Cameron and George
Osborne in Birmingham in 2008 – Stage hands near-constant “ﬂags and ﬁreplaces” from top the moment they decided to tell (clockwise photo opportunities the job proleft): Ed Miliband, the truth about the need for cuts David Cameron, vides would also send a useful rather than following the universally Nigel Farage and message that says, “This man is a Nick Clegg have accepted path of increased spending one last chance to statesman in the making.” advocated by most world leaders, rally their troops Of course, the radical job-swap including Gordon Brown. I argued I suggest is made only in the that it was a bold decision, against the trend, context of Cameron deciding not to govern which the Conservative party could proudly for another full term. That becomes more difpoint to as a moment of proper national and ﬁcult if he has secured only a small majority global leadership. That’s the song it should or is leading another coalition as PM. I’ve be singing loudest at this party conference as not been in the loop since I left Number Ten it promotes the one most obvious message: three-and-a-half years ago, so this comes with a “so what do I know?” health warning, “Britain’s on the right track – now don’t let the other lot balls it up again.” Being back in but I suspect it’s certainly an option in his Birmingham provides the perfect setting for the mind. I do, however, believe that when the party to tell this story modestly but effectively. moment comes it will be his friend Osborne The chancellor’s speech will be as much (if he’s put himself in the running) who will about outmanoeuvring Ed Balls as it will be get Cameron’s very public vote of support. about laying the ground for the election. And it will come from a genuine position of He’s got time on his side and the levers of loyalty and friendship, and not some grubby power in his hands this time around, so it’s deal done in a restaurant. far from an all-or-nothing conference for Party unity will be another area Cameron will him. Osborne and his team will have already need to keep an eye on. Osborne aside, there war-gamed the next ten months. This conwill be other manoeuvrings by other potenference will be just the first stage of an tial leadership candidates. There’s not much operation to drive the party towards an againstanyone can do to prevent the annual Boris the-odds majority, while fuelling the notion Ball-ache – the now unavoidable conference that Osborne is the obvious successor to custom of watching London’s mayor “accidenCameron. I did wonder if that really was what tally” mopping up a day’s coverage by creating Osborne wanted, but it seems clear to me now some fuss or other. To be fair, Boris has been that his mind is made up and he will have a better behaved in the ﬁrst half of 2014 (a siderun at the top job. If that’s the case, my advice effect of his former guru Lynton Crosby now in the event of victory would be for him to running the Tory election show?), so there’s a change role after the election and become chance he will stick to team orders during this foreign secretary. Doing so will show that he conference. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Cameron is a politician with self-conﬁdence, gravitas should turn up for his speech, laugh loudest at and an intellect that goes beyond the Treasury. his gags and praise him lavishly when it’s his The job of foreign secretary would allow him turn to take the lectern. to play on the global stage and get involved Theresa May will also attract a fair amount in some proper international ﬁre-ﬁghting. The of attention during this conference and OCTOBER 2014 G 143
Photographs Getty Images
ANDY COULSON her speech will be analysed hard for signs Labour’s conference will take place in of leadership-pitch rolling. I’m a big fan. Calm, Manchester from 21-24 September. How best unrufﬂed, tough and smart, she’s come a long to handle the economy is a puzzle Miliband’s way from the moment Cameron asked her strategic team will be struggling with right to be home secretary. I was one of the ﬁrst up to the day of his speech. The recovery people to congratulate her on that day as she is so rapid Labour’s strategy just can’t keep emerged from their meeting in the Cabinet pace. In recent months Balls has all but disRoom with a rather brilliant “what the f***?” appeared from the airwaves, sensibly realising that it’s better to say next to nothing than say expression on her face. It was an inspired and unexpected choice. Since then, she has undersomething that quickly looks dated/stupid/ gone a powerful reinvention, proving herself to incoherent. His conference speech is therebe a sensible, no-drama and hardfore also a challenge. I suspect Inside Tory: David he’ll chuck out a couple of crowdworking politician. Cameron and his then The UKIP threat will cast a spin doctor Andy pleasing policies (expect to see at A Night For shadow over this conference for Coulson his “mansion tax” reheated again) Heroes awards at the all parties, but perhaps more so Imperial War Museum, but will be nervous about setting for the Tories. The Europe section 15 December 2009 a course which, come May, could in the leader’s speech will be the longest and most detailed that it has been for many, many years. But however well-written the rhetoric, will the restated promise of a post election in-out referendum be enough to calm the ranks? Europe aside, every major speech should be UKIP-screened and include something for the disenchanted Tory. That something must go beyond Europe and be aimed at Farage’s so far successful attempt to pitch himself and the party as the natural home for the patriotic and disenchanted. If William Hague – set to leave frontline politics next year – were to give the conference opening speech, Farage could be dealt with with humour and a “hold your enemies close” attitude. Hague is still the right man to remind voters how long Farage has been knocking on the Westminster door, desperately demanding membership of the club he claims to despise. The aim should be to make him part of the Westminster circus and everything should be done to undermine his inauthentic outsider status. UKIP’s two-day conference ends immediately before the start of the Conservative gathering, so it’s the perfect opportunity to attack its policy failings. But if there’s to be one edict from the centre, it’s to ensure no more accidental “fruitcake” or “closet racist” attacks. The local and European election results proved forever that they just don’t work. For Cameron himself, the priority at conference must be to keep a straight bat, lead from the front and be the big man, letting others take credit for their achievements. More importantly, he must prepare a no-notes speech crafted to blow Miliband out of the water on both content and presentation. It must be his best yet and must remind his party and the tired, mostly bored electorate what a Tory majority would mean to him. He needs to explain why he is the man to lead them up what is an almost unscalable mountain towards victory because that sense of easy coasting still dogs him. A stunning, no-notes (and no Autocue) speech will serve to put some of that to rest – and will remind Conservatives of the essentially hard-working, patriotic family man they ﬁrst elected to be their leader. 144 G OCTOBER 2014
It’s Miliband’s personal failings that will worry his team the most. His leadership has undeniably failed and everyone who matters in his party knows it
easily look very last year. The failure to signiﬁcantly reduce the deﬁcit will most likely be the target Balls aims his misﬁring guns on. The other Ed clearly doesn’t appear to know what he thinks on the issue that matters and continues to personally dislike his shadow chancellor. A far from ideal combination. But he has landed the odd opportunistic jab – by far his best moment coming on energy prices. You’ll see more on that at conference. UKIP is another Rubik’s cube of a problem for Miliband. The Farage march on Labour heartlands is real and dangerous for the election and the future of the party. To take UKIP on will require policy announcements that run counter to all of Miliband’s natural instincts. He knows – and has admitted privately – that Labour’s biggest problems are on the economy, welfare and immigration. The Tories will attack on the ﬁrst two, and Farage has his sights ﬁrmly set on the third. I’m not sure Miliband has the stomach for that ﬁght. But it’s his personal failings that will worry his team the most. Miliband’s leadership has undeniably failed and everyone who matters in his party knows it. The polling is disastrous – 49 per cent of voters think he should be replaced, 43 per cent of Labour supporters agree, a killer 59 per cent described him as weak. “I can’t pretend that, knocking on doors, people come out and they’re enthusiastic about Ed,” was the damning verdict of Alan Johnson – one of Miliband’s more loyal supporters. “Ed looks weird, sounds weird, is weird,” was the more brutal conclusion of a senior party ﬁgure quoted in the Times. The furore over the Sun World Cup front page showed that Miliband’s backbone remains absent without leave. It’s not often that a wannabe prime minister feels the need to apologise for backing the England football team, but Miliband can add that to his list of proud achievements. Tory strategists must be looking forward to the day in the election campaign when a proper problem lands on the Miliband doormat. This is a man for whom a jerking knee is a natural and instinctive response. The past 12 months have shown that the Labour election machine – once hailed as the most effective and professional in modern British politics – is no more. However, thanks to the failure of the Tories to re-draw the boundaries, Labour is still in the game and even a disastrous conference won’t knock it out. The Lib Dems meet in Glasgow from 4-8 October and will get the last word of conference season. Clegg will be hoping that word isn’t “goodbye”. This will be a batten-downthe-hatches conference with a mutinous atmosphere and a media almost wholly focused on his future. Disenchanted senior Lib Dems – and there are quite a number of them – will be lining up to have a go and getting a positive message out will be a struggle. All eyes will be on Vince Cable – a man
ANDY COULSON many see as the natural successor should Clegg fall. Not one of life’s team players, Cable’s behaviour on stage and on the broadcast media will determine just how difﬁcult a week Clegg has. Cable knows how to drop a small bomb on the Today programme just as he knows how a carefully worded sentence in his speech can cause damaging ructions. Behind the affable exterior is a politician who can expertly twist a knife while appearing to be the personiﬁcation of old-school reasonableness and calm. Despite the miserable backdrop, Clegg has a positive story to tell. He is the ﬁrst Lib Dem leader to have played a part in real change rather than having only talked about it. And he can make an argument that he and his colleagues pegged back some of the excesses of his Tory coalition partners. I don’t buy the theory, but there’s a good media market waiting to give it credibility. There have been some moments of abject stupidity so surreal they would have been binned in an Armando Iannucci script meeting for being too ridiculous. One of former Michael Gove advisor Dominic Cummings’ revelations that I absolutely believe concerned Clegg and his “opposition” to proﬁt-making free schools. He staged a fake row with the then education secretary Gove in an attempt to shore up his own support, making a speech suggesting he had blocked the nonexistent Tory plans to allow new schools to proﬁt. Gove pointed out he didn’t want for-profit schools, but Clegg made his speech anyway and briefed how he had bravely thwarted his evil plans. An utterly bonkers but, in my experience, an utterly believable sequence of events. For all the spats, rows and frankly childish behaviour, behind the cabinet door Clegg has, in the main and when it really mattered, put the country ﬁrst if only by keeping quiet. And the coalition has essentially worked as a result. That’s something Clegg should take credit for in his conference speech even if it ends up being his last as leader. UKIP gathers on 26-27 September at Doncaster Racecourse – the party’s biggest ever conference. That Farage has chosen to meet in Labour’s northern heartlands is not without signiﬁcance. His choice of venue borders Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North constituency and, according to the party’s website, will “give UKIP a chance to further raise its proﬁle in one of the parts of the country where the party is growing most strongly”. One of UKIP’s biggest issues is being seen as a one-man band. But sustained focus on the rest of their senior members – even for two days – is something Farage will have mixed feelings about. They are an, er, interesting bunch and how they react to media prodding will be fascinating to watch. Policy scrutiny will be the other obvious focus at the UKIP conference and the party will know that the usual wave of the leader’s hand in answer to any tricky question will no longer do. They 146 G OCTOBER 2014
There have been some Lib Dem moments of abject stupidity so surreal they would have been binned in an Armando Iannucci script meeting for being too ridiculous
need to know what they propose and they need at least to be able to explain and defend those policies with credibility and without the use of the back of a fag packet. If I were Farage I would rely, where possible, on using real people’s stories to spread the UKIP word. And I would start by securing the public support of the young Walsall mum I saw interviewed live on the BBC while out shopping on the morning of the local elections. In powerful, straightforward language she explained that Britain felt “saturated”, adding, “I’m not a racist but it’s got to the point where I feel I can no longer say I’m proud to British.” She then said, “I want a stable future for my daughter and the main parties aren’t doing anything. UKIP feels like the party of the people.” A battalion of these unvarnished and authentic voters could cause proper damage on UKIP’s behalf in an election campaign. Aside from the speeches, brieﬁngs and interviews all the parties will have spent months preparing, it will also be the pictures – on our TVs, phones, iPads and in our newspapers – that will matter. For the Tories, I’ve no doubt that Liz Sugg, David Cameron’s head of operations, will already have been thinking about the right visits for him to make before and during key conference moments. Sam Cameron will appear to provide pictures at the start of conference and on the day of his speech. I’d like to see her out and about in Birmingham on her own as well. George Osborne’s team will be doing the same – at least hoping to make sure there are good “Britain on the right track” pictures available on the morning of his speech. Expect to see shots of both him and Cameron out running – they always get a good show and convey a simple message of energy and determination. An image designed to reinforce the strength of the Conservative cabinet members after July’s reshufﬂe would also be valuable. Oh, and don’t be surprised if Hague still has the clout to convince Dame Angelina Jolie to give a “non-political” speech from the conference stage. Ed Miliband’s team will be on guard against
a repeat of the bacon sandwich disaster - the best example of how a single picture can properly ruin your day/week/year since the Hague baseball-cap disaster. Poor Miliband will have to eat in private throughout his conference, knowing that the market for another Weird Ed shot will be alive and well. Expect a staged show of unity between Labour’s two Eds, which will most likely only serve to reinforce their growing rift. Nick Clegg will want shots that show him to be in charge and in control. He never quite pulled this off when he was in control so this too will be a challenge. His team will not want him to be exposed to any risk so lots of shots of him and the missus walking between events within the relatively safe conﬁnes of the conference cordon will be organised. Farage’s pictures are easy to predict. Pint. Fag. Grin. He knows what works for him and will stick to it. That the backdrop this time will be a racecourse will only serve to reinforce the wide-boy image he has leveraged so effectively. Despite the difﬁculties for Miliband he’ll be the most relaxed of the leaders going into conference this year. He does so safe in the knowledge that his party doesn’t do regicide and that, more importantly, the electoral dice remain seriously loaded in his favour. The maths of parliamentary boundaries are so weighted towards Labour they will win the election even if they poll the same number of votes across the country as the Conservatives. They will lose out to UKIP, yes, but larger numbers are expected to come from Tory heartlands. And left-leaning Lib Dems may well punish Clegg by not voting at all - or by voting Labour. In short, the Tories need to secure around 36 per cent of the vote and hope Labour fall to 29 or 30 per cent - a monumental ask by any standard. They like a motivational book at Conservative Campaign headquarters (remember Nudge?) so they could do worse than turn to Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant David And Goliath. In it he explains how simply wanting success more and being prepared to think differently – and work harder – is often enough for the underdog to triumph. And that, in a nutshell, is the Tory mission – to want it more. That they fail in that task is a properly depressing prospect for me today as I wonder if my circumstances will prevent me from joining the inevitable mass exodus from Britain on the day Ed Miliband walks into Ten Downing Street.
MORE FROM GQ
For these related stories, visit GQ.co.uk/magazine
Control The Debate, Control The Election (Matthew d’Ancona, May 2014) The Dark Heart Of UKIP (Andy Coulson, October 2013) Ten-Point Plan For The Conservatives (Andy Coulson, July 2013)
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Cool runnings: TomTom’s meticulous Multi-Sport Cardio watch tracks training and suggests new sessions based on your previous work-outs
LEADERS OF THE TRACK GQ hits the road to test the smart watches that monitor your movement. Plus go into lockdown with the best safes for your home E D I T E D BY
CH AR LI E B UR TON
ST UAR T McG UR K
Photographs Matthew Beedle
THE LAB 1
Multi-Sport Cardio by TomTom Although controlled by a weird touchpad below the screen (why?), for the specialist it offers the most options. There is a built-in training tracker, which knows when you’re in the Sprint, Speed, Fat Burn, Endurance or Easy zones, and will then suggest a session for your needs. It’s got the lot – but it’s a hard watch to love. £250. tomtom.com Win: Best for hardcore trainers; most specialised Fail: Less-than-winning design and OS ★★★★★★★✩✩✩
1.37in, 144 x 168 pixels 22 x 25 x 13.8mm
1.65in, 280 x 280 pixels 38 x 47 x 10mm
1.84in, 128 x 432 pixels 57.4 x 23.4 x 11.95mm
17 x 11 LED matrix
1.6in, 220 x 176 pixels 42 x 41 x 9mm
Dimensions (h x w x d)
37 x 34 x 12mm
47g (small) Apple, Android and Windows Phone 8
G Watch by LG A touch more svelte than the Sony, it is at least buttonless, and along with the same ﬁtness apps to be found on the Sony, the system is remarkably responsive and the screen crisp, making it a great all-rounder. The problem, however, is battery life – we rarely got more than 24 hours out of it. £159. At Google Play. play.google.com Win: Fastest engine; it is a great all-round device Fail: Not going to win any design awards ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩
Certain Android devices
Gear Fit by Samsung The super-sleek design marries the idea of an all-in-one device on your wrist with the unobtrusiveness of a ﬁtness tracker. Unlike the Sony and LG devices, it has a heart-rate monitor, with excellent built-in pedometer and exercise apps. Best is the cycling option, which calculates distance and speed via GPS. One major ﬂaw – it only links up with Samsung phones. Grr! £169. samsung.com Win: Brilliant, sleek all-in-one device; good battery life Fail: It’s only compatible up with other Samsung devices ★★★★★★★✩✩✩
MiCoach Fit Smart by Adidas The old MiCoach was a clunky affair, but the brand’s latest offering is a retro-digital band that we love. The functions include a heart-rate monitor and pedometer. You’ll have to link up to your phone for more complicated exercise programmes, but with simple coaching delivered by visual messages, you’ll ﬁnd you rarely need to. £179. adidas.co.uk Win: Easiest to use; distinctive style Fail: Lacks other functions of a smart watch ★★★★★★★★✩✩
SmartWatch 2 by Sony The Sony SmartWatch 2 seems more like a chunky smartphone on your wrist than a watch. The screen – at just 176ppi – is a bit blocky, and while there are bountiful apps to choose from (we downloaded Endomondo, which can monitor your heart rate, while Sony offers a 14-day free trial to Runtastic Pro Gold), it always felt too clunky for anything but jogging. £129.95. At Amazon. amazon.co.uk Win: Multifunctional Fail: Clunky design; bad screen ★★★★★✩✩✩✩✩ OCTOBER 2014 G 151
EVERYTHING ON BLACK CIVIC BLACK SPECIAL EDITION 0% APR Representative. 0 deposit 78.5 miles per gallon Voted UKâ€™s most reliable car brand for 8 years by What Car ? readers
SERVICING WARRANTY ROAD ASSIST FOR ÂŁ555
)XHOFRQVXPSWLRQĂ€ JXUHVIRUWKH&LYLFL'7(&%ODFN6SHFLDO(GLWLRQLQPSJONP 8UEDQ ([WUD8UEDQ &RPELQHG &2 2HPLVVLRQVJNP)XHOFRQVXPSWLRQĂ€ JXUHVVRXUFHGIURPRIĂ€ FLDO(8UHJXODWHGODERUDWRU\WHVW UHVXOWVDUHSURYLGHGIRUFRPSDULVRQSXUSRVHVDQGPD\QRWUHĂ HFWUHDOOLIHGULYLQJH[SHULHQFH Model Shown: Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Black Special Edition in Crystal Black Pearl at ÂŁ22,460 On The Road (OTR). Terms and Conditions: New retail Civic registered from 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014. Subject to model and colour availability. Offers applicable at participating dealers and are at the promoterâ€™s absolute discretion. Civic Black Special Edition Honda Aspirations (PCP): Example shown based on Civic L'7(&%ODFN6SHFLDO(GLWLRQLQ&U\VWDO%ODFN3HDUODWÂ…WRWDOFDVKSULFHDQGWRWDODPRXQWSD\DEOH ZLWKPRQWKV$355HSUHVHQWDWLYHLQWHUHVWUDWHSHUDQQXPĂ€ [HG ZLWKÂ… GHSRVLW ÂŁ408.29 monthly payment, Guaranteed Future Value / Optional Final Payment of ÂŁ7,761.73 annual mileage of 10,000 and excess mileage charge: 6p per mile. You do not have to pay the Final Payment if you return the car at the end of the agreement and you have paid all other amounts due, the vehicle is in good condition and has been serviced in accordance with the Honda service book and the PD[LPXPDQQXDOPLOHDJHKDVQRWEHHQH[FHHGHG,QGHPQLWLHVPD\EHUHTXLUHGLQFHUWDLQFLUFXPVWDQFHV)LQDQFHLVRQO\DYDLODEOHWRSHUVRQVDJHGRURYHUVXEMHFWWRVWDWXV$OOĂ€ JXUHVDUHFRUUHFWDW time of publication but may be subject to change. Credit provided by Honda Finance Europe Plc. 470 London Road, Slough, Berkshire SL3 8QY. Honda Finance Europe plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register number 312541. The 5 Year Care Package includes: Servicing: All scheduled servicing, as detailed in the vehicles service book, will be covered IRU\HDUVRUPLOHVZKLFKHYHUFRPHVĂ€ UVWWarranty: In addition to the standard 3 year warranty the customer will receive a complimentary 2 year extended guarantee taking the warranty to 5 \HDUVRUPLOHVZKLFKHYHUFRPHVĂ€ UVWRoadside Assist: In addition to the standard 3 years roadside assistance package the customer will receive complimentary Hondacare Assistance for a further \HDUVWDNLQJLWWR\HDUVRUPLOHVZKLFKHYHUFRPHVĂ€ UVWThe 5 Year Care Package: The 5 Year Care Package is optional. It is being offered for ÂŁ555 including VAT (usual value ÂŁ1,845 including VAT, UHVXOWLQJLQDÂ…VDYLQJIRUWKHFXVWRPHU DQGLVDYDLODEOHWRĂ€ QDQFHRUQRQĂ€ QDQFHFXVWRPHUV3OHDVHQRWHVKRXOG\RXVHOOWKHYHKLFOHGXULQJWKHSHULRGRIFRYHUWKHSDFNDJHUHPDLQVZLWKWKHYHKLFOH
Rise of the
GUARDIANS Forget puny hotel room-style safes. These offer serious protection from Danny Ocean types, yet are sufficiently lightweight that you can install them yourself... 1 2
How we tested We enlisted Dave Kneafsey, a professional safe cracker, to examine each vault. 07850 046641, safe-cracker.co.uk
Water 50-2E by Chubbsafes For a safe of this price we expected just a little more. For one, actually setting up and opening the thing was so involved that we ended up getting locked out by its security system. Still, it would take very slightly longer to crack than the Yale. Win: Interior lighting Fail: No vertical bolts £474. At The Safe Shop. thesafeshop.co.uk ★★★★★★★✩✩✩
OA3817 by Sentry If you simply want a safe for ﬁre protection then this is excellent, offering up to 120 minutes for DVDs and hard drives. However, if you want this to function as a security safe you’ll have to drill holes to bolt it to the ﬂoor. Also, there is a video on YouTube of someone cutting open a Sentry with a circular saw. Just saying. Win: Both horizontal and vertical bolts Fail: Lock likely to be easier to crack than the others £276. At The Safe Shop. thesafeshop.co.uk ★★★★★✩✩✩✩✩
Certiﬁed Safe Professional by Yale Yale is one of the few safe manufacturers to make their products look good – the blue screen and silver panel are a sleek touch. The main mechanism is less secure than the Phoenix because of the motorised workings, but the override keyholes would be tougher to pick. Win: Interior lighting Fail: Horizontal bolts only £192. At The Safe Shop. thesafeshop.co.uk ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩
Citadel 1192e by Phoenix The clear winner of the group, it is the only one rated to store up to £40,000 worth of valuables. Both vertical and horizontal bolts? Check. Fire retardant? Check. Thicker, composite door? Check. Unless you’re hoarding gold, this is the one to install behind that painting in your office. Win: Solenoid mechanism is harder to crack Fail: Big hinges look impressive but don’t add security £647. At The Safe Shop. thesafeshop.co.uk ★★★★★★★★★✩ Weight 43kg 59.5kg 30kg 68kg
Photograph Matthew Beedle
Dimensions (h x w x d)
475 x 375 x 350mm
453 x 415 x 491mm
520 x 350 x 360mm
460 x 440 x 440mm
OCTOBER 2014 G 153
Top of the line: Angelo Galasso’s A/W 2014 collection
Definite articles From left: Jacket, £5,200. Shirt, £720. Tie, £200. Trousers, £720. Shoes, £6,000. Pocket square, £65. Coat, £4,360. Jumper, £1,560. Shirt, £540. Jeans, £890. Shoes, £5,400. Jacket, £4,800. Shirt, £540. Tie, £180. Trousers, £660. Shoes, £940. Pocket square, £65. Jacket, £4,900. Shirt, £790. Trousers, £590. Boots, £1,150. Coat, £6,300. Blazer, £2,900. Shirt, £650. Tie, £180. Shoes, £860. Pocket square, £65. All by Angelo Galasso. angelogalasso.com
His brand is a byword for luxuriously precise individualism: an exclusive club where each member is one of a kind. Here, Angelo Galasso tells GQ why every man longs to stand apart S TO RY BY
“THE CITY is now an airport” might sound like one of the gnomic utterances of a starry-eyed architect or freethinking town planner, but it’s Angelo Galasso, of the eponymous clothing brand, describing how ﬂuid a concept the city – bricks and mortar, roads and infrastructure, even the very culture it supports – has become. Particularly if you are a member of the global wealthy, a nomadic tribe of a few dozen thousands who traverse the planet following a strict migratory pattern: putting down in cities for a few days or even hours at a time, drawn by an event, a gathering or simply a change in the weather (though rarely anything as quotidian as trade). OCTOBER 2014 G 155
The blazer trail: Angelo Galasso (centre) shows off his S/S 2015 collection at his ‘Importance Of Being Eccentric’ event in Milan, organised alongside GQ Italia, June 2014; inside the Galasso store in the Plaza Hotel, New York (below)
t’s to this fabled and fabulous race, largely immune to their surroundings yet plugged into a far broader spectrum of inﬂuences than those metropolitan incumbents safely tethered to their day jobs, that Galasso sells his clothes: traditional Italian garb, made over with monumental detail and clever personal branding, which warrants its elevated price by setting its owners apart – and yet part of the same club: an Angelo Galasso customer. Brieﬂy resident in the back of his Knightsbridge, London, store – one of ﬁve wholly owned shops around the world (there are a further six franchises, plus a slew clothes’ owners to one another of wholesale outlets) – Galasso while avoiding the calamity of waves an immaculately clad arm two customers wearing the same around his domain, identifyoutﬁt. “The concept is always the ing the individual components same: to do something differthat bring his customers back ent,” Galasso says. “Every man for more. This being summer, wants to be different.” there’s an unlined jacket made from How different is amply demonJacket by Angelo shirting linen (the kind of stock on strated around the store, but all of it Galasso, £4,400. which Galasso built his trade); immac- angelogalasso.com stays true to Galasso’s belief that, at ulately embroidered tunic tops; and the end of the day, men are no differrow upon row of his signature casual-luxe: disent from women. “I like to take risks the other tressed jeans in shades of his beloved blue, all people don’t take. And I use the same system with a discreet “AG” embroidered or stamped as the women’s collections. Why? Because into leather on one hip. There’s also a new women change what they wear often, so they collection of driving shoes with the familiar have a lot more reasons to buy. But men want “gommino”-style sole, each a striking scarlet, to change just as often. If you wear a certain faceted to match the buttons of his famous jacket to one party, you can’t dress like that for shirts and carrying the AG logo at their tips. the second party. And at the same time they don’t want to look the same as everybody else. Everything is ﬁnished to an exacting degree So the message is, you will always ﬁnd special to discreetly telegraph its source (“Everybody knows Al Pacino wears my shirts because of pieces here that are completely different.” the [monogrammed] lining”), and united in Galasso was born in 1959 in the Perugian a singular sense of purpose: to identify the town of Francavilla Fontana, well within the
heel of Italy. Galasso’s father was the local police chief and, aware that his job brought his family into close proximity to all walks of life, sought to keep his son occupied. So the young Angelo was put to work in the small ateliers that still serve as the traditional tributaries to the Italian fashion trade. “I started when I was 12 years old,” he says. “And at once I began to change everything I wore. I would change my jacket to something different, still classic but with a twist, because I wanted to look different. And later when I moved to Rome, where I worked as a banker, people would ask me where I bought my shirt, or my jacket. So I started to do the same for other people.” It was his move to London in 1999, however, that cemented Galasso’s reputation, ﬁrst with his Interno 8 store on Conduit Street, later in partnership with Flavio Briatore, with whom he set up Billionaire Couture (they parted ways in 2009, although they have plans to work together again.) Around it all has coalesced a fanbase of celebrities and prominent ﬁgures drawn by an approach Galasso refers to as “tradition in evolution”. But it’s perhaps his experience helping those intrigued passers-by in Rome that most informs the designer’s thinking today. “My client isn’t the kind of man who buys something because someone else has it. He’s a very strong character. And I know that if I do something normal, why would anybody buy from me? So we do classic and we do ﬂashy. But a new customer might be a little bit scared, particularly if he doesn’t know the brand. So I know it’s not the right parallel, but I’m like a pusher. Perhaps I only sell them one piece, like a shirt. They go to dinner and people say nice things, so they are comfortable about coming back. And then they spend a fortune!”
156 G OCTOBER 2014
PARIS 48° 51’ 54.591” N 2° 21’ 46.724” E
IT’S WILD OUT THERE.
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THE MOTH The ﬂying doctor: George Lombardi’s ‘Mission To India’ involves Concorde, nuns and the Pope’s cardiologist
THE MOTHER OF ALL STORIES
One of the hottest events in New York’s literary scene, The Moth gives speakers a simple brief: tell a ten-minute true story about a life-changing experience (and everyone from Malcolm Gladwell to Christopher Hitchens has done just that). Now, it is publishing a collection of its most extraordinary tales. Our favourite? This account from a doctor summoned unexpectedly one Saturday to save Mother Teresa’s life... OCTOBER 2014 G 159
Illustration André Bergamin
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THE MOTH She said, “That’s a minor detail. Meet me in front of your building tomorrow morning, Sunday, at 7am.” Well, as you can probably surmise, I’m somebody who pretty much does what he’s told. So seven o’clock the next morning she comes careening down the block in a wood-paneled station wagon with bad shock absorbers. I jump in. The next stop’s the passport ofﬁce at Rockefeller Center, where on a Sunday morning a State Department ofﬁcial came, let us in, took my picture, and in 15 minutes handed me a brand-new passport. The next stop was the Indian Consulate, where, again on a Sunday morning, the entire staff came in full dress uniform to give me an honor guard procession, which I walked past as they ushered me in to the consul-general himself, who afﬁxed the visa to my passport. He leaned in towards me and said, “We bestow our blessings on you. The eyes of the world are upon you.” Now I knew who Mother Teresa was, of course, but this was the ﬁrst moment I realized what she meant, not just to the Indian people, but to the world. I get back in the car. I’m getting into this. “Where next?” She says, “We’re ahead of schedule. I’m going to drop you off at your home; I’ll be back at 11am. I’ll meet you downstairs.” Sure enough, 11am, tires squealing, she pulls up with one addition: in the backseat of this station wagon are wedged ﬁve Sisters of Charity – ﬁve nuns – as if sitting on a perch. They start handing me letters in envelopes and small packages wrapped in burlap and tied with twine, saying, “Well, if you see Sister Narita and Sister Rafael, please give them this from me.” I’m a courier. This is all before Homeland Security. We barrel off to JFK, and when we get there I ask, sotto voce, “Why are they here? They could have just given you these things. I don’t understand why they had to come to the airport.” And I was told, “Well, I didn’t know how to tell you this, but you don’t have a conﬁrmed seat on the Concorde – you’re ﬂying standby.” My eyes widened. “Well, the sisters are going to go up and down the line of ticketed passengers and beg until someone gives up their seat.” I stood off to the side, just out of earshot, as I watched the scene unfold. The ﬁve nuns surround this ﬁrst New York City businessman. He’s listening to them, he’s looking over at me, he’s looking back at them, he shakes his head no, he’s sorry, he can’t help. They move on to the next one. And now I can hear their voices, which obviously have been raised, and in about 15 seconds this businessman realizes that resistance is futile, and he hands over his ticket. The sisters come towards me, and they hand me this ticket as an offering, and there is a small triumphal grin on each of their faces – the nun equivalent of a high ﬁve. I wag my ﬁnger at them. I say, “You sisters are little devils! I’m going to tell Mother Teresa what you just did!” And they laugh, and that breaks the tension. Next stop Calcutta, after 24 hours in ﬂight. One hundred degrees, 100 per cent humidity. I get off the plane, and I’m met by my own personal private security detail of nuns. They whisk me through customs and deliver me directly to the hospital where the doctors are waiting for me, and the doctors intone, “She’s deteriorating.” I go directly to her room. I’m meeting Mother Teresa for the ﬁrst time. She’s clearly very weak, and she beckons me towards her, and I feel as if I’m about to get a blessing. She says the following: “Thank you for coming. I will never leave Calcutta. Do not ever disagree with my Indian doctors. I need them. They run my hospitals and OCTOBER 2014 G 161
It was a Saturday afternoon in September 1989, and I was home alone unpacking boxes when the phone rang, and a woman that I did not know started to interrogate me. “Are you Dr Lombardi? Are you Dr George Lombardi? Are you an infectious disease specialist? Did you live and work and do research in East Africa? Are you considered to be an expert in tropical infections? Would you consider yourself to be an expert in viral hemorrhagic fevers?” At this point I paused, gathered myself, and asked the obvious question, “Who are you?” She introduced herself and said she was the representative of a world ﬁgure and Nobel laureate, someone who was suspected of having a viral hemorrhagic fever, and she was calling to ask if I would consult on the case. Now I found this highly improbable. I was 32 years old. I had just opened my ofﬁce. The phone never rang. I had no patients. In fact I remember staring at the phone trying to will it to ring. But she persisted, and she mentioned that she had gotten my name from a colleague of mine who had told her to “call Dr Lombardi. He knows a lot about very weird things.” She arranged a conference call, and in ten minutes I was transported through the telephone wires to a small hospital in Calcutta, India, where I found out for the ﬁrst time that the patient was Mother Teresa. On the line were her two main Indian doctors. We chatted and discussed the details of the case for about an hour, and though those details are now hazy to me, what came through the staticky wires was their deep abiding concern for their patient – these guys were worried. I wished them well as I got off the line, and I went back to unpack some boxes. She called again an hour later. She said, “They were very impressed by what you had to say, and they’d like you to go to Calcutta. I’m making the arrangements. I can get you out tomorrow afternoon on the Concorde for the ﬁrst leg.” I said, “This is impossible,” as I had just found my passport in one of these boxes, and I told her it expired three months before.
He leaned towards me and said, ‘The EYES OF THE WORLD are upon you’
THE MOTH clinics, and I will not have them embarrassed.” And with that she dismisses me with a wave of her hand. I go and wash my hands, and I come back to examine her. As I go to pull her gown down to listen to her heart and lungs, the nuns who surround her lift the gown up. I pull the gown down; they pull the gown up. This Kabuki dance goes on for several minutes until, from sheer exhaustion, I just banish them from the room. After I perform my examination, I still don’t know what’s wrong with her. So I do what an infectious disease doctor does: I do my cultures and my Gram stains and my buffy coat smears and my Tzanck prep. And we agree we’ll meet the next morning at 9am. As I leave the hospital, I set upon 5,000 pilgrims who are holding a candlelit prayer vigil. I escape back to the hotel, where I pour myself a stiff drink, order room service for dinner, and turn on the local news hoping it will serve as a distraction. And there I am. The lead story on the evening news, that night and every night, footage of “Dr Lombardi entering and leaving the hospital”, with the reporters saying, “Dr Lombardi’s come from the United States to attend to Mother Teresa as she inches closer towards death.” The drumbeat of the death watch had begun. She deteriorates over the next 48 hours; she’s in septic shock. The rude unhinging of the machinery of life as it was described 150 years ago, as apt a description now. And on the third day, two propitious events collide. The ﬁrst is the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen: small, tiny translucent dew drops on the blood culture plate. This is important. This could be a bacterial infection. This is an important clue. The second is one of the Pope’s cardiologists ﬂies in from Rome. He’s an impressive man, straight from central casting: a head of silver hair, a Brioni suit, Hermès tie, Gucci loafers. And at our ﬁrst meeting, when I tell the group of doctors excitedly that the cultures are turning positive, and we may have an answer here, and my concern is that a pacemaker that was put in several months before could be the cause of the infection, he erupts Vesuviusly. “Out of the question!” he bellows. “This is a clear case of malaria.” Well if they could diagnose malaria anywhere, it would be on the subcontinent of India, and this wasn’t the case. She worsens over the next couple of days, and I’m having dreams where she’s actually falling just beyond my outstretched hand. And I change my routine; rather than ﬂeeing the hospital at the end of the day through the side exit, I go out through the front, and I walk through the pilgrims, and I’m bolstered by their love and their devotion. On the ﬁfth day I make my most impassioned plea. I stand before the group, and I tell them that this is septic shock. It has a bacterial cause, and it’s due to the pacemaker. This pacemaker must be removed. Dr Brioni (as I’ve come to call him) stands at the lectern carrying his copy of The Merck Manual. It’s a small book that many doctors carry; he has the Italian version [in an Italian accent] Merka Manuale. And in a scene right out of Shakespeare, as he talks he’s pounding the lectern with his book, “If you listen” Boom! Boom! Boom! “to this American upstart,” Boom! “I will not be held responsible!” BOOM! The sounds ricocheted through the somber conference room like gunshots, and in that moment I looked into the eyes of the courtly, elegant Indian doctors, and 162 G OCTOBER 2014
‘If you listen to this AMERICAN UPSTART I will not be held responsible!’
I SAID A PRAYER to Mother Teresa for Mother Teresa, and the catheter came loose
they had lost respect for him. They asked us to wait outside as they considered their options. I sat there with my vinyl knapsack and my socks with sandals. He sat next to me elegantly attired with two equally elegantly attired attachés from the Italian Consulate. They called us back in and said, “We’ve decided to go with Dr Lombardi.” The Pope’s doctor silently packed his bag, left the hospital, went directly to the airport, and ﬂew out of the country. I said, “Let’s get that pacemaker out.” And they looked at me and said, “You want it out, you have to take it out.” I said, “I’ve never done that before.” They gave me this wonderful nonverbal Bengali head waddle. So I went down to her room. I banished the nuns. I got a charge nurse and a basic tray, and I prepared the patient. The pacemaker box came out readily, but the wire, the wire that had been sitting in her right ventricle for several months, was tethered into place, and it would not budge. I twisted and turned and did all kinds of little body English. This thing was stuck. I started to sweat, my glasses fogged over. There had been stories that if you pull hard enough you can put a hole in the ventricle, and she could bleed into her chest and die within a matter of minutes. So in the most surreal moment, I said a prayer to Mother Teresa for Mother Teresa, and the catheter came loose. I took it out, I cultured the tip, and I proved that this pacemaker was the cause of her infection. She got better. Her fever broke. She woke up. A couple of days later she was sitting in a chair eating. My work was done, but they wouldn’t let me leave. I stayed another two weeks as I was the only doctor who could start her IVs, who could thread those catheters into those tiny, fragile elderly woman’s veins. It’s a skill I had picked up in the mid-Seventies as a medical student at NYU Bellevue Hospital, where I learned to start IVs in the hardened veins of IV drug addicts. It’s a skill I honestly thought I would never ever need again. When it was my time to leave, they held a press conference and they publicly thanked me, and that’s why I’m able to tell this story. I ﬂew back to my life and to my two sons. She lived another eight years, and I saw her periodically. But the best part of this for me is that I have an ongoing relationship with the Sisters. They’re a wonderful group of women; they truly do God’s work, however you may want to deﬁne that. And I take care of whatever their medical problems are. Several months ago, the mother superior came in. I had to ﬁll out some paperwork, and she brought two young novitiates with her, and she asked me, “Dr Lombardi, can we go to the back? Can they see the pictures?” I have some pictures on the wall that memorialize this trip, and they like to see the faces of the other sisters when they were so young. I said, “Of course.” And we go to the back, and they’re oohing and ahhing, and one young novitiate squeezes my arm, and she says, “Dr Lombardi, you represent a link to our past.” And I say, “I’m deeply honored by that.” And the other sister says to me, “Dr Lombardi, in the convent we think of you as a rock star.” ● “Mission To India” by Dr George Lombardi appears in The Moth (Serpent’s Tail, £12.99). The Moth will hold regular events in London starting this month. themoth.org
‘Santa Muerte is in charge of COLLECTING SOULS. People come to her for PROTECTION because of the violent times in the city. SHE IS A NECESSITY NOWADAYS’
MEXICO Grim reality: A devotee of Mexico’s Angel of Death leaves offerings of money, cigarettes and confectionery at her shrine in Ciudad Juárez
DEAD In Mexico’s war on drugs, death is ever present, and the resurrection of the colonial-era Santa Muerte cult represents a new morbid normality. Cartel killers make offerings for courage, their relatives pray for protection from the law, and for those living in the crossfire, ‘Holy Death’ is the only sect that makes sense in the world’s most violent cities S TO RY BY
E VG EN Y L E B EDE V P H OTO G R A P H BY
C AR LOS ARANDA
Photograph Agência Olhares
OCTOBER 2014 G 167
ou would not notice anything unusual about Julian at ﬁrst if you met him, as I did, in an American city on a sunny day, with cars whizzing past full of people on their way to the mall. Perhaps you would see that he walks a little awkwardly, but that is all. He is a handsome guy in his mid-thirties with high cheekbones and a big white smile, and for years he ran a trendy nightclub in a Mexican city. He loved running his own business, he told me. “You’re the boss of your own time,” he said, “you don’t have to tell anybody else what you’re doing.” In his spare time, he would go biking out in the desert. Gangsters arrived at his business a few years ago, as they did at all the businesses in his town. They demanded “protection” money. If he paid, he would be protected from them, and if he didn’t, he would face their wrath. For years, he paid whatever they asked, and they demanded ever larger sums, until one day he explained that they were bankrupting him and couldn’t give them money he didn’t have. He was terriﬁed, but he had no more money to give and had no choice. At ﬁrst they threatened him. Then, after several weeks of threats, they shot him in the arm.
Julian was almost relieved. Now they’ve extracted their price, he thought, I will be able to get on with my life. But they came back, still demanding “their” money. He explained again he didn’t have it. So they dragged him into the street, in the middle of the day, took out a saw, and cut off his feet, in front of everyone. I asked him if he considered going to the police and he laughed. In northern Mexico, the police and the gangs work together. “They didn’t hide it,” he said. “They would go with their uniform to extort the money with the gangsters. They never kept it secret.” If he had gone to the police to complain, he said, “I would probably not be here giving you this interview. “My life changed completely. You’re missing a part of your body. You are no longer complete,” he continued. “They did that to prove a point: that they weren’t playing any more and that there was nowhere I could hide. There was nowhere I could go. That they meant business.” He had no choice but to ﬂee his country. He is still so afraid they will mutilate or kill his family that he begged me not to use his real name or reveal his city or the particular narco-gang that did this. “It wasn’t always like this,” Julian said. “Years ago, when [Mexico’s] war on drugs started [when then-president Felipe Calderón declared war on the cartels in 2006], that’s when various organised crime groups sort of just exploded.” 168 G OCTOBER 2014
The 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico is one of the most important drug-smuggling routes in the world, and the area is controlled by organised crime on the Mexican side. Gangs kill each other to control the smuggling routes and have recruited supporters in the police and army. I travelled there to see what life is like for the innocent people who have to live through this. How could people cope with such terror and insecurity? One way, I found, is to worship “Death” herself. There are no angels at the church of Santa Muerte in Ciudad Juárez. There is an altar but there is no Christ. Instead there are 12 skeletons
The GANGSTERS came back, still demanding ‘their’ MONEY. He didn’t have it so they DRAGGED HIM INTO THE STREET, in the middle of the day, took out a saw, and CUT OFF his feet
for people to kneel before. Each is dressed in its own colour: one a white wedding dress, another a green bonnet. There is a ﬁgure wielding a huge scythe while its near neighbour balances the scales of justice in its bony hand. At the feet of these skeletons are the offerings left in exchange for favour: piles of money and cigarettes, sweets and alcohol. Nearby stands a globe to symbolise the ﬁgures’ earthly domination. Watching proceedings is the statue of an owl, the local symbol for witchcraft. The skeletons are known as the “Santa Muerte”, Holy Death, and she is like the Grim Reaper of Western imagination, the ﬁgure who comes for you in your ﬁnal moments of life. The worship of her is the fastest-growing religion in Mexico. The shrine is overseen by the church’s high priestess. She was dressed on the day of my visit in black and wearing high heels. When she spoke, her voice was melodic, her hands forming shapes in front of her as if summoning a spell. “Santa Muerte is the one in charge of collecting the souls when the flame of life is extinguished!” she cried. “She has never lived. She will never be alive. She is an obedient angel of God. When she takes the life of somebody, it’s because of an order of God. Magic allows protection – to protect the paths of people.” “Is that why believers leave offerings to her statues?” I asked. “Yes,” the high priestess answered. “For the protection of life.” Because people might die at any moment, they have begun to worship Death, since they believe this might at least give them some protection. At the entrance to the shrine – a dimly lit, sparse building on the outskirts of the city centre – a woman was praying, one of the ﬂow of devotees who come for blessing. The skin on her face was etched with the lines of poverty and age, the skin around her eyes dark with exhaustion. “More and more people are coming because of the violent times in the city,” she told me. “Santa Muerte has our wishes.” She paused momentarily, her expression crumbling into unmistakable grief. Some 60,000 people have died here in the past ﬁve years alone. “For the people, she is a necessity nowadays.” At the turn of the millennium there was no mass Santa Muerte cult in Mexico, or at least little public sign of it. Since the late 18th century, when Spanish priests had campaigned to stamp out her worship, veneration of her was clandestine, limited to altars in private homes or the occasional medallion or scapular hidden underneath devotees’ shirts. No longer. After a quesadilla vendor moved a life-sized Santa Muerte efﬁgy to the outside of her home in Tepito – the most brutal and bloody of Mexico City’s barrios – on All Saints’ Day 2001, she now rivals the Virgin of Guadalupe as the most important icon in the country. That ﬁrst public statue
Photographs Jeffrey Bright; Getty Images; Press Association
Fallen angels (clockwise from top left): A young Mexican stands in protest at a crime scene in Ciudad Juárez – the placard reads ‘Christ loves you, hit men’, 10 December 2011; the bodies of two cartel targets in an Acapulco taxi, 4 February 2013; two followers of Santa Muerte wear their devotion on their skin; a Juárez morgue bears testament to the city’s violence; wearing the death cult’s charms is seen by law enforcement agencies as a sign of gang affiliation; an effigy of Santa Muerte is carried through Mexico City; American student Mark Kilroy was killed in a blood sacriﬁce in 1989 by drug lord Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo; one of many bars and businesses burned down for refusing to pay protection money to Juárez gangs, 6 July 2011
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Gun runner: Six thousand weapons are destroyed in Ciudad J uárez on 16 February 2012, among the tens of thousands of drug-gang ﬁrearms that have been seized since Mexico’s former president Felipe Calderón launched the country’s ‘war on drugs’ in 2006; ﬁve men and four women – suspected members of the Los Zetas cartel – are left hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, all bearing signs announcing they were tortured before their deaths, 4 May 2012
became a shrine. Several thousand people now regularly attend the monthly service at its altar. A few miles away is the totem’s ﬁrst church, offering masses, weddings, baptisms, exorcisms and other ceremonies normally reserved for the country’s Roman Catholic hierarchy; her adherents are now believed to number seven million. It was the destruction of the once allpowerful Colombian Cali and Medellín cartels that led to the drug trade focusing on Mexico. The US State Department now estimates that Mexican drug cartels control some 90 per cent of drug trafﬁc into the US, with a business estimated to be worth at least $13 billion a year up for grabs. The Tijuana route was taken by the Arellano Felix brothers; the Matamoros-Tamaulipas corridor secured by Juan García Abrego; while in Ciudad Juárez the Cartel de Juárez and the Sinaloa Cartel have fought a battle for superiority that started in 2007. I saw the results when I visited the city’s morgue. A tall glass-and-steel structure, it is one of the most impressive buildings in Juárez. Outside the building when I arrived were two police cars. Both had been riddled with bullet holes, several straight through the windscreen. It had happened that morning, the staff told me. There is nothing exceptional about this. They seemed rather bored by the development. A technician showed me the body of one of the recently dead, the room full of the smell of decomposing ﬂesh. This one had been found by the side of a road, shot to pieces. I recognised him from a photograph on the front page of that day’s edition of the local tabloid newspaper PM, which is sold by the road sides, and nearly always features a mutilated corpse on the cover, alongside a smaller picture of an attractive woman wearing not many clothes.
This body was the latest victim of the Juárez drug war. Later, I visit the home of two young orphan girls now residing with their grandmother after their mother was shot dead in the public square. They are just two of the 8,500 orphans now believed to be in the city. Both were impeccably clean and well dressed, skipping around the room as their elderly relative and I talked. “I have to care for them,” the old woman told me, “but sometimes I don’t have anything to give them to eat. I have to go out to see whatever I can get, or I go out on the streets and look for some place to swipe, or I wash dishes at some house. There’s no gas, there’s no money. I’m alone.” “What is life likely to be like in the future for her and the girls?” I asked. “Very bad,” she answered, before raising her hand to indicate the house in which we were sitting and the two girls happily playing.
Photographs Corbis; Getty Images
Drug dealers have built ORNATE ALTARS to Santa Muerte, complete with gold and GEM-COVERED heads. A shrine to her was found beside ELEVEN BURNT HEADS left by mobsters in Yucatán
“At some point they are going to kick us out of here.” I travelled each day to and from El Paso, the American city that is on the other side of the Rio Grande. It is a typical American city: clean, ﬁlled with metal skyscrapers whose windows sparkle in the sun, a place where police stop jaywalkers; it’s safe and secure. Only a wirecovered bridge separates it from a world where you can have your feet chopped off with the approval of the police. After seeing all this, I have begun to understand the cult of Santa Muerte a little. Her strongest adherents are often those who feel that death is most imminent: prostitutes working the streets; taxi drivers out late at night; those caught amid the drug violence; even the remaining police ofﬁcers who still accept it is their job to bring the cartels to heel. Her most zealous followers, however, are in the drug gangs themselves. News reports regularly cite that drug dealers have built ornate altars to her, complete with gold and gemcovered altars. A shrine to Santa Muerte was found beside eleven burnt heads left by mobsters in Yucatán. A heavy in the Zetas drug gang was caught boasting he had sacriﬁced two teenage rivals to the cult, slitting open their bellies and spilling their blood as an offering. Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, a CubanAmerican drug lord, was found after his death in a shoot-out to have ritually sacriﬁced at least eleven men, women and children to Santa Muerte at the altar at his ranch in Tamaulipas. Among them was a University of Texas student, Mark Kilroy, kidnapped while in Mexico for spring break. The cartels’ embracing of Santa Muerte as their own has not been limited to Mexico. US law-enforcement agencies now view signs of veneration to the cult, whether a tattoo, OCTOBER 2014 G 171
Blaze of glory: Blowing smoke (commonly marijuana smoke) in the face of Santa Muerte is believed to encourage her to act on her supplicants’ prayers; 24 unidentiﬁed bodies are blessed by a Catholic priest before being laid to rest on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez – most were killed in the drug-related violence that has left 60,000 dead in the city and 8,500 orphans on its streets, 13 August 2012
necklace or prayer card, as enough to undertake further investigation into a suspect’s drug links. An altar to her was found in New Jersey when ofﬁcers stormed a brothel being used as a drug den. In Wisconsin, images of her were discovered guarding a dealer’s cocaine stash. In Tennessee, shrines helped hide pounds of marijuana. “Mexican drug trafﬁckers have embraced the narco-culture in a similar manner to which American street gangs like the Bloods and Crips historically embraced gangster-rap music and culture,” Tony Kail, author of Magico-Religious Groups And Ritualistic Activities, has explained. For some of them, believing Holy Death is on their side gives them the courage to kill. “Santa Muerte is embraced as a ‘literal angel of death’ that can comfort those on the fringes of society who might otherwise lack the spiritual courage to commit acts of crime or violence.” At the church to the icon in Ciudad Juárez, the high priestess insisted that such devotion by criminals should not distort our understanding of it. Santa Muerte, she told me, was far more than just the protector of the drug war. She herself claims to have ﬁrst seen the Santa Muerte in a vision when she had been kidnapped by a gang and thought she was going to be murdered. She maintains she owes her life to this vision. “Many people blame the Santa Muerte for the many deaths in the city but that isn’t true. In fact she has been very generous. She has helped us a lot. There have been cases where people are locked up in jail and their relatives come here and worship and pray, and these people are freed from prison.” Pointing at the statue dressed in white, she explained that it was the one in charge of “divine justice”. The one in gold was “in charge of petitions of people related to money”. Red was for those wishing a man to fall in love 172 G OCTOBER 2014
‘As a literal ANGEL OF DEATH, Santa Muerte comforts those on the fringes of society who might otherwise LACK THE SPIRITUAL COURAGE to commit acts of crime or violence’
with them. Purple changed “bad energies into positive ones”. Blue was for concentration, yellow the overcoming of addictions, brown for wisdom. Seeing one dressed in black, I asked what that was for. “Absolute power,” the priestess told me. “She is the manifestation of the supreme power.” The priestess asked if I wished to receive a blessing. To do so I needed to leave an offering and say my name three times as I held a statue of the icon while the priestess closed her eyes in ecstasy beside me. “She is going to help you stabilise a relationship,” she revealed. “She will remove all the obstacles in your life and she will help you forget that sadness from your childhood that you’re still bearing. You deserve it. You deserve it.” Then she opened her eyes. “See, she’s very strong. Very powerful. You have been protected by Santa Muerte.” I can see how this would be a comforting message to the people here.
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High Noon In The Garden Of Good And Evil (Jonathan Green, June 2013) The Last Klan (Evgeny Lebedev, May 2013) America’s Outlaw Politician (Evgeny Lebedev, December 2012)
Photographs Corbis; Daren Sánchez
The 12 statues above the altar loomed above me, each in their own distinct colour to symbolise their unique mystical power. At a time when violence is commonplace and the state unable to protect its people, protection is what they offer, a gift that is increasingly rare in the world their adherents inhabit. Some do manage to escape this world to start afresh. Julian, the former club owner who was mutilated by the gangs, lives today in the safety of the US. He has been given artiﬁcial feet by a generous American doctor and he has even learnt to ride a bike again. But in Juárez, everyone is living with the knowledge that what happened to him could happen to them at any time. The largest heap of offerings in the Church of the Santa Muerte was at the feet of the skeleton dressed in black: an expensivelooking watch, lots of coins, and flowers whose petals were already browning at the tips. I looked at them and felt I was seeing all the fear and terror of Ciudad Juárez, mounted into one pitiful, desperate pile. Evgeny Lebedev is the owner of the Evening Standard and the Independent newspapers. Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the safety of the individuals involved. If you would like to help people like Julian, you can support Mexicanos En Exilio, the organisation that brought him to safety in the US. mexicanosenexilio.com
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From the heart of the print firestorm, a free magazine for Montreal skate-kids emerged as a multimedia cultural phenomenon now (apparently) worth billions. But the madness Vice has unleashed may also be its undoing... S TO RY BY
MICH AE L WO LFF
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Vice squad (left): Magazine founder Shane Smith with early investor and former MTV exec Tom Freston
MICHAEL WOLFF politics. So less disenfranchised, perhaps, than merely distracted. “Dudes”, in other words. Of course, because there is no speciﬁcally measurable medium that Vice occupies, we can’t be sure that Vice reaches who it says it reaches. On the other hand, it appears that what Vice does, and the in-your-face and yet good-natured manner in which it does it, would appeal to Dudes if, in fact, Vice did reach them. In that respect, Vice returns to the great days of media, when it was more cultural moment, zeitgeist wave and ever-growing buzz than some inﬁnitely measurable and hence reducible thing. That buzz effect among the media community, if not among any certain audience, has propelled Vice from its beginnings as a local magazine to a large media enterprise – it describes itself as an international media company – being vied for by vastly larger media enterprises that are now said to value it at more than £1.2 billion. It is, in this sense, the most successful magazine ever published.
Vice is the confusing enterprise at the centre of many media people’s hopes for the future of the business. Vice is confusing (and inspires hope) because nobody can actually say what it is. This, in fact, is everybody’s most profound and, in a way, most hopeful question: “What is Vice?” Not knowing what it is does not diminish its signiﬁcance in any way. It increases it. (As on a spiritual quest, you might ask, “What is God?”) This trust in Vice as an all-powerful concept comes partly because it is doing so well, or at least appears to be. The fact that it is very hard to understand how it got to be successful, or even what it is successful at, increases the allure of the success and, too, obscures the fact that it might not be as successful as everybody assumes it to be (which is, in a sense, perfect). But what is it? It’s a media company. But it is not a company that does any one thing in media. It does all things. Or a little of everything. There is a magazine, though not much of one. There is a website, though even that is not its main digital focus. There is a TV show, but that’s more of a promotion than the main event. There are YouTube channels, of course. There are concerts and events. There is copious video, sliced and diced in endless rows of editing bays at the company’s ofﬁces in Brooklyn, a place of which Vice has become a symbol (it is not slick and sleazy and suity like Manhattan). The medium, in fact, turns out not to be the message, because there is no one particular medium. That may be one of the key reasons no one knows what Vice is, as well as its key virtue: it’s transcended platform. It is not caught in the media’s heretofore conﬁned space. Vice is more of a free-ﬂoating attitude or psychographic – a kind of merger of earnestness and grossness. Vice reaches young men – a certain sort of media-disenfranchised young men. But “disenfranchised” may suggest too much meaning or purpose or
The medium, in fact, turns out to be THE MESSAGE, because there is no one medium. That may be VICE’S VIRTUE: it’s transcended platform
Vice is run by a portly 44-year-old bearded Canadian named Shane Smith, who is, albeit more modestly, a kind of Jann Wenner or Hugh Hefner for this media age. Smith started Vice in 1994, as a giveaway skateboard magazine in Montreal – Wenner started Rolling Stone in San Francisco and Hefner started Playboy in Chicago – before migrating to New York and media stardom. Smith is, however, anti-media, or anti-professional media. There is a kind of cult of amateurism at Vice, or just a rejection of the experience and training that might demand a high salary. Vice, even as it has become a multibillion dollar property, remains famous for its low pay. One of Vice’s ﬁrst star turns – preceding its most famous role as the sponsor of Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea, where he cosied up to Kim Jong-Un – came in the documentary about the New York Times, called Page One. The major focus of the ﬁlm was the Times’ media critic, David Carr, as a standard-bearer for traditional media, and a dramatic high point was Carr showing up at Vice’s Brooklyn ofﬁces and taking an askance and sceptical, if not derisive, look at their journalists’ efforts in a warzone and the tendency to be awestruck by atrocities. But even then the joke seemed to be on Carr, with a generational and tonal gap opening under his feet. Since then, Carr, like many other established media ﬁgures, has rushed to embrace Vice and sees it as a “next new thing” in media. What that new thing is, apparently, is the ability to assemble an audience without regard for time and place. Many media organisations have noted, after years of fracturing audiences, the importance of going to where their readers and viewers are. But that has often seemed like driving Cadillacs into
Covered in glory (from left): Vice’s November 2012 ‘Syria’ issue conﬁrmed the brand as an unlikely home of ‘hard’ journalism, while the ‘Writing-Cute-Things’ issue of February 2009 epitomised its irreverent USP
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MICHAEL WOLFF deserts. Vice, by eschewing any speciﬁc form, is much more nimble. It’s a brand rather than a medium, and able to seamlessly materialise in myriad venues, taking its otherwise clueless advertisers with it. On the other hand, that’s not exactly how Smith explains it. He says Vice makes videos that are underwritten by a sponsor – a video about, say, apes (actual apes) and drug experiments performed on them, which will be sponsored, somewhat confusingly, by the ﬁlm Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. This is a kind of anti-advertising advertising, or parallel-interest advertising, or auxiliarycontent advertising, which pays for the making of the video. Then Vice takes this video and its outtakes, together with the many other videos it has made (a ceaseless output, really) and from this material creates new material to sell to foreign locales. And that’s where its big proﬁts come. In fact, I have never heard anyone in the television business say there is anything more than incremental money in foreign markets, but Smith says they’re gold.
There is a CULT OF AMATEURISM at Vice, a rejection of experience. Even as a multibillion-dollar property, it remains famous for LOW PAY the ever-growing sense that traditional media doesn’t work, that digital media is a disappointment too and that some other experience, relationship or cultural engagement is necessary. Hence, you need an alternative; you need the other. Among the things that Vice may be, along with magazine, TV show, website, YouTube channel, etc, is, in fact, an advertising agency. Except not an advertising agency that you would call an advertising agency, or one that advertises in other media. Instead, it’s a company that takes a creative approach to promoting products in its own media. In that sense, it’s a new form, an ultimate expression of the sliding scale, or slippery slope, of content that is somehow not unsponsored but not vulgarly sponsored either. Content itself, in that sense, has become the medium, ever more ﬁnely mediating between commercial interests and pure interests. That has become Vice’s savvy place. As one senior marketing executive at Cannes happily explained, “We have a deal with Vice and they make ads for us. We call it advertising. They call it content.”
ice was one of the big stars at this year’s Cannes Lions festival, the annual gathering in the South of France of advertising agencies, brands and media companies, traditional, digital and otherwise. Vice, which hosted a major yacht party, had in its entourage its A-list investors: Tom Freston, former CEO of Viacom and an early executive of MTV (arguably, Vice is the MTV of the moment); Ari Emanuel, CEO of William Morris Endeavor and the world’s most famous agent; representatives of 21st Century Fox, which bought ﬁve per cent of the company (James Murdoch sits on Vice’s board); Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, the world’s largest advertising-agency holding company; people from Time Warner, which is said to be buying, investing in, partnering with or somehow advancing Vice’s cause and valuation; as well as every other media honcho and jet-setter in the area (among them Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend, Dasha Zhukova). This was an appropriate and telling setting for Vice, because among the things it has done most adroitly is position itself as the media company that ad agencies and brands seek out to clarify their own confusion about the taste, sensibility and whereabouts of the Dude market. In a way, this goes to the heart of what Vice is (or isn’t) and to the canniness of its refusal to be something that anyone can quite deﬁne – or that anyone even wants to deﬁne. It represents what you don’t know and what you yourself are not. Advertisers are seeking not only to target hard-to-reach young men but to be something other than advertising, to transcend categories, forms and media platforms, and to achieve cultural credibility, presence and, ideally, ubiquity. In other words, they don’t want to be accused of being advertising. Behind this is
ut what is it? And, is it any good, whatever it is? Curiously, you can be aware of Vice, understand that it is an important aspect of the new media ecosystem and acknowledge that it is redeﬁning the content-commerce relationship without having seen what it does – and without quite being aware that you haven’t. That may be its overriding accomplishment. Its magazine has limited circulation. Its YouTube numbers are fairly middle-range. Its website is dwarfed by many others. And, while it has a regular HBO show, it’s far from one of HBO’s hits. Indeed, being too literal minded – that is, actually focusing on what it does – will likely confuse you even more when it comes to understanding what it is. The HBO show, for instance, hosted by Smith, like some latter-day Walt Disney, is, in a sense, so bad that it must be good. Or so unprofessional that this must be the new standard – no longer having to be professional. The talent here is so callow and born-yesterday that this must be the point – naïfs and nitwits are cool. And since the established media organisations have failed at or given up on deep-dive reporting and sending correspondents to far-off danger zones, Vice can hardly be criticised for at least trying to put out a real news show, with intrepid correspondents in T-shirts (one of Vice’s correspondents was brieﬂy held prisoner by Russian separatists in Ukraine) in the world’s hot spots. And there are the other videos, on all manner of subjects, so much video that there hardly seems to be any sort of plan or theme as to why or what. The view seems partly to be that if you make this much you can hardly be held responsible for any of it. Or if you make this much you can’t spend much on each video, so of course most of it won’t be very good. But, then again, some of it, against the odds, might be cool. And that works! Still, even if Vice is a Potemkin village, it is potentially, or at least you can imagine its potential as, a bona ﬁde news brand for young men – the Fox of dudes, so to speak. It is possible, even likely, that Shane Smith, occupying a venerable media role, is a lucky and astute ﬂimﬂam man, who will fob off his illusory media enterprise on a greater fool. But – and I am not saying that this is not the case – Vice might also turn out to be the way forward: media attached to no medium, just a persistent rumour of attitude and cred, suitably monetisable.
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Who Will Replace Paul Dacre As Editor Of The Daily Mail? (Michael Wolff, September 2014) Why Prince Charles Has More In Common With Barack Obama Than You Think (Michael Wolff, August 2014) The Guardian At The Gate (Michael Wolff, July 2014)
178 G OCTOBER 2014
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THE HIGH LIFE In Graff’s occasional series, an ideal day is planned in an iconic city. This month, sample the culture, spirit and skyline of Hong Kong
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12 noon Hong Kong Exclusive yachts Hire a junk, yacht or bay liner,
Crown Diamond tipped
plus crew, and discover Hong Kong’s 200 islands (hkexclusive.com). 1pm Café Gray Deluxe European dishes meet the culinary artistry of chef Gray Kunz (cafegrayhk.com). 2pm Peninsula Flight-Seeing Tour Take the Peninsula
helicopter tour, then visit the hotel’s Graff store (left) (peninsula. com). 3pm Hong Kong Museum of Art View the works of
Hong Kong’s renowned sculptor Tong King-sum (1940-2008) in Tempting Touch (hk.art.museum). 4pm Lobster Afternoon Tea Crustacean-ﬁlled decadence at the Island Shangri-La hotel (shangri-la.com). 5pm Hanart TZ Gallery The Hong Kong home of contemporary Chinese art (hanart. com). 6pm Come Horseracing Tour Pristine track views at Happy Valley’s evening programme (splendid.hk). 7pm The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA
Case 43mm platinum, just 6.95mm thick
Re-energise amid panoramic views, then browse Graff’s jewellery and watches on Level 103 (left) (ritzcarlton.com). 8pm Raja Luxe Select the ﬁnest English or Italian fabric for your made-to-measure suit (raja-fashions. com). 9pm Amber Try Richard Ekkebus’ signature sea urchin in lobster jelly (mandarinoriental.com). 10pm The Black Bird The discerning crowd opts for small-batch spirits in this relaxed setting (theblckbrd.com). 11pm SEVVA Taste Bar From the 25th ﬂoor, take in the world’s most awesome skyline (sevva.hk).
MasterGraff Ultra Flat Tourbillon With distinctive, angular lines, every timepiece by Graff Watches reveals a link with the company’s heritage. Founded in 1960, the London-based Graff has handled more notable diamonds than any other jeweller in the world, a fact reﬂected in the mosaic diamonddesign bezel on all Graff timepieces. Graff Watches pushes the boundary of possibility with each new release and the MasterGraff Ultra Flat is no exception. At 6.95mm thick, it is one of the sleekest tourbillon watches ever made. Powered by a highly innovative Graff Calibre 4 movement, the tourbillon overcomes its tight constraints with an ingenious ball-bearing mechanism. The platinum 43mm MasterGraff Ultra Flat Tourbillon with a blue dial and alligator strap is limited to 50 pieces. Price on application. Graff London, 6-8 New Bond Street, London W1. The Peninsula, Hong Kong. Graff, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Graff, St George’s Building, Hong Kong (opening soon). graffdiamonds.com
Back after a five-year hiatus, Kilgour’s freelance creative director Carlo Brandelli is tearing up the rule book for its Savile Row store as well as its tailoring S TO RY BY
BILL PR I N C E coordinates the same as those of the single-cuff buttonhole, while the second features a design that overlays the collar with the lapel (rather than abutting at the traditional seam). As Brandelli notes, the result not only mimics the blade of a tie but, through subtle shadow play, creates a ghostly “K”, “which was a total coincidence”, he marvels. Brandelli – who was Kilgour’s creative director from 2003 until 2009 (when he departed following its sale to a Dubai-based construction business; it has since been purchased by Hong Kong-based luxury consortium Fung Capital) – has spent the past ﬁve years working as a sculptor from his house in northern Italy, oblivious to the ramping up of menswear as both an appreciating asset class for investment, as well as the playground of a new generation of costumier stylists. Brandelli, of course, is neither, and cites art and architecture as his primary concerns, evidenced in the engineering wonder that is Kilgour’s newly renovated space. Fittingly more redolent of one of the area’s “white cube” galleries,
n Kilgour’s newly renovated granite and glass ﬂagship space on London’s Savile Row, the brand’s recently reappointed freelance creative director, Carlo Brandelli, is talking GQ through a short history of lapels. Brandelli’s point is that for 300-odd years, the approach taken to such details has been broadly identical: as if, in a more rareﬁed and ancient version of Henry Ford’s dictum that you could have any colour you liked as long as it was black, it’s been proclaimed that there are three lapel styles – no more, no less. But Brandelli is wearing one of the new Kilgour styles he’s designed since returning to the house last year following a five-year hiatus – a shallow, diamond-shaped lapel that, in effect, reverses the traditional notch to subtly yet powerfully update a traditional shawl-style collar. Nestled between a few samples of the new ready-to-wear collection due to arrive in January are two more cleverly updated takes on the classic notch and peak lapels. The ﬁrst has a much-reduced aperture, its
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Portait Nick Knight
No5 Savile Row is an exquisite re-imagining of the traditional bespoke tailor as a “machine for creating”: three granite cutting tables with a combined weight of ﬁve tons have been cantilevered from an off-centre vertical support, and the surrounding walls will be kept necessarily bare of clothing to better highlight the single row of down-lit glass “pattern panels”, each containing an example of the house’s illustrious order book. But then, as Brandelli says, far from being “all about the clothes”, a tailoring business should reﬂect every aspect of a life well lived. So the music is as soothing – Debussy, Satie – as the surfaces are hard (the ﬂoor, too, is granite – referencing the stone-ﬂoored basements of Savile Row’s older workshops). In fact, in its total avoidance of free-standing structures, the entire store references the “ﬂoating” nature of a bespokemade suit: a process Brandelli refers to as the combination of “time and information... the ability to make quality choices”. “The ﬁrst time I was here [at Kilgour], I contemporised. But this time I’m experimenting with what bespoke can be. Because a suit is still a form of armour – it tells everyone where you are in the hierarchy. The only difference is today the generals wear bespoke.”
Rock store: Granite and glass dominate in Kilgour’s revamped space on Savile Row
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(From left) Claire wears coat, £49.99. Jumper, £14.99. Jeans, £19.99. Hat, £14.99. Isaac wears coat, £59.99. Shirt, £19.99. Trousers, £24.99. Backpack, £19.99. All by New Look . newlook.com
He is just 35, yet already in the shadow cabinet, talked of as a possible Labour leader of the future and Britain’s first black prime minister. The boy from Lambeth with his roots in Nigeria tells GQ about his mission to fight apathy, how politics does not need to be a blood sport and why he is proud to shop on Savile Row...
CHUKA UMUNNA, Labour MP for Streatham, always intended to go into business, but not in the way it has turned out. The plan was for him to work for his father, Bennett, a Nigerian-born immigrant who arrived in the UK with nothing and built a successful import-export company. But Umunna Senior was killed in a car crash when his son was 13. “I grew up quickly,” says Chuka. Instead of business he chose law, albeit with a focus on the corporate side of life. But, not least because of the poverty he saw in south London where he grew up and even more so in Nigeria on family visits, this son of an atypical and nonpolitical family background found political passion stirring. As he looked at UK’s all-white Parliament, however, he never imagined he could become an MP, until a chance encounter as a schoolboy with a former Conservative chancellor made him realise that maybe he could. Elected as MP only four years ago, now just 35, he is already in the shadow cabinet and back on familiar ground as shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills. P H OTO G R A P H BY
One of the most presentable, high-proﬁle members of the Labour front bench, the continuing rarity of black MPs has drawn inevitable comparisons with Barack Obama, while his focus on a modernising message and his desire to reach out beyond Labour ranks draws comparisons with Tony Blair. He seems both ﬂattered and alarmed by such comparisons, knowing that anyone who has risen as fast as he has must be wary. But, so far, he has handled himself well and if Labour win in 2015 will join that small band of politicians who become universally known by their ﬁrst name. Meet Chuka.
ST E V E NEAV ES
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Grooming Sara Clark
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL Suit by Alexandra Wood, £795. alexandrawood bespoke.co.uk. Shirt by Boss, £109. hugoboss.com. Tie by Thomas Pink , £79. thomaspink.com
‘People forget, when I was growing up there were no MPs who looked like me’
AC: Right, here we go. No politician answers allowed. CU: Oh, God. AC: First question: this government is useless, so why are we, Labour, not 20 points ahead? CU: That question presupposes we are in normal times and we’re not – we are a country in transition... AC: That is the country. I am asking about why the party is not ripping the Tories to bits. CU: We are ripping them to bits on a whole range of issues, but we had a global ﬁnancial crash that happened under our watch, and though there was a cross-party consensus on the regulatory framework for banking we were the ones who got the blame. AC: We made a bad mistake in allowing the sense to develop that it was their fault, because they’ve failed to rebut the Tory line about “the mess we inherited”. CU: I do think we need to talk more proudly about our record. We do need to explain and rebut this notion that we crashed the car. AC: We have totally played into that though. CU: My view is that the seeds were sown under the last government and Gordon [Brown] – for whom I have a lot of respect – his refusal to use the word “cuts” in trying to frame the economic debate as investment versus cuts gave the impression we didn’t understand that debt and deﬁcit would have to be dealt with. AC: But the crash was not his fault. CU: My main argument in my conference speech was that we did not crash the car. Labour left the country in a far better state, and I say it all the time. AC: The Eds [Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls] don’t. CU: I think they do. AC: No you don’t... CU: I do. AC: I said no politician answers. CU: I do think we need to talk more about the record and the many good things Labour did. Also, remember that in 2012, nine to ten million voters who had never voted before had no memory of a Conservative government, and didn’t heed the warnings. But many of them have had their Education Maintenance Allowance taken away, tuition fees trebled, public services getting worse, and they say, “OK, I get it.” AC: You have said that Tony Blair was “85 per cent right”. Is the other 15 per cent Iraq? 186 G OCTOBER 2014
CU: Mostly Iraq, but I also think
we should have taken a broader view on the structure of the economy and growth should have been delivered by a greater variety of sectors. Automotive, aerospace, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, creative industries, ﬁnance and business services, food, these are all sectors we are leading in the world, and we need to build on that with foresight about the sectors for the future so that Industry GB is at the forefront. A lot of people feel disconnected from politics and economics, and no wonder when one in ﬁve cannot do basic things online. AC: Why can’t we just come out and back these big infrastructure decisions that the country needs? CU: We need to take the politics out of this kind of thing. AC: But these decisions are political. CU: Decisions on Heathrow and rail have been ducked because short-term political interests took over. AC: The public elect politicians to make decisions. Just say we are going to build it. CU: Well, if the Davies Commission [examining the need for an additional UK runway] recommends the third runway, I would be ﬂabbergasted if either a Conservative or Labour government said “no”. People get so disillusioned and I think there is too much tribalism. I am not the most tribal politician. Actually, in business and skills, to his credit Vince Cable has carried on with a lot that Peter Mandelson did. AC: I’m not sure he has much power, though. CU: No, I don’t think he has the same clout across government as Peter did, or Michael Heseltine. AC: Could you see a role for Hezza [Heseltine] if there was a Labour government? CU: I would very much like to work with Hezza and get him involved. Along with others. AC: Like? CU: Like John Prescott. AC: He’s Labour. CU: He is. There are lots of Tories who have offered me advice and I have taken advice. Michael is one. Ken Baker is another. I ﬁnd him in some ways a very nonpartisan politician. I do not have a problem working with people from other parties. AC: Have you spoken to George Osborne since you upset him at the Treasury select committee, where you
Seeing red: Chuka Umunna alongside the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, in Brixton, London, June 2011
asked him if he had ever been on Jobseekers’ Allowance [JSA]? CU: I got very angry. I thought it was morally indefensible to punish someone for being unemployed. If you had been on JSA for more than 12 months you would lose ten per cent regardless of the effort you made to get a job. I was not surprised they dropped it. I was angry because I’d had a long surgery at the weekend, people desperate to get work, and I felt he was punishing them. AC: Where do your basic politics come from? CU: I am not from a political family. I think it is partly framed by my family background, and the area I grew up in, Lambeth, very diverse, ethnically, socio-economically. AC: You have an unusual family background. CU: I am half Nigerian, quarter Irish, quarter English. My father was a ragsto-riches businessman who came over in the Sixties with no money, aged 33. On my mother’s side, I am the grandson of a High Court judge and celebrated intelligence ofﬁcer, so it’s quite an unusual combination.
‘Labour needs to explain and rebut the notion that we crashed the car’
Photograph Ben Cawthra/LNP
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL AC: Your father died in a car crash
Photograph Chuka Umunna/Twitter
when you were 13. Were you close? CU: Yes, very. He is still a massive inﬂuence and his death had a profound effect on me. He was something of a national ﬁgure, there were thousands of people at the funeral in Nigeria. In Lambeth we were unusual in that we were mixed race, a middle-class family, and most people were not of our means. That didn’t seem fair to me. When I went to Nigeria in 1987, and I came face to face with the poverty side, I could not understand why I seemed to have so much and people there had so little. That is where my politics start, that sense of injustice. AC: How would you deﬁne your national identity? CU: I feel Londoner ﬁrst. Then British. AC: Where does Nigerian come? CU: That is why I say London. It is a melting pot of cultures, of people from different backgrounds. One of the beauties of my background – mixed-race, strange thing regarding class – is that we are comfortable with all the different cultures and identities. So, “Are you black or mixed-race?” I am both. AC: Why has Labour got itself into this position where it gets described as “anti-business”? CU: I don’t think we have. I think something a lot of people in business ﬁnd insulting is the idea that “business” is all the same, that they are all seen as the same as the banks ripping off small businesses, energy companies charging too much or those who are responsible for the failings of the housing market. The thing business fears most is exit from the EU, not a Labour government. AC: OK, so why are we not banging that drum more loudly? CU: We are, but we need to bang it more loudly still. I am one of the most pro-European voices in politics. We can best exercise power on the global stage as part of this club of nations with similar values and a common outlook, more than we can on our own. Europe would be diminished if we left, but Britain will
Shake the room: Chuka Umunna teams up with Will Smith for a surprise visit to a school in Tulse Hill, London, March 2014
be diminished most of all. AC: But we don’t really bang the EU
‘I’ve taken a lot of abuse and invective from UKIP activists, but I don’t care’
drum. We don’t really stand up for the positive beneﬁts of immigration. We seem a bit scared of the rightwing agenda. CU: Well, I’m not, and I’ve taken a lot of racial abuse and invective from UKIP activists, but I don’t care. People do have legitimate concerns about controls, integration, ensuring people do not exploit the system and contribute, we should address those concerns. But the NHS would collapse without immigrants. The Windrush [the ship that brought 492 Jamaicans to Britain in 1948], others who came here at our request, they helped rebuild our country after the war. AC: If Labour have a pledge card, 1997 style, at the 2015 election what would be on it? CU: I can’t tell you until we publish it. AC: That’s a politician’s answer. Will there be one? CU: Yes, there will, and if you were in your old job [as Labour’s director of communications] you would kill me if I told you what it was now; you would totally bollock me. AC: Probably. CU: Deﬁnitely. AC: Why did we do so badly in the European elections? CU: There is a growing apathy about politics, including during our time [in ofﬁce], but then there was no real lightning rod – UKIP has provided a lightning rod. And they are angry about the economy. They say, “You have been talking to me about beneﬁts of globalisation and we don’t get it.” It is all about coming to terms with this different world. AC: Why don’t we come straight out and say there would only be a referendum if a Labour government recommended it, and there is no chance of that so there will be no referendum? Simple, clear. CU: We have said there does not need
to be a referendum unless there is a proposal to shift more powers to Brussels, which is unlikely. I have always made the case [that] we should be conﬁdent about all this. The Labour brand is a far more powerful brand than the Tory brand or the UKIP brand in this country. That is why, with an open goal in front of them, [the Tories] shot and misﬁred in 2012. Cameron should have won a majority and in part it is because of the strength of the Labour brand that despite the crash happening on our watch and despite Gordon Brown struggling to connect in some ways, they still did not win and they have not actually won since 1992. AC: But we are struggling to connect with a lot of people now. CU: First they said Ed Miliband had no vision and then he did the One Nation speech and that was a clear vision. Then they said he has no policies, and now they say he has too many policies. AC: Who says that? CU: The media. AC: I’m not interested in the media; I am interested in the public. They don’t know what all these policies are. CU: What we need to do now, sorry, what we are doing now, is tying it all together into a story of what the country is and what we know it can be. In 1997 we were putting forward a vision of what the country could be, and in many ways that vision is what people saw in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. AC: Modernisation. Strategy. CU: Exactly. Now we are going to modernise the country again, make it ﬁt for the future. Can you fulﬁl your aspirations for you and your family, you and your community? We are going to empower you to do that. If you want to move from a council ﬂat to a house, we help you, if you want to get the skills to move from a junior position in your ﬁrm and aspire to be a CEO, we can help you. AC: Now, this being GQ we must talk about your hair. CU: It is quite long for me at the moment. AC: Do you cut it yourself? CU: Yes, a weekly shave. AC: Do you like it bald? CU: Yes, it is a lot easier that way. AC: And who is this tailor I have never heard of that does all your suits? CU: Alexandra Wood? It is not terribly glamorous, you know. My organiser’s sister started her own OCTOBER 2014 G 187
business when I was a candidate and she had gone from starting this small business to being [one of] the only female tailors on Savile Row, so I am delighted to support her. AC: Now just give me the absolutely correct pronunciation of your name. CU: Chook-ah. Uh-mun-a. Think “snooker” and throw in your Northern accent and you’ll be OK. I love my name, though. AC: Have you given up DJ-ing? CU: I am best man for one of my best mates over the summer and he has asked me to do the DJ-ing, so I might do that. I did house, mainly. AC: Would you ever think about being London mayor? CU: No, not interested. I want to be part of a Labour Cabinet. We must win. AC: OK, I am allowing you one politician’s answer, to this question: do you ever think about being leader of the party? CU: I think about being in a Labour Cabinet. AC: Politician’s answer. I will rephrase: how often do you think about being leader of the party? CU: I am being totally honest about this. I was surprised to be selected, I am surprised to be an MP. I have been surprised to get promoted. People forget, when I was growing up there were no MPs of colour, nobody in Parliament who looked like me. I couldn’t even imagine being an MP. The plan was always to go into business with my father, but when he passed away that plan was obliterated. Then I had an epiphany moment, at a sixth-form conference where Norman Lamont was speaking. I hadn’t planned it, I just got so angry. He was telling us we should vote Tory because they had done so many wonderful things, I got called and I said, “Why should we vote for you when you said you would cut VAT and you put it up, and you are 188 G OCTOBER 2014
A love of Labour: Ed Miliband and Umunna address students and entrepreneurs at Manchester Metropolitan University’s business school, March 2014
‘I don’t know if we will win a majority, but we can – if we make the right calls’
Photograph Joel Goodman/LNP
handcufﬁng female prisoners to beds while they give birth?” I was shaking, but the mistake he made was instead of saying, “I understand where you are coming from,” he patronised me and said, “Have you quite ﬁnished yet?” and everyone started booing and hissing. And I thought, Jesus, I have just taken on the man who used to run the British economy, I am some 17-year-old kid and maybe I could do this in the future. It was a real moment for me. AC: Do you think he would have said that if you were white? CU: I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. AC: He was basically saying you were an upstart. CU: Yes, and that made me even angrier. AC: Did you enjoy the applause? CU: I was just angry. AC: No, that is a politician answer. Did you enjoy it, the sense of people supporting and rallying to your side? CU: I was surprised at the connection, and yes, I enjoyed it. But above all I felt angry and I felt vindicated. It was the same with Osborne at the select committee. I don’t lose it very often, but I did then. I kind of regret it with George; I get on quite well with him. His private persona doesn’t come through, really. I disagree with him profoundly on political issues, but I do not think he is the devil. I don’t feel politics should be a blood sport, and I do think this is going to be the nastiest, most personal election ever... AC: Oh, people say that about every election. CU: But you said yourself about the right-wing media and the Daily Mail... AC: They just don’t matter like they used to. CU: It is still not pleasant to be on the receiving end, you know that; politicians are human beings and I am just saying politics doesn’t need to be a blood sport. AC: Listen, I went through cuttings on you and you had two total arselicking pieces in the Daily Mail. I would have been ashamed of myself if they had been so nice about me!
CU: It doesn’t need to be a blood
sport. It is one of the reasons I have argued for the abolition of PMQs in its current form. AC: OK, now look me in the eye, Chuka, and answer this: are we, Labour, going to win a majority? CU: We can. I don’t know if we will but we can, if we make the right calls, if we focus on people and their ambitions and not on the bubble at Westminster. Bill Clinton said we have to own the future. We have to tell a hopeful, optimistic, aspirational story that relates to their lives. AC: And with more energy. CU: With even more energy. And it is a team, not just Ed Miliband, we all have to play our part. AC: Some of my interviews have made news when I have asked what people think about Putin. So what do you think about Putin? CU: I ﬁnd some of his actions quite frightening and worrying. That’s what I would say about Putin. AC: Which leaders do you admire? CU: Bill Clinton. AC: Current. CU: I like Manuel Valls, prime minister of France, and I like Matteo Renzi in Italy; I think he is the most exciting politician in Europe right now. AC: Angela Merkel? CU: Yes, I think she understands that it is important to transcend party politics. Party afﬁliation among the public is not what it was, so just putting on an old party label or old-style tribalism will not win you elections. AC: Do you do God? CU: I do do God, yes. I am not immensely religious, but I was a chorister. I go to Southwark Cathedral maybe once a month for a bit of peace, reﬂection and to stay in touch with my faith, but Church is not the only way to connect with faith AC: You mention getting married in lots of interviews, so when is that going to happen? CU: I need to ﬁnd a wife. AC: Would you consider online dating? CU: I would get cruciﬁed. AC: By whom? CU: The media. AC: Stop worrying about the media. Ah, here it is, I’ve found one of those Mail arse-lick pieces “The British Obama or the black Blair?” So which of those two do you prefer? CU: I am very happy being the Chuka Umunna of Streatham.
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POWER DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
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BEAM ME UP! Laser headlamps, virtual dashboards and e-fuel: the future of auto technology
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
GP O W ER
A 3 E -T R O N
BY JASON BARLOW
‘During our Viennese test, 25 of the 34 miles we drove were zero emission’
Mobile app remotely pre-heats or cools
0-62 mph in 7 .6 sec
37g/km CO² emissions
Prepare to have your hybrid preconceptions rearranged by the Audi A3 e-tron, which combines impressive emission stats with old-school performance. As GQ recently discovered, this is much more than a car for the new-age traveller
ienna’s famous musical icons are celebrated in the city in a variety of ways. We could have a small efﬁgy of Mozart dangling from the rear-view mirror, or stream a “reworking” of Beethoven’s Fifth but, as we leave the city and head for the hills, they are alive with the sound of... a gentle techno hum. The A3 e-tron is a plug-in petrolelectric hybrid, the company’s ﬁrst to make full production. So, while it looks almost identical to the regular A3 Sportback, the driving experience necessitates a comprehensive rearranging of expectations. The ﬁrst thing that strikes you is the new-found, almost new-age calmness as you get under way. Car makers
31-mile electric range
137mph top speed
(or 80mph in electric mode)
GP O W ER
A 3 E -T R O N
GQ TABLET EXTRA! See the Audi A3 e-tron Sportback in action on iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Tab S
The Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-litre TFSi petrol engine, which in itself is a terriﬁc advertisement for the company’s technology leadership. It’s downsized, turbocharged and features a lightweight aluminium crankcase and clever exhaust system. It weighs just 100kg overall. For the A3 e-tron, the Audi engineers have had to move the engine six centimetres to the right to accommodate the electric part of the e-tron equation: there’s a new ﬂywheel, a decoupler, a new six-speed dual-clutch gearbox and lots of electronics and cooling systems. The electric motor itself sits behind the ﬂywheel, and is fed energy by a 96-cell lithium ion battery pack hidden away under the rear seat. Keeping it cool and well protected are obviously priorities, and Audi insists the batteries remain effective in searing heat or a sub-zero chill. Somehow, the e-tron team have managed to position a highly complex secondary powertrain in parallel with the existing one. “Integrating the systems and packaging them was the biggest challenge,” product boss Herman Verbeek tells GQ. ENGINE 1.4-litre, 150bhp petrol engine, plus electric motor RANGE Up to 584 miles (31 on electric alone); 176mpg combined PERFORMANCE 0-62mph in 7 .6sec; top speed, 138mph PRICE £29,950 (including government grant) CONTACT audi.co.uk
spend millions trying to reduce what’s called NVH – noise, vibration and harshness – and, bar a hint of tyre rush and a whisper of wind around the door mirrors, there is none. For those of us addicted to the chemical pop and rush of internal combustion, it’s weirdly seductive. The second revelation is how seamless it all is. This is key to the A3 e-tron’s success: high technology is all around you, but there are no barriers to its use. The e-tron integrates its systems so smoothly, you won’t even notice as those expectations are rearranged. Not least because this is a hybrid in which the focus is as much on driving entertainment as economy and efﬁciency. Everyone, from Ferrari down, is being tasked with reducing CO2 emissions, to a range average of 95g/km by 2020, and just 75 by 2025. Hybridisation is inevitable and expensive, but one of its advantages is that it can enhance performance while simultaneously reducing consumption and emissions. Not quite a silver bullet, but not far off. The A3 e-tron is a prime example of the possibilities. At the heart of its powertrain is Audi’s 150bhp
The resulting numbers would have been fantasy even ﬁve years ago. Harnessing the two energy sources provides an overall power output of 204bhp and 258lb ft of torque (that’s the stuff that gives you the shove in your back), which sees the A3 e-tron hit 62mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 137mph. More signiﬁcantly, it does this hot-hatch impression while emitting just 37g/ km of CO2. That means you don’t need to fork out for road tax or worry about London’s congestion charge. More startling is the e-tron’s eco potential: Audi claims that 176mpg is possible. In a laboratory, perhaps. In the real world, we have to mix with other trafﬁc, accelerate up hills, and maybe even string a few corners together against a blustery head-wind. The e-tron uses special tyres, with a low rolling resistance, and its hybrid powertrain means it’s heavier than the regular A3, but it still handles with Audi’s signature conﬁdence. It’s entertaining. But it’s more satisfying to tap into the whole other side of the car’s personality. A button on the A3’s dashboard allows you to choose from four modes: pure electric “EV”; “charge” mode to replenish the battery while driving; “hybrid hold” to store electric energy for use later on; and “auto” mode, which harmonises the electric and petrol power units. Slide the Audi four-ring logo to the side, and you can also charge the e-tron up at home: it takes just under four hours. That equates to around 31 miles of pure electric range, which is more than most people’s average daily commute. In that context, the petrol unit is basically a range extender/ generator that quells any anxiety about getting stranded. Or you simply use the main engine on the motorway, as you head into the city, before switching to silent, zero-emissions propulsion in urban areas. Learning how to get the best out of the e-tron is part of its appeal. During our Viennese test, 25 of the 34 miles we drove were zero emissions, an amazing result given the variety of roads we used. But our spell in the saintly e-tron eco glow was short-lived. “Not bad,” the lady from Audi told us, “although you stopped using the EV mode too soon. You could have done better.” audi.co.uk
A U D I NE X T- G E N T E C H
TFT ‘virtual instrument display’ As in-car functionality proliferates, the demands placed on the traditional cockpit layout grow. A key innovation in the all-new Audi TT is its conﬁgurable TFT instrument display, which concentrates everything into the area directly ahead of the driver, eliminating the central multimedia binnacle. The display itself is a 12.3in screen with ultra high-resolution graphics, and uses Nvidia Tegra 3 processors like those used in smartphones and tablets. It allows the driver to move seamlessly between the speedo and rev counter, or infotainment and/or Google Earth sat nav displays. Once you’ve got the hang of it, anything else immediately feels antiquated.
Ultra Reducing weight is the Holy Grail in the automotive technology race. But as we demand greater passive and active safety – multiple airbags and electronic systems – and with the rise of battery-intensive hybrids, weight reduction in one area is often offset by kilograms added elsewhere. Audi’s Ultra offers a holistic approach to car development and construction, in which weight reduction is targeted as an overall goal rather than in paring back individual components – in materials, in design, and in the production process. Individual Ultra A4, A5, A6 and A7 models are also available and the emphasis is ﬁrmly on reducing emissions and fuel consumption without compromising the Audi experience.
E-fuel In the drive for lower CO2 emissions, Audi is developing e-ethanol and e-diesel. In order to monitor and improve the process, it has built a special steel sphere pressure chamber that replicates the conditions inside an engine’s combustion chamber. It’s approximately the size of a football, and features a reinforced quartz window in the side tough enough to withstand pressures of up to 15 bar and a temperature of 350C. As fuel is injected into the chamber, a camera scans the spray at 50 microsecond intervals, and it’s laser-lit so that a photograph can be taken. Audi’s scientists then identify exactly what happens at the moment of combustion, allowing them to optimise performance of each individual droplet.
Laser light and Matrix LED It stands for “light ampliﬁcation by stimulated emission of radiation”, and throws out a beam whose singlewavelength characteristic results in stronger, more consistent illumination. Audi is already using laser light on its R18 endurance racer, where its precision is of obvious beneﬁt at a race such as the Le Mans 24 hours. Three times stronger than LED lights, the laser beam has a reach equivalent to ﬁve football ﬁelds. Audi has already introduced the technology on a road car in the form of the limited edition, 570 PS R8 LMX. The company is ahead of the curve with its new Matrix LED lighting system in the A8, which senses the lights from an oncoming vehicle and optimises the beam, without dazzling the approaching car.
SCIENCE NONFICTION Coming now or coming soon, the Audi technology advances that are bringing new levels of performance to the driving experience… BY JASON BARLOW
Traffic-light recognition Who doesn’t get a mild thrill from surﬁng a series of green traffic lights? If nothing else, it enlivens the tedium of the urban crawl. But it also reduces brake wear and CO2 emissions, which is why Audi is developing a system that harnesses in-car internet capability to a town or city’s central traffic computer network. Via the Driver Information System (DIS), Audi’s connectivity advises the driver of the requisite speed to see them through the lights during a green phase, aided by red, amber or green icons in the central display. Audi reckons traffic-light recognition could save 900 million litres of fuel per annum in Germany, and cut emissions by 15 per cent. The system has been trialled in Berlin and Verona and is now production ready, subject to local legislation.
GP O W ER
BY CHARLIE BURTON
TOMORROW’S WORLD Is it just us, or does the future seem a little closer these days? What was once conﬁned to Isaac Asimov novels and Comic-Con is heading to the here and now at warp speed. Face-mounted computers? Look no further than Google Glass. Personal drones? Get yours today, courtesy of Parrot. For us, though, the real intrigue lies in the wave of innovations that comes next – the products, ideas and technology on the horizon that are set to transform the way we live. GQ takes a look at what’s in the lab…
ENERGY Wind turbines, the energy whipping boys of the right-wing press, are set to soar – literally. A whole range of companies is racing to make the ﬁrst airborne versions. The theory is that having them ﬂoat like blimps will signiﬁcantly reduce build costs and land pressures, as well as capitalise on the higher wind speeds at altitude. There are two competing schools of thought: the ﬁrst, being explored by companies such as SkySails and NTS GmbH, uses the wind for all of its support like a kite; the second, which the Boston company Altaeros Energies is betting on, relies on buoyancy from either balloons or aerodynamics. Altaeros is currently testing its helium-ﬁlled prototype in Alaska, where it is ﬂown to between 1,000 and 2,000ft. Oh, and it also doubles up as a WiFi hotspot.
TRAVEL From The Jetsons to Futurama, personal travel pods have long been a sci-ﬁ staple – but the idea is fast becoming a reality in Tel Aviv, Israel. One of the most congested cities in the world, it will soon have a test version of SkyTran: a £30 million monorail involving personal two-person capsules suspended at 6.5 metres above the ground. These will whizz through the metropolis at up to 155mph using magnetic levitation. In development with Nasa and Israel Aerospace Industries, the prototype will be a modest 500-metre track, but if it is successful then a fullscale version will arrive over the next few years – and cities such as San Francisco would be likely to follow suit.
GAMING The gamer fantasy of virtual reality, which everyone thought had died in the Eighties, is now back on the agenda with Oculus Rift, a VR headset that offers a fully immersive experience. Sure, it’s more convincing – and doesn’t cause nausea like the old devices – but there’s nothing like a special helmet to make you remember that you’re not actually inside the game. That’s where its competitor, Innovega, comes in. The Seattle-based company is developing “iOptik” contact lenses that beam images directly on to your eyeballs. Working in conjunction with lightweight glasses, they create the equivalent of a 240in screen engulﬁng your ﬁeld of vision and will be able to stream data from smartphones and games devices. A prototype was displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, and Innovega hopes to win approval from the FDA in 2015. innovega-inc.com
HEALTH Ever since Star Trek’s Dr Leonard McCoy ﬁrst wielded his medical tricorder, innovators have tried (and, obviously, failed) to create the real thing. Now, they’re making headway. A company called Scanadu has created a device, the Scout, to analyse a whole variety of conditions. In Scanadu’s words, it’s “a scanner packed with sensors that allows anyone to capture physiological data – in a snap”, and simply requires someone to place it against a patient’s forehead to measure everything from blood pressure to oxygen levels and produce an electrocardiogram. Its creator, Walter De Brouwer, got the idea after his son suffered a brain injury and had to be monitored closely in hospital for a year. Wasn’t there a simpler way, he thought, to perform all the checks that the nurses carried out through traditional methods? There are other companies working on different approaches: Ibis Biosciences, say, which aims to create a machine for analysing a blood sample for up to 1,000 bacteria and viruses within only a few hours.
MILITARY If an invention isn’t driven by the porn industry (look at VHS and DVD, and the web), then it probably came out of the military. While Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has long been involved in exotic projects in the US – from humanoid robots and mass surveillance to exoskeletons and ﬂying cars – perhaps the most exciting is its work on braincomputer interfaces for telepathic communication. A £4m initiative showed that it would be possible to use brain activity read-outs to transmit vowels and consonants to other soldiers on a battleﬁeld. It’s an extension of the same tech that companies such as BrainGate are developing to help disabled people control artiﬁcial limbs through a sensor in the nervous system. Of course, it does present a security risk straight out of William Gibson: what if someone hacked your brain?
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ST YLE INNOVAT IONS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY RHYS FRAMPTON
The driving forces of fashion are in constant evolution with material innovations, advanced fabrics, eco-conscious products and new technological features to help you stay ahead in the style race
Hardcore Soft Shell-R hooded top by Stone Island. The technically minded label has developed a melange jersey laminated to a breathable, windproof, waterproof membrane. From £295. stoneisland.co.uk
Carbon ﬁbres The Basel T-shirt by Derek Rose is made in a carbon-neutral process, which results in a thermostatic material that expands and contracts with body temperature. £68. derek-rose.com
Blue collar Icon jacket by Zegna Sport. Streamlined design with full wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and a controller device built into the sleeve. £945. zegna.com
Digital innovation Signature Ring by NFC. With a storage capacity of 144GB, the nickel-free titanium NFC ring can unlock doors (with compatible locks), phones and tablets with the swipe of a hand. £30. nfcring.com
O Dark material Black silk trousers by Louis Vuitton. Ultra-lightweight technical trousers made from 100 per cent silk. £780. louisvuitton.com
A Hot foot Gommino trainers by Tod’s. Its house tread on hardy, cold-weather footwear. £325. tods.com
STYLING BY JESSICA PUNTER
Plain sight Brera sunglasses by Serengeti. Super-light and polarised, Serengeti’s photochromic lenses are speciﬁcally designed for driving. £177. sunglasses-shop.co.uk
Class onesie Overalls by Hugo Boss. Combining form, function and high fashion in one performance item. £380. hugoboss.com
Top layer Heattech Extra Warm polo neck by Uniqlo. Ultra-thin, soft and stretchy layers from Uniqlo that trap body heat with micro air pockets. £12.90. uniqlo.com
Hold the road Quilted gloves by Barbour. Get a good grip on the wheel. £44.95. barbour.com
Timing belt Monaco V4 Tourbillon by TAG Heuer – the world’s ﬁrst belt-driven tourbillon – made from polished titanium with black titanium carbide coating. £110,000. tagheuer.com
Styling assistance Kirstie Finlayson Grooming Tim Pateman at Phamous Model Holland at PRM Photographs Getty
D Sole artist Trainers by Prada. Trend-setting Miuccia Prada leads by design. £520. prada.com
GP O W ER
CARS ON FILM
BY BENJIE GOODHART
BACK TO THE FUTURE 2
ED STRAKER’S CAR UFO Series made: 1970-73 Series set: 1980. It’s always fun looking at how people in the past thought the future would look. According to Gerry Anderson (who also made Thunderbirds) it would look like a long, low, gull-winged coupe that screams Seventies. Best thing about it: It was bought by Dave Lee Travis after the series ended. Seriously.
In choosing the top ten most striking concept cars from ﬁlms (and TV), we have ruled out anything that ﬂies (because we’re not eleven-year-olds) or travels through time (because it was just a DeLorean with a digital clock on board). Also, be aware that this list should in no way be seen as an endorsement of any of these ﬁlms, some of which are, in vehicular parlance, right old bangers.
GQ TABLET EXTRA! Behind-the-scenes video of the Audi Fleet Shuttle Quattro on iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Tab S
AUDI FLEET SHUTTLE QUATTRO Ender’s Game Year made: 2013 Year set: 2086. In a world beset by the ever-looming danger of alien invasion, there is, at least, some element of joy, in the form of this gorgeously sleek Audi. Best thing about it: Just look at it! It’s grey, powerful, understated but cool, like a certain Mr Harrison Ford.
LOLA T70 MK III THX 1138 Film made: 1971 Film set: Unspeciﬁed future date. The climax of George Lucas’ ﬁrst feature sees a car chase involving this souped-up beauty. It’s actually just an endurance racer with fake turbine engines and ﬂashing lights stuck on. Best thing about it: It might look like an aerodynamic AA van, but this bad boy can shift.
LEXUS 2054 Minority Report Film made: 2002 Film set: 2054. Lexus built this gorgeously– rounded car because director Steven Spielberg asked them to, and you don’t say no to Spielberg. Best thing about it: Tom Cruise climbs into the car while it is being built by robots, using it to evade his pursuers before the paint is even dry.
STUDEBAKER AVANTI Gattaca Film made: 1997 Film set: “The nottoo-distant future”. Director Andrew Niccol avoided the clichéd sci-ﬁ car by using Seventies models, which, weirdly, look genuinely futuristic in the ﬁlm. Best thing about it: Seeing an Avanti and Citroën DS Cabriolet as a vision of the future.
AUDI RSQ I, Robot Film made: 2004 Film set: 2035. A beautiful, sleek and futuristic creation by the German ﬁrm for the Will Smith version of Isaac Asimov’s landmark 1950 sci-ﬁ novel. Though the car becomes slightly less beautiful after it’s been torn apart by law-enforcement droids and skidded on its roof for several hundred metres. Best thing about it: Designed in only ten weeks and the ﬁrst concept car Audi ever made from scratch for a ﬁlm, it drives on spheres, not wheels, so can move in any direction, with any part of the car facing forwards.
GM ULTRALITE CONCEPT CAR Demolition Man Film made: 1993 Film set: 2032. In a dystopian future (it’s bad: every restaurant is a Taco Bell) at least the police cars are cool. Especially the one containing Sandra Bullock. Best thing about it: The foam that deploys on impact, almost smothering Sly Stallone.
M-577 APC Aliens Film made: 1986 Film set: Late 22nd century. If all of the vehicles on this list were to get into a ﬁght (admittedly unlikely), this piece of hardware would win hands down. Lowslung and menacing, it’s like a Mitchell brother on wheels. Best thing about it: It’s built on the chassis of a British Airways tug tractor.
LAND ROVER CITY CABS Judge Dredd Film made: 1995 Film set: 2139. There’s something fabulous about these brutish bricks-on-wheels (actually Land Rover 101s in bodyshells) that would have graced a far better ﬁlm. Best thing about it: The ﬁlm states that, in 2139, only one car manufacturer has survived, and it’s Land Rover. Yay, go Blighty!
BUBBLE CARS Freejack Film made: 1992 Film set: 2009. Crazy ﬁlm, crazy cars. While Emilio Estevez and Mick Jagger drive around in regular vehicles, the rich have chauffeur-driven bubble cars that look like colourful cockroaches. Best thing about it: The chauffeur sits in a seat open to the elements, just to remind him who’s boss.
GP O W ER
BY OLIVER FRANKLIN
Lytro Illium Lytro’s Illium lets you refocus photos after you take them. The light-ﬁeld technology uses an array of lenses to capture not just a single image but millions of light rays and the direction they’re moving – allowing you to create 3-D shots, or refocus old ones, with a single lens. After the original Lytro debuted in 2011, the Illium adds professional-level DSLR functions, including a 30-250mm zoom lens, f/2.0 aperture, and ultra-fast snaps.
Secede S-Pedelec by M1 Sporttechnik , £3,940. sporttechnik.de
Illium by Lytro, available to pre-order from £940. lytro.com
GO, GO, GADGET GO!
Smart is the tech buzzword of the moment – smart TVs, smart watches, smart homes. But the next wave of must-have gadgets will be truly intelligent, from the bike that warns of oncoming traffic, to the TV that knows who is watching. Here’s GQ Power’s pick of the bunch…
HU8500 4K TV, by Samsung. £3,999 samsung.com/uk
Blacksumac Piper If you’re ﬁlling your home with smart gadgets, you’re going to want something to protect them. The Piper, from US-based Blacksumac, casts a protective eye over your home and, in case of intruders, will stream live video to your smartphone on demand and alert you by text. The base unit can be expanded with door and window sensors, and the Piper can also act as a weather station and a base unit for your other smart devices. From £116. getpiper.com
Steel Matte Black by Pebble. £145. getpebble.com
Pebble Steel Matte Black Until Apple’s smart watch ﬁnally arrives (if it ever does) the redesigned Pebble with its attractive retro face and steel bracelet remains the most stylish smartwatch going. Crowdfunded on Kickstarter to the tune of £6 million, the device synchs with your smartphone to deliver notiﬁcations whenever you get a call or email, and features ﬁtness-tracking tech, too. The black-and-white screen might not be the brightest, but gives up to seven-days battery, and Pebble now offers its own app store, offering everything from maps to gaming.
M1 Secede S-Pedelec The Secede S-Pedelec from German brand M1 Sporttechnik isn’t your ordinary e-bike. That ultralight carbon ﬁbre frame – just 21kg – splits in two, allowing for easy storage and transportation. The 500-watt rearmounted battery can help it hit speeds of up to 45mph in “assisted” mode (pedalling plus battery); a handlebar-mounted computer lets you adjust speeds and monitor the battery on the move.
Samsung 65in HU8500 4K TV The ﬂat screen is dead – long live the curve. Samsung’s new 4K OLED 65in ﬂagship doesn’t just look spectacular, with astonishingly bright and crisp pictures and ﬂawless upscaling of regular HD content – it’s also one of the smartest smart TVs around. Built-in face and voice recognition allows the device to recognise who is watching, and learns your favourite programmes and suggests new ones accordingly.
Phantom 2 by DJI, £398. store.dji.com
DJI Phantom 2 Drones aren’t just for the military any more – photographers and ﬁlmmakers are lapping up the tech to produce spectacular airborne video. Not only can you ﬂy the new Phantom 2 remotely from your iPad, but the quadcopter will ﬂy itself between pre-set GPS waypoints – letting you go hands-free while a dronemounted GoPro or optional built-in camera your activity. The Phantom will land automatically – and even return home – if you lose signal.
GP O W ER
FORMULA WON LUCAS TUCCI DI GRASSI Born São Paulo, Brazil Age 30
Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi is one of the star drivers in the all-electric race series, Formula E. Ahead of the ﬁrst race in China this month, GQ Power took to Twitter to talk to the Brazilian about the ‘future of motorsport’… What was it about the Formula E concept that appealed to you as a racing driver? Since that ﬁrst test, how has the car changed/improved?
The sustainability and innovation aspect. Electric cars will be the future – it is not a question of “if”, just a matter of “when”. You started as a development driver for Formula E – what were your ﬁrst impressions of a Formula E car?
Not much, the initial design has been kept quite well. In what ways is a Formula E car different from a traditional F1 car (from a driver’s perspective)?
It is the same as comparing rally to Formula 1. Formula E is focused on efﬁciency, while F1 on performance. Is a Formula E car easier to drive?
First I was worried about the overall performance. The ﬁrst time I drove it I was amazed. So much torque and acceleration, combined with controllability, offers a unique way of driving at the edge.
Yes. It is easier, but the circuits are more difﬁcult as all ten events are held on street tracks in cities. Because you have had some experience driving a Formula E car, does that give you an advantage in the championship?
Not really. No driver will know the racetrack before the race and this is the main advantage. Why should motor racing care about the Formula E Championship?
It should care because it will be the future. It will target the young generation and the city public. The business model is neat and will provide space for manufacturers to join in the future. Will the lack of noise from the cars be a factor? (Formula 1 has been quieter this year and fans aren’t happy!)
No. People will get used to the high-pitched noise! Check my Instagram account @lucasdigrassi. Story Paul Henderson Photographs Sam Bloxham; Malcolm Griffiths; Zak Mauger/FIA Formula E
Which of the circuits on the Formula E schedule are you most looking forward to?
Monaco, for sure. instagram.com/lucasdigrassi
Do you think Formula E is the future of motor-racing?
Yes, but not just motor-racing: it is also the future of urban mobility.
GQ TABLET EXTRA! See Lucas di Grassi’s test run at Donington, on iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Tab S
FIA Formula E Championship 2014-15 1 Beĳing China 13-09-14 Olympic Green Circuit
2 Putrajaya Malaysia 22-11-14 Putrajaya Streets
3 Punta del Este Uruguay 13-12-14 Punta del Este Streets
4 Buenos Aires Argentina 10-01-15 Puerto Madero Streets
6 Miami USA 14-03-15 Downtown Miami
7 Long Beach USA 04-04-15 Long Beach Streets
8 Monte Carlo Monaco 09-05-15 TBA
9 Berlin Germany 30-05-15 Tempelhof Airport
10 London England 27-06-15 Battersea Park
Editor-in-Chief Dylan Jones Editor Paul Henderson Creative Director Paul Solomons Art Director Warren Jackson Chief Sub-Editor George Chesterton Picture Editor Russ O’Connell Managing Editor Mark Russell Contributors Jason Barlow, Charlie Burton, Oliver Franklin, Benjie Goodhart, Jessica Punter
(From left) Tommy wears: Hoodie by James Long , £497. T-shirt by Jonathan Saunders, £67. Shorts by Lou Dalton, £80. Joggers by Alan Taylor, £90. Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, £342. Ed wears: Jumper (worn on shoulders) by Sibling , £252. Jumper by Katie Eary, £147. T-shirt by Huntergather, £32. Shorts by Kit Neale, £192. Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, 297. Alamantis wears: Jacket, £155. Jumper (worn on the waist), £147. Shorts, £105. All by Sibling. Jumper by Oliver Spencer, £70. Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, £397. Skateboard by Katie Eary, £125. Theo wears: Jacket by Huntergather, £137. T-shirt by Agi & Sam, £30. Shorts by Katie Eary, £175. Joggers by Alan Taylor, £90. Shoes by Grenson, £92. Chuck wears: Coat, £172. Trousers, £105. Both by Kit Neale. Jacket by Christopher Raeburn, £247. T-shirt by Huntergather, £32. Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, £367. All brands available at BDC Menswear pop-up boutique. bicestervillage.com/ bdcmens. #bdcmens
This autumn sees the arrival of Britain’s brightest fashion prospects at the British Designers’ Collective pop-up boutique in Bicester Village. In celebration of London Collections: Men, GQ Style Shrink Robert Johnston has curated a collection of fashion’s emerging talent
PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS AT BICESTER VILLAGE Katie Eary Casely-Hayford Agi & Sam Oliver Spencer Sibling A Sauvage Lou Dalton James Long Nicholas Kirkwood Mr Hare Hentsch Man U Clothing Huntergather Kit Neale Christopher Raeburn Jonathan Saunders Alan Taylor Grenson
G Promotion (From left) Ed wears: Jumper by Christopher Raeburn, £147. Rollneck sweater by A Sauvage, £110. Shorts by Lou Dalton, £150. Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, £342. Alamantis wears: Jacket , £125, Jumper, £89. All by U Clothing. Shirt by Casely-Hayford, £88. Trousers by Alan Taylor, £125. Shoes by Grenson, £92. Theo wears: Coat, £250. Trousers, £150. Both by Lou Dalton. Jacket by U Clothing , £149. Shirt by Casely-Hayford, £112. Shoes by Grenson, £92. Tommy wears: Jacket by Huntergather, £137. Shirt by Lou Dalton, £80. Trousers by A Sauvage, £150. Shoes by Grenson, £100. Rucksack by Christopher Raeburn, £392. Chuck wears: Jacket, £250. Trousers, £150. Both by Lou Dalton. Jumper with built-in shirt by Casely-Hayford, £80. Shoes by Grenson, £100 All brands available at BDC Menswear pop-up boutique. bicestervillage.com/ bdcmens. #bdcmens
To discover the best in emerging menswear talent, visit the British Designers’ Collective Menswear, curated by GQ, at BICESTER VILLAGE by 21 OCTOBER. Just an hour from London, Bicester Village provides the ultimate destination for your menswear autumn edit, with more than 130 boutiques of leading brands and savings of 60 per cent on the recommended retail price, all year round. Visit gq-magazine.co.uk/promotions/ bdcmens for your chance to win a £750 gift card to spend at Bicester Village.
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ANTWERPEN BARCELONA BERLIN DUBAI IBIZA LONDON LOS ANGELES MIAMI MOSCOW MÜNCHEN NEW YORK SEOUL SYDNEY
JOHN VARVATOS + STYLE SHRINK + LOUIS VUITTON N
Varva-voom! A LITTLE piece of New York has landed in Mayfair with the long-anticipated launch of American designer John Varvatos’ ﬁrst European ﬂagship in London. “It’s a dream come true for so many reasons. As a kid growing up in Detroit in the Seventies, I was always interested in London, from the cultural aspects to the whole music scene and the whole style scene. It was the ﬁrst place I ever wanted to travel to internationally and it had always been my dream to open a store there. I never imagined, however, that it would turn out to be our largest store in the world.” He conﬁdently describes the new store as “unique”. As well as carrying the complete John Varvatos line there are shoes, a madeto-measure tailoring section and a gallery of rock photography. “We are working with a group called Rock Paper Photo,” he explains, “and we will be showing some of the most amazing music photography ever taken – a lot of it will be previously unseen.” Appropriately enough for the rockobsessed designer, the basement of the new store has been inspired by the John Varvatos New York ﬂagship that is housed in the legendary defunct music venue CBGB on the Bowery. “This lower level has a stage and will regularly host live performances,” he says. “It also has a vintage audio and vinyl room. There is a large listening room where you can go and actually listen to an audio clip and there will be a very large selection of vintage vinyl – probably one of the best in London – and we will also sell new vinyl. We wanted to do shows in there from the start because we’ve had more than 125 artists play at the Bowery store since we opened six years ago, acts such as Paul Weller, Guns N’ Roses and Alice Cooper. We try to host gigs monthly and they’re always free and we want to bring some of that culture to London as well. The idea is not to turn it into another designer store in Mayfair, but to create a real cultural space.” And, naturally, you can also pick up everything the rock’n’roll gentlemen needs in his wardrobe at the same time. RJ John Varvatos, 12-13 Conduit Street, London W1. johnvarvatos.com
Photograph Mike Blackett Styling Grace Gilfeather Hair Linda Johannson at One Represents Model Konrad at FM London
Coat, £3,360. Sweater, £134. Trousers, £290. Boots, £585. Scarf, £233. Gloves, £123. All by John Varvatos. johnvarvatos.com Jewellery by Alexander McQueen . alexander mcqueen.com
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Pocket squares are brought back into the fold; why to choose tradition over trend when it comes to shirts; a sartorial steer on where to buy selvage denim; and how to tidy up your act at work As a New Yorker now based in London, should I upgrade my shirt choices? I gather buttondown shirts are too casual for suits here, so which collar styles, cuffs and colours demonstrate a professional, non-trendy look? Stephen O’Brien, via email Button-down collars are indeed too casual to wear with a suit in the UK. Indeed, I would hesitate even to wear a tie with such a collar. Trends, however, do change. For example, the contrastcollar shirt beloved by the Gordon Gekkos of the world was once considered naffer than a pair of Roadrunner boxer shorts, but they have recently enjoyed a revival. Nonetheless, if you are looking to make a favourable impression, you should think trad, not trend. The shape of the collar you choose will, to an extent, rely on the shape of your neck and face – the rule of thumb is that the fatter the face the narrower the point of the collar should
be, but, to misquote Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa in Pirates Of The Caribbean, this is more of a guideline than a rule. A full-on power-dressing look is best achieved with a spread collar as worn by the Duke of Windsor, ﬁnished off with a woven silk tie tied in a generous knot such as a Windsor or a Pratt (or – as I prefer to call it for obvious reasons – a nodo alla Milanese). If you want to make a nod to fashion, this looks good with the wider Seventies-inspired lapels that are the height of cool right now.
Jeans by Nudie, £155. nudiejeans.com
Pocket square by Turnbull & Asser, £65. turnbullandasser.co.uk
LETTER of the MONTH In your opinion where is the best place to look for great pocket squares? Frank Ashby, Norwich
I am in urgent need of new denim. I want a couple of pairs of 15oz selvage jeans, as I would like not to have to throw pairs away every year. Being a big chap, I was wondering if you knew of any company who do a regular cut with a 36in inside leg? Murray, via email I don’t really wear any pair of jeans for long enough for them to wear out, but I am still tempted to buy new ones so they just keep piling up. Well, it’s that or turning the older pairs into “Daisy Dukes” but I don’t feel the world is quite ready for that. One thing to bear in mind if you are buying raw (also known as dry) denim is that if it is unsanforised it is likely to shrink by up to ten per cent in its ﬁrst wash. (Sanforisation is a process by which cloth is treated to reduce shrinkage during fabrication and later washes.) If you do go for raw denim, you should wait at least six months before washing your jeans. Selvage (or selvedge) is the edge of the fabric as it
One of my favourite people in the tailoring industry is Dean Gomilsek-Cole, the head of design for Turnbull & Asser – though I will admit to being unable to remember his surname three times in a row when trying to introduce him on camera during one particular buttock-clenchingly embarrassing moment. My failings apart, Gomilsek-Cole always has an interesting take on British style and is a real pocket-square enthusiast. Near the Turnbull & Asser store in St James’s is the Illustration Cupboard – a gallery specialising in book illustrators – and it was here that Gomilsek-Cole met David McKee, creator of the classic children’s character Mr Benn. This led to permission to use some of the original illustrations on pocket squares. What I love about this series is that it is a real secret pleasure. When the square is nonchalantly stuffed into your breast pocket no one else would be aware that it was anything other than an abstract design. To me this is real luxury. On other pocket square designs he has used artwork originally intended for canal boats and caravans as well as developing original ideas from rough sketches dating back to the 19th century. This really is art for the pocket. 216 G OCTOBER 2014
comes from the loom and is woven so that it won’t curl or fray. The weight meanwhile is per square yard of fabric. A lightweight denim would be 12oz, while 13-15oz would be considered a medium weight. I checked with Selfridges’ denim buyer Mithun Ramandi and in a 36in leg he recommends Nudie, Levi’s and G-Star. His personal favourite is the Thin Finn by Nudie, which is a 13.5oz Japanese dry selvage, but if that is too narrow in the leg, the Steady Eddie is a similar construction but a more regular ﬁt. If you are after a hard-wearing denim Nudie is introducing a pair of limitededition 18oz dry selvage jeans in November. Denim purist label Naked & Famous once brought out a pair of 32oz jeans that could actually stand up by themselves.
Shirt by Canali, £170. canali.com. Tie by Etro, £95. etro.com
Hot desking is just a way to make sure workers feel alienated and want to
Photographs Full Stop Photography
The company I work for is entering the barren world of “hot desking”. This means no personalisation or desk tidies. How do I bring a bit of style from my locker to my desk every day? Ben, Newbury
work from home, where the company won’t have to pay for electricity and loo roll. So if you lose your personal space, make sure you have your life in a beautiful bag. Bally is undergoing a renaissance right now, with some truly beautiful accessories in its collection. My other dream bag is the Sac à Depeche briefcase by Hermès, which, at £5,300, would be a serious investment in your career. And if your company is going to get all modern about its seating arrangements then you should respond by getting all old-school with a Smythson diary with the cornﬂower-blue featherweight paper. This onionskin-style paper has been used by Smythson since 1887 and is a joy to write on. On this subject, Ben also wants to know if there is a manly equivalent of the Fireman Sam pencil case? I have taken to using these as I now have to carry around cables, USB sticks, etc, that I would never ﬁnd if they were loose in the bottom of a bag. Aspinal do a range of pencil cases from £75, all of which would attract envious looks in Pontypandy and beyond. And USB sticks need not be ugly so take a look at what Victorinox has on offer. These are inspired by the Swiss Army knife and store up to an impressive 64GB for £46, so you can take all your work to any desk you like and still have room for a couple of ﬁlms to watch when no one is looking.
Walking tall: Louis Vuitton’s shoe workshop (right) in Fiesso d’Artico, where artisans craft and construct its new collections
Rise of the footsoldiers It may be legendary for its luggage, but Louis Vuitton is stepping up its shoe game with a state-of-the-art footwear factory in the heart of Venice, says Nick Foulkes BACK IN the days when Venice was the commercial crossroads of the world, the mainland town of Fiesso d’Artico was where the local nobility built their summer palaces to escape stiﬂing days when the air of the city was foul and feculent. This part of the Veneto has long been a cultured neck of the woods, so the addition of a new and striking piece of architecture by Jean-Marc Sandrolini is not a complete surprise. It looks like just another contemporary exhibition space: the minimalist, almost brutalist exterior; the soaring entrance hall with its polished concrete ﬂoor; the intriguing exhibition of early Andy Warhol drawings; the shelves of large-format books on the arts; the inner courtyard with monumental scale sculptures. But look a little closer and a pattern begins to emerge; the Warhols, the sculptures, the books... in one way or another they all connect with the world of footwear. But then this handsome building is a shoe factory. And not just any shoe factory, but the Louis Vuitton shoe factory. Louis Vuitton is best known as a bag brand and luggage maker, but its shoe business is ticking over satisfactorily: around one million pairs of LV shoes are made each year, and half of them come from this rather serene site in the Veneto. The impressive thing for me was neither the art, nor the building, but the range and quality of shoes that are made here. I was delighted to see a craftsman at a bench working on new production for this autumn/winter: the Norwegian. This is a connoisseur shoe construction that ﬁxes the sole to the upper with three separate stitches, it is hypnotising to watch that work feeding the single pig’s bristle, fastened on to the end of a length of waxed thread, through the leather. But then this factory can handle everything from artisan-stitched Norwegian-soled shoes that are about as good as a factory-made shoe can get before it becomes bespoke; to the sneakers that have become one of the brand’s signature shoe styles... and that’s just the men. Whatever Vuitton does it is about quality, so even the sneakers have their soles stitched to the upper like a regular shoe and in the workshops in between the pinnacle of near bespoke and the casual sneaker there is the dependable and sturdy Goodyear (both machine and hand); the soft and comfortable if not quite so durable Blake; and the summer staple of the Moccasin. But perhaps the most memorable workshops were not devoted to making shoes, rather to breaking them. There is a laboratory set aside to destroy shoes. It is a sort of destruction chamber that delights in coming up with a machine that calibrates the number of newtons required to wrench the heel off a pair of stilettos – not of course that I am going to be wearing stilettos The effect of thousands of steps are replicated on the leather to see how it holds up to repeated seasons of wear. There is even an oven in which shoes are baked and steamed to test their resilience under all extremes of climate. After all, LV has shops everywhere from Ulan Bator on the edge of the Gobi desert, to the tropics. And even if you are just buying them on New Bond Street or the Champs-Élysées it is somehow reassuring to know that someone has gone to the trouble of testing that the colour of your shoes won’t rub off on the cuffs of your trousers, just in case you fancy going for an afternoon stroll in the desert or the rainforest. uk.louisvuitton.com
Bag by Hermès, £5,300. uk.hermes.com
Submit your questions to our style guru: firstname.lastname@example.org
The author of our Letter Of The Month will receive a stylish black and rhodium Townsend fountain pen worth £190 from Cross. Cross is the maker of quality writing instruments and has a range of distinctive lifestyle accessories. cross.com
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There’s snow business... Superdry is bringing street smarts to the slopes with the launch of its technical skiwear range
Jacket by Superdry, £250. superdry.com
YOU MAY think of it as the urban streetwear brand with a Japanese twist, but Superdry has always been full of surprises. Not least is that the cool brand based in staid old Cheltenham is now determined to conquer the highest peaks with a new line of technical skiwear. And, being a brand that believes in putting its money where its mouth is, one of its ﬁrst steps was to open a branch in Megève, high in the French Alps in the shadow of Mont Blanc – perhaps its only store where you might need to execute a snow plough before entering. The brand is striving for piste perfection, says co-founder James Holder. “Superdry is a very democratic brand – all we want is the best product for cool people and we want them to feel amazing in our stuff. We don’t want them to feel cheated productwise and we deﬁnitely don’t want them to feel cheated ﬁnancially. There’s no reason you can’t offer an amazing product for an incredible price – that’s our philosophy.” But being new to the scene, Superdry’s
ﬁrst move was to turn to the experts. “We worked hand-in-hand with a skiwear specialist as we knew what we wanted but needed to know the parameters we could work within,” explains Holder. “We are detail obsessives so were really hungry to learn. We were determined to cut as slim a silhouette as possible – our mantra has always been that nothing looks cooler than skinnier – while still being functional. Once we’d mastered the fully tech stuff, the medium and the après elements of the collection came together really quickly because as soon as we know how to do something we just go for it big time.” RJ
Board meeting (clockwise, from below): Superdry got its products out in the fresh air as sponsor of the Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen, Austria; the Cheltenham label’s new store in Megève, under the shadow of Mont Blanc; one of its functional but technical ski coats in action
Ski puffer by Superdry, £175. superdry.com
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“ O N E M U S T D R E S S C O R R E C T LY F O R W O R K ” Jeremy’s Rule No. 2 for living a better life
Block party: Moncler transformed Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom into an Alpine fantasy
Moncler’s new model army With the help of the best fashion producer in the business, the Milan label has turned the simple presentation into high art MONCLER HAS always been famous for its shows, ever since Thom Browne took up the reins as the creative director at its Gamme Bleu line. Here, he has treated fashion as pure theatre, with nods each season to a different sport that inspired the collection, from cricket and skiing and everything in between – indeed, the last was boxing. But, for my money, one of the most 220 G OCTOBER 2014
memorable events the Milan-based label has ever staged was in the pre-Browne days when it hosted a presentation at La Triennale di Milano museum in the city’s Parco Sempione. The power of the presentation was in its simplicity – 80 models standing perfectly still in identical quilted jackets and balaclavas. At the risk of sounding pretentious, the
effect was much like a chic take on the Terracotta Army. Today, away from Thom Browne’s catwalk capers, Moncler Grenoble has taken on the role of staging jaw-dropping presentations. Indeed, the line was launched during New York fashion week back in an appropriately frosty February 2010 with a spectacular presentation featuring a small army of models on a purpose-built four-storey structure on the edge of the Hudson River. Named after the city in the French Alps close to which Moncler was founded more than 60 years ago – in Monestier-de-Clermont to be precise, hence the name – the Grenoble line is a vintage-inspired collection that harks back to the label’s background in winter sports (Moncler was the ofﬁcial supplier to the French team at the Winter Olympics held in Grenoble in 1968). The presentation of the autumn/ winter 2014-15 collection in February this year was no exception in the visual stakes, as Moncler transformed the stage at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan into a unique audiovisual experience. Sixty choristers dressed head-tofoot in black and white were lined up in a structure on several levels. In front, nine singers and a conductor dressed in quilted morning suits took their place on ten hydraulic platforms. “We really decided to make our presentations very special around three or four years ago,” explains the Moncler CEO, Remo Rufﬁni, “because the market was already full of similar products to Moncler and we wanted to come up with something that would show that we were unique. We don’t make things to be in fashion, we make clothes that are consistent but obviously these have to be something contemporary as well, so it is important our presentations reﬂect that.”
To achieve this, Rufﬁni insists he allows the Brussels-based production company with which Moncler works a great deal of creative freedom. “I have a great relationship with the guys who help me stage these events. We start talking through what we are going to do around three or four months before the show, and I explain what direction the new collection is going in and what our vision is. So we really work together on the idea but I give them a lot of freedom, because I think they have a strong idea about what Moncler is and are brilliant at presenting our collections to the public.” As ever, the show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was produced by Etienne Russo, founder of the production company Villa Eugenie. The Belgian is one of the most famous fashion show producers in the business, having worked for more than 20 years and produced more than 800 shows for labels such as Lanvin, Hermès and Dries van Noten. He got into the fashion world in the early Eighties when he was working at the Mirano nightclub in Brussels and met the infamous “Antwerp Six” group of Belgian designers that included Van Noten – who really kick-started his career by asking him to work on his ﬁrst show in Paris in 1991. “Although I had done smaller shows before,” recalls Russo, “I was super scared and nervously locked myself in the toilet, where Dries ultimately found me just ten minutes before the show started. It was an absolute relief when the whole thing was over.” Van Noten also once gave Russo the brieﬁng that remains his favourite to this day. “He said to me, ‘I want something simple, but I want a simplicity that hurts,’” recalls Russo. He is no stranger to Moncler, having produced both the Grenoble presentations from the beginning as well as Thom Browne’s shows for the label. “I have been working with Remo for the past ten years,” says Russo – indeed, he was the brains behind the presentation at the Triennale mentioned earlier. “I have really enjoyed our relationship. He both gives you creative freedom and really pushes you at the same time, which is a great combination.”
He’s gotta have it: Director Spike Lee (below) was a guest at Moncler’s A / W 2014-15 launch in New York
Jacket, £1,225. Jumper, £530. Hat, £1,555. Snood, £90. Gloves, £600. All by Moncler Grenoble. eng.moncler.com
For the presentation at the Hammerstein Ballroom the inspiration came, appropriately enough, from the Alps. “The choir we used is called Pendulum and comes from Switzerland,” says Russo, “and I liked the fact that there was something very ‘mountain’ about their way of singing.” The choir itself uses a lot of traditional Alpine songs but combines them with electronic music to create a thoroughly contemporary sound. “They were perfect for Moncler,” insists Russo, “in this fusion of the traditional and the ultra-modern – this is exactly what the clothes do. I didn’t know how people were going to react to them because this was a very different production for us. But then that is always my biggest challenge with a Moncler Grenoble show – how do we make it different from the last one? And people really loved the last one we did [with hundreds of models under a mirrored ceiling at Gotham Hall a few blocks away from the Hammerstein Ballroom on Broadway]. I didn’t want to top that because you have to have a limit to where you go. So I told my team that we had to do something different, and while I wouldn’t say intellectual, I wanted something that was a move in another direction.” Despite his international reputation – the prominent industry website the Business Of Fashion named him one of the 50 most inﬂuential people in fashion – Russo still gets nervous before a show, though these days not to quite the extent of locking himself in the lavatory. “The day I don’t get nervous I will change jobs,” he says. “My nervousness makes me concentrate on the detail.” RJ moncler.com
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A worthy Kors Luxury lends a helping hand
MICHAEL KORS has made a fortune by selling the dream of the cashmere-clad jet-set lifestyle to the world. And his chunky watches that hint at weekends anchored off Porto Cervo and lunches at Saint-Tropez’s Club Cinquante Cinq have been runaway bestsellers. Kors, however, is also big on giving a little back with the limited-edition 100 Series in support of the brand’s global Watch Hunger Stop campaign. This is the second year of this partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and the designer’s signature is engraved on the back along with the message that one watch equals 100 meals. This is to highlight the fact that for every 100 Series watch sold 100 children in a hunger-stricken area will receive a nutritious meal – to date this has numbered more than ﬁve million meals. The watch is available in two sizes and will be sold exclusively in Michael Kors stores and online from the beginning of October, retailing from £279. RJ michaelkors.com
Watch by Michael Kors, £279. michaelkors.com
The hair and now There are so many hairstyles out there right now but not all suit everybody. Here is GQ’s guide to how to be age appropriate The topknot The favourite of the beardie creatives that haunt Silicon Roundabout who discuss single-estate coffee beans and obscure start-ups. By the time you turn 40 it is too much trouble to balance such subjects with top knots and fatherhood, so stop. 222 G OCTOBER 2014
The pompadour For some strange reason this style seems to be particularly popular among French footballers and fortysomething media types. It shouldn’t be worn by anyone over the age of 25 as you will look like a teenage lesbian.
The Henry V Just like some supermodels would look good even in a bodybag, so youth is very forgiving when it comes 20-year-olds with stupid haircuts. The fact they look good is a trick that stops working at all when you’re about 25.
The Scandi ﬂow Not a style for the underthirties this as you need a little gravitas to carry it off with aplomb. By the time your reach 50, however, you will rapidly be moving into Dumbledore territory, so think on.
Photographs Elizabeth Lippman/Contour; Getty Images; Rex
E D I T E D BY
JESSI C A P UNTER
BOSS SCOT Forget the famous rough edges: Gerard Butler is still smooth enough for a ﬁne fragrance. GQ talks karaoke, ﬁtness and ﬁsh and chips with the face of Boss Bottled
Bespoke threepiece suit, £1,499. Shirt, £109. Tie, £79. Pocket square, £35. All by Boss. hugoboss.com
IT’S FAIR to say that success did not happen overnight for Gerard Butler, the 44-year-old Scottish lawyerturned-actor. Blink and you’ll miss the current face of Boss in an early role in Bond’s Tomorrow Never Dies as a “leading seaman on the HMS Devonshire.” Eventually, it was Zack Snyder’s Greek epic, 300, that put Butler on the Hollywood map, and since then he’s enjoyed plenty of hits (RocknRolla, PS I Love You, Olympus Has Fallen). Even his misses (The Ugly Truth, Law Abiding Citizen, The Bounty Hunter) have been bringing in the revenue. For a youth growing up in tough Paisley, what was his
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One unit of Boss Bottled is sold every
FRAGRANCE NOTES Boss Bottled
FACE SCRUBS BEST Earlier this year Illinois became the ﬁrst US state to ban micro plastics by 2017 after high levels were detected in samples from Lake Michigan. It is a problem that is not limited to the States. The cause? The micro beads found in face and body scrubs (plus soap and toothpaste) are not biodegradable and are too ﬁne to be extracted in wastewater treatment. They are clogging our waterways and poisoning the ecosystem, working their way into the marine food chain – and ultimately into our own. Certain brands are working to change their formulas, but not fast enough. Switch now to a natural, biodegradable alternative such as nut kernels and seeds, bamboo, salt, jojoba and glycolic or salicylicbased cleansers that use gentle acids to resurface the skin. Avoid any product that contains the incriminating ingredients: polyethylene or polypropylene.
70 sold worldwide to date – lined up they would stretch from London to Berlin. experience of designer fragrance? “I think it was Paco Rabanne; it was so powerful it was perfect for me! Between that and my HP Sauce I was happy. When I think back to the smell it must have been horriﬁc, but I loved it at the time.” And would he like to share the details of his current grooming regime? “Um, no! I’m not really going to tell you the truth: ‘It’s an hour in make-up.’ No. But I guess men are more willing to talk about grooming now. You hear of guys shaving their legs and I’m like, ‘What are you guys doing?’ That’s never been me, nor ever will it be. I’m always rough shaven. I always like to stay as raw as I can, but I use face cream and fragrance and I put stuff in my hair.” So, are we to believe that Butler is entirely immune to the body-obsessed culture of Hollywood? “Oh, I’ve done juice cleanses. They’re a great way to lose weight and to clean a lot of crap out of your system, but I still wouldn’t know kale if it hit me in the face – I’m too Scottish for that! When I get back home the ﬁrst thing I do is go and get ﬁsh and chips, with loads of vinegar.” For a Hollywood actor who is rumoured to collect $20 million a ﬁlm, you might think those chips could be ﬂown in on a whim, along with the occasional deep-fried Mars bar. But you don’t get to be a bankable 226 G OCTOBER 2014
Apple, bergamot, cinnamon
Middle notes Tagete, geranium
Cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, olivewood Boss Bottled Eau de Toilette, £52 for 100ml. boss.com
Scrub away with a clear conscience using three natural exfoliators: Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser Natural jojoba wax, carnauba beads and citrus oils work to slough off old skin cells. £18.50 for 150ml. origins.co.uk
Hollywood player without more than a little self-control (he has not had a drink in 17 years): “Most of the time I watch what I eat and I’m pretty good like that because I like having something that motivates me because I can’t say I’m the most motivated person without those goals. If I’m doing a movie, I’ve got to have a good body, I have to be toned in a particular way, I have to ascribe to a certain kind of diet and a training regime and then I’m happy.” And when he’s not locked into a production schedule? “I always go to the gym with a trainer because it makes me get up and go, otherwise it’s very hard to keep those commitments. I like to break it up with some paraboarding, surﬁng or hiking. I do train a lot and I feel good after.” One of the weirdest things ever written about Butler’s personal grooming is that he used to bite his toenails. Can he conﬁrm or deny? “I bit my toenails when I was younger, and it wasn’t to necessarily bite my toenails, it was just to see if I could get down there, you know? Wait. That sounded weird. I can’t reach my toenails, I haven’t been able to in 20 years!” But the Phantom Of The Opera star deﬁnitely warms up his vocal cords in the shower: “‘Wonderwall’, Paul Young’s ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’, ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘Light My Fire’, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ – I’m a karaoke king.”
Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash For Men Apricot seed powder helps sweep away dead skin to reduce the appearance of pores and leave skin looking matt. £19 for 200ml. kiehls.co.uk
Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser Clay and volcanic ash extract deep down grime. Leave it on for ﬁve minutes for a weekly purifying mask treatment. £17.50 for 147ml. At Mankind. mankind.co.uk
Photographs Full Stop Photography
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WHAT I WEAR
Rising hip-hop star Bipolar Sunshine details his style hits and wardrobe wannabes Sunglasses “I feel round frames are the ones right now. These Toy Shades suit my face much better and they have that hippie trippy motion. That’s a good thing.” £17.50. toyshades.com WISHLIST
Bangle “This gold bangle adds a whole new dimension. You need your accessories to be as high as your outﬁt.” By A Sauvage, £290. asauvage.com
Jacket “This leopard jacket is a bit louder than my usual style. The print is current but they’ve tried to make it slightly different with really small love hearts. It’s in the detail.” By YMC, £195. youmustcreate.com
Watch “What I like about this Arnold & Son TEC1 watch is the attention to detail that you’ve got on the face; it’s on another level.” £66,702. At Arije London. arije.com
Trainers “These Cunningham trainers are more of a luxury shoe than a pair of trainers. There are other brands doing a similar thing but I feel that Mr Hare just gets it.” £320. mrhare.com
Glasses “These Soloist Round Optical Oliver Peoples glasses don’t have prescription lenses – they’re straight fashion.” £260. At 36 Opticians. 36opticians.co.uk
Tunic “Let’s not use ‘man dress’ to describe this Lost And Found top. It’s got that Arabic cut, especially at the bottom – I feel like it’s one of those things that is creeping into fashion. It’s beautiful.” £520. At Farfetch. farfetch.com
Shoes “I’ve got a few pairs of Dr Martens for festivals because they’re so big, robust and easy to clean. And they’re still a stylish shoe – with the right-cut pants they always look pretty amazing.” £150. drmartens.com
Bag “I picked this bag because it’s just so loud. Martin Margiela is amazing, his whole style has crept into the hip hop world and culturally that’s great.” maisonmartinmargiela.com 228 G OCTOBER 2014
Interview Stephanie Soh Photograph Rhys Frampton Grooming Amy Conley at One Represents using YSL Beauté
E XCLUSIVE EVENTS
Simply red It’s all about the colour red this season: red shoes, red trousers and yes, red bags, so give Billionaire Couture’s croc-skin holdall a whirl. £18,000. billionairecouture.com
Diver’s dream With a faceted 18-carat pink-gold crown to accompany the 18-carat pinkgold case that is designed to reach depths of 300m under water the Calibre de Cartier Diver takes sports watches to a new level of luxury. £19,400. cartier.co.uk
Pop-up, pop down Last month GQ very proudly joined forces with Bicester Village to open a pop-up boutique stocking our selection of some of the best LC:M designers. Curated by GQ, The British Designer Collective Men’s features past collections from 18 menswear designers including Agi & Sam, Lou Dalton and Jonathan Saunders, to name but a few. Open until 21 October, the boutique offers shoppers a unique chance to get their hands on some of Britain’s strongest and most exciting new fashion talent at a snip of the regular price – what more could you want? bicestervillage.com 230 G OCTOBER 2014
One for the boys American luxury leather brand Coach has been making womens footwear since the nineties but this season they are dedicating some much deserved time to the boys with the launch of the brands ﬁrst ever men’s footwear collection. £345. uk.coach.com
Denim for all mankind When it comes to denim jackets, there’s no need to dump the trend just because the winter is kicking in. Take a leaf out of 7 For All Mankind’s book and trade in your regular denim jacket for a smart sheepskin-collared one. £300. 7forallmankind.com Double dutch This season sees the launch of Atelier Scotch – a new tailoring collection by Amsterdam-based fashion label Scotch & Soda. Focusing on an eclectic mix of traditional tailoring styles with modern techniques and fabrications, this is deﬁnitely a brand to look out for. £630. At oscarmilo.com
8 Photographs Jody Todd
Track & Field Get stuck into this season’s retro sports trend with this classic crew neck by Penﬁeld. Team with grey sweatpants and simple white tennis shoes, and you’re set. £65. penﬁeld.com OCTOBER 2014 G 231
Wool week This year Campaign For Wool’s annual Wool Week is kicking off at 9am on Sunday 5 October with the Wool Ride – a dedicated cycle-ride though London. Playing host to a plethora of wool related activities – textile demonstrations, sheep-shearing lessons, etc – Potters Field, by HMS Belfast, will be the start and end location of the 13.4-mile cycle ride. Sign up at campaignfor wool.org /events/wool-ride
Exclusive Selfridges event It’s official, Selfridges is the world’s best department store, as declared by the Global Department Store Summit. What could top that? Perhaps the relaunch of its menswear offering in two of its biggest locations? At Manchester Exchange, you can now expect to ﬁnd the likes of Hermès, Givenchy and Maison Martin Margiela, while Birmingham now houses Burberry, Z Zegna and Paul Smith boutiques. Surely a celebration must be in order? We certainly think it is, so this month GQ invites you to two exclusive Selfridges events. Join Giorgina Waltier, GQ ’s Retail Editor, on Wednesday 1 October for a live style surgery at Selfrid ges B irming ham, and Robert Johnston, GQ ’s Associate Editor and Style Shrink, on Thursday 2 October at Selfrid ges Exchange Sq uare M anchester for a live AW14 style presentation. From 7-9pm, guests will have the chance to win shoes from Kurt Geiger, £1,000 to spend on a new wardrobe at Tiger Of Sweden... the list goes on. Shoppers spending £150 or more will receive an amazing goody bag including products from Michael Kors, CP Company and Kiehl’s (while stocks last), and if that wasn’t enough, guests can also enjoy complimentary drinks from Haig Club – a new single-grain Scotch whisky developed with David Beckham – and a live DJ set by MTV beauty Laura Whitmore.
Apply for your exclusive ticket at SelfridgesGQ@condenast.co.uk. State which event you would like to attend and we’ll see you there.
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E D I T E D BY
BILL P RIN C E
CHIEF WHIPPING BOY Michael Gove’s zeal cost him one job and earned him another as Tory housemaster
MUSIC Dorian Lynskey
SPORT Martin Samuel
LITERATURE Olivia Cole
ART Sophie Hastings Illustration Morten Morland
FILM This month’s new releases Teacher’s pests: Michael Gove has to maintain discipline among Conservative MPs in the run-up to May’s general election
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MUSIC and the early-Eighties version, when The Human League, Eurythmics and Duran Duran brought eyeliner and synthesisers into the heartland by way of MTV. In a 1983 special issue of Rolling Stone that declared, over a picture of Boy George, “England Swings”, former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren explained how it worked. “In the Sixties, we presented you with The Rolling Stones – selling you back your own rhythm and blues,” he said with a hustler’s glee. “This time we’re selling you back the beat of the discotheques in Harlem – but it’s white, and it’s pretty, and you can all identify with it.” If only McLaren were around to see history repeat itself. Smith has been called “a male Adele”, just as Adele was a safe-for-work Amy Winehouse: an almost decade-long continuum of white Brits who sound like black Americans. Sheeran was already making impressive headway in the States but he owes his current uptick to “Sing”, a Pharrell-produced song that resembles Justin Timberlake’s back when Justin Timberlake still made four-minute songs. Generally, Americans love British music as long as it doesn’t sound too British. (The racial politics are discomﬁting. Examining the current ubiquity of Iggy Azalea, a white, blonde woman from small-town Australia who raps like a black man from Atlanta, would require a whole other column.) Another factor is sheer hard work. British artists are more committed to touring the States and working the late-night talk-show circuit which,
The British are coming! ...and this time they’ve left the ‘swagger’ at home By Dorian Lynskey
Go forth and multiply: Ed Sheeran is among the stars driving a Brit breakthrough in the US charts
ver the summer, something remarkable happened to British music in the US. Folksy everyman Ed Sheeran’s X (Atlantic) and doleful crooner Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour (Capitol) became the ﬁrst UK albums to take the top two positions on the US album chart since Eric Clapton and Sting 21 years ago, and with considerably fewer laughter lines. That week, in fact, the Billboard Top 40 singles included Sheeran, Smith (twice), Charli XCX (twice), Calvin Harris, Bastille, Coldplay and Disclosure. With the exception of Coldplay (who’s electronic dance music [EDM] horror show “Sky Full Of Stars” may be the most shameless bandwagon-jump since Rod Stewart went disco) and Harris (who’s so hilariously ruthless that he actually named his calculated summer hit “Summer”), all of these artists are in their twenties. When Taylor Swift invited Smith to join her at the O2 in February, she remarked that hits she heard in Britain usually repeated the trick in the US six months later. Unlike the scattered British success stories of two years ago (Mumford & Sons, Adele, One Direction), this may be the ﬁrst genuine wave for a very long time.
Ambitious British artists have always been ﬁxated on breaking the US, even if they were often the ones who ended up broken. Older readers might remember the recurring music-press trope of photographing its latest darlings in front of Times Square or the Hollywood sign and crying, somewhat prematurely, “Watch out, America!” During the Nineties, however, Americans seemed to take sadistic glee in rejecting the latest limey upstarts, from Blur and Oasis to Robbie Williams. Even the much-hyped “electronica” revolution, led by The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, burnt out quickly over there, although it ended up paving the way for the likes of Skrillex. There are certainly Anglophile, Pitchfork-reading pockets of the US that hold a candle for Pulp or The Smiths but the artists that British music buffs would love to crack the US are almost never the ones that do. I suspect they embraced post-grunge plodders Bush just to wind us up. Until now, there have only been two serious British invasions: the mid-Sixties one, when The Beatles, Stones et al showed the country that invented rock’n’roll the way forward;
Sam Smith Backed up his Young Hollywood award with performances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.
Ed Sheeran His debut album, +, sold 850,000 units in the US and his second, X, reached No1 on the US chart. He already has three Grammy nominations.
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MUSIC thanks to YouTube virulence, can generate buzz like never before. But such upheavals also tell you about how the US feels about its homegrown pop music. As in 1964 and 1982, the industry is feeling insecure. Many of its A-listers released albums last year and only a handful, led by Beyoncé, really caught ﬁre. The success of Macklemore and Lorde, both of whom spoofed bling in their breakthrough hits, revealed distaste for the highgloss, high-rolling norm associated, not entirely fairly, with hip hop. So Smith and Sheeran’s ordinarygeezer demeanour, their seemingly problematic lack of glamour, actually works in their favour. As was the case with Adele, their normality acts as a guarantee of emotional authenticity. The logic goes that there’s no stardust to distract you, just the songs and the voice. Smith’s is an exceptionally agile and seductive instrument, all a-quiver with sensitivity. His needy, gospelpowered ballad “Stay With Me” should have been as welcome in high summer as a rain cloud at a barbecue but it’s clearly satisﬁed a hunger for another “Someone Like You”. Another single, “Money On My Mind”, is almost a manifesto for the kind of pop that the US currently craves: “I don’t have money on my mind/I do it for the love.” Back in Britain meanwhile, Sheeran and Smith’s everyman modesty means that patriotic pride is rather muted. These people are not Bowie or Winehouse; they’re Phil Collins or Mark Knopﬂer. They seem perfectly nice and you wish them all the best but they don’t have the oddball electricity or tabloid glamour that Britain always wishes would cross the Atlantic. British music likes to think of itself as punky and irreverent. It wants to swagger into America’s hearts. Mainstream America, however, prefers its Brits to be classy and gracious. The critic Robert Christgau’s 1984 diagnosis of “the chronic American inferiority complex in which culture isn’t culture until certiﬁed by someone with the proper accent” could apply to this new quiet revolution. Billboard
LYNSKEY’S LIST This Is All Yours Alt-J (Infectious) The low-key Mercury Prizewinners ﬁnally justify their “new Radiohead” tag with a bold second album of knotty yet beautiful art-rock riddles. Our Love Caribou (Merge) Only Hot Chip blend tender electronic pop and head-spinning house music with as much imagination and generosity of spirit as Dan Snaith. This is an album to embrace you from dusk till dawn.
magazine, for example, favourably compared Disclosure’s “timeless songwriting skills” to the “bombastic” excesses of EDM. Handcrafted, artisan pop from the country that brought you Downton Abbey. But there’s more to this summer’s sea change than sincerity and classic songwriting chops — there’s also the beat. Two of Smith’s US hits, “Latch” with Disclosure and “La La La” with Naughty Boy, ﬂowed directly from British club culture. If they can do it, why not Rudimental? If Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be” can climb the Billboard charts, why not Katy B or Jessie Ware, whose excellent second album is due next month? If this means British dance-pop, a little cooler, a little blacker, is luring listeners away from brash, Vegas-style EDM, then anything’s possible. “It might have existed in England before, but we’re hearing it now – and it’s different from anything we’ve ever heard,” a recent convert to Disclosure told Billboard. There’s a lot more where that came from.
Winners don’t do happiness José Mourinho likes his defenders to be miserly and miserable. David Luiz never stood a chance... By Martin Samuel
Harum-scarum: David Luiz’s gung-ho performances for Brazil at the World Cup conﬁrmed the view that he was too unpredictable for Chelsea
ary Neville famously compared David Luiz to a footballer in a PlayStation game, as controlled by an excited ten-year-old. Well, that little boy is all grown up now. The player is now worth £50 million, and the lad with the console has moved on to bigger things, leaving David Luiz suspended in limbo, which is pretty much how he approached the business end of this summer’s World Cup. At least the PlayStation David Luiz did stuff, though, even if it wasn’t the sort of stuff a defender was supposed to do. David Luiz at the World Cup was more of a casual observer. He stood by as things happened, to him, and to Brazil. It was as if he was curious to see what would develop. “This looks interesting,” David Luiz would think, as Thomas Müller dropped off and moved towards the back post, “I wonder what comes next?” Bang. As Brazil leaked ten goals in their ﬁnal two games, José Mourinho, the coach who had lately extracted £50m from Paris Saint-Germain for David Luiz, received a number of text messages of congratulation. His replies gave an insight into the mind of one of the great coaches. Mourinho was not dismissive of
David Luiz’s talents as a footballer, quite the contrary. He praised his technical abilities, his athleticism and commitment in the tackle. As a defender, however, he felt he possessed a fatal ﬂaw. Optimism. David Luiz, Mourinho said, played as if everything was going to turn out all right. Defenders, he insisted, couldn’t be optimists. Forwards could. Indeed, forwards had to believe that goals would come and the runs they were making would pay off. Defenders had to be miserable by nature. They had to believe that the worst would happen, that their team’s attacking move would break down, or the corner would ﬂy straight into the goalkeeper’s hands and the opposition would counterattack. They had to be permanently ready to scramble, to get back, always fearing the worst. David Luiz didn’t. He thought it would probably be ﬁne. That the other lot would most likely miss. David Luiz thought it didn’t matter if he was out of position because his team would continue to zip those passes around without slip or interruption. He never looked over his shoulder, never saw the danger. David Luiz was too hopeful to defend properly. It sounds so simple, yet there it is. Mourinho’s basic
SPORT philosophy. Optimistic forwards versus pessimistic defenders. Think of Liverpool and how they blew the title last season. Too much optimism. Not enough fear that Crystal Palace could turn around a 3-0 deﬁcit or that Chelsea could score on the break. If they’d had Mourinho’s favourite defender it is quite possible Liverpool would have won the league. If John Terry wore red they might be champions now. Terry remains the ultimate defensive pessimist, a classic Mourinho misery-guts. Terry is so worried about what might happen that he smothers shots like a comic-book war hero, throwing himself on the grenade to save the rest of the troops. He puts his head in where the boots are ﬂying and was knocked unconscious by a kick from Abou Diaby of Arsenal in the 2007 Carling Cup ﬁnal. His response was to attempt to climb out of the ambulance and return to the action, concussed. In the World Cup group game against Slovenia in 2010, having already successfully blocked a shot from Milivoje Novakovic, in the 68th minute Terry was faced with Slovenian substitute Zlatko Medic, ball at his feet. As defenders around him ﬂinched or covered up, Terry threw himself full-length, head ﬁrst at Medic in a frantic attempt to divert the shot. One might argue that this was in fact an act of optimism – a cheery belief that he would not get his teeth redistributed around a football pitch in Port Elizabeth – but Mourinho would have immediately acknowledged the instinctive desperation of a valued pessimist. Medic’s shot missed Terry and struck Glen Johnson, but it was the thought that counted. Nobody puts his body on the line quite like a Mourinho-minted defender. He has made ﬁne cynics of them all. Lucio and Walter Samuel were arguably the best central defensive pairing in the world during Mourinho’s time at Internazionale, because they were imbued with the pessimism he demands. And there is a reason Gary Cahill never looks quite the same without Terry by his side. Too much optimism. When England played Uruguay in São Paulo this summer, Luis Suárez’s winning goal encapsulated Mourinho’s outlook equation. Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera kicked a long ball downﬁeld, which appeared to be falling to the head of Steven Gerrard. Suárez regards Gerrard as his most talented team-mate, but even so, as an attacker, he gambled optimistically that he would not make the clearance, and would therefore glance the ball backwards into his path. Suárez started making his run towards goal. Gary Lineker, another optimistic forward, says he would have done exactly the same thing. It is at this point that Cahill, as a pessimistic defender, should have presumed calamity would befall Gerrard and matched Suárez, stride for stride. He didn’t. He optimistically presumed the kick was being dealt with, which was why he was a yard off Suárez when the ball skimmed Gerrard’s head and fell at his feet. The rest is history, as were England. So now to football’s next global event, the Champions League, beginning in earnest this month. David Luiz has his new club, PSG, who last season were eliminated by Chelsea. No doubt if the ﬁxtures repeat, Mourinho will expect the same outcome. He just won’t tell his defenders this. He needs them downbeat. He wants them worrying. He likes to keep it gloomy at the back. Martin Samuel is the chief sports writer of the Daily Mail and the 2014 NPA Sports Writer Of The Year.
L I T E R AT U R E
Judgement day is here Ian McEwan’s new novel puts faith and ethics in the dock By Olivia Cole s a novelist whose critical reputation translates directly into sales in the hundreds of thousands, Ian McEwan is virtually unique among his contemporaries. Part of McEwan’s popularity with readers is his canny gift for tight and surprising plotting, and in the advance buzz around The Children Act, it’s been widely reported that his 13th novel presents a reckoning with irresponsible religious belief – an anathema to an atheist like McEwan. It’s true that religious commitment forms part of the story: Fiona Maye, a High Court judge in the family division, must decide if a 17-year-old, four months shy of turning 18 – when he will pass out of the law’s protection for children – should be permitted to refuse medical treatment for a fatal illness and therefore to die for his beliefs. The boy, Adam Henry, and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. (For his epigraph, McEwan cites the Children Act of 1989: “When a court determines any question with respect to... the upbringing of a child... the child’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration.”) However, to see The Children Act (Jonathan Cape, £16.99, out now) as simply an examination of the irresponsibility of extreme faith is to miss the point. Adam’s faith, and that of his parents, who we are told have, with the help of their religion, escaped alcoholism and poverty to bring up a bright teenager, is a device by which McEwan can ﬁnd a subject for Fiona Maye to judge that is not just a matter of a child’s welfare but goes beyond into the realm of life or death. The opening chapter is a tour de force – a close-up on 24 hours in Fiona Maye’s life, bringing the moral and intellectual demands of the judge’s existence brilliantly to life. On this particular wet summer’s day, the dizzying professional challenges of Maye’s hour-to-hour routine are cut through with the details of her own marriage of 30 years, sliding
disastrously out of key. When we meet Maye, grief and anxiety over a recent case in which she has ordered conjoined twins to be separated has placed a strain on her marriage. (It’s worth noting here that McEwan experienced a traumatic divorce and custody tussle culminating in his wife’s abduction of one of his two teenage sons in 1999. Plainly the role of the law in the protection of children is a subject to which he has given a great deal of thought.) When she gets home in the middle of a case in which separated parents are warring over the education of their daughters, her husband, the rakish Jack, in matching distress at a sudden seven-week absence of sex, proposes to ﬁnd temporary solace in the arms of a woman half her age called Melanie. The name reminds Fiona of fatal skin cancer and Melanie’s profession, a statistician, seems the ultimate insult to the famous judge whose elegant pronouncements depend on nuance and the complex view. What’s more, the failure of Maye’s own marriage makes her and her husband as chaotic as the subjects of her judgements. As the author observes as she gets the locks changed on their ﬂat, “a professional life spent above the affray, advising then judging, loftily commenting in private on the viciousness and absurdity of divorcing couples, and now she was down there with the rest, swimming with the desolate tide.” Without offering plot spoilers, it’s in this enraged and sexually dejected frame of mind that Maye makes a series of professional errors in the Adam Henry case. But the moral dilemma presented by Adam’s faith is largely the foil to the novel’s real preoccupations: less to do with faith than with personal responsibility – and disastrous irresponsibility, whether as a parent, partner or friend. And here, as in the best of McEwan’s
What should be a contender for next year’s long list, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Oneworld), reimagines the 1976 attempted assassination of Bob Marley by creating a dazzling ﬁctional representation of Jamaica from the perspective of witnesses, ghosts, politicians, drug dealers and beauty queens. Another epic is We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (Fourth Estate), a debut novel ten years in the writing that explores the immigrant experience through Eileen Leary, brought up in an oppressive Catholic family in Queens but coming of age in a different world in New York in the Sixties. Werner Herzog: A Guide For The Perplexed - Conversations With Paul Cronin (Faber) is a monument to the director’s decades of ﬁlmmaking from Aguirre, The Wrath Of God to Grizzly Man. Finally for crime fans James Ellroy presents the ﬁrst part of a second LA Quartet, Perﬁdia (William Heinneman) set in December 1941 in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
novels, emotional misunderstandings have the power to become moral failings with real consequences. As a ﬁctional couple Fiona and Jack are an older, unhappier version of Clarissa and Joe in Enduring Love, the once-blissful couple who were thrown off course by the different way they react to an unhinged stalker. In that novel Joe’s innocent deception, initially keeping Jed’s mad communications a secret, does more damage to their emotional equilibrium than the stalking itself. In The Children Act, guilt over a secret, almost accidental kiss and the emotional stasis with her husband (a not entirely blameless ﬁgure) render Fiona incapable of putting into action the humane, kind and wise values she espouses in her professional life. The Children Act shows McEwan as a master of ﬁction who strives to teach us how to live. This least prudish of writers, who as young man won the nickname Ian Macabre, is perhaps these days more accurately described as a Victorian novelist, in the best possible sense. And while McEwan leaves his readers to make up their minds what they think of his characters, it’s not hard to see why the character of a humane judge should have held such appeal. McEwan’s six previous nominations and one win were surely the only ﬂimsy reason to leave him off this year’s mixed bag of Booker nominations. Happily the realm of literary judges, unlike the courts of law, is very far from a matter of life and death.
Moral maze: Ian McEwan’s The Children Act explores how personal suffering can compromise professional conduct
Photograph Getty Images
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Gove gets the whip hand The Tory ideologue lost the Education brief because the PM needs his pep and passion in parliament By Matthew d’Ancona he prime minister likes to caricature Ed Miliband as a talker immigration or both are tacked on to bills by MPs still fearful of UKIP, and commentator – the implicit point being that he, Dave, is especially in marginal seats. a man who gets things done instead of reading out essays on It is now Gove’s job to handle such uprisings, great and small, to the state of the nation. It follows that the return of the Commons pre-empt them and to advise Cameron on how to appease them, if at all. In the months before an election, a governing party cannot afford on 13 October is an important moment for Cameron and for the Conservative Party. to appear remotely divided. At the same time, this prime minister is It marks the true beginning of the last parliamentary year before insistent that this government will remain visibly busy on the pitch until the ﬁnal whistle of extra time. It is the chief whip’s job to ensure the general election and – therefore – Cameron’s ﬁnal chance to that the balance of smooth discipline and burnish his credentials as a lawmaker. noisy activity is perfectly struck. The message of the Queen’s Speech in At the time of the reshufﬂe, I predicted June was that the Tory-led coalition that Gove would also become “chief whip would remain active and committed to reform until the dissolution of Parliato the nation”. My point was that, in an unprecedented combination, he would ment on 30 March next year. What was be deputed by Cameron to handle the not revealed until July was that the man voters as well as the House of Commons. steering through the ﬁnal batch of bills Most chief whips observe the rule, as would be Michael Gove. described by Andrew Mitchell (who was Cameron’s decision to move his friend unfairly driven from the post), that and close ally from Education to his new role of chief whip was one of his most “whipping, like stripping, is best done in startling. Gove’s school reforms were private”. But Gove has been tasked to appear on the airwaves as a cheerleader routinely presented by the PM and and persuader for his party as it nears George Osborne as the sharp end of one of its greatest electoral tests. modern Conservatism, the showcase of The extent to which he is let off the their reforming ambitions and aggressive leash this autumn will tell us all we need belief that education had to improve drato know about the campaign to come and matically if Britain was to compete in the “global race”. The fact that the teaching – beyond that – how Cameron intends to unions (and Nick Clegg, for that matter) govern if he wins in May. The chief whip’s opposed Gove’s radicalism as strongly as legendary civility coexists with strong they did was regarded by Cameron and convictions on a range of issues: like the Osborne as evidence of success. much-missed Steve Hilton, Cameron’s So why move him? Two months on, senior advisor now based in California, he the riddle remains. Undoubtedly, part believes that there is no point in governof the answer is that his senior coling if not with urgency and radicalism. leagues lost their nerve: as the election He believes that his own brand of approached, Tory strategists started to liberal conservatism can be a serious fret in earnest about Gove’s soaring engine of social mobility, devolving unpopularity with public-sector workers power to individuals and families to (who account for almost 15 per cent of shape their destinies, and to liberate them voters). As one senior source put it to from bureaucracy and outdated ideology. don’t need no education: Anti-austerity protesters seek to me at the time of his removal from Edu- He He is also a strong believer in the West’s school Michael Gove on the ﬁner points of good governance duty to confront Islamic fanaticism around cation, “There are many ways to skin a before he was shuffled away from the DoE, 21 June 2014 cat.” Or, to translate, Nicky Morgan, the world, with military force if necessary. Gove’s successor at Education, will pursue the same policies without Cameron admires all this in Gove, but it’s carved from a very difalienating a huge tranche of voters. ferent stone. Pragmatism runs through his being, as does a belief that That is debatable. More intriguing is the fact that Gove had steadiness and stamina are generally rewarded. He has none of Gove’s privately expressed a long-term interest in the ofﬁce of chief whip ideological fervour. Yet he wants to leave his mark, and knows that no PM can do that unless he heeds those with ﬁre in their soul – at – though not quite so soon. The way in which he performs his new role will tell us a lot about Cameron’s priorities, electoral strategy and least some of the time. plans for the second term he has yet to be granted. The question is: how much of the time? Does Cameron want to For a start, there will be plenty to occupy Gove as vote-counter energise the nation or simply to hold on to power? Does he want to turn the reforming dial up to eleven if he wins in May? Is his objecand parliamentary manager. Not all of the measures in the Queen’s Speech – which promised private pensions reform, better childcare, tive stable improvement or risky transformation? For once, there is a Serious Crime Bill, and a new “recall” process to enable voters to an easy way of ﬁnding out: turn on your television, and see how trigger a by-election – will make it to the statute book. The governoften between now and polling day the PM lets Mighty Mike step into the ring. ment will run out of time or be thwarted by parliamentary arithmetic. Expect a serious rebellion if private data sharing becomes a legislative Twitter @MatthewdAncona issue. Don’t be surprised if amendments concerning Europe or
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For your consideration...
On the rocks: Woody Allen’s career depends on his proliﬁc output, including Magic In The Moonlight, which stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth
Woody Allen’s greatest trick The controversial director uses smoke and mirrors to keep his audience enthralled oody Allen was a keen magician in his youth, which makes it all the more remarkable that it’s taken him until late in his eighth decade to make illusion the centrepiece of one of his ﬁlms. Magic In The Moonlight is set in 1928 and sees curmudgeonly magician Colin Firth (above) summoned to the Côte d’Azur to debunk an above-average medium (Emma Stone, above), who’s ingratiating her way into a well-to-do local family. While it might not match the box ofﬁce or Oscar success of recent outings, such as Blue Jasmine, it will continue the professional renaissance the director has enjoyed in recent years. For Allen, the subject matter is apt: what sleight of hand has he performed to lift his career from its former downward trajectory? What’s more, how has this
professional success buttressed his reputation in the face of persistent claims of child molestation? The answer is twofold. Firstly, he has maintained a proliﬁc output. Like the quick-ﬁre stand-up he once was, Allen reverts to the philosophy that if you don’t like this one, don’t worry, another’s coming soon. Secondly, Allen has learnt that audiences still crave magic. The elusive effects of illusion are writ large here. As Firth’s character begins to believe in Stone’s ability, he sheds his cynicism and becomes a more attractive person. Does that mean Allen has become more optimistic in recent years? The answer is probably not, but he has learnt how to hide his disillusion better. And that’s a trick not to be underestimated. John Naughton Magic In The Moonlight is out on 19 September.
The Riot Club ++++ First-class satire Exhilarating and unsettling, Lone Scherﬁg’s adaptation of Laura Wade’s hit play, Posh, hinges on an evening gone wrong at an elite Oxford University dining society. It gives an alarming sense of just how small a network controls the establishment. David Cameron and George Osborne belonged to the thuggish Bullingdon Club, on which the ﬁctional Riot is based, and will despise the release of the ﬁlm so close to the general election. Essential viewing for that reason alone. Charlie Burton. Out on 19 September.
Before I Go To Sleep +++ Well-rested drama Although a fraction underpowered, Before I Go To Sleep is a smartly executed, claustrophobic adaptation of SJ Watson’s bestseller, which overcomes initial misgivings that it might be a retread of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Nicole Kidman (above) awakes each morning with no memories, relying on husband Colin Firth and psychiatrist Mark Strong for competing versions of her past. A dry commentary on marriage wrapped around taut psychological drama. JN Out on 5 September.
A Most Wanted Man +++ Hoffman’s ﬁnal turn The late Philip Seymour Hoffman (above) – in his last role – plays a German agent running an anti-terrorist team in this John Le Carré adaptation, wearily but doggedly trying to nab suspects before the Americans get to them. Illegal immigrant Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin) is the latest target, but a human rights lawyer (Rachel McAdams) has other ideas. It’s insightful, but the pace is plodding. As you’d expect, Hoffman is excellent throughout, even if this isn’t the ﬁnest sendoff. Anna Smith Out on 12 September.
One of the month’s biggest releases still being kept tightly under wraps is undoubtedly David Fincher’s Gone Girl (out on 3 October), otherwise known as the adaptation of that book your girlfriend wouldn’t stop going on about (no, not Fifty Shades Of Grey, that’s the other one). Following a twisting narrative of two unreliable narrators (a troubled married couple played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) after the latter goes missing, expect this to be unmissable watercooler fodder for weeks on end. Elsewhere this month, Liam Neeson is back in dad-action-hero mode for A Walk Among The Tombstones (out on 19 September), in which he once again plays... Liam Neeson, in this instance a grizzled former NYPD cop and current private investigator, who has been hired by a drug dealer (former Downton Abbey eye candy Dan Stevens) to ﬁnd his kidnapped wife in New York. It’s “Taken: For Hire”, essentially. And it will be as great as that sounds. For decidedly gunplay-free cinema, Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days On Earth (out on 19 September) will be wooing the indie crowd with this rather curious duckling: a pseudo-documentary depicting a ﬁctitious 24 hours in the life of the multi-hyphenated Australian songwriter-director-musician-authorscreenwriter, that also happens to co-star fellow antipodean Kylie Minogue. It goes without saying that those who can’t stand Cave need not apply, and those who are rabid fans should get themselves to the cinema. Finally, This Is Where I Leave You (out on 19 September) sees Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Girls’ Adam Driver heading an ensemble cast of what promises to be a family-comedy drama pitched somewhere between the serious stageyness of last year’s August: Osage County and a Wes Anderson Royal Tenenbaums-esque farce. Directed by Shawn Levy – known for the Night At The Museum series – and based on the hit book by Jonathan Tropper, it sees Judd Foxman (Bateman) ﬁnd his wife in bed with his boss, before being recalled to his family house after the untimely death of his father and plunging into more dysfunctional family fare than you can shake a stick at. Stuart McGurk OCTOBER 2014 G 243
Vanity fair catches its own reflection Eric Fischl’s new London show is the perfect setting to explore what cash does to creativity By Sophie Hastings
ric Fischl’s ambiguous, erotically charged paintings are imbued with a seductive melancholia reminiscent of Edward Hopper or David Lynch, that “bone-deep loneliness, a sense of alienation and anxiety that is the... counterpart of boundless freedom, mobility, and self-invention,” he writes in his autobiography. Fischl focuses on moments of transition, rites of passage that go unmarked in middle-class, suburban America where there are no rituals to negotiate life’s key changes. In “Bad Boy”, the work with which he made his name in the early Eighties as “the sex painter from the suburbs”, Fischl
“rendered a moment, fraught and mysterious, in the relationship between an eleven-year-old boy and a mature woman. The scene shows the woman lying naked on a large sun-striped bed at the centre of the canvas, her legs splayed, revealing the slit of her vagina amid a dark patch of pubic hair... She’s indifferent to, or unaware of, the presence of the boy, who’s standing in the foreground with his back to the viewer, staring directly at her sex.” We don’t know who the woman is, or how she is connected to the boy, and the implications are uncomfortable. But not knowing gives the viewer agency. “People assume I know what’s
Buyers’ market: Eric Fischl’s ‘Art Fair: Booth # 60 Shoot /Please’ (2014) focuses on a familiar gallery scene
going on in my paintings,” he says, when I call him at his home in Sag Harbour, New York, to discuss his latest body of work, Art Fair Paintings, showing at Victoria Miro from 14 October, to coincide with Frieze London. “But I don’t. I just know what my associations were. They ask me if she is the child’s mother, I say who do you think she is? Then they get angry. They want to be told, want a hand-hold.” Fischl began his career painting his way out of the psychosexual taboos that underpinned his privileged but “toxic” childhood on suburban Long Island, the hypocrisies of which made him “aware of the disconnect
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Photograph Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro, London, and Mary Boone Gallery, New York
ART between appearance and reality. The suburbs were big on superﬁcial images.” His chronically alcoholic mother who, when sober, was imaginative and a source of inspiration to her favourite son, terriﬁed her children with her drunken episodes, and eventually took her own life. Their father punished her behind closed doors; the couple presented a respectable, buttoned-up front to their socially aspirational milieu but were “surprisingly relaxed around the house. They talked to us kids openly about sex and lounged around their bedroom completely naked.” Fischl found his mother’s nudity disturbing and he employs nakedness to highlight psychological stress in his work, while at the same time examining the US’s fear of the body. “Art has abandoned the body,” he writes. “To rehabilitate the importance of the body in art, we have to come to terms with sex and death.” In a world where the signiﬁcance of art is deﬁned by its performance on the market, this is not going to happen, he laments, describing the “brand art” that has come to dominate the contemporary scene as “glib” and “devoid of emotional content”. He thinks the excesses of Eighties New York led directly to the art world today, a place that is “a constant assault on values, aesthetics. My generation wanted to use art to change the world but we opened the door too far to consumption; the high life.” When Fischl’s accountant sold one of his sketches at auction for $100,000 in the mid-Eighties, he understood that making art had become a way of printing money. Something had shifted and New York’s leading artists were treated like demigods, the movie stars of the city and the centre of the international scene. Andy Warhol started the ball rolling in the Sixties, turning advertising imagery and celebrity (including his own) into art; Julian Schnabel took it up with brio, producing huge, gestural canvases covered in broken plates that sold for $3,500 in 1979 and were going for $100,000 at Christie’s three years later. Schnabel’s arrogance was legendary, but his “grandeur, excitement and selfimportance” changed everything, says Fischl. “He opened things up for us all.” But fame and fortune came with drugs, booze, feuds and selfloathing. “Anyone who says they love having sex on coke is lying.” He cites the New York Times magazine cover of one-time street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat seated in front of a wall painting, in a black Armani suit and bare feet, as the deﬁning image of the era. “New Art, New Money: The Marketing Of An American Artist,” read the strapline. “Jackson Pollock made the cover of Time magazine and never sold a painting in his life for more than $9,000,” says Fischl, whose own works were netting him $1 million a year by 1985. Suddenly, the market was king, art was commodiﬁed and artists were branded, ”although no one talked about brands back then”. These days, he says, “a small group of people are making product, not art. The work sells for crazy prices that make no sense whatsoever. Art has become a money-laundering service; that’s what fuels the prices.” But he’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth; to a narrative painter, the art fair is pure theatre. “The physical structure of an art fair is cubistic, disjunctive, with irrational breaks; you can’t read it,” he says. “It’s visually complicated. Then there is all this art in the background trying to assert itself, but falling on dead ears. People are on their cellphones, negotiating deals, or checking each other out. They are elsewhere. I’m still exploring themes I’ve examined since day one – how to connect, get what you need.” The art itself, what he calls the “Oh Wow! stuff”, is “regressive,” he says. “All dolls, cartoons, the stuff of childhood. Perhaps it comes from a post-Aids sensibility, a fear of sex that is potentially lethal, and a nostalgia for pre-adolescence. And of course there’s the fear of mortality that pervades American culture, [embodied by] plastic surgery and adults dressing like kids.” “It’s an exciting thing to paint. The gestalt is sarcastic, but I’m not making fun of the people,” adds Fischl. “It’s a complicated world pulling you in lots of different directions.” It’s true you will never see a more comprehensive selection of cosmeticsurgery options than at an art fair, nor will you ﬁnd a greater variety of contemporary costumes – from beachwear to black tie, anything goes: it is a world of constant self-invention and social isolation, where artists, collectors, gallerists, curators and hangers-on are all in a frenetic spin of activity, yet utterly alone. “That’s the art fair thing,” says Fischl. “So many people trying to communicate and so many that aren’t.” Eric Fischl: Art Fair Paintings, 14 October - 19 December. Victoria Miro, Gallery II, 16 Wharf Road, London N1. victoria-miro.com. Bad Boy: My Life On And off The Canvas by Eric Fischl and Michael Stone (Crown, £15) is out now. ericﬁschl.com OCTOBER 2014 G 245
Frieze Art Fair Regent’s Park, London 15-18 October. frieze.com Frieze Masters Ancient To Modern Art, Regent’s Park, London 15-19 October. friezemasters.com Sunday Art Fair Ambika P3, London 17-20 October. sunday-fair.com Nina Beier David Roberts Art Foundation, London Until 13 December. davidroberts artfoundation.com
Sigmar Polke (above) Tate Modern 9 October 8 February 2015. tate.org-uk Louise Bourgeois: A Woman Without Secrets Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art Until 12 October. visitmima.com Designing The 20th Century: Life And Work Of Abram Games Jewish Museum London Until 4 January 2015. jewishmuseum. org.uk
Shoe gazing: Eric Fischl looks at the complex role of consumers in ‘Art Fair: Booth # 1 Oldenburg’s Sneakers’ (2013) Photograph Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro, London, and Mary Boone Gallery, New York
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hen the most respected ﬁgures from the worlds of fashion, food, sport, ﬁlm, television, radio, politics, music, literature and business gather under one roof, only the finest refreshments will do. For many, the GQ Men Of The Year awards is a rare opportunity to kick back, relax, and stop building empires – if just for a while. At our annual stellar bash, the greatest of the great – rock stars, world leaders, legendary thesps, design gods, supermodels, star chefs and business idols meet to celebrate everything good about the world they’re helping shape. At the GQ Men Of The Year awards, the range of drinks is a reﬂection of the gathered talent – always eclectic, but naturally world class. A ﬁne glass of white (the stunning Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling 2013) or red (the equally great Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir 2010) during dinner is a must, but to really get the party started, only a quality spirit will do, and they don’t come much more reﬁned than a Glenmorangie Scotch Whisky, the grandee of Scottish tipples. For vodka men (and women), there’s the aesthete’s choice of Belvedere, and for rum, there’s the glorious 10 Cane Rum, while for those who don’t take it straight there’s a raft of cocktails, along with an assortment of mixers (take your pick from Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and a Schweppes smorgasbord of ginger ale, tonic water and soda water). It goes without saying there’s also a choice of a glorious cold beer (Peroni) as the night ramps up the heat – along with an essential Voss mineral water to keep you going – but it’s a celebration after all. Sometimes, only a ﬂute of Laurent-Perrier champagne will do. For our Men Of The Year, it’s nothing but the best.
Photograph Full Stop Photography
Cuvée Rosé. The Ultimate.
photographe Iris Velghe
The world’s best, at the most glamorous party in town – over the next 40 pages, GQ proudly presents the annual awards like no other, and we haven’t left a megastar or mogul unturned. From the accidental action hero now a Hollywood grandee to the Beatle saving the world; from the former PM on a mission to the most sophisticated Time Lord yet – not to mention the proprietor of London’s coolest hangout, the most successful pop star on the planet, and, hey, we’ll say it, the most famous woman in the world; ladies and gentlemen, in association with Hugo Boss, the 17th annual GQ Men Of The Year awards.
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DORNAN His Bafta-nominated turn in the BBC’s dark drama The Fall put him on the map, but the upcoming Fifty Shades Of Grey will see him dominate the world SPONSORED BY
amie Dornan is tired. In the past eleven months, he’s attempted to overthrow the government in 17th-century England in Channel 4’s New Worlds, done a second series of surprise HBO-a-like BBC hit The Fall , as a most serious serial killer opposite Gillian Anderson, and ﬁlmed Fifty Shades Of Grey, the adaptation of a certain bondage bonkbuster you may have heard of. Total break: one hasty honeymoon. Result: one broken man. “I’m really happy, I wouldn’t complain for a second,” says the more-than-deserving winner of GQ’s Vertu Breakthrough Artist award. “But you know, it’s tiring. I feel like I’m ageing rapidly!” Which, one would imagine, is what happens when you sign up for roles that involve revolutions, serial murder and tying people up in sex dungeons. As Dornan puts it, laughing, “They’re all quite demanding.” In person, the 32-year-old is handsome, in an intense, brooding way, but in personality he’s dry, laconic and does a great line in ﬂippant competitiveness. “It was lovely to be nominated,” he begins, in standard humble actor mode, of his Bafta nomination for the ﬁrst season of The Fall. “But, to be honest, once you get there on the night, you want to win. I’m a competitive little bastard! Once I got there, I was really like, I want to win.” But if it was The Fall that put the former model from Northern Ireland on the map as a serious talent, it’s his upcoming role as millionaire Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey – out next February – that will send him into the stratosphere. Just the small matter of an entire ﬁlm half-naked with bondage whip in hand then... “I’m not really fearful of that stuff,” he says. “It’s just work. It’s strange work, sure, but it’s still just work. I just get on with it.” His dad, he says, was his biggest cheerleader for him to get the role – one he only got after ﬁrst choice Charlie Hunnam dropped out. “He was all for it. I don’t come from a cagey family. We’re fairly liberal.” And anyway, he says, it’s not going to be the licentious sex adaptation some are expecting. “I mean, in some ways, it’ll break a few boundaries. But at the same time, they want to put bums on seats. They can’t alienate an audience. You know, it has to be watchable. It can’t be hard-core. I wouldn’t have signed up to it if it was. You’ve got to make something a large amount of people can go and see. It’s not going to be grotesque.” Next up, he’s set to secure his new-found star status by appearing opposite Bradley Cooper in Adam Jones, a ﬁlm about chefs in London. And while the past year has been exhausting, he says, there have been beneﬁts. Namely, after a year spent tying people up in The Fall (the victims) and Fifty Shades (the submissive sex slaves), he’s got rather good at knots. “Yes!”. He laughs. And specialist knots too!” Stuart McGurk The Fall returns this autumn on BBC Two.
Grooming Paul Donovan
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directing a dog-food advert. Then there was the time he sold a script to Harvey Weinstein. “I ﬂew to New York to work on the ﬁlm but, unbeknownst to me, while I was in the air they changed their minds,” recalls Capaldi. “So the limo comes to the hotel to take me to the Weinsteins’ ofﬁce and I’m chatting to the driver, Rolf, who insists on waiting for me outside, and I give him a big tip. I go in to see Bob [Harvey’s brother], and he operated the guillotine and it was over in ﬁve minutes. Bob says, ‘Your car’s waiting,’ so I get back in the car and say to Rolf, ‘I’ve got nothing. I’m going back to England now apparently.’ As I got out, he rolled up the tip and handed it back to me.” It’s taught Capaldi to be mindful of what he calls “the cosmic sledgehammer”. It’s always there, he says, “you can be waiting down the street and your life could change utterly in a bad way or in a good way.” For now, he’s enjoying an elongated spell of the latter. Doctor Who comes hot on the heels of The Thick Of It, in which he played the bile-spitting Malcolm Tucker (a performance based on Harvey Weinstein – not, as often thought, Alastair Campbell). In fact, it TV PERSONALITY was a YouTube parody combining the two shows – Tucker cut into a Who P H OTO G R A P H BY STE V E NEAV ES trailer as the Doctor – that brought S T Y L I N G BY HOP E LAW RIE home the magnitude of his new role. “Usually anything on YouTube about The Thick Of It gets about 50,000 views; Tuxedo, £550. Shirt, £109. Bow tie, £45. Pocket square, £25. All by Boss. hugoboss.com this was nearly three million.’” eter Capaldi’s biggest role yet, as the star of Doctor Who, has It’s also the job he has wanted since childhood. Indeed, the young come at the age of 56, and with it GQ’s TV Personality Of The Capaldi wrote letters to the BBC so often, petitioning to be head of the Year award (“It’s a wonderful honour – do I get to meet Keith fan club, that Who producer Barry Letts once sent him a box of scripts to Richards?”). But getting here has involved vertiginous ups and downs. keep him quiet. Decades later, he met the man himself and thanked him A high: landing a major part in Bafta-winning 1983 movie Local Hero. personally; Letts remembered the letters. Sadly, Capaldi laments, he died A low: the rest of the Eighties, which he spent living in bedsits. High: ﬁve years ago so has no idea that the fanboy has hit the mother lode. “It picking up an Oscar in 1995 for his short ﬁlm Franz Kafka’s It’s A would have been so extraordinary for him to have seen it.” Charlie Burton Wonderful Life. Low: a year on, ﬁnding himself in Rickmansworth Doctor Who is on BBC One now.
From spin doctor to Doctor Who, the undulating career of our TV Personality Of The Year is about to take one giant leap
AGI & SAM They may only have shown their debut collection as recently as 2011, but to their many admirers Agi Mdumulla (far left), 28, and Sam Cotton (left), 27, are well on their way to becoming London’s answer to Dolce & Gabbana. Mdumulla is originally from Yorkshire while Cotton grew up in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The two met in London while they were both working for Alexander McQueen and then set up their label together. Not that they pay too much attention to their success. “We’re not sitting at home googling ourselves,” insists Mdumulla. “My mum does though,” Cotton cuts in. “She has had a Google alert set up.” They came to prominence with a style that was a mashup of traditional tailoring with a strong emphasis on bespoke digital prints and a subtle sense of humour. Last year, they did a 20-piece capsule collection for Topman based on Nineties’ football strips (Topman creative director Gordon Richardson is a big fan). Their most recent collaboration is with Australian footwear label UGG and they are determined not to get stuck in any ruts. The collection they showed at June’s London Collections: Men saw the duo going on a more muted, Japaneseinspired direction, proving there is a depth to their talent and that fashion’s favourite double act are here for the duration. Robert Johnston Illustration Agi & Sam Grooming Kim Plotel
B R E A K T H R O U G H FA S H I O N D E S I G N E R S
HAMILTON The former Formula One champion is back on track and gunning for his second world crown SPORTSMAN S TO RY BY
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ewis Hamilton has got a lot of natural talent, a lot of ﬂair. He wants to be himself and do things his way. It’s very difﬁcult in that world to stand ﬁrm against all the other forces railing against you, so he takes everyone on a bit of an emotional roller coaster with him. He’s like a one-man soap opera. He’s got the ability to do things that are beyond most other drivers – like the ability to drive in the wet. I watched the on-board camera for the pole position he drove to in China and was in total awe of it; it was a thing of beauty. There were virtually no mistakes. His res p onse to Mercedes in Hungary – defying team orders to let team-mate Nico Rosberg pass, before ﬁnishing in third, ahead of Rosberg, after starting in the pit lane – may be the deﬁning moment of the Championship. He was standing up for himself against a lot of pressure. It was a statement of intent and a stake in the ground. I was completely with him. The sport has suffered a lot from an over-emphasis on the teams and the manufacturers and the sponsors. People pay to see drivers do what they can in their own cars, and he stood up for his own rights in that race. Lewis has got all the elements of talent and personal mission in life that make him a beacon for the glory of the sport. I expect him to mount a comeback and win. He’s had a lot of his bad luck – it averages out. He’s in a very strong position to win the Championship. But it’s going to get more difﬁcult between now and the end. It’s not going to get easier. But he’s got that magic quality – he’s a guy who’s able to pull rabbits out of hats.
Grooming Sara Clark. GQ stayed at Hotel Duquesa De Cardona. hduquesadecardona.com
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MURILLO A RT AWA R D IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SERPENTINE GALLERY
The author of Flash Boys is again flush with success, issuing a new golden bull against the villains of finance WRITER
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Michael 256 G OCTOBER 2014
ast March, just before the publication of his new book, Flash Boys, Michael Lewis realised the stir he was about to cause. While riding the airport shuttle bus in Phoenix, Arizona, a man from the New York Attorney General’s ofﬁce sat next to him. “I’m in charge of an investigation,” he explained. “We’re really interested in your book.” When it came out days later, whole industries were up in arms. Soon, the FBI was calling. Why all the fuss? Flash Boys exposes how the stock market has been rigged by high-frequency trading, costing investors billions. It follows Royal Bank Of Canada trader Brad Katsuyama as he unpicks the scandal and tries to create an exchange designed to withstand corruption, called IEX. When GQ met our Writer Of The Year a month after Flash Boys’ publication, it was selling faster than anything he’d written, including 1989’s Liar’s Poker and 2003’s Moneyball. “But I didn’t know the book was going to catch on quite the way it did,” he says. For one, the subject matter is arcane. For another, Lewis remembered a competition in which he was involved while working at New Republic in the late Eighties. The goal was to devise the most boring headline possible. The winning entry could easily have described IEX: “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative”. A great portion of its success, then, is down to Lewis’ storytelling abilities. Indeed, a ﬁlm version is already in the works. So who should play Katsuyama? “A totally unknown Asian person, and everybody else should be famous,” says Lewis. “So it’s him against the system.” Charlie Burton
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Photograph Matthew Hollow courtesy the artist and David Zwirner Grooming Brynn Doering
When a work by the 28-year-old Colombian-born artist was auctioned at Christie’s earlier this year, the estimate was a hefty £30,000. But it says everything about the rise of Oscar Murillo – whose scratchy, graffiti-inﬂuenced works he paints with a broomstick at his studio in Dalston, east London – that it sold for £194,500. Dubbed “the most talked-about young artist in the world” by New York Magazine, his work plays on his outsider status. For his ﬁrst solo New York show – this year’s A Mercantile Novel – he set up a chocolate factory, much like the one his mother worked at in Colombia, and sold boxes of sweets for £30,000. With a key role in an upcoming MoMa show it’s safe to say he won’t stay an outsider for long. SM
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’ve known Benedict for 14 years and it’s been wonderful to witness his meteoric rise, but I’ve always known it would happen. The Imitation Game is the ﬁrst time we’ve worked together. I had wondered what kind of performance I’d see him give in taking on Alan Turing. It’s another extremely intelligent, isolated man, so is it going to be Sherlock? But, from day one, it had a completely different rhythm. I don’t want to sound like I’m kissing his arse, but it’s award-worthy in my mind. He can do the lot – it’s really depressing! There’s a worrying trend, especially in America, that the bigger you get, the less likely you are to hang around to provide the eye lines when the camera turns to your co-stars. You just sort of stop trying. It’s rubbish, and Benedict certainly hasn’t changed into anything like that, which is thrilling to see. If you speak to people in the know, such as the directors at The National Theatre, they would say that this man has always been an incredible talent. Sherlock simply let the rest of the world know it too. He’s coping with the fame pretty well. He’s still living in the same ﬂat that he always did. I keep telling him that he should move from it – he’s overlooked from north, south, east and west! He is always best at the end of your sofa with a couple of bottles of rosé or Merlot inside him. Take the actor away from the cameras and all the bollocks and stick him in your front room and that’s when you get to take a position on whether he’s still a good bloke, and he certainly is. Oh, and he’s also an animal lover. You got it out of me! That’s the headline... and put the accent on “animal”. The Imitation Game is out on 14 November.
Co-star in The Imitation Game and lifelong friend Matthew Goode reveals the winning methods and animal magnetism of GQ’s Actor Of The Year Grooming Ingeborg
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L IFE CAN BE P E RF E C T
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GQ Tablet Extra! Watch this amazing artwork come to life on iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab S
GQ serves up this year’s face of food, the chef whose Michelin-starred achievements are just a taste of things to come
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GQ’s Chef Of The Year runs a two-Michelin-star pub, has written a best-selling cookbook, and is an acclaimed TV presenter, a newspaper columnist and, according to pop star Lily Allen, a “total dude”. Yet sitting with him in The Hand & Flowers on a rainy afternoon in Marlow, the charming and funny Tom Kerridge admits he isn’t half the man he used to be. “Yeah, I’ve lost over 12 stone in the past 18 months or so,” he says with a cheeky grin. “I love beer and that was my release
after work, but when I got to 40 I decided to make a change. Now I love swimming.” And like a reverse dieting Samson, the slimmer he gets, the more successful he becomes. So much so he is in danger of becoming a celebrity chef. He laughs. “I’m a fat bald bloke with a West Country accent. Doesn’t sound much like a celebrity to me.” GQ Chef Of The Year, though, has a better ring to it. “I know I don’t ﬁt the proﬁle of a GQ man,” he admits. “But I am delighted.” As are we, Tom. Paul Henderson
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hen it comes to dishing out blue-eyed, sidewalkstrutting soul, Scottish crooner Paolo Nutini could always hit the sweet spot. It’s just that now, in 2014, that’s no longer being used as an insult. In fact, the critics are (ﬁnally) on the same page as the teenage girls were back in 2006 – Nutini’s third LP, the charttopping, platinum-selling Caustic Love, has been heralded as “the best UK R&B album since the Seventies”. “It makes people who might have been dismissive pay attention,” says the 27-year-old, who has strongly hinted at being a supporter of Scottish independence and refused to be shot for GQ with the Houses of Parliament in the background. Nutini gives credit for his career-deﬁning new material in part to a recent four-year hiatus, taken after the release of his second album, Sunny Side Up. “[The break] was really for the music, in that I wasn’t too sure what I was writing about. I really needed to experience things to write.” Looking forwards, Nutini has his biggest UK arena tour to date, kicking off this autumn and another, rather more implausible, challenge – convincing people of his identity. “A lot of people say, ‘Come on, what’s your real name?’” despairs the Scottish-born, half-Italian troubadour. “But if I had a stage name it would be ‘Johnny Moped’ or ‘Frankie Vaseline’. Not Paolo Nutini.” Ste ph anie So h
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Grooming Jennie Roberts for Paolo Nutini; Amy Conley for Ewan Venters
It’s one thing to innovate when you’re at the helm of a rapidly morphing tech company; it’s something else when you’re the CEO of a 308-year-old British institution. But remarkably, Ewan Venters, the 42-year-old CEO of Fortnum & Mason, has managed it, transforming them from a tourist’s idea of London luxury to a truly global lifestyle brand. During Christmas last year, they sold more hampers than at any other point in their history, while boasting internet sales up by more than a quarter. Not only that, they’re expanding – into Dubai, into festival pop-ups (notably Port Eliot), into a new 1,000 sq ft gift-focused Terminal 5 store, and then, in December, a branded restaurant and bar in the terminal. Old store – new tricks. SM
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He used to be the guy standing next to the guy. He used to be the guy behind the hit.
But now? After three No1s, four Grammys, an Oscar nomination, a new solo album
and an upcoming arena tour, there are no blurred lines. He is the guy
Pharrell Williams is several minutes into his theory explaining the phenomenal success of his global No1 single “Happy” when he mentions the duck-billed platypus. We’re sitting on the balcony of a London photo studio in the waning evening sunshine and Pharrell is talking softly about mathematics, free will, life on earth (“just a giant alien ant farm”), synchronicity (“the variables have to align”), a concept he calls “righteous continuity”, and the idiosyncrasies of evolution. He’s wearing a grey hoodie from his own Billionaire Boys Club line and he pulls the hood tight around his head, peeping out with a boyish smirk as if daring me to ask, “What does any of this have to do with ‘Happy’?” “So now you understand,” he says ﬁnally. “It’s humbling. How could you be cocky?” To be honest, I’m not sure I understand all of it but I get the gist: Pharrell Williams is a grateful man. Last year, he was GQ’s Performer Of The Year on the basis of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (which he sang) and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (which he produced), an unplanned pincer movement which made him 2013’s king of pop. This year – after another No1 single, this time all his own, and his ﬁrst solo album for almost a decade – he’s our Solo Artist Of The Year, reﬂecting a development that nobody, Pharrell included, would have predicted. Until recently, Pharrell was, he says, “the guy standing next to the guy”: he made the beats, he sometimes sang the hooks but he was rarely the main attraction. He and his friend Chad Hugo formed production duo The Neptunes in Virginia in 1994; less than a decade later, their sparse, synthetic funk had reinvented pop music. The Neptunes made records that sounded like star ships and pinball machines, unafraid of blank space, jerky hooks and counterintuitive chord changes, which launched new superstars and rebooted old ones. Billboard
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named them the producers of the decade. A playlist of nothing but The Neptunes’ productions would still give you a pretty good idea of how the dawn of the 21st century sounded: “Hot In Herre”, “I’m A Slave 4 U”, “Rock Your Body”, “Milkshake”, “Hollaback Girl”, “Drop It Like It’s Hot”... Eventually, Pharrell’s ﬁnger slipped from the pulse. His solo debut, 2006’s In My Mind, sank. He worked less often with Hugo (“We’re cool. He’s always going to be my Neptune brother”) and produced fewer hits. There’s no shame in coming to the end of a hot streak – that’s the law of pop gravity – and Pharrell was OK with it. He wasn’t short of work, whether in music (Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Miley Cyrus) or elsewhere (he designed clothes, glasses, furniture and jewellery), and he was having fun. “It’s not always going to be ubiquitous, but keep it feeling good to you and you’ll be ﬁne,” he says. “Just because something’s good doesn’t mean it’s going to work.” But last year everything started working at once. “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines”, records he considered continuations of non-hits he’d made the year before, went nuclear: 24 million sales and four Grammys combined. What’s more, after his last GQ award, a lightweight song (“Happy”) recorded for Despicable Me 2 became an international, all-ages, Oscarnominated anthem. This all led to his second solo album, G I R L, a smooth-sipping concoction of updated Seventies grooves and sweetly playful come-ons. “I didn’t want to make a solo album,” he says. “Columbia said, ‘You’re probably going to change your mind so we want to be the ones to change your mind ﬁrst.’ So what else could I say but OK?” Now, there are two ways Pharrell could explain his miraculous second act. One would be to say that he’s brilliant, but Pharrell doesn’t talk like that. Mention that he’s the first person since The Beatles to have three million-selling UK singles
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Tuxedo, £2,100. Shirt, £315. Both by Lanvin. lanvin.com. Bow tie by Burberry, £95. uk.burberry.com. Necklaces by Chanel, from £750. chanel.com. Arm cuffs by Made, £20. made.co.uk. Rings, Pharrell’s own. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com
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Coat by Burberry Prorsum. uk.burberry. com. Blazer, £1,800. Trousers, £390. Both by Lanvin. lanvin.com. Shirt by Maison Martin Margiela, £850. maisonmartinmargiela. com. Bow tie by Thomas Pink , £45. thomaspink.com. Customised trainers and socks by Adidas. adidas.co.uk Opposite: Cape by Ambush Design, £968. ambushdesign.com. Jewellery, all Pharrell’s own. Ceremonial spear by Pebble, £550. pebblelondon.com
‘I don’t wanna be preachy. If you go looking for something you’ll find something there, but it’s not telling you what to do. I just want people to have a good time’
Tuxedo by Lanvin, £2,065. lanvin.com. Shirt by A Sauvage, £300. asauvage.com. Bow tie by Giorgio Armani, £115. armani.com. Fabric worn as a kilt from a selection at Dalston Market. Customised trainers by Adidas, Pharrell’s own. adidas.co.uk. Socks by Uniqlo, £2.48. uniqlo. com. Headdress by Jam Jar Flowers. jamjarﬂowers.co.uk. Jewellery, Pharrell’s own
‘Think about it: you’re young, you’ve got more money than you’ve ever seen your parents have. I didn’t understand how fortunate I was to be in the music industry’ GQ extra! Watch our exclusive ﬁlm, on iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Tab S
Blazer, £1,800. Bow tie, £75. Both by Lanvin. lanvin.com. Shirt by Burberry, £275. burberry.com. Scarf, stylist’s own Grooming and body paint Phyllis Cohen Hair Tyler Johnston at One Represents using Schwarzkopf Professional Studio, lighting and catering Big Sky Studios
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in a 12-month period and he’ll shake his head and murmur, “Crazy.” Tell him that Johnny Marr, his collaborator on Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, called him “our generation’s Stevie Wonder” and he’ll wince with embarrassment. “He said that? Wow!” So the other way is to decide that success is not down to him but the public, fate, God, the mysteries of the universe. Hence, the “platypus” theory. One reason for Pharrell’s current popularity is that he doesn’t care about being cool any more. A man whose signature item of clothing is a comically large Vivienne Westwood buffalo hat, and who goofed his way through the “Blurred Lines” video, is not a man desperate to be hip. This new familyfriendly charm has made him Teﬂon-coated. The ﬁrestorm of controversy that engulfed Robin Thicke over “Blurred Lines” barely touched Pharrell. When he caught heat for wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of Elle, he quickly and graciously apologised. “We got support from a lot of tribes who understood where I was coming from but it was the ones who felt offended that I wanted to reach,” he says. For the GQ session he’s taking no chances, inviting along some Masai musicians and frequently consulting books on Masai culture. He’s as amenable at the end of the eight-hour shoot as he was at the beginning, thanking the crew warmly and posing for snapshots. Kanye West is compelling, Jay-Z is presidential, Justin Timberlake is slick, but only Pharrell is endearing. He wasn’t always like this. Pharrell’s feline good looks may be immune to the ageing process, but he’s not the man he used to be. After a few minutes of stump-speech platitudes pretending otherwise, I point out that I’ve interviewed him before, when he was promoting his psychedelic rock’n’soul band N.E.R.D. in 2001, and he was bloody hard work. “Oh I’ll bet, I’ll bet,” he says. “I didn’t know how things worked. Think about it: you’re young, you’ve got more money than you’ve ever seen your parents have, you’re these geeky A Tribe Called Quest/De La Soul fans and you want to be like Jay and Puff. I didn’t understand how fortunate I was to be in the music industry. But now shit has shifted.”
harrell Williams was born in Virginia Beach in 1973, the eldest of three boys born ten years apart. At high school, Pharrell’s clique of skateboarding stoners were proud outsiders. “We were self-possessed but weirdos,” he says. “In the middle of all the gangsta rap stuff we were dressing like hippies. Really highbrow. We looked down on people who wore jewellery.”
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It was pure luck that R&B producer Teddy Riley happened to relocate to Virginia Beach in the early Nineties, where he discovered and mentored The Neptunes. The duo ﬁne-tuned their sound and hit the mother lode at the end of the Nineties. For the next few years they worked like Trojans (“I didn’t really have a huge social life”) and got very rich very fast. Did he ever feel like he had the Midas touch? He shakes his head disapprovingly. “I still don’t. The minute you think you’ve got it all planned out is when it all goes wrong. I’ve seen too many people talk like that and then it ends for them and they’re like, what happened?” Pharrell was, nonetheless, led astray by success. He spent his wealth on cars, yachts and ludicrous trinkets. He womanised proliﬁcally. His solo debut, In My Mind, was charmlessly self-important. “When I used to rap I’d say things that today I would consider obnoxious,” he admits. “That was a different time. Everyone was braggadocio. Luckily, I’m a curious person so as you live and learn you grow. Who wants to talk about cars and houses and jewellery all the time? I got tired of it.” G I R L, he thinks, comes from a much more generous place. “When you’re not singing about yourself it’s a lot easier. I wanted to give back to a demographic that had been giving to me all my life.” He thinks his new mentality might have something to do with his wife, model and fashion designer Helen Lasichanh, who is a chic, cheerful presence on set. They met in 2005, had a son in 2008 (the fabulously named Rocket Man) and married last year. Some facts about Pharrell. He has homes in Miami and Virginia. He gets seven hours of sleep a night but would like more. “I’m the laziest person you’ve ever met. That’s a fact. I get things done because I’m curious.” He’s glad he has synaesthesia, a condition which means he perceives sounds as colours, “because I wouldn’t know what the hell I was doing if I couldn’t see it in my head”. He wrote “Happy” in a single hour, but only after nine failed attempts to nail that scene in the movie. “I thought, am I going to screw this up? If I had gone with song two I probably wouldn’t be sitting with you right now.” This autumn, Pharrell is headlining his ﬁrst arena tour. “I don’t wanna be preachy. If you go looking for something you’ll ﬁnd something there, but it’s not telling you what to do. There’s no this...” He wags his ﬁnger sternly, then smiles. “I just want people to have a good time.” Before he leaves, Pharrell apologises again for his frostiness 13 years ago. “Sorry if I was a handful. It’s a pleasure to have a second chance to make a ﬁrst impression.” The same sentiment applies to his relationship with the public. He got his shallow, cocky phase out of the way early and now he’s pop’s cheerful Zen master, happier and more beloved than ever. For Pharrell Williams, the variables have aligned.
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Grooming Eloise Cheung. GQ shot onÂ location at the Four Seasons Hotel, Boston. fourseasons.com
From helping war veterans and abused children to animal conservation, this former Beatle has been promoting peace and love for five decades H U M A N I TA R I A N
met Ringo for the ﬁrst time when he played the Radio City Music Hall in New York for a David Lynch Foundation event in 2007. I talked to him a lot then. When he ﬁrst heard about the foundation, he became a big supporter. For him, it was the work we do with helping abused children and veterans with posttraumatic stress through meditation. He’s one of four superstars the likes of which the world has never seen since The Beatles, but he’s got no ego thing going. He’s just a solid good guy who’s just enjoying life, which makes him all the more loveable. The meditation that Ringo and I do is called transcendental meditation, and it’s taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and it was Maharishi himself who taught Ringo transcendental meditation in 1967, and The Beatles went to Rishikesh to study with him in 1968. It’s helped him in the same ways it’s helped everyone. You get more energy, more happiness. Ringo is the perfect example. He is so energetic and youthful, because he’s divine within his consciousness every day. Talking to Ringo, you see he really loves people. The other day, to celebrate his birthday, he got these bracelets that he made up with “Peace & Love” stamped on, and he was out among the people, handing these things out. He acts with people one on one, everyone is important to him, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. This year, he is working with designer John Varvatos and getting all dolled up in new clothes. But he’s donating proﬁts from that for the foundation. I went around to his house one time for a listening party. And you know, I’m a non-musical musician, and I loved it – the people who were there, so many great musicians who have so much history with Ringo. What comes to mind when I think of Ringo, is here is a guy happy in his body, and when he talks about peace and love, he exempliﬁes that. He’s just a great human being. And a great drummer. Let’s not forget that! A really great drummer! WO R D S BY
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Jacket, £725. Shirt, £130. Tie, £62. Trousers, £325. Shoes, £354. All by John Varvatos. johnvarvatos.com. Fragrance by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com
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wice now, Jonah Hill has had an Oscar speech prepared. First, when he was nominated for Moneyball, the baseball drama co-starring Brad Pitt, in 2011. Then, last year, when he was nominated for Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of banker debauchery, The Wolf Of Wall Street, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio. And both times, he had an unlikely source to thank: Best Buy, otherwise known as the American Dixons. The reason? Their customer service department. “They have a great customer service department,” enthuses Hill, who calls them up in character for every role he takes. “Not to do bits,” he explains. “I don’t play
jokes on them. I really just do it to see if I can talk as the person and if the other person believes it.” And not – lest you think our International Man Of The Year is snobby – just for his dramatic roles. He does it for comedy, too. He did it for this year’s 22 Jump Street, for instance, for which he also wrote the story, and which earned a frankly absurd $278m (£165m) at the box ofﬁce, making it the highest earning (and best) comedy of the year so far. “They’ve been a great help to me over the years!” But also, Hill has been a great help to himself. It’s rare enough for someone known for ribald frat-house fare (Superbad, This Is The End) to jump into dramatic roles; to be in three ﬁlms in a row nominated for Best Picture Oscars (along with The Wolf Of Wall Street and Moneyball, he was in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained in 2012) is almost unheard of. “I don’t think,” he laughs, “that Jump Street is going to be nominated for Best Picture, so I may lose that streak this year. But it was deliberate – you have to set a tone for yourself.” Next in his acclaimed director hopscotch is Hail, Caesar! by the Coen brothers, which he’s shooting later this year. And Best Buy should expect another call. Not that they mind, of course... “They gave me an honorary Best Buy uniform,” says Hill. “They’ve been really nice.” SM
Tuxedo by Samuelsohn, £819. samuelsohn.com. Shirt, £140. Bow tie, £60. Both by Eton. etonshirts.com. Shoes by Christian Louboutin, £750. christian louboutin.com. Cufflinks by Chopard, £3,450. chopard.com. Watch by Rolex, £10,523. At Wanna Buy A Watch. wannabuyawatch.com. Fragrace by Boss, £55. hugoboss.com
JONAH Hill As at home in Oscar-winning dramas as in frat-house comedies, GQ salutes a star on one of Hollywood’s hottest winning streaks I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N P H OTO G R A P H BY
Grooming Jason Schneidman
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When the Hungarian-born, New Yorkdomiciled nightlife entrepreneur turned hotelier opened his ﬁrst European property in a converted ﬁre station in Marylebone in February, even he didn’t foresee the kind of reaction his take on bohemian luxury would create. “I’m very humbled,” he tells GQ, before just as humbly accepting his Entrepreneur award for bringing the party back to London for the ﬁrst time since the Nineties heyday of the Met Bar. (“It’s quite an honour – I appreciate it”.) Chiltern Street Firehouse is still burning up the competition in London’s cutthroat supper-set market, pitching salubriousness with just a whiff of scandal, ensuring – for those craving online ubiquity courtesy of the paparazzi outside – its creator remains the only man to know. “I never thought I had a touch for the hugely popular,” says Balazs. “We try to focus on what pleases us and then be very modest in our expectation of how big our audience is.” And while that audience includes Bill Clinton, Lindsay Lohan and the Beckhams, expect that modesty to be sorely tested. Bill Prince
Tony BLAIR PHILANTHROPIST
The dynamic former PM has followed his decade in the top job with tireless charitable work across the world I N T E RV I E W BY
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MIKE BLAC KETT S T Y L I N G BY JESSI C A P UNTER Tuxedo by Paul Smith, £960. paulsmith.co.uk. Shirt by Tom Ford, £515. tomford.com. Bow tie by Gieves & Hawkes, £65. gievesandhawkes.com. Pocket square by Budd, £45. buddshirts.co.uk
t has been a quiet month for Tony Blair. “I’ve been in about... ten countries?” he tells GQ. “Maybe eight? But mainly here in London. More than normal.” What does Blair do these days? Skim the press, and you’d think he mostly does set-piece interviews aimed at enraging the media. The truth, however, is that Blair has been busy. It’s 20 years since he became Labour leader, but in the seven years since he left Number Ten, he has been tireless. You were aware, perhaps, of his role as a Middle East peace envoy. Perhaps you were less aware, though, that he has launched three foundations. One is in the northeast, putting volunteer sports coaches together with kids. Another has the modest goal of reconciling the three Abrahamic faiths, but also distributes mosquito nets. The big one, though, is in Africa. “Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal,” he says, reeling them off. The foundation has teams of people in each, working alongside governments. “It’s all based on my time in government,” he says, “when I found the hardest thing was not ideology but efﬁcacy. So, in Sierra Leone, we helped the president with his ﬁrst priority, which was just to get the lights on. Then we delivered a free healthcare programme. In Liberia, it’s about basic infrastructure; roads, ports. You go to some of the toughest cities in Africa, and you can actually see them change.” Blair embodies success these days, as evidenced by his offices, which face the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London. Yet the commercial aspect of his life, he’s keen to point out, goes hand in hand with the rest. “Look,” he says, Blairishly, “I don’t operate in the public sector, per se, any more. What I wanted to do was create this philanthropic and business organisation, in which the business side could help support the whole of the infrastructure. And one way or another, we have more than 200 people working for this organisation now.” For some, our former PM has undergone a startling – and suspect – transformation. Once, definitively, he was the great advocate of regime change; the guy who felt rotten systems had to be smashed and begun again. Today, though, he can sometimes appear to be chumming up to the bad guys.
“It depends on the direction a country is going in,” is how he puts it. “I come into criticism for working with Kazakhstan. But I’m clear about that. It’s a majority Muslim country, and one of the few where a synagogue has been built with the full support of the government in the past year. They’re an ally of the West. And the people we’re working with there are reformers.” A positive spin, but not a surprising one. It was Blair, after all, who brought Gaddaﬁ in from the cold, and however squirm-inducing that might have been, he points out it did result in a country [Libya] that had been developing WMDs and sponsoring terrorism ceasing to do both. “Where I’ve changed,” he says, “is with my view that if you can [have] evolutionary change, it is better than revolutionary change. There are some of these regimes – and I would still argue that Saddam was one – where you are never going to change it. But for me, the test is, are there people in the country you can work with who are trying to take it in the right direction? Yes, some of these countries are not going to be fully ﬂedged Western-style democracies any time soon. But you can still make progress.” Whatever he’s doing, it suits him. Trim, cleareyed and looking as a man of 61 has no excuse to look, he spends an hour in the gym ﬁve times a week, and it shows. “From 22 to 40, I didn’t really do sport,” he says. “But when I became Labour leader, I started to get myself in shape. And when I became PM, it was essential.” His increased proﬁle this year, he insists, is a response to events – Syria, Iraq – rather than a belated desire to address what some regard as a tarnished reputation. Set him off on the Middle East, it’s true, and he’ll offer such an extensive and astute analysis that it’s hard to get a word in. He still speaks to Bush, he says, and Clinton, and Obama sometimes, too. As he meets GQ, Israel is about to start shelling Gaza. After speaking to us, he’s off to Jerusalem. That’s politics, of course, rather than business or philanthropy, but with Blair these days it’s hard to see where each begins and ends. Indeed, the whole strength of his novel approach to aid is that they’re all tangled together. For all the controversy he sometimes inspires, there cannot be many people in the world who would not take his calls. “Well, I’m sure there are some,” he snorts, “but I just don’t call them.”
‘Evolutionary change is better than revolutionary change. Are there people in the country you can work with who are trying to take it in the right direction?’
Grooming Emma Leon
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Suit, Tony’s own. Shirt, £79. Bow tie, £35. Cufflinks, £175. All by Budd Shirtmakers. buddshirts.co.uk
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The star of this month’s The Riot Club and next year’s Jupiter Ascending has emerged as an apparently effortless style icon...
HUGO BOSS MOST STYLISH MAN
Grooming Lee Machin
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think young British guys dress really well these days,” says Douglas Booth, who as GQ’s Most Stylish Man is, de facto, the best dressed of the lot. “There are loads of places for people to look for great inﬂuences; it’s not too difﬁcult.” And the 22-year-old actor’s personal style mantra would be never to overcomplicate things: “I always have my staples; black jeans, boots and a T-shirt. And a leather jacket in the winter. You don’t need to take a long time to get ready.” Or at least, you don’t need to take a long time to get ready if you’re Douglas Booth. And here, we might as well reach for that Zoolander quote – this is because Booth is “really, really good-looking”. Which also gives him the perfect aesthetic for his latest role, as the well-bred, over-privileged and seductive Harry Villiers in The Riot Club. Adapted from the hit play Posh by Laura Wade, the ﬁlm focuses on an elite society of Oxford University students. Does Booth see it as a comment on the Camerons, Osbornes and Johnsons of the world? “You can’t ignore comparisons to the Bullingdon Club; it’s a ﬁctional version and heavily inﬂuenced,” he says. “But there’s no ‘This is Boris Johnson; this is David Cameron’. I didn’t go out to make a political ﬁlm, but it might be one by resonance.” Booth will also be in “epic space opera” Jupiter Ascending in February next year. Co-starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, it marks the ﬁrst original sci-ﬁ creation from the Wachowskis since The Matrix. Were they really the crazy auteurs of ﬁlm-buff dreams? “Yeah, they are,” says Booth. “They’re fascinating. You can ask them about a prop and they’ll give you a 30-minute explanation about how it sits in the world they created.” Next, he says, he’ll be transforming himself for a role in an indie ﬁlm he can’t discuss. Even further, he says, than for his breakthrough role as Boy George in the BBC drama Worried About The Boy. “There’s a lot of people I admire – not that I’m comparing myself to them – like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp who, when they were my age, there was this focus on their looks,” he says. “Then they just forgot that. You work your way out of it.” SS P H OTO G R A P H S BY
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I remember the day that Factory Records founder Tony Wilson suggested to Alan Erasmus and I that we release a record from what was effectively a club night at the time. The ﬁrst Factory record was a double 7in EP, for £5,000, and the standout talent on that Factory sample was Joy Division. They were there from the start – the musical talent foundation of Factory Records. They were
the pioneers of the independent standpoint that came out of punk, when young people, dissatisﬁed with the incumbent establishment of pop culture, realised that they could do it themselves. They challenged certain fundamentals in the genre structure of pop music. Until the early Eighties, you would like dance music or you liked rock music, it was as simple as that. But after
Ian Curtis died, the rest of Joy Division (Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris) bravely confronted the unspoken reality that actually, even though they were a new wave, post-punk rock group, they liked disco and dance music. And in truth, we all did. But nobody had really been allowed to say that, and it was New Order’s “Blue Monday” – a seven-minute single, which was only going to be
available on 12in, would not be played on the radio and which no other record label would release – that bridged that gap. That was the crossover. That was the transcendent track. Very rarely do musicians make it collectively after the departure of the singer-songwriter. But they did, and it’s something people totally admired about them. They were nobody’s band but their own.
ORDER GQ hails the post-punk pioneers who brought dance music to the masses
Grooming Sara Clark
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From left: Phil wears tuxedo by Hardy Amies, £645. hardyamies.com. Stephen wears tuxedo by Gucci, price on request. gucci.com. Bernard wears suit by Lanvin, £1,415. Tom wears tuxedo by Dolce & Gabbana, £1,920. dolcegabbana.com. Gillian wears suit by Jaeger, £385. jaeger.co.uk
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As audacious as he is determined, one political leader has outshone the rest this year. The SNP leader gets our vote WO R D S BY
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hatever his compatriots decide on 18 September in the referendum on Scottish independence, Alex Salmond is already a winner as far as GQ is concerned, as the first minister and SNP leader, by his audacity, panache and persistence, has shown that politics can still be thrilling. Burly, charismatic and terriﬁc company, the 59-year-old has taken a hopeless constitutional case and turned it into an electrifying argument about modern Scotland and its 21st-century future. He has made an art form of the underdog’s plight, consistently outshining the “Better Together” pro-Union campaign, turning what was thought to
be a fait accompli into a proper punch-up fought according to “Motherwell rules”. Win or lose, Salmond has energised his country and bolstered its collective self-confidence. Even if his country votes against independence – which, as we went to press, was looking likely – the Tartan Pimpernel has been a bright ﬂash of colour on the grey highway of political life: living proof that politics, at its best, is still about brains, wit and courage.
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urberry’s Christopher Bailey is one of the world’s most powerful designers. Not only is he the creative head of one of fashion’s most successful brands, this year he also became its chief executive ofﬁcer. “It changed everything and nothing,” says Bailey. “I still see my role as largely creative. It just now encompasses more of the day-to-day business, and makes sure there is a vision.” Often a creative director wants to spend more, while the CEO wants to spend less. How does he square that circle? “It’s very important to have an open mind,” he says, “but part of life is also about having constraints. You can be as creative with X budget as you can be with Y budget.” However Burberry evolves, Bailey insists the brand’s history is at the heart of everything. “I always take it back to the trench coat. It can be formal and tailored but also rock’n’roll. Burberry has a strong world of tailoring, but I try to make this feel effortless and a little bit more relaxed.” So what ambitions does he have left? “To continue to push boundaries, communicate in new ways and remain innovative. The world is evolving and technology is making us approach life in a different way, so we have to keep an open mind, stay curious and always question ourselves.” RJ
IGGY Pop ICON
An electric frontman. An unstoppable force. We give thanks for the survival of the fittest If there’s one person alive whose existence raises the possibility that rock’n’roll stars are a genetically different species, it is GQ’s Icon Of The Year Iggy Pop. Not James Newell Osterberg Jr, the wry, articulate, surprisingly sensitive man born in Muskegon, Michigan, 67 years ago, but the flamboyantly feral creature he becomes whenever he’s on stage. Inﬂuenced by Jim Morrison’s provocations, but spiritually closer to the punk legions he inspired, Iggy went further than anyone else. As frontman of garage-rock militants The Stooges, he invented the stage dive because nobody else in the late Sixties was kamikaze enough to trust his body to the howling throng. Nobody caught him. In the name of performance, he also exposed himself, rolled his body in broken glass and spewed his guts. He enjoyed being misunderstood, hated and even feared. The few people who knew what to do with him, including David Bowie and John Cale, appreciated his audacious wit, hungry sexuality and unique songwriting talent. The likes of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “No Fun”, “The Passenger” and “Lust For Life” are vital components of every new generation’s rock’n’roll starter kit. After The Stooges ended in 1974, amid what he described as “disaster, ﬂames, failure”, Iggy remade himself as Bowie’s Berlin-haunting partner-in-crime Suit by Boss, £550. hugoboss.com. Shoes, Iggy’s own P H OTO G R A P H BY
and a wayward pop star before reforming his old band in 2003 to long overdue acclaim. Former enfants terribles tend to mellow into defanged national treasures, especially ones who advertise car insurance, but in concert, where he now resembles the iguana that inspired his stage name, Iggy retains a disturbing alien electricity and a sense of danger. Last year, he said of his younger self, “I really felt I had to convert the world, through the sword if necessary, and I was probably going to die one way or another in the process.” Many observers agreed that was the most likely outcome but they were all, thankfully, wrong. Iggy Pop cannot be stopped. DL
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John BISHOP COMEDIAN
Comedy’s busiest man doesn’t do awards. With one important exception...
ohn Bishop’s ascent from depressed, fortysomething pharmaceutical salesman to Britain’s most beloved comedian has taken just ﬁve years. Only, don’t even think about calling him a national treasure. “Can we just nip that thing in the bud right now?” he says with a laugh. “There was a point when everyone said that about Rolf Harris. A label like that can only go backwards.” When Bishop took to the stage at the inaugural GQ Comedy Extravaganza at the Hammersmith Apollo in March this year, he looked visibly exhausted – broken even – having arrived from Australia only a matter of hours before. But now he’s back, and already gigging new material ahead of a 40-date arena tour, Supersonic, which will see him performing to more than half a million people. The fatigue stemmed from ﬁlming the three-part series John Bishop’s Australia for the BBC, a commission that sealed his status as, dare we
J Grooming Sara Clark
mention it, a national treasure of Michael Palin proportions. This followed the release of his bestselling autobiography, How Did All This Happen? (1.5 million copies and counting), a Sport Relief challenge that raised over £3.4m for charity, a royal engagement for Her Majesty hosting the Royal Variety Performance, his own primetime Christmas special, and, of course, being GQ’s Comedian Of The Year. He normally avoids awards ceremonies (he has never attended the British Comedy Awards, despite winning in 2010), but decided to make an exception in this case. “Every time I’ve got my hair cut, I’ve picked up a copy of GQ and looked at the pages of photos from the awards,” he says. “You ﬂick through and think to yourself, ‘Look at them, I bet their party was brilliant.’ And it’s one of those events you just don’t turn down. Because I know there’s going to be someone, somewhere, getting their hair cut while looking at me at the GQ Awards thinking: James Mullinger ‘You lucky bastard.’”
Suit by Hugo Boss, £550. hugoboss.com. Shirt, £99. Bow tie, £45. Both by Thomas Pink . thomaspink.com P H OTO G R A P H BY
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Liam Neeson is an accidental action hero. hero And I think it’s been bee an overwhelming experience for him. The movie I cast Liam for – A Walk Among The Tombstones – is not an action movie. It’s more of an old-fashioned Seventies thriller, so I needed an actor who could do the physical, but also wasn’t afraid to be afraid. Someone, when you look at their face, you see real history there. With traditional action stars, all they bring is attitude. For most of them, that’s really what they are. Those comic-book roles, they all say they’re dark, but they mistake brooding for real darkness. With Liam Neeson, you believe things have happened to this man. That’s what I noticed most when I met him: there’s a real sadness in his face. Even when he’s doing something like Taken, which made him an action star, you believe him. The Taken ﬁlms resonated because Liam made you care. He wasn’t joking his way through those movies; he took them seriously. Whatever cartoonish antics were happening around him, he made you feel it was real. There was something satisfying in seeing somebody who is both competent and has got some depth to him. He brought a kind of gravitas to the kind of movie where we didn’t expect it. A lot of other serious actors are looking at him going, well, that’s kind of great. Because he can do everything.
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Colin FIRTH LEADING MAN
Best Actor winner at the Oscars? Been there. Hollywood’s favourite romantic lead? Done that. Now the successor to David Niven is set for a new challenge playing a ruthless hitman. He’s hungrier – and fitter – than he’s ever been P H OTO G R A P H S BY
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ince he took that dip as Darcy almost 20 years ago, Colin Firth has made a stellar, Oscar-winning career alternating between serious drama and romantic comedy. But what GQ’s Leading Man Of The Year hasn’t done is reinvent himself on screen as a smooth, Savile Rowsuited assassin. Until now. In Matthew Vaughn’s preposterously exciting comic-book adaptation, Kingsman: The Secret Service, he does just that. The name’s Hart, Harry Hart, and it’s Colin Firth as you’ve never seen him before. At a time when most men are surging towards the spherical, Firth, 53, ramped up his ﬁtness regime to a quite astounding degree for the role of the upper-crust agent. Preparing for Kingsman – and particularly a bravura, extended killing spree in a Kentucky church to the accompaniment of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird – involved a legion of trainers, choreographers, ballistic experts and martial artists arriving chez Firth in leafy Chiswick and beating the living daylights out of him for six months. “There was this strange paradox,” he explains. “How can I feel more active and ﬁtter than I’ve ever been when I’m supposed to be embracing my deterioration?” Firth doesn’t doubt that living out every teenage male’s fantasy of playing a secret agent is evidence of a midlife crisis every bit as compelling as the Les Paul guitar he bought for his 50th. “My midlife crisis has been going on for about 25 years,” he says, laughing. “Because I haven’t accepted that it’s anything other than midlife, it will probably go on for another 25.” Matthew Vaughn admits he cast Firth against type, but never imagined anyone but this “latter-day David Niven” for the role. “He’s a modern-day gentleman who could surprise you by beating the crap out of someone,” reasons Vaughn. Still, one iconic, career-changing role does not a GQ Man Of The Year make, which is just as well, as Firth has two further ﬁlms on general release. One – Magic In The Moonlight – sees him working with longtime hero Woody Allen as a pompous magician brought to the south of France to expose plausible psychic Emma Stone. “I was told he [Allen] wasn’t funny, which he was,” the actor says. “No other director has ever said to me, ‘That was somnambulistic.’ And he’d say, ‘That was very, very funny.’ Pause. ‘If only to me.’ Then walk away. So I got quite a display of that wit and that inevitable pessimism.” Meanwhile, Before I Go To Sleep is a taut psychological drama that teams him once again with Nicole Kidman and Mark Strong, “my brother in survival”, shot, implausibly, in just ten days. The work is good and plentiful, but the drive remains undimmed. “I don’t think I’ve ever hit a point where I thought, ‘Where’s the next job coming from?’ I have hit the point frequently where I thought ‘Where’s the next good job coming from?’ I think dissatisfaction is ever present.” Crisis? What crisis? John Naughton
Grooming Gary Hill. GQ shot at One Tower Bridge. onetowerbridge.co.uk
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After more than 50 years and 40 albums, the timeless songs of this giant of modern music still have the power to inspire and move. Step on to the bright side of the road with Van the Man LEGEND
believe there is only one genius in Irish music – and he’s one of the ten geniuses in pop music since 1956 – and that is Van Morrison. Van Morrison was the first song I selected on Desert Island Discs. The particular track I chose [“In The Garden”] was a long one, so we didn’t have time for it all. I just don’t know how he did it. It’s the equivalent of an impressionistic song. It starts off with this simple music that’s very beautiful, and he builds up this image and these words with his gruff voice – usually he’s not as gruff as this – and he’s singing about this garden and this girl in the garden, and he’s sitting with her, and her face is wet with rain, and her father suddenly appears halfway through the song beside them. And at the end he’s just saying, “No guru, no method, no teacher”. He’s just with this girl in this garden wet with rain, and it’s absolutely beautiful. Because I’m Irish and he’s Irish, and for all us Irish guys he was a lodestar of what was possible, mixing the blues with a sort of Celtic mysticism and a beautiful Yeatsian language. That sounds very grand, but that’s what he did. He jumbled all that together, I think without even thinking about it, and produced timeless, gorgeous stuff.
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DAV I D BAILE Y
Bespoke jacket by Benvenuto. benvenuto.de. Shirt by Eton, £65. etonshirts.com. Bow tie, gift from Bob Dylan. Hat by Lock & Co Hatters, from £200. lockhatters.co.uk
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TA B L E T
T W IT T E R
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WOMAN OF THE YEAR
‘It’s great to be considered a sex symbol,
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From reality TV star to media sensation to bona fide sex symbol – Kim Kardashian is so famous even Barack Obama has to take notice. And this year, Mrs West has gone from star to supernova. GQ Woman Of T he Year? The competition didn’t stand a chance...
he Most Famous Woman On The Planet walks into a bar and the room looks up from its preprandial piscines of LaurentPerrier and truffle pizza biancos. Her entrance – from chilled SUV interior to sidewalk, to the air-conditioned antechamber of the Mercer Hotel lobby – sounds like a brawl, but looks more like some sort of apocalyptic electrical storm. The cyclonic eye of the paparazzi was here 30 minutes before her arrival, now they’re blinding fellow diners with a wall of hot white light in a bid to get their wage. Hundreds of shutters ﬁred, applauding a woman putting one dainty size-four foot in front of another. The hotel door shuts with a reassuringly expensive “whump”, leaving the subject standing alone, silent and in silence, perfectly poised in heels as sharp as ice picks. Kim Kardashian West, 33, is dressed in the city’s colour of money: black ripped jeans, a black sheer top and a black leather jacket. A diamond the size of a walnut ﬂickers like a supernova on her ring ﬁnger. The room’s ennui wobbles momentarily. A mobile phone whirs on a table unanswered like a beetle on its back. Someone somewhere stiﬂes a nervous snigger. The Mercer has been something of a happy, neutral ground of late, both for Kim and for her husband of four months, hip hop’s end-of-level boss, Kanye West. Just over a block from the apartment they share in SoHo – it was the rap star’s bachelor pad, now it’s their Manhattan pied-à-terre – the luxury travel hub has proved invaluable as a communal space where the international jet set
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â€˜I am married to an incredible man and letâ€™s just say we do like to have fun.
There’s nothing wrong with being adventurous and experimenting’
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are just too cool to come up and ask for a photograph, while the celebrity guests travelling through are nothing if not same-levelfamous. It’s a courteous crowd. “We love it here,” says Kim as she sits down next to me in a corner table and slips out of a biker jacket so tight it’s like a snake shedding its skin. Kim is far smaller than you’d think, petite even, her features clear of any make-up. She is far prettier than any hastily snapped sidewalk shot ever gives her beauty credit for. Her skin emits wealth, in a way only the skin of the obscenely wealthy can – conditioned, buffed, incandescent. “I remember this is actually where we decided, ﬁnally, on North as a name for our baby girl,” she says. Kim gave birth on 15 June 2013 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in LA. “It was a rumour in the press and we’d never really considered it seriously, at all, but Kanye and I were having lunch right over there at that table about a year ago and Pharrell [Williams] came over to us and said, ‘Oh my God, are you guys really going to call your daughter “North”? That is the best name.’ I said, ‘No, we’re not, that’s just a rumour.’ Then a little while later Anna Wintour [Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue] came over and asked the same thing. She told us: ‘North is a genius name.’ Kanye and I looked at one another and just laughed. I guess at that point it sort of stuck.” Conceived by media, fuelled by an insatiable public interest, authenticated ﬁrst by one of the world’s most-loved pop stars and seconded by the most powerful woman in fashion – it’s a ﬁtting rite of passage, not just for the naming of baby North, but for Kim Kardashian’s rise and remarkable reinvention. It’s been an astonishing 12 months, let alone decade. Sex tape to sex symbol. Reality star to media sensation. Fashion pariah to style icon. And to top it all off, British GQ’s Woman Of The Year 2014. I mean, seriously, who else was it going to be?
he rise and rebirth of Kim Kardashian has been hard-fought. In August 2013, the president of the United States proclaimed in an interview, “I think there has been a shift in culture. We weren’t exposed to the things we didn’t have in the same way that kids these days are. There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing or where Kanye West was going on vacation and thinking somehow that was the mark of success.” The Kardashians – and by this I mean not just Kim, but the entire clan by way of their near-decade long TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians – have long had their detractors, but when the leader of the free world is publicly singling you out, pointing the ﬁnger, and implying that you are responsible for the corruption of America’s children and ultimately their loss of innocence, you know the bar has been somewhat raised. “I don’t think it’s very appropriate for the president of the United States to be commenting really on pop culture,” says Kim when I bring up the president’s comments. Of course, her husband had previous beef with America’s commander-in-chief; Obama calling West a “jackass”, after he’d leapt on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s Continued on page 322
Her skin emits wealth, in a way only the skin of the obscenely wealthy can – conditioned, buffed, incandescent
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‘I don’t think it’s very appropriate for the president of the United States to be commenting on pop culture’
Shoes by Manolo Blahnik , £650. manoloblahnik.com
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Hair Serge Normant at sergenormant.com Make-up Jeanine Lobell at Tim Howard Management Manicure Maki Sakamoto at Kate Ryan Inc using Tom Ford Beauty
For Men Of The Year, we anoint rock’n’roll’s Lizard King, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, as this season’s snake-hipped leather-bound looks break on through from the other side P H OTO G R A P H E D BY
GUY AROC H
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Photograph Joel Brodsky/Corbis
Trousers by Versace, £1,820. versace.com. Necklace by Chrome Hearts, £288. chrome heartsonlines.com
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Shirt by Diesel, £110. diesel.com. Trousers by Paul Smith, £1,285. paulsmith.co.uk. Shoes by Russell & Bromley, £195. russellandbromley. co.uk. Sunglasses by Dsquared2 , £190. dsquared2. com. Pendant by Stephen Webster, £350. stephen webster.com
FASHION Coat by Dior Homme, £9,300. dior.com. Sunglasses by Dsquared2 , £190. dsquared.com
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Shirt by Prada, £535. prada.com. Trousers by Hermès, £6,950. hermes.com. Belt, made to order by Jo Aroch .
FASHION Shirt by Roberto Cavalli, £505. robertocavalli. com. Necklace by Casa Bernal, £25. casabernal store.com
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Shirt by Gucci, £2,020. gucci.com. Jeans by 7 For All Mankind, £140. 7forallmankind.com
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GQ extra! Exclusive ďŹ lm, on iPad, iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S
Jacket, £650. Jeans, £180. Both by 7 For All Mankind. 7forallmankind.com. T-shirt by Sunspel, £55. sunspel.com. Belt by Givenchy, £420. givenchy.com Production Grace Gilfeather Fashion Assistant Holly Roberts Model Miles McMillan at DNA Hair Ben Mohapi at One Represents. GQ shot on location in LA. imagelocations. com. GQ stayed at The Beverly Wilshire. four seasons.com/ beverlywilshire
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www.wellman.co.uk *England’s all time highest international wicket-taker, 343 test wickets correct at 23 May 2014. Source: www.jamesanderson613.com ** UK’s No1 men’s supplement brand. †(IRI value data. 52 w/e 22nd Feb 2014).
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MANAGEMENT OF BODY & SOUL
Illustration Ben The Illustrator
HOW TO WIN AT LIFE Juggling too much? There’s an art to doing it all, and doing it all well. GQ channels some of the world’s highest ﬂiers to get their tips on staying ﬁt, working smart and making the most of your day – every day OCTOBER 2014 G 313
BE A WINNER
Maximise your day in 12 steps Our days are mineﬁelds, with curve-ball challenges constantly being thrown at us. Some battles, though, can be won before they’re fought, and the following advice is truly tried and tested, drawn from the experiences of high achievers. And while it’s true that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, that’s no reason not to make those plans and seize that day. Then do it again tomorrow... Get up earlier Early risers are healthier and more productive. If you’re up before chaos commences, the world feels like it’s yours for the taking: make it count. Many top CEOs are up by 6am. Some, like Disney’s Robert Iger, rise at 4.30am, while Frank Lloyd Wright started his day at 4am. Although he did go back to sleep four hours later. Don’t do that at work.
Time to win: High achievers always plan ahead to make the most of their early hours
Work out before work Morning work-outs give you energy for the day, and combat stress later. And it means you’ll deﬁnitely get it done, rather than bailing out when you can’t be bothered after work. Square CEO/Twitter founder Jack Dorsey jogs at 5.30am. Vogue’s Anna Wintour plays tennis at 5.45am. Barack Obama exercises at a positively tardy 6.45am. Illustration Ben The Illustrator
Make love, not mistakes If you can’t be bothered to get up early enough go to the gym for a work-out before heading in to the ofﬁce (which, frankly, makes you look rather pathetic), you’ll be delighted to hear that morning sex is also a good start to the day. Burn some calories, decrease stress and focus your mind. 314 G OCTOBER 2014
8am? Solve moral dilemmas Research from Harvard University and the University Of Utah found that subjects’ moral lighthouses dimmed as the day went on. You’re more ethical in the morning, apparently, and more likely to lie and cheat in the afternoon. So if you want to avoid your own deviancy, sort your scruples early.
Ignore emails Some of them, anyway. For the moment. You don’t have to get back to everyone at once – control your inbox, don’t let it control you. “Staying focused is one issue. [Plus] being ﬂooded with information doesn’t mean we have the right information or that we’re in touch with the right people,” Bill Gates told CNN.
LIFE Fail better “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” said Thomas Edison, ever one to see the (positive) light. It’s true. Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Bill Gates all experienced failure before they ﬁnally found huge success. George Lucas’ Star Wars idea was turned down many times before it was taken on. Believe in your good ideas.
Get things done Drawing the line under something and pushing it through is often actually better than eternally beavering away – and this is why we have deadlines. “Done,” says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who knows a thing or two about updating his product in public, “is better than perfect.”
Play video games An hour on a console after work can beneﬁt your productivity in and out of the ofﬁce. Gaming results in faster decision-making and improved multitasking. Stephen Gillett, former executive at Yahoo! and Starbucks, put his success down to being a top guild leader in World Of Warcraft. “Now I think of [my work] like a quest,” he says.
Work late If you aren’t a morning person, don’t worry. According to the London School Of Economics, people with high IQs work better later and show a “higher level of cognitive complexity”. If you really want to rule the world, though, do both. Winston Churchill woke at 7.30am, spent the morning in bed, then sometimes worked till 3am.
Or… ignore everything you have just read Find a routine that’s right for you – in fact, you might not work well with routine at all. Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, switches things around daily to keep things “as ﬂexible as possible”, maximising his output in minimal time. Basically: don’t faff about. Alex Godfrey
And pick up the phone Thanks to emails and texts, the impersonal touch is all the rage, but it’s not for everyone. “The quality of business communications has become poorer as people avoid phone calls and face-to-face meetings in some misguided quest for efﬁciency,” says Richard Branson. Don’t let your ﬁngers do the talking – make the call.
If you can’t be the best, hire the best “I learned very early to surround myself with talented people who challenge convention and relentlessly drive for improvement,” says computer magnate Michael Dell. “And to let those people thrive. Try never to be the smartest person in the room. If you are, I invite smarter people... or ﬁnd a different room.”
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Take our tips for the top Learn the art of titillation from GQ’s Sex Shrink, plus how to kindle a ﬂing on Tinder and a new toy that’s more sweet than sour Oracle, some top-up skills. Please instruct me in the art of the breast orgasm. MR, by email
Cup winner: Neglect her chest at your peril (as if you would...)
Come, sit close, and it will be my pleasure. Too few men hold mastery of this singular and sensational skill. First up, why should you all try it? Well, a study published by The Journal Of Sexual Medicine found that stimulation of the nipples and the vulva activate the same part of the female brain: in essence, stimulating both will make your life easier and hers more pleasurable. Second, why might you wish to proceed with some caution? There’s a chance she’ll need convincing. Yes, in the same way that some men, tragically, are put off anal play by overeager teenage gals, so many womenfolk have had their Bristols dented by ineptitude or self-indulgence. (Motorboating? I rest my case). Proceed wisely and she will soon come round to the possibility of insane bosombased rapture. The full of her breast will feel left out if you head straight for the bull’s eye, so tread gently. Let us picture her wearing the beautiful La Pièce Maîtresse (£385. At Rigby & Peller. rigbyandpeller.co.uk). You kiss her shoulders and lift her hair to breathe softly round the back of her neck, your thumbs gently grazing her back by her spine. You pull off one strap, and cup her; through the fabric you can feel her stiffen under your touch. Bring your mouth so close that the warmth of your lips electriﬁes her skin. Start to work with your thumbs under the round of her breast as you run your mouth across the top. Now, draw lines with your tongue from the outer circumference toward the raspberry centre. At last, lick around her nipple, and suck it; then grasp the nipple between thumb and index ﬁnger and pinch. Maybe alternate between sucking the whole breast and nipple into your mouth then ﬂicking the tip with your tongue. Perhaps rub a palm wet with spit upward over her breast as you echo the movement with another on her sex. 316 G OCTOBER 2014
Relish it. Be inventive. Consider that having her on all fours with you underneath sucking will change the sensation; if she starts to love it, consider a harness (right, by Fleet Ilya, £150. At Coco De Mer. coco-de-mer.com), which will jut her chest out, tightening the skin and making the whole area decidedly more sensitive. I’ve seen tremendous results with a pencil resting vertically on the nipple, the end being tapped. As she becomes more aroused, try more constant suction, again perhaps accessorising with the lightest of strokes across her closed pussy. You may even wish to engage some clamps – every nice girl loves the ones by Alex Monroe (£318. At Coco De Mer. coco-de-mer.com). Just remember to remove them before climax: the sharpest sensation comes when the blood ﬂows back, and you will want that piquancy to be part of the whirl that takes her up over the edge.
Just to be on the safe side, what’s the etiquette when you see someone you know on Tinder? ST, by email
Well, it slightly depends. But assuming they are: a) someone you don’t hate or b) that their picture is not actively degrading (y’know, unless you’re into that kind of thing), it is probably polite to swipe right. Now, of course, is where the tricky part comes. With the positivity of a right swipe, you are indicating potential sexual interest. If you both swipe right, is it an invitation? Frankly, I can’t see the point of being on Tinder if you aren’t interested in drinking from the deep delicious cup of no-strings sex, but some women aren’t. They just like to be admired. So the right thing is probably not to follow up with your best nudie shots, nor your most come-hither foul talk. But if you fancy them, you’d be well within your
Photograph Trunk Archive
LIFE rights to suggest a cocktail. If not, send a cat with a smiley face – enough to put any self-respecting girl off for life. Oracle, I’m after a vibrator – what are your expert thoughts on the Minna Life Limon? JW, by email draws 30-40 couples who, according to the keepers of the castle, “know what they are there for” (likeable, humorous and harmonious sex with other people’s wives). The majority of swingers worldwide are married. A reviewer for berlinintim.com, an expert swinger’s guide, says, “We didn’t have to strip off our clothes immediately like in other clubs.” The dress code is “masks at all times to maintain the greatest possible anonymity and black capes that you can remove or loosen erotically if necessary”. Other than that, it’s black lingerie for the ladies and “darkly erotic” boxers or briefs for the men. Good to know, because I’m not going if the guys are wearing Speedos – or those bizarre one-sided man thongs. The castle is located 120km from Berlin, and the hosts recommend that you stay in one of the local Milkersdorf hotels or book a taxi, so you don’t have to drive all the way back to Berlin after a hard night of orgying. schloss-milkersdorf.de Hedonism II, Jamaica Hedonism II was recently purchased by new owners, who are renovating the place; it should be completed by January 2015. According to reviewers on Yelp, this is the best time to go, when all the serious swingers are there. The bad news: there are a lot of people there who look like they could be on Jersey Shore. The good news: the Jersey Shore girls are wild and after a few drinks will have sex with you immediately. hedonism.com Nudist and ‘clothingoptional’ resorts Swinger holidays and naturist holidays go hand in hand, literally, as the “lifestyle” of the two overlap. Dream Pleasure Tours (dreampleasuretours. com) specialises in swinger resorts and Tryst Travel (trysttravel.com) in swinger cruises. Swing On Holiday (swingonholiday. com) has more than 100 resorts and holidays to choose from, including Greece, Spain and Croatia. Cap d’Agde (en. capdagde.com) is a village naturiste in the south of France devoted to nudists, where you can snorkel, windsurf, or play golf in the nude. Just don’t molest the ballwashing machine. One of the few rules they have at naturist resorts is that you have to sit on a towel (thank God) and that you have to wear some clothes if you go into the food areas. Good thinking: the last thing I want to see when I’m eating is someone’s dripping privates hovering near the table.
PLAYING AWAY by Anka Radakovich
This little citrus sucker has plenty to recommend it (£89.99. At Lovehoney. lovehoney.co.uk). Think lemon-shaped bullet vibrator then add a twist that the harder you squeeze it the harder the tip vibrates. It is a punchy vibe, fashioned from high-quality silicone. Further, give it a memory: when you ﬁnd a sequence of vibrations you – or probably she – loves, you can save it and replay it later (handy, perhaps, when you are off for a fortnight: she can keep reliving your sweet skills). It ﬁts nicely inside the hand and is quiet and waterproof. On the other hand, it lights up when it charges, not ideal for discretion, and can become quite slippery when very wet. Ideal position? Try Asian cowgirl – her on top, resting her weight on the ﬂat of her feet. Or the crab is excellent: you lie back on a heap of cushions in a reclining seated position. She straddles you, her feet close to your shoulders, her upper body leaning back with a good deal of her weight taken on her hands (which may rest on your thighs or the bed, depending on the state of your leg musculature). Both positions afford deep penetration, dandy access for you to wield the Limon, and a rather lovely view. Harness by Fleet Ilya, £150. At Coco De Mer. coco- de -mer.com
One of the best parts of going on holiday is having sex on holiday. You are more relaxed, yet slightly excited – always a good combination for fun sex. But if you really want to take “vacay sex” to a new level, there are a whole range of erotic destinations to investigate. Even if you don’t want to participate with your fellow travellers, at least you might get to watch... Schloss Milkersdorf, Germany A castle in Brandenburg, the Schloss Milkersdorf is “a place where erotic parties at the highest stage take place on every Friday and Saturday at 9pm. Our guests are openminded, likeable, and humorous, many of whom live in harmonious relationships.” The most popular event at the kinky castle is the Schlossnacht der Masken or “Night of the Masks”, a masked orgy that typically
Sand sculpture: Have your day in the sun at the Paralia Beach Club in Cap d’Agde, France
Everything you wanted to know about swinger and nudist resorts (but were afraid to ask) Can I go alone or do I have to be in a couple? The big swinger rule is that you have to go to any resort or party as a couple. Then you can have sex with the other couples. At a place like Hedonism II, you can meet and greet couples pool-side and watch other couples meeting and “meat beating” each other while you take your morning tea.
When I go to a nudist resort, where am I supposed to look? And what is the appropriate thing to say to a nude stranger? The etiquette is not to stare too hard. As for manners of speaking, during a visit to Orient Beach in St Martin in the French West Indies, I heard the worst pick-up line ever. Nudist guy: “Hi. Nice nipples.” Me: “Hi. Nice scrotum.”
What is the percentage of people at these places who are attractive? Sadly, about 15 per cent. As someone who has visited such places, many of the people should be asked to put their clothes back on. But the philosophy of nudism is “body acceptance”, which is cool. And the good news is that if there are 30 couples, that still leaves you with four-and-a-half people to have wild, swingery sex with.
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Fitness trends explained This month: Broga at Gymbox Covent Garden Get the lowdown on London’s newest yoga work-out What is it? A 60-minute yoga class taught by Californian bodybuilder Matt “The Pillar” Miller. It aims to develop strength, stamina and increase mobility. What’s new? Broga has been engineered for the male body and psyche. After a warmup, you move on to the main musclebuilding section, with each class focusing on a speciﬁc part of the body. When GQ hit the mat, the focus was on legs. A tip: pre-book your Kabbee ride home now; you won’t be walking anywhere fast afterwards. Why try it? For two reasons: 1) to reduce the risk of injury (just ask Ryan Giggs) and 2) to boost performance and capability in your chosen sport (just ask, well, Ryan Giggs). Who is it for? Men (and women, despite the name) who want a serious strength-building work-out. Broga will increase your arm strength by 18 per cent in just six weeks. Lee Stobbs Broga costs £20 per session with classes available on Tuesdays from 7.15am to 8.15am. For the full schedule, visit broga.uk.com. 42-49 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2. gymbox.com
Anthony Joshua’s punchlines Take a time-keeping life lesson from... Anthony Joshua, the Olympic gold medallist and British heavyweight boxing sensation When do you start your day? Poached eggs with brown bread, then porridge and honey, lemon and ginger tea. I have the same thing every day. It is regimented, but that is how it has to be when I am training for a ﬁght. I get up at 4.30am so I can be out on the road running by 5am. I have everything prepared the day before, so I get up, brush my teeth, have a wash and get out on the road. I exercise pretty much all day. Starting with cardio ﬁrst thing, followed by bag and pad work, and sparring. Exactly what I do changes the closer I get to a ﬁght. I prefer to train in the morning, but I have to work all day. Always information. My instinct leads me to look for information. I work out all the facts and make decisions based on that. I pre-plan everything and I need as much information as possible to do that. Road warning Middle-aged men who cycle more than nine hours a week are ﬁve times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
What is the breakfast of champions? Do you exercise at dawn or dusk? What is the most important decision you have made in your professional life? Are your best decisions based on instinct or information? What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? How do you get the best from your team? What separates winners from losers? What was the biggest setback to your career, and how did you overcome it? What motto do you ﬁnd most inspiring?
To stay disciplined and, to a certain extent, be selﬁsh. You can’t follow other people’s dreams – you have to follow your own. Discipline is paramount if you want to be a top-level athlete.
It was from a friend of mine. He told me to always put family ﬁrst. I think it is so important to keep your family close when you are an athlete – the support network is invaluable.
Communication. Everyone has to be on the same page and understand each other’s goals and what we want out of each other.
Fitness Office Chair Turn your screen-time hours into a corestrength-buildingsuper session, with the ﬁtness ball chair. Lightweight and portable, it also means you can work and work-out at the same time. £99. officeﬁtness.co.uk
Mental strength. Every athlete trains hard, but I think some don’t actually believe they can achieve what they are working for.
No matter what you achieve or what you do, you have to stay hungry!
When does your day end?
Having a good team around me. They keep me in check, I couldn’t do what I do without them guiding me, both inside and outside of the ring. PH
What is the “secret” of your success?
Normally the day ends around 9pm when I eat and get a chance to get on my phone to look at Twitter etc. I also love motocross bikes and spending time with my family and friends. For more info, visit ajboxing.com
Samsonite Paradiver Inspired by a skydiver’s parachute pack, Samsonite’s rugged, innovative and ergonomic Paradriver range is the perfect luggage line for adventurers who live life in the fast lane, up a mountain, on a ski slope, at altitude... £155. samsonite.co.uk
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Illustrations Jon Rogers; Clear As Mud
Losing at the European Championships as an amateur. But I took all the things that went wrong and put them all right when I went to the World Championships six months later and won gold.
PERSONAL TRAINER: HIIT #5
Repeat performance Oblique slam 5-10 alternating reps each side Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and heavy slam ball between. Squat to pick up ball (don’t just bend over to pick up). As you stand, lift ball to one side, turning torso slightly. Raise ball high overhead, engaging abdominals and obliques, then slam to the ﬂoor between your feet.
This high-intensity interval cardio circuit is aimed at improving core conditioning and adding some tone to those stubborn-to-shift love handles. The challenge here is to complete each of the three rounds as quickly as possible, while also maintaining good form. The one-minute rest between rounds should give you enough recovery time to hit each new circuit as hard – and hopefully even harder – than the last round. Jonathan Goodair
Cable torso twist 15-20 reps each side With cable at shoulder height, stand side on with feet shoulder-distance apart, knees bent. Hold handle with both hands, arms straight. Breathe in to prepare. Breathe out and, leading with torso, turn away from pulley, draw in abdominals and allow heel nearest pulley to lift. Turn until cable touches shoulder. Breathe in then return to start.
WOblique squat thrusts 15-20 alternating fast reps each side From push-up position, draw in abs and jump feet forward to outside of left hand. Jump back to start position and repeat to right side. Keep shoulders wide and arms long.
minutes 45 seconds...
minute rest in between.
Photographs Glen Burrows
Shoulder rolls (forwards then back, 5-10 times) Roll shoulders back in large circles then forwards. Draw arms back to open chest, lift up chest and keep collarbones wide.
Spine rotation On hands and knees, breathe in, reaching left arm out to side and up to ceiling, reaching up through ﬁngertips. Breathe out, sweeping arm down under body, bending supporting
elbow and reaching along ﬂoor as far as possible. Work through as large a range of motion as possible, maintaining stable hips and torso. Oblique stretch Sit upright, legs straight,
place right foot against outside of left knee. Turn torso to the right supported by right arm and place straight left arm against outside of right knee. Breathe in to prepare and
breathe out, gently pressing against right knee with left arm and increase rotation of torso, staying as upright as possible. For more, visit jonathangoodair.com or homehouse.co.uk OCTOBER 2014 G 319
Ask Dr Rod Dear Dr Rod, I was rude to a transgendered person the other week. He, or she, I’m not sure what is the appropriate description, pushed in front of me while I was queuing at the bar for two bottles of Beck’s and a packet of Scampi Fries. I had been waiting ages and this tall man in a dress just sauntered over and demanded a Malibu and pineapple. So I called her, or him, a total bastard and she, or he, called me a “cissexist bastard”. What is a cissexist bastard? I have never heard the term before. Oliver, Tower Hamlets
Dear Dr Rod,
I wish to buy a special birthday present for my boyfriend. He is highly intelligent and discerning. I want to get him something which keeps him enthralled and thrilled, and yet also challenged. Something that will make him laugh, yes, but also perhaps bring a tear to his eye. And something to which he can return over the years as a source of unbounded pleasure. The problem is I have only £14.99 to spend. Do you have any suggestions? Sara, Kensington
RL: You shouldn’t be rude to transgendered people in any setting. The great thing is they really annoy radical feminists, who think that they are interlopers who have, both literally and metaphorically, appropriated their clothes. There is even a term for these angry women – TERFs. It stands for TransExclusionary Radical Feminists. “Cissexist” means someone who believes that a transgendered person’s acquired gender is not as authentic as the one they were born with. So, given your prevarication over the terms “he” and “she”, it would seem an accurate description. It is important to keep abreast of these new hate crimes, because a new one appears every week. So many people to hate, so little time.
RL: Yes, Sara, I have exactly the thing. Buy him a copy of the book Whining, Selﬁsh Monkeys by Rod Liddle. It will fulﬁl everything on your wish list and, by coincidence, is priced at £14.99.
Dear Dr Rod,
Dear Dr Rod,
My best friend has announced that he is getting married to some girl with whom he is, appropriately enough in the circumstances, utterly smitten. He showed a few of us a photograph of the lucky lady, whom he described as “demure” and “modest” – and to our consternation it turned out to be “Dirty Dawn”, AKA The Town Bike. This woman is famous, not least for having transmitted a particularly nasty strain of gonorrhoea to no fewer than 87 people, including myself and indeed all of her intended’s closest friends. We didn’t reveal this fact when he showed us the pics. But we should do, shouldn’t we, at some point? Chris, Newhaven
Dear Dr Rod,
While I was sleeping with my girlfriend the other night I couldn’t help but notice that she had the phrase “Bob Was Here” written in black magic marker on one of her backside. This would seem, on the face of it, an open and shut case – except for the fact that my name is “Bob”. I do not recall, however, writing this statement. But obviously, if I confront her about it, she will insist that it must have been me. What should I do? Bob, Lewisham
While my girlfriend and I are making love she has a habit of shouting out, “Make it real, baby, make it real.” I ﬁnd this excruciatingly embarrassing. Also, I do not think I understand what “make it real” means. Is there anything I can do to convince her to desist from using this hugely irritating phrase? Simon, Poplar
RL: It is a particularly stupid phrase. Rather horribly I can visualise someone like the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch shouting much the same thing while she is being pleasured by her rock-band-manager husband. The best thing to do is to utilise a phrase of your own which is even more embarrassing and mystifying. “Let me plunder your dark planet, bitch,” I would suggest does the trick rather nicely. I’m sure she will keep her mouth shut after hearing that a couple of times.
RL: Yes, difficult. You need a bit of patience to discover the full truth. If she was being unfaithful before, then she is still being unfaithful. So, buy yourself a magic marker, and next time you are “as one” write – directly underneath “Bob Was Here” – the words “Bob who?” and “When”? With any luck the next time the two of you make love, an answer will be forthcoming. You could have a lengthy correspondence with her other Bob. “What a coincidence that we should both be called Bob” you could write, the time after next, or “Do you come here often?” It depends on how large her backside is, I suppose, how long this conversation might last.
RL: Yes, you should – just as the decree nisi comes through. Come on, everybody has a right to reinvent themselves, Dirty Dawn no less than the rest of us. She may have changed. Butter couldn’t melt etc. And then again perhaps she hasn’t changed – so you can view the marriage as a fecund resource from which you might all occasionally partake. Just make sure you wear an asbestos prophylactic. 320 G OCTOBER 2014
For to-the-point answers to life’s whys and wherefores, share your burning issues with GQ’s agony uncle, Rod Liddle, at: email@example.com
Illustration James Taylor
Email us your letters for Dr Rod
condenastjohansens.com The Chedi Muscat, Oman
‘It’s great to be considered a sex symbol,
but I don’t get hit on, really – I think men are too afraid of Kanye’ G
on motherhood. Blame it on the cachet of credibility that – however you perceive his eccentricity – Kanye West most certainly possesses. Blame it on Anna Wintour. Hell, blame it on Miley Cyrus’ tongue. Suddenly being Kim Kardashian is actually kind of cool. And she’s noticed. In the only way Kim Kardashian would notice. “The comments on my Instagram account. People have started being nicer to me.”
Continued from page 298
Moonman acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. “I mean, calling people ‘jackass’?” Kim makes a face as if she’s bitten into a soft, ripe peach and hit a piece of grit. “I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion – even him. I was just like, ‘Why is he even commenting on this?’ OK, sure, just the fact that the president of the United States even knows who I am, and is talking about whether his kids watch our show is pretty cool...” Kim laughs, but is deﬁant. “He can say whatever he wants. I’m not affected by it.” Obama, some would argue, was just playing to the gallery. By late 2013, Kim’s inﬂuence had reached saturation point: her fame ﬂame just too bright, just too, well, everywhere. Ever since Kim had hooked up with Kanye, around April 2012, the combination of his bombastic candour – “I jog in Lanvin!” – and her global TV and social-media audiences – 22.5 million followers on Twitter, (a little perspective for you: Beyoncé currently has 13.5 million, Cara Delevingne 1.7 million, Nick Clegg 180,000) – ensured the pair became the most photographed couple on the planet. Frankly, it would be weirder if Barack Obama hadn’t heard of Kim Kardashian. Obama, of course, hasn’t been the only high-proﬁle mudslinger. Stars such as Jon Hamm and Daniel Craig have already hit out vehemently. But unless I’ve read Kim wrong (and I speak as someone who has never seen a single episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians), the haters aren’t hating so much about the individual as about the inescapable phenomena – the cultural logjam represented by TV shows, Twitter storms, tabloid stories, rumour and the endless pejorative cycle of entertainment news in the 21st century. For those that have a tangible craft – say, like actors – and those who guard their privacy doggedly, the idea that you can make money – a hell of a lot of money – by simply opening your front door and being yourself seems somewhat objectionable. But then something happened. There’s been a shift in opinion. A realignment. A rebirth. Blame it on the wedding. Blame it 322 G OCTOBER 2014
t’s around 7pm: time for dinner and time for drink. I order the soft-shell crab and black sea-bass tagine; Kim orders a raw kale salad to start, followed by the cold whole artichoke (she wants it warm) with mustard dressing (on the side). To drink she orders a Diet Coke, takes a sip, worries there’s no ﬁzz and asks instead for a Fuji water. A man sitting across from us has a baked chocolate fondant delivered to his table and Kim stops the conversation dead to groan in agony. “That is utter torture.” Kim is in the throes of working off that baby weight. “It’s tough. I love food. I have to talk to myself to stop cheating on my diet. And my job makes me hyper aware of my body. Some of those comments on social media, it’s bullying. I actually think it needs to be policed. Shall we order fries? Perhaps not. I still need to look at myself in the mirror tonight.” I debate as to whether we should share a bottle of Ott – that ubiquitous, light, rosé wine they serve in Le Club 55 in Saint-Tropez; it’s summer after all – but I heard from a friend that Kim isn’t a big drinker. “I’ve deﬁnitely had my nights,” she laughs. “Vegas is the go-to place – well it was, especially in my twenties. It’s the place I can get a little wild.” Patrón shots? “I would say I get wasted about once a year. Maybe once every two years. The last time I was really wasted was on my 30th birthday, or was it my 32nd, and Khloé [Kim’s younger sister] and I were just rolling around on the ﬂoor doing I don’t know what. But that’s OK. I love those nights. “My drink forever was a White Russian. That’s what I started on. And I would have one then another then another. Then I would get into Midori. But if I wanted to get drunk drunk I would have shots of tequila and vodka. Straight up. But with a pineapple chaser. What I love now is Moscato d’Asti. Sort of a dessert wine, a ﬁzzy little dessert wine. It’s super sweet.” Does she ever party any harder? “Drugs you mean? Drugs have never been my thing. I just don’t like feeling out of control. I don’t have an addictive personality. Well, unless you count sugar. I went through my rebellious phase when I was 19 when I was just out of high school, but that wasn’t so much about drugs as about being independent. I have always craved independence.”
Kim comes from a very wealthy family in Los Angeles, her mother (now her manager) Kris Jenner (since remarried) and her father Robert Kardashian, a third-generation Armenian American. She went to a private Roman Catholic school, Marymount High School – “We would tease the boys by wearing really short skirts with knee-high socks and boxer shorts underneath“ – and her father, a music producer who also served as a defence attorney in the OJ Simpson trial, bought her a car when she was just 14. Kim was your typical rich kid from Beverly Hills, working in a fashion shop to pay for petrol, worrying about boys and hitting clubs with fake IDs and doing her hair like Paris Hilton. But it was between the years 2000 and 2003, that period of rebelliousness Kim mentioned, when her own, impulsive actions would have the most impact, for better or for worse, on both her career and her celebrity trajectory. “I ran away and got married when I was 19.” The man in question was called Damon Thomas and, just before her divorce papers came through citing physical and emotional abuse, in 2003, Kim started dating singer Ray J, the younger brother of Brandy (“The Boy Is Mine”). It would be this relationship, or rather their sexual dalliances, that would come to haunt her for the rest of her career. In 2007, a sex tape of the couple was leaked – made in 2003 – and went global. Kim ﬁled a lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment, which was distributing the movie as Kim K Superstar. To be honest, having seen the video, the only really objectionable thing is that Kim chews gum pretty much all the way through. The case was eventually resolved out of court, Kim collecting a reported $5 million settlement. Two things happened as a direct result of Kim’s sex-tape scandal. Firstly she got really, really famous, really, really quickly. Secondly, and this was more of a slow burn, both Kim and her managerial team around her, which included her mother, became accused of instigating the furore – if not the actual recording of it then certainly the leak – to fuel Kim’s stuttering career. The fact that KUWTK was commissioned just months after the leak didn’t help to dispel these rumours. The harshest critics even suggested Kim’s mother – her “momager” – was behind the entire unsavoury episode. The damage was done. This notion of making money out of personal humiliations would, rightly or wrongly, stick and have every subsequent thing Kim would do – from her second, three-month-long marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries, to product placement on her reality TV show – see her being accused of “stunts”, or being paid to make headlines. Essentially, selling any part of her life for the right price. Speaking to Kim today about the sex tape, if one thing is abundantly clear, it’s that any
notion that she actually wanted it to go public is utterly false: “Listen, it was years ago. I was 22 years old. You know when you are young you do things with your boyfriend. Back then, I didn’t think making a sex tape was even that scandalous. He was my boyfriend of years and years. Lots of people I know have done it and are doing it.” Perhaps I should try it, I tell Kim. “Sure, why not. Spice things up, baby!” I wonder what Kanye makes of all this. Does the Yeezus star like that sort of thing? Would Kim ever make another video? “My husband Kanye and I have an amazing sex life. So far as the sex tape is concerned, whether or not we’ve made another... If we have, it’s never something I want to go public. I never want to make the same mistake twice. You do these sorts of things with people you trust. When someone says to me, ‘sex tape’, it’s a very private thing, not something I would ever want anyone else to see but me and Kanye...” At this point Kim is in ﬁts of giggles. I have to ask: any home movies currently in the works? “I am married to an incredible man and let’s just say we do like to have fun. Have we made another? There’s nothing wrong with being adventurous, having fun and experimenting, but there’s deﬁnitely the right sort of person you should surround yourself with. Kanye and I have a very good sex life. What we do privately is private. I think let’s just leave it at that.” Sex, or rather the idea of being a sex symbol, is a concept that Kim likes the idea of, but is still slightly uneasy with. The same goes for her famous behind, which I hasten to add is really quite spectacular in person. “I mean, it’s great to be considered a sex symbol, but I don’t get hit on, really – I think men are too afraid of Kanye. And it’s true he would go after anyone that tried. “I remember a time when big butts weren’t in any way sexy. I spent my college years getting my butt spanked in corridors and stuffing myself into tiny jeans, wearing ﬂoaty tops to hide my mufﬁn top. It was difﬁcult. But I don’t have anything against my butt. I’ve got a lot to thank it for, perhaps.” Didn’t Kim invent the “belﬁe”? “What, you mean like the buttselﬁe? I love taking those but I don’t like the name. Can’t we call it an ass-ie?”
n millennia to come, when future white-bearded historians wearing space-age yoga tunics comb through the public records, eventually coming to 2014, there will be one event that burns brighter than all others: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding, an occasion that eventually took place on 24 May at Fort Belvedere in Florence. With the hen and stag parties detonating in Paris the week before – guests were ﬁrst ﬂown to the Palace of Versailles as something
of a pre-event event, which is a little like the Olympics being thrown as a precursor to the World Cup – by the time the actual vows were exchanged there wasn’t a single news channel or media outlet, newspaper, website or Twitter feed that hadn’t dedicated hours of air time or digital space to the couple’s very special, yet preposterously hyped, exchange of wedding bands. As per the couple’s instructions the event itself wasn’t ﬁlmed for Kim’s reality show, yet the rumours that ﬂooded out the morning after the night before were brilliantly, spectacularly bonkers. Page Six, the gossip column for the New York Post, reported that, due to the inaccessibility of the Fort, the couple had to hire a crane to lift every single item used in the wedding up 230ft. “The biggest decorative element of the wedding was a giant gold box,” the infamous column reported, “forty-nine-feet tall, which contained the bathrooms. It was situated right next to the dinner tables at the reception with a bar in front of it. According to one Italian, ‘Their toilet was the star of the show.’ The Italians named it Torre Di Bagni Oro (translation: The Gold Toilet Tower).” Other details included 30 life-size nudes carved from black Carrara marble, ten of which fell apart, ten were destroyed in transit and of the remaining ten, four were missing heads. Perhaps the most extravagant detail, however, were the arrangements for the placement. Rather than having the usual calligraphyadorned paper name cards, the night before the service, Kim had a team of Italian stonemasons engrave the name of each guest into a grey marble tabletop in front of the individual place settings. And it’s nuggets of wonderment such as this that make, say, Simon Cowell’s 50th-birthday celebrations – which up until now held the Louis XIV Award for Most Ostentatious Celebrity Event – look like Lidl’s staff Christmas party. So the statues, the gold bathrooms, the marble placement – is any of this actually true? “The gold toilet? Not true!” laughs Kim. “But we did engrave everyone’s name on to the dining tables, yes. We felt everyone that was there really made a mark on our hearts, so we wanted to do something that acknowledged that.” So where’s the table now? “It’s in storage. We were debating whether to cut it up and give everyone their name in a goodie bag, or do we keep it and then in ten years invite all the same people and see how much everyone has changed. For now it’s in storage along with everything else.” Another headline that emerged from the wedding was the fact that neither Jay-Z nor Beyoncé were in attendance, something of an anomaly, especially seeing as the couples have been close. Were they invited? “They were.” How come they weren’t there? “You’ll have to ask them. There’s no drama. No nothing. It was a long way to travel.” For the ﬁrst time in nearly two hours Kim becomes noticeably
wary. “There was no disappointment on our part [that they were not there]. Some other family members couldn’t make it, either. Sometimes schedules don’t match. Whatever. “We chose a destination wedding – Florence – as that is where North was conceived. We had dinner in Versailles, as Paris was where we ﬁrst fell truly in love. And then we had a honeymoon in Ireland as Kanye had a great birthday there recently.” Kim and Kanye are about the only celebrity couple who can wed amid all the decadence of a Renaissance fort in Florence and then honeymoon in Tullamore, Ireland, celebrating with a screening of The Other Woman and a jumbosized box of Butterkiss.
early three hours in, and our plates have been silently cleared. The hotel lobby is now buzzing with those parties looking to own the New York night. Kim glances at her phone, knowing that baby North, only a few hundred metres away, may well be in need of her mother. It feels like a ﬁtting time to ask Kim how she would like to be remembered. When she invites those wedding guests back in ten years to sit around that table, their names still chipped into the marble, what does she want her legacy to have been? “Well, I’ll take the sex symbol.” Tick. “Someone who is glamorous.” Tick again. “And you know, someone who is a good person. I’d love another kid. I mean, I’m not pregnant or anything...” While the cameras will always be there for Kim you feel, it seems she is changing. Her alliance with Kanye has made her nothing if not more conﬁdent, prouder of her own achievements – whatever President Obama says. The future is hers. “I would love to see a woman in the White House,” she tells me, when I ask about her hopes and fears for 2015. “If Hillary Clinton was running I would vote for her, absolutely. I don’t typically say who I vote for, it’s very personal, but I would vote for Hillary and I hope she runs.” Is there such a thing, I wonder, as being too famous? Doesn’t Kim just want sometimes, when the door is shut and it’s just her, Kanye and her daughter, for all the noise to stop? To pause before hitting refresh? “I had the idea of moving to a farm. You know before he met me, Kanye had spent four years without a cellphone. When we’re at home, all the phones are put away. I disconnect. No computers, no cells. The world can be a savage place. I do get scared for my daughter. And my sisters. I sometimes think: what is this world she’s growing up in?” The conversation with perhaps the most divisive, yet misunderstood, woman of modern times is over. Kim Kardashian slips on her jacket, walks past the talking heads still scattered about the lobby, calling dealers, wives, girlfriends and Uber drivers. The door opens and out she walks, head up, bathed in the warm, electric white light of the waiting lenses, her own dark, beautiful, distorted reﬂection smiling right back at her.
OCTOBER 2014 G 323
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S W E N DE I . W ES, NDON N I D L G MAGARZT OF LO R A O LEADIN HE W E H T D’S P IN T L S R O A THE WO SH N NE O OF ROM É 0 3 1 D OVERTO BUY F N CO AILABLE AV
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F REE WI TH OU R OCTO BER I SSU E – ON SAL E 1 SE PT EM BER
VINE HOUSE HAMPSTEAD VILLAGE, NW3
On the market for the first time in 25 years, an exquisite detached Grade II listed Queen Anne residence, one of only a handful in Hampstead Village.
This notable home is both charming and impressive, occupying a discrete and elevated position overlooking Hampstead Square. Comprising 5,267 square feet (489 sq. m.) and set in immaculately presented grounds, this low-built property provides spacious family accommodation and beautifully proportioned rooms. The property features off street parking for several cars, along with garaging, set behind a gated driveway and is flanked by two substantial gardens. Dating back to the early part of the 18th Century, Vine House, named for the vine in its garden still present today, is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished properties in the area. The house, which is arranged over three floors, is protected by a high wall which wraps around the perimeter of the site offering both privacy and security and is offered in excellent decorative condition throughout having been beautifully maintained by the current owners. ENTRANCE HALL • GUEST CLOAKROOM • CLOAKS CUPBOARD • DRAWING ROOM • DINING ROOM FAMILY ROOM • KITCHEN/BREAKFAST ROOM • MASTER BEDROOM WITH ENSUITE DRESSING ROOM AND BATHROOM FIVE FURTHER BEDROOMS • TWO FAMILY BATHROOMS • TWO SEPARATE WCs • UTILITY ROOM • CELLAR GREENHOUSE • BOILER HOUSE • DOUBLE GARAGE (TANDEM) • GATED DRIVEWAY WITH PARKING FOR THREE CARS EXTERNAL WC • LANDSCAPED GARDENS
PRICE UPON APPLICATION FREEHOLD Sole selling agent
THE LANCASTERS, Hyde Park, W2 % QEKRM½GIRX ETEVXQIRX [MXLMR XLMW LMKLP] WSYKLXEJXIV ,]HI 4EVOHIZIPSTQIRX %GGSQQSHEXMSRGSQTVMWIWVIGITXMSRVSSQ [MXL FIEYXMJYP LMKL GIMPMRKW SVREXI GSVRMGIW HMRMRK EVIE PSZIP] OMXGLIRX[SWTEGMSYWFIHVSSQW FSXL[MXLIRWYMXIFEXLVSSQW ERH [MXL GSQJSVX GSSPMRK ERH PYXVSR PMKLXMRK XLVSYKLSYX 8LI FYMPHMRK MXWIPJ I\YHIW PY\YV] ERH WSTLMWXMGEXMSR JVSQ XLI KVERH TSVXMGSIRXVERGIWIGYVIZEPIXTEVOMRKW[MQQMRKTSSPERHWTE 0IEWILSPHETTVS\MQEXIP]]IEVWVIQEMRMRK +YMHITVMGI +44(0)20 7409 9205 firstname.lastname@example.org
KNIGHTSBRIDGE OFFICE: 82 BROMPTON ROAD LONDON SW3 1ER T: +44 (0)20 7225 6506 MAYFAIR OFFICE: 61 PARK LANE LONDON W1K 1QF T: +44 (0)20 7409 9001 CHELSEA OFFICE: 58 FULHAM ROAD LONDON SW3 6HH T: +44 (0)20 7225 6700
THE TOWER, One St George Wharf, SW8 This very spacious three bedroom ‘Platinum Collection’ apartment WUJXWUQ MWWMXYEXIHSRXLIVH¾SSVSJXLIXEPPIWX residential tower in the UK and offers amazing views over Central London, the Thames and Battersea from all the principal VSSQW &IRI½XMRK JVSQ E LYKI VIGITXMSR VSSQ [MXL EGGIWW XS a sky garden, the property has been fully interior designed and beautifully furnished by one of London’s leading interior designers. One St George Wharf offers a full concierge service by Harrods Estates Asset Management with 24 hour concierge and security with access to a fabulous leisure suite and secure underground parking. One St George Wharf has already established itself as an iconic London landmark, setting a new benchmark for luxury. EPC rating B. Guide price: £ 3,995,000 +44(0)20 7893 8343 email@example.com
KNIGHTSBRIDGE OFFICE: 82 BROMPTON ROAD LONDON SW3 1ER T: +44 (0)20 7225 6506 MAYFAIR OFFICE: 61 PARK LANE LONDON W1K 1QF T: +44 (0)20 7409 9001 CHELSEA OFFICE: 58 FULHAM ROAD LONDON SW3 6HH T: +44 (0)20 7225 6700
Discover the Art of Elegant Living AT M A R Y L E B O N E ’S N E W L U X U R Y A D D R E S S Enjoying a luxurious lifestyle is an accomplished art which can be acquired at The Chilterns, a collection of ﬁne apartments and penthouses moments from Regent’s Park and the High Street in Marylebone village, W1 - with interiors created by world-renowned interior designer Rabih Hage. You’ll have exclusive access to a 24-hour concierge service, private spa, state-of-the art gym and in-house cinema, and you can also enjoy fashionable and vibrant nearby Chiltern Street, whose world famous Chiltern Firehouse Hotel, restaurants, cafés, boutiques and galleries demonstrate the best in couture, artistry and craftsmanship.
N e w M a r k e t i n g S u i t e n o w ava i l a b l e f o r v i e w i n g Visit The Chilterns’ brand new Marketing Suite, unquestionably the ﬁnest in the capital. Located at 11-15 Wigmore Street, London W1, it perfectly exhibits the essence of The Chilterns’ vibrant artfulness, elegance and irresistible appeal. CGI of Private Lobby Gallery and Garden Terrace
PRICES ON APPLICATION For more information about The Chilterns or to arrange a private appointment, please contact Oksana Lukjaneca on +44 (0)20 8418 1070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph taken 2004
GRADE II LISTED COUNTRY HOUSE IN A SECLUDED SETTING ayot st peter, hertfordshire A1(M): 2.5 miles, Welwyn Garden City: 3 miles (London Kings Cross from 30 minutes), Harpenden: 6 miles, Luton Airport: 10 miles, Heathrow Airport: 38 miles Reception hall panelled great hall dining room library kitchen/breakfast room wine cellar master bedroom suite 2 guest bedroom suites 4 further bedrooms 3 further bathrooms (1 en suite) courtyard with garaging stabling cottage 2 ﬂats gym guest cottage formal gardens pool with pavilions paddocks lake with boathouse About 27 acres Guide £10 million
London Country Department Scan for more info
Hugh Maconochie email@example.com
020 7016 3780 Savills Harpenden Nick Ingle firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7016 3780
NOW OVER 60% SOLD
SHOW HOME NOW OPEN Set behind a grand gated arch and arranged around a beautifully landscaped garden square, each townhouse in this exclusive collection beneﬁts from its own private garden, secure underground parking for two cars and an outstanding level of speciﬁcation. 4 & 5 B E DROOM TOWN HOUS ES FROM £3,9 0 0,0 0 0
CALL NOW TO ARRANGE YOUR VIEWING APPOINTMENT Sales Suite and Show Home, Farm Lane, Fulham, SW6 1QJ open daily.
0333 666 2737
Computer generated image of London Square Fulham. Details and price correct at time of going to press.
S U N N I N G H I L L AS C OT S L 5 9 QZ
D I S C R E E T LUXU R I O U S L I V I N G Nestled in over 20 acres of private landscaped grounds, Charters is an iconic development of prestigious two and three bedroom apartments offering secure luxury living of the highest standard. ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
20 acres of landscaped grounds Estate managed by one of Europe’s leading hoteliers 50 foot heated pool Fully-equipped gymnasium Sauna & steam rooms Concierge service Snooker room All weather tennis court Dedicated security team
● ● ● ● ● ●
CCTV system Electronic gates 15 miles to London Heathrow Airport 2 miles to Ascot Racecourse 4 miles to the Wentworth Club Close to leading Independent schools, including Eton College Wellington College and St. Mary’s Ascot
A R T- D E C O I N S P I R E D N E W 2 A N D 3 B E D R O O M A PA R T M E N TS £ 8 2 5 ,0 0 0 - £ 1 , 4 9 5 ,0 0 0
ONLY 6 APARTMENTS REMAINING
www.chartersuk.com VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY • email@example.com • 01344 295375
Accommodation: Entrance Hall • Guest WC Double Reception Room • Kitchen/Breakfast Room • TV Area • Double Reception Room Study • Master Bedroom Suite with En Suite Bath and Shower Room and Dressing Area Bedroom 2 • Bedroom 3 • Family Bathroom Bedroom 4 with En Suite Shower Room Bedroom 5 with En Suite Shower Room Bedroom 6/Gym • Shower Room EPC Rating TBA
LITTLE VENICE LONDON W9 An immaculate white stucco period house comprising 4,887 square feet (454 square metres). The property has been meticulously refurbished in recent years and the highest quality materials have been used to create this bright and spacious family residence. Light and exceptional volume are plentiful throughout the house and perfectly complement the original features such as high ceilings, cornicing and sash windows. Further benefits include six bedrooms, five bath/shower rooms and excellent storage space.
Price On Application
An English Country Home designed by Janine Stone If you would like to discuss commissioning a unique country home of architectural distinction, that is craftsman built, ďŹ nished to immaculate standards and which perfectly reďŹ‚ects your aspirations, then we would be pleased to arrange an initial meeting to discuss and explore the opportunities.
ARCHITECTURAL & INTERIOR DESIGN, BUILD & PROJECT MANAGEMENT T.+44 (0)20 7349 8888 / JANINESTONE.COM
THE HEIGHT OF
THE RICHMOND SUITE Occupying the entire 44th ﬂoor, The Richmond Suite will be a truly incomparable space, with sweeping 360 degree views of London that are seldom ever seen. Located moments from the River Thames, One Blackfriars - designed by award-winning Ian Simpson Architects - is set to be the most stunning addition to London’s skyline. Facilities include a dedicated 24 hour concierge service, provided by Harrods Estates Asset Management, a stunning health club and spa, swimming pool and fully equipped gymnasium, private screening room and residents’ wine cellar.
View from The Richmond Suite, Level 44, at One Blackfriars
Price on application | By appointment only | +44 (0)20 7205 2721 www.oneblackfriars.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org
Image is computer generated and indicative only. Price available upon application.
Place yourself in the heart of London W1
THE BEST OF W1 I S A L L A R O U N D YO U
VISIT US TO DISCOVER MORE
Minutes from Oxford Circus, the new Crossrail station, and links to airports and Eurostar
For further information or to organise a private viewing, please contact the Rathbone Square marketing suite: 33 Gresse Street
Rathbone Square is a new development of meticulously crafted apartments, seamlessly stitched into the heart of London W1 •
Private gym, residents’ lounge, swimming pool, underground parking and 24hr concierge
London W1T 1QU
+44 (0)20 7580 1100 Open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm By appointment only
A selection of apartments and penthouses • The world-famous shopping destinations of Regent Street and Oxford Street on your doorstep
Prices from £1,275,000*
Green open spaces and hidden
Computer generated image, indicative only. *Prices and details are correct at time of going to press and are subject to availability.
condenastjohansens.com Cheval Three Quays, London, UK
Wimbledon’s Premier Apartments have now launched
Luxury Apartments from £1,150,000 at Wimbledon Hill Park Berkeley is proud to announce their recent launch of a collection of 2 and 3 bedroom premier apartments on Wimbledon Hill Park. Set to become one of Wimbledon’s premier addresses the apartments at Wimbledon Hill Park are within a beautiful green setting, and conveniently located for Wimbledon Village. Wimbledon Hill Park offers a unique blend of spacious living with luxurious speciﬁcation and a variety of desirable service features including a superior residents’ gym, security and concierge services. Set beside 19 acres of open parkland the apartments at Wimbledon Hill Park bring reassuring luxury to a desirable part of London. To register your interest, please call our sales consultants on 0203 581 5722 or email email@example.com
Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies
Representative computer generated images of Wimbledon Hill Park and previous Berkeley interiors. Prices correct at time of print.
Vital STATISTICS Taking the measurements of the GQ world
16 Profession-specific secret dining clubs CREATIVE SPACE For: Architects and designers coffeyarchitects.com
TABLE8 For: Late-night legals jointable8.com
HOSTED BY: Former Young Architect Of The Year Phil Coffey two Thursdays a month IN HIS: £900,000 Highbury house DISCUSSION TOPICS: Design, dating, politics GUESTS AROUND THE TABLE: 12 THE THREE-COURSE DINNER IS SERVED ON:
Dibbern Black Forest china by Bodo Sperlein EATEN WITH: London cutlery by David Mellor AVERAGE LENGTH OF EVENING: Six hours THE CHEESE IS ALWAYS FROM: La Fromagerie
in Highbury, served at room temperature WHO TO SWEET TALK FOR AN INVITATION:
Coffey himself. He has a penchant for Comté
THE PREMISE: Networking with a difference. Everyone around the table is single WHICH MAKES IT PERFECT FOR: People – like lawyers – who are too busy to date LOCATIONS: London restaurants such as Hakkasan and The Mall Tavern AVERAGE TABLE SIZE: Ten to 12 people COST: £65 WHICH GETS YOU: Three courses and half a bottle of wine MALE/FEMALE RATIO: Strictly 50/50 RULES: The men switch places after every course. Chat-up lines are strictly forbidden
TABLECROWD For: Start-up suppers tablecrowd.com
THE BLAC K PEARL CLUB For: Director-level dining theoysterclub.com
THE PIRANHA CLUB For: Property types
SET UP BY: Ex-City lawyer Kate Jackson IN: 2012 NUMBER OF DINNERS A WEEK: Three INVITATION ONLY? No. Join Tablecrowd for
free and add your name to the relevant guest lists DINNER COST: £34 to £149 MOST POPULAR LOCATION: Google Campus WITH WHOM MIGHT YOU BE SHARING THE MEZE: Entrepreneurs from across the
spectrum – tech to sport, food to fashion, events to property KILLER EXTRA: Complimentary cab ride home
WHO ARE BLACK PEARLS? People who make up the director- and partner-level membership of networking society The Oyster Club SET UP IN: 2010 DINNERS ARE HELD: On the ﬁrst Tuesday of the month RULES AND REGS: No name badges, no pitching BECAUSE: This is for contact-building only ANY ADDED EXTRAS? Use of Home House, the event venue, for the whole day HOW TO BECOME A BLACK PEARL: You must be proposed and seconded by existing members MEMBERSHIP FEE: £1,077 (plus VAT) a year
WHAT’S THE WEB ADDRESS? There is none; this is seriously under the radar WHEN THE PIRANHAS GATHER: The last Thursday of every third month THEY COMPRISE: Developers, engineers, architects, property agents BUT NOT: Many women. The male/female ratio is 90/10 WHERE DO THEY MEET? In venues around London and, once a year, in Cannes HOW TO GET YOUR NAME ON THE LIST: Ask around your property buddies. Someone might know of a way in...
DINING IN SPIRES For: The academic elite scottwhitby.com
THIN K ING BOB For: Geeks, but not freaks thinkingbob.co.uk
BRUTALLY EARLY CLUB For: Time-stretched art lovers brutallyearlyclub.org Words Emily Wright Photograph Trunk Archive
NUMBER OF YEARS EACH VENUE MUST HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY UNALTERED TO QUALIFY FOR A DINNER LOCATION: 100 SUCH AS: The spires and belfries of London’s
LAUNCHED: 2013 FOR: “Brain-powered networking” MEANING? QI-themed Q&A dinners
city churches NUMBER OF GUESTS PER DINNER: Six to 14 YOU’LL DRINK: Wine from an Oxford college RAREST BOTTLES DRUNK: Le Petit Mouton de
“Dine and Debate” nights WHO MIGHT YOU MEET? Myers-Briggs “N”-type personalities (apparently) IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS:
Google it in Soho, and The Boot And Flogger in London Bridge MEMBERSHIP COST: £12 a month RULES AND REGULATIONS: “Don’t be weird and please wear clothes” LONDON VENUES INCLUDE: Inamo
Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc 2006 WHAT’S COOL ABOUT THE TABLECLOTH? It’s cartridge paper, which guests are encouraged to draw on as the only record of the evening
art curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist STARTS AT? 6.30am BECAUSE: Most people are free BUT ALSO: That’s when Hans-Ulrich has always eaten breakfast LOCATIONS: Cafes and gallery spaces in London, Berlin, Paris and New York EACH BREAKFAST MEETING LASTS FOR: 90 minutes MEMBERS INCLUDE: Jefferson Hack, Antony Gormley, Sam Thorne, Marina Abramovic
FOUNDED: 2006 BY: Serpentine Gallery-based
# P E AC E RO C K S
R i n g o S t a r r : C a s a d e l l a Vi s t a , H o l l y w o o d , C A P h o t o g r a p h e d b y D a n n y C l i n c h , 2 014
N o w O p e n a t 12 -13 C o n d u i t S t r e e t , L o n d o n
johnvar vatos.com/peacerock s