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On guarding the galaxy, raptors and J-Law Story by Stuart McGurk Photographed by Kurt Iswarienko



Story by George Chesterton



TAG HEUER CARRERA CALIBRE HEUER 01 Chris Hemsworth works hard and chooses his roles carefully. He handles pressure by taming it, and turning it to his advantage. #DontCrackUnderPressure was coined with him in mind.



Editor’s Letter

Michael Wolff Whether rap stars, comedians or US presidents, what does the future hold for unashamed “pussy hounds”?




As politics lurches to illiberal extremes, where can a rational man turn in this new age of “purity”?

Style Manual


34 Zoey Deutch swims with the big fish;



London’s late-night coffee bars; GQ hosts the stars of Doctor Strange.

57 Cars

Renault raises the roof with it’s latest concept; GQ reports from Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

63 Travel Downtime in Klosters; plus, chalet of the month.

67 Taste 34

Belstaff’s shearling is this month’s most wanted; Fendi packs a powerful punch; Luke Leitch dissects Nasir Mazhar’s myriad design notes; Prada’s colourful scents; Style Shrink.

106 GQ Preview Products, events, offers.

Get stuffed with the trend for festive fast food; Rock out at The Mariners, Cornwall; dodge the tourists at Covent Garden’s Margot; make a weekend in Christchurch a religious experience.





My Style

53 New guest columnist Joanna Della-Ragione asks should you be more #woke?

54 Our Stuff The home affairs of GQ Deputy Chief Sub-Editor Aaron Callow.

The Drop

The Horrors’ Faris Badwin proves black is back.

77 Bachelor Pad High street fashion brands are stepping up their homewares game.

79 Watches Chopard keeps it all in-house with the L.U.C. anniversary collection.



Don’t let records with backstories spin you a yarn; football’s bosses win again; what remains of David Cameron’s legacy; the artist who made the future; films based on headlines aren’t breaking news.


The 100 Best Things In The World Right Now Be it wearable, drivable, drinkable or thinkable, we have mined the depths of the zeitgeist to bring you the hippest happenings on the planet. And so behold, GQ’s definitive compendium of cultural and consumer highlights... EDITED BY


Podium finish: Ducati’s 939 SuperSport screams its way into this year’s 100 Best Things




Chris Pratt

Reach peak style with the best winter sports kit; GQ tackles homophobia in football; Bear Grylls’ scout’s honour; is instafit the shape of things to come?

From sitcom zero to Marvel superhero, GQ meets Hollywood’s most natural star (lord). BY

Stuart McGurk

Features & Fashion 86

141 Tony Parsons You will make six really big mistakes in your life. Make sure you learn from them...


Britannia rises Sir Ben Ainslie is on the crest of a wave with Britain’s first ever America’s Cup win in sight. BY PAUL HENDERSON



Britain’s top sportsmen showcase their natural athleticism in style with GQ and Woolmark.



Stockists From A to Z, all the labels in this month’s issue.

Wool power


Sex and art are the same thing The prima pundit Jerry Saltz uses his digital footprint to tread new ground in criticism. BY KENNY SCHACHTER


Is this the most hated millennial in America? GQ investigates Martin Shkreli’s bad medicine.




Moda: Italian tailoring collections The continent’s finest tailors bring a dose of the Dolce Vita to the streets of London.


Out To Lunch




GQ’s Jonathan Heaf gets a mouthful in Paris when he sits down to dine with the sacred and profane Gordon Ramsay.

216 To cherish and adorn

Make the most of the season with dazzling trimmings and trophy pieces. PHOTOGRAPHS BY Matthew Beedle JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 13










FASHION EDITOR Grace Gilfeather




GQ.CO.UK EDITOR Conrad Quilty-Harper GQ.CO.UK PICTURE EDITOR Alfie Baldwin









STAFF WRITER Eleanor Halls

GQ.CO.UK INTERNS Kathleen Johnston, Josh Lee

CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Luke Day, Elgar Johnson, Luke Leitch, Lou Stoppard CONTRIBUTING ART EDITOR Adam Clayton





COMEDY EDITOR James Mullinger




Contributing Editors Mel Agace, Andrew Anthony, Chris Ayres, Jason Barlow, Stephen Bayley, Tara Bernerd, Heston Blumenthal, Debra Bourne, Michael Bracewell, Jennifer Bradly, Charlie Brooks, Ed Caesar, Alastair Campbell, Naomi Campbell, Robert Chalmers, Jim Chapman, Nik Cohn, Giles Coren, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Andy Coulson, Adrian Deevoy, Alan Edwards, Robert Elms, David Furnish, AA Gill, Bear Grylls, Sophie Hastings, David Hicks, Mark Hix, Julia Hobsbawm, Boris Johnson, John Kampfner, Simon Kelner, Rod Liddle, Sascha Lilic, Frank Luntz, Dorian Lynskey, Piers Morgan, John Naughton, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Dermot O’Leary, Ian Osborne, Tom Parker Bowles, Tony Parsons, Oliver  Peyton, Julia Peyton-Jones, Amol Rajan, Hugo Rifkind, David Rosen, Martin Samuel, Darius Sanai, Kenny Schachter, Simon Schama, Alix Sharkey, Ed Smith, Ed Vaizey, Ed Victor, Celia Walden, Danny Wallace, Jim White, Michael Wolff, Peter York, Toby Young

Contributing Photographers Miles Aldridge, Guy Aroch, David Bailey, Coppi Barbieri, Matthew Beedle, Gavin Bond, Richard Burbridge, Richard Cannon, Kenneth Cappello, Matthias Clamer, Dylan Don, Jill Greenberg, Marc Hom, Benny Horne, Norman Jean Roy, Tony Kelly, Steven Klein, David LaChapelle, Brigitte Lacombe, Joshua Lawrence, Sun Lee, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Neaves, Zed Nelson, Mitch Payne, Vincent Peters, Sudhir Pithwa, Rankin, Mick Rock, Mark Seliger, Søren Solkær, Mario Sorrenti, Mario Testino, Ellen von Unwerth, Mariano Vivanco, Matthias Vriens, Nick Wilson, Richard Young DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATION AND RIGHTS Harriet Wilson SYNDICATION







Managing Director

NICHOLAS COLERIDGE DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR Albert Read DIRECTORS: Jonathan Newhouse (Chairman), Nicholas Coleridge (Managing Director), Stephen Quinn, Annie Holcroft, Pam Raynor, Jamie Bill, Jean Faulkner, Shelagh Crofts, Albert Read, Patricia Stevenson

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GQ has never felt so much like a newspaper as it does right now

Studies of mankind (from top): Chris Ayres’ exposés for GQ have included investigations into Hollywood’s Poker Club (December 2011) and profiles of Dan Bilzerian (February 2015) and Google chairman Eric Schmidt (January 2014)

This year has been the most transformative in the magazine’s history, and as we’ve recently merged all our various editorial departments into one, the office has a new vitality that is as infectious as it is palpable. This is a systematic process that has taken place over the past 18 months, a period of intense integration that has produced an editorial team that is now larger and more effective than ever, regardless of whether we’re producing work for the magazine, the website, our social feeds or the social feeds of third parties. That work could involve print, photography, video, or indeed any combination thereof. It could be a Facebook Live political session with Alastair Campbell, a style masterclass with Jim Chapman, a tech demonstration, or even an interview with an international footballer or a war reporter. GQ has never produced so much content, and, frankly, it’s never been as busy as it is right now in Vogue House. There is a daily conference at 10am, and a genuine rolling news sensibility in the office. Blink and you’ll miss a decision. Pop to the bathroom and you’ll have missed the cover being changed at least twice. Go on holiday and you’ll return to a world that looks very different from the one you left behind. What never changes, however, is the magazine’s dedication to longform journalism, which is one of the cornerstones of GQ. In this month’s issue, for instance, you’ll find Chris Ayres’ extraordinary piece on the American entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli. A New York Times bestselling author and journalist, Ayres has always known how to nose out a good story, whether it’s an idea for one of his successful nonfiction books – such as relaying his frontline view in War Reporting For Cowards and sharing tales of his economic downfall

in Death By Leisure: A Cautionary Tale – or narrating the lives of the rich, famous and salacious for GQ with his customary wit. His Shkreli piece is a joy to read. The cofounder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, the cofounder and former CEO of the biotech firm Retrophin and the founder and former bigwig at Turing Pharmaceuticals, in September 2015 Shkreli was on the receiving end of a fusillade of criticism when Turing obtained the manufacturing licence for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim, raising its price from approximately $13.50 to $750 per tablet, an increase of more than 5,000 per cent. Perhaps understandably he was soon being referred to as the “most hated man in the US”. Chris’ piece is a doozy of a rollercoaster of a story that starts as it means to go on: “In his 33 years on planet earth, Shkreli has made quite an impression on his fellow humans. He has been called a sociopath, a ‘shriveled pisspeanut brain’, the troll of the century. The usually even-tempered CNN anchor Jake Tapper has suggested there are many ‘who might like to remove [his] smile with the business end of a shovel’, while the affable late-night talk show host Seth Myers has described him as ‘a real slappable prick’. “Even Shkreli’s personal hero, the Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah, refers to him only as ‘that shithead’.” Ayres continues, “For good measure, Hillary Clinton has asked a federal agency to investigate him. Donald Trump has thundered, ‘He’s zero. He’s nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself.’”

Our dedication to longform journalism never changes

Jeez. Imagine someone more shameful than Trump. Looking back at Ayres’ features for us over the years, there is, clearly, a trend. He always goes for the bad boy profiles. In December 2011, Ayres wrote about Hollywood’s exclusive Poker Club, a gambling den where Hollywood’s elite (Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck were, and may well still be, regulars) engage in legitimate, private poker games and play to cheat each other out of millions of dollars a night with Oscarwinning bluffs. Ayres wrote the piece with such detail, drama and narrative flair, you would be forgiven for swallowing the last line and feeling convinced it was all fictional – and illegal. In February 2015, Ayres unearthed “the truth about Dan Bilzerian” – the multimillionaire playboy who spends his time posing with machine guns and models outside his Los Angeles mansion or atop fast cars. Once uploaded to the website, joining Ayres’ host of much “shared” and “liked” comment pieces on everything from Lionel Richie to Jimmy Kimmel, the story instantly became one of the year’s most popular stories on, and still continues to reap readers even now. No doubt it’s contributed a few thousand followers to Bilzerian’s bizarrely fascinating Instagram account, too. The same public attention was captured by Ayres’ scintillating, witty and extensively researched profile of Google chairman Eric Schmidt for our January 2014 issue, which, with a little help from Gawker and the businessman’s deleted Instagram account, unveiled Schmidt’s private, sexfuelled life of bikini-clad women and super yachts. There was one piece, however, for which Ayres strayed from his usual theme. For our November 2014 issue (above), he swapped playboys for presidents and explored the troubled life of the second son and underdog, Jeb Bush, following the announcement that he would “actively explore the possibility of running for president”. Had the “smart” Bush not been blown away by the Trump phenomonon, perhaps the Republicans might have had a little more policy-making and a little less “pussy-grabbing” in 2016. Yet Ayres’ feature was again one of our most popular online pieces during the campaign season, as well as in the run-up to the election, despite having been published two years prior. It seems Ayres has a knack for ensuring his work stays evergreen. So, when we were notified that Ayres had been nominated as Writer Of The Year for his work in GQ in 2016’s PPA Awards it’s safe to say we weren’t surprised. Here’s to hoping he continues to “un-surprise” us with his excellence.

this month on

As with his profile on Jeb Bush, Ayres has a knack for ensuring his work is evergreen

What to buy him and her Head to for dozens of Christmas present ideas for the special woman (or women) in your life, whether she’s into fashion, fitness or sex (or all three, obviously). We’ve also created long lists for you to forward on to whoever is moaning that someone is “just so hard to buy for” this year.

All your black-tie style quibbles answered Still can’t tie a bow tie? Watch our video demo by Tim Ardron, head of tailoring at Savile Row’s Gieves & Hawkes ( And be sure to double-check the new rules of black tie ahead of this month’s run of festive events (


The hottest women on the web Our new “How To Date…” series will both make you chuckle and quickly follow some of Instagram’s best new models, including Chloe Lloyd (right) and Ashley James. Subscribe to the GQ After Hours newsletter for all our sex & relationship content in one weekly NSFW email.

Suit, £1,295. Shirt, £250. Tie, £150. All by Burberry. At Harrods. Watch by Cartier, £28,700.

Dylan Jones, Editor

Follow us @britishgq @dylanjonesgq

How to make masterful cocktails Let the experts at Moët Hennessy and London bar Happiness Forgets (winner of the Belvedere Best Bar at GQ’s Food & Drink Awards 2016) walk you through how to make party favourites such as Old Fashioneds, Espresso Martinis and more during an easy-to-follow Facebook Live video demonstration.


BRACKLEY, Oxford in Burnished Mocha Calf Leather.

J e r myn St re e t , L ime St re e t , B o w L a n e a n d Old Spit a lf ie lds M a r k e t , Lo nd o n. Als o C a mbr idg e a n d L e e d s. WWW. CHE ANE Y. CO .U K Te l +4 4 (0 )1 5 3 6 7 6 0 3 8 3



Kurt ISWARIENKO For this month’s cover, portrait photographer Kurt Iswarienko shot one of his favourite actors, Chris Pratt. Hooked on Pratt’s talent after seeing him in Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty, Iswarienko captured the serious side to Pratt’s easy swagger. “Like all great actors he understands restraint,” says Iswarienko. “If you can draw someone in with a quiet glance, why yell across the room at them?”


Stuart McGURK

For GQ’s online columnist AA Gill, being a father is far from adventurous, aspirational or even easy. “There’s nothing cool, wannabe or enviable about becoming a dad,” says Gill. “It’s not like winning Le Mans. Or mixing the perfect Martini. Or boning a Brazilian beach volleyball star.” And yet fatherhood will show you how to be a man in the most unexpected ways. How? You can find Gill’s answers on

After watching Guardians Of The Galaxy seven times for pleasure, there are none better qualified to interview Chris Pratt than Senior Commissioning Editor Stuart McGurk. “Denzel Washington told me that he’s only worked with two actors who he knew had something special – Tom Hanks and Pratt. That tells you everything,” says McGurk. “Pratt’s a real movie star in an age when we thought the notion was dead.”

Grace GILFEATHER You might find the thought of hitting the gym kitted out in Merino wool baffling, but The Woolmark Company has proved it’s perfectly suited for it. And it looks great too, as the sportsmen modelling Merino products in this issue attest. “Its versatility makes it ideal for sport and fashion,” says GQ Fashion Editor Grace Gilfeather.

Photographs Rex

Joanna DELLA-RAGIONE How “woke” are you? Our guest columnist this month, Joanna Della-Ragione, who writes for the Telegraph and the Standard, explores the origins of the expression. “It was once attached to the Black Lives Matter movement,” says Della-Ragione, “but it now seemingly applies to any #cause.”

Kenny SCHACHTER For the past 30 years, commentator and curator Kenny Schachter has followed every word written by one of the world’s most celebrated art critics. In his feature on Jerry Saltz, Schachter explores the lesser known areas of the critic’s early life and career. “Together, Jerry and his wife, Roberta, are behemoths of New York art criticism, codifying generations of exhibits,” says Schachter. “They are like war reporters in the field.” JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 25

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Punch and Judy politics: Having spent years fighting the party line, backers of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn now shout down his opponents

WHO CAN I VOTE FOR NOW? From Westminster to Twitter, our politics and culture are being pulled apart by a belief in easy answers and fact-free dogma. With Labour and the Conservatives polarised by rigid ideology, GQ asks what price we will pay for the loss of consensus and liberalism in an age of ‘purity’ STORY BY

knew something was wrong when Len Goodman got booed on Strictly Come Dancing. The grumpy chief judge was offering “constructive criticism” but the audience were having none of it. Only unfettered praise would do. And then it dawned on me: that’s us. That’s our politics, our culture. No one wants to listen to anyone else any more. With Labour and the Conservatives both now dogs being wagged by their tails, where can I turn? Who can I vote for? Witness a witless hard left so paranoid and insecure it wastes the valuable time of Her Majesty’s opposition shunning most of the population, or the feral Brexiteer wing of the Tories, egged on by a new strain of mad intransigence in the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express. Britain is simmering nicely in intolerance, censure and self- censorship. People would rather be certain and wrong than unsure and half-right. Welcome to the new age of purity.

Photograph SWNS

George Chesterton

Purity is fine for drinking water and cotton suits, but for politics or religion, art or identity, it makes me feel nauseous. But now, purity – or rather the belief that it is possible – is everywhere. Whether it’s the see-no-evil Corbynistas, the arcane thought crimes of no-platforming student unions, conspiracy theorists, post-fact right-wingers or hypocritical Islamists, these strains of purity-obsessives presuppose that to all the questions which animate them there is a definitive answer (false) and that the answer is simple (also false). The belief in purity is a sign of fear and weakness – a fear of scrutiny and a weakness that leads to bullying. WB Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” is probably the most quoted and misused of our comment-obsessed age. In particular, the lines “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” and “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” have been worn down like a bookmaker’s pencil by

writers looking for analogies to press on their readers’ weary eyes. So here goes nothing... Brexit has torn a hole in British politics and society – even in families – and I find myself in what the Guardian’s Rafael Behr called “the coalition of losers”, who, inside and outside parliament, are seen as being on the wrong side of history, itself a cheap and meaningless idea, symptomatic of this culture of fake certainty. New polarising positions (see Yeats) are eroding our traditions of consensus and tolerance. We are becoming trapped in ideological gated communities that are increasingly unwilling to compromise or acknowledge any ideas beyond their own boundaries. Behind this wall-building is a belief in the myth of purity. When a Polish woman is booed on Question Time for saying she no longer feels welcome in the UK, even an ironically detached liberal such as myself (Yeats again) feels the need to adopt the brace position. JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 31

Every purist sees themselves as an agent of dissent, but none will brook dissent from others. Angry people are increasingly against something at the exclusion of all else: Europe, immigration, neoliberalism, globalisation, Blairism. Ideas and beliefs are one thing, but conviction in the purity of ideas and beliefs and the wrongness of all others is what leads us – as individuals and as part of movements – into dead ends and dislocation. Ideological purity is as old as time, but Britain (and to a large extent western Europe) has dodged it since 1945, most likely because the 20th century provided the most harrowing lesson of what the acolytes of “purity” could inflict. It may be no coincidence that we are changing just as the generation who saw this first-hand fades away. Britain’s obsession with the Second World War might have once been a neurosis of national decline, but at least it left people in no doubt about what an unbending belief in purity could do. That is a lesson being forgotten a little more each day. The Sun screams for Gary Lineker’s sacking because he commented on the refugee crisis. He was accused of “peddling lies” about migrants, which is doubly ironic since he hadn’t been and lies about migrants is what the Sun had been peddling for years. Anyone who wishes to keep the debate about Britain and Europe open is cuffed (in their words, literally “damned”) by the Mail and Express as “unpatriotic Bremoaners” who “wish to subvert the will of the British people”. (It was about 27 per cent of all British people and 37 per cent of the electorate actually, but these are facts and therefore not an issue here.) The Mail editorial read, “You lost. Stop the anti-democratic games and respect the emphatic verdict of the British people.” This is a simple lie presented as a simple truth. The Express says “Time to silence EU Exit whingers.” Heed the language. “Silence.” Apparently now it’s unpatriotic to wish prosperity and stability for your fellow citizens. Anyone would think extreme Brexiteers, Ukip, the tabloid press and the voters whose base instincts they are exploiting have no confidence in their argument. The legal challenge to Article 50 brought more doublethink, in which judges were called undemocratic “traitors” for upholding parliamentary sovereignty. This is a world-view in which there is no debate, where it is easier to ignore questions than answer them; where it is easier to say you are either with us or against us. And it’s just as pernicious on the left as on the right. To pick one example (there are so many), when failed leadership candidate Owen Smith described Jeremy Corbyn as a “lunatic” following the leader’s sit-down protest on a 32 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

Virgin train in August, this injudicious word not only tapped the Corbynistas’ knees, jerking their moral patellas out with the usual hypocrisy, but it was for many an excuse to tell the world on social media about the offence caused because of “my mental issues” and that “as a sufferer of MH issues...” Any dispute is reduced to personal identity, virtue signalling and ends with damnation. This sorry incident was in lieu of any meaningful debate, but no worries, it’s only 65 million people you are hoping to govern. As with all those who dwell in bunkers, this was about repression. On the day after the leader who “doesn’t do spin” tried spin and was found wanting on the floor of a train to Newcastle, Labour’s Jonestown Massacre crew were just relieved to have something to divert attention from Corbyn’s uselessness. The facts, that Corbyn’s team were not being straight about the number of empty seats on that train, were irrelevant. How can it help Labour – and attract others to the cause – to shout “Blairite”, “Tory scum”, “fascist” at people who are none of those things just because they disagree with you? Blind purism closes down debate; it confounds

There is no debate. It is easier to say you are either with us or against us and confuses those who are unaware of the received orthodoxy; it frightens people into not only not saying what they feel, but not thinking as they want. It has reached the stage where it would not matter if I agreed with every single one of the policies of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet (it would help if I knew what they were): I could not vote for this dissembling, Manichean shambles. The reason most often cited for the collapse of the centre (Yeats yet again) is the failure of neoliberalism, the idea that a succession of elitist, metropolitan administrations have promoted the cause of globalised capital at the expense of local jobs and communities. Hence the rise of what we call nativism, embodied here by Ukip/Brexit and Donald Trump in the US. It’s hard to argue against this, in that so many people have been ignored, disenfranchised and impoverished. But that does not mean a race to the fringes is the answer: how can the solution to the excesses of one ideology be the excesses of another? Nativism and the anti-elite sentiment it carries is a chimera, since by trying to wreck internationalism and regulation, it unwittingly

facilitates the descent into oligarchy. The politicians riding this tiger will either train it to their own selfish ends or, worse, unleash a vengeful nationalism the likes of which we have not seen for 80 years. Theresa May has promised to occupy her version of the centre, and the near future will be determined by what the centre really means and how closely she aligns herself with the extremists in her own party. Consensus politics would seem to be discredited – but consensus politics also gave us 70 years of stability and, notwithstanding the recessions that are part of all economic models, 70 years of growth and prosperity. If you don’t believe me, please see the rest of the world. And though there are horrible weaknesses in our system, there need not be. Political will and the ability to bring about change does not rest solely with revolutions. Politics, from angry students to angry old biddies, is becoming ahistorical, as if today’s problems are somehow worse and more pressing than any problems have ever been. In the rush for easy answers, we are losing our sense of perspective and context. Our political culture is being pulled apart by the seductive call of purity and the chasm cannot be meaningfully filled by dinner party conversations. A committed belief in socialism or the free market need not exclude a belief in freedom and tolerance (though it often does); liberalism, which puts these ideas at the centre of everything, has undoubtedly been uncommitted. Liberalism should defend openness and free speech in all forms, however distasteful. It should support justice against reaction and dogma. It should defend international cooperation and regional prosperity without kowtowing to unregulated finance and business. It should fight inequality and intolerance wherever it finds it, not just where it is convenient or easy. The paradox of the current mood is that the more people feel they have a voice the less freedom of speech there is, because when freedom is exercised it is met by an army of repressive purists. There is too much speech and not enough freedom. To the rest of the lost souls out there, the last word falls to George Orwell, that other over-quoted writer, and one who made the exposure of ideological duplicity his life’s work. “I hate purity. I hate goodness. I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”


For these related stories, visit

Not Your Average BoJo (Guto Harri, December 2016) Trump-ageddon! (Mark Singer, November 2016) The Legacy Of Hope (Charlie Burton, October 2016)

what’s your greatest luxury? “my pit bull,” says deutch. a pit bull? “maybelle is the sweetest, most gentle dog i’ve ever had. she is so loyal.”


Photograph Max Abadian/Contour by Getty Images

bonus question!

star wars


soviet assassin




boozy coffee shops


the man in the high castle






FORCE OF NATURE Zoey Deutch is ready to mix it with Hollywood’s big beasts

Maternal instinct: Zoey Deutch’s mother played Michael J Fox’s fictional mother in 1985’s Back To The Future

YES, she’s starred opposite Robert De Niro’s Dick Kelly in Dirty Grandpa and – showing quite the range – Nicholas Hoult’s JD Salinger in Rebel In The Rye as Oona O’Neill, playwright Eugene’s daughter. Yes, her mother, Lea Thompson, appeared in the most Oedipal cinema scene this side of Psycho when she chatted up her son Marty McFly in Back To The Future. And yes, Bryan Cranston pranked her constantly on the set of the forthcoming Why Him? “He put popcorn in my Uggs,” recalls the 22-year-old. “And he told me the stunt co-ordinator wore an eye patch ’cos his wife shot him. Actually, that was true...” But the crucial thing to know about Zoey Deutch, according to her Instagram bio (an account with more than 567,000 followers), is that she “knows the difference between a manatee and a dugong”. Intriguing. So, what is it? “Mainly the tails. Manatees’ are paddlelike. Dugongs’ are more like a whale’s.” And manatees, she says, are inexplicably otherworldly. “When I see one I burst into tears.” GQ confesses that we assumed it was a veiled reference to the big beasts that lurk in the dark corners of Hollywood. Deutch laughs out loud. “You, my friend,” she declares, “are too intellectual for social media.” And with a swish of her stylish tail, she’s gone. John Naughton Why Him? is out on 30 December.




TALES OF EMPIRE The force is strong as legions of fan fiction join the Star Wars canon

ANYONE who’s heard of “Wookieepedia” will tell you that Star Wars in the post-internet age is less a film series, more a sprawling discourse – and one of its richest areas is fan fiction. Once a fringe pursuit, fans writing stories about characters in their favourite films or TV shows has exploded of late and become a major force driving popular culture. The dedicated directory Archive Of Our Own reveals that Star Wars stories have mushroomed from 532 riffing on 2005’s Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith to a staggering 17,244 related to 2015’s The Force Awakens. And in a sense, of course, Disney’s upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is itself a kind of fan fiction, albeit one with a budget of galactic proportions. So while Hollywood has its own ideas about what ought to happen next in the Star Wars universe, to be revealed when the film comes out on 16 December, these three top-ranked stories (in terms of reader-assigned “kudos points”) are what the internet thinks. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of hookups... Ailis Brennan




Armitage Hux loses his virginity to Orson Krennic The Force Awakens’ flame-haired functionary (Domnhall Gleeson) confesses to a crush on Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), the latest bad guy to wreak galactic havoc across the universe. If you forgive a skewed timeline, it seems the Death Star is a place where dreams really do come true...

Jyn Erso has serious daddy issues - and thus also gets it on with Krennic We know that our rebel heroine, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), has a fairly strained domestic situation, what with her father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), going dark-side. Solution? Passionate, lip-splitting, love-making with her father’s boss. Obviously.

Hux seduces Kylo Ren, and it’s all caught on holovid You’ll never hear Princess Leia say, “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” in the same way again. It turns out holovids can be used for purposes other than covert delivery of Rebellion secrets across the galaxy.

Extract: “‘I want you to be my first, sir.’ His voice is steady, Krennic will give him that, but he can see the boy’s hands shaking at his sides. Hux, that’s his name. Krennic knows his father, slightly. A good soldier, if somewhat lacking in initiative. Clearly, his son doesn’t suffer the same affliction.” From “History Lover” by Gigi Sinclair Kudos rating: 215

Extract: “Now, here with this man, with her father a few corridors away, Jyn feels almost entirely savage again, wanting to f*** instead of fight, wanting to take power from this man. And the way she does it is to spread her legs, letting his gloved hand slide along her thigh, sleek soft leather against warm skin.”

Extract: “What had come over him to bend to the director like this? Was his need for praise truly that great? Was this man’s hold over him truly that strong? Suddenly the holovid kicked on again and Hux found himself staring at a hologram version of himself naked, pinning the wrists of a larger man he faced against the wall.”

From “A Secret Mauled And Mangled” by Ennaih (Aquandrian) Kudos rating: 75

From “The General And His Shadow” by White Rainbow Kudos rating: 70


Happy-snap your Instagram feed by following the ’grammers behind this month’s three funniest posts

PREDICTIONS The Simpsons has form in predicting the future, whether it’s Bengt Holmstrom’s Nobel Prize, Apple’s Siri assistant or, famously, a Donald Trump presidency. Ahead of the show’s first ever hour-long special in its 28-series history, a snapshot of four predictions that are yet to come true – for now.

Brain computer interfaces Episode: “Holidays Of Future Passed” (2011) In the show: Humans can read “b-mail” via their brains. In real life: In 2015, Washington University researchers showed that two people could communicate using brain link-ups.

Corporations take over education Episode: “FutureDrama” (2005) In the show: Yale University is owned by McDonald’s In real life: It’s getting closer. After all, there’s an Oxford professor of earth sciences sponsored by Shell.

America goes bust


@ J U ST I N M O O R H O U S E

@ S P LU R T

Episode: “Bart To The Future” (2000) In the show: The US is a bankrupt nation relying on foreign aid from Europe and China. In real life: The US has an almighty $19 trillion of national debt. But, hey, the United States has a very high credit rating and, according to economists, can always print money. What could possibly go wrong?


Somebody up there likes me: David Bowie in Brooklyn, 2013



Photographs Alamy; Jimmy King; LMK Media

A documentary shines a new light on the last years of David Bowie’s life

IN the late Seventies, David Bowie went to see a psychic, who told him he would die aged either 69 or 70. Bowie believed it. On 10 January 2016, he passed away just after his 69th birthday following a long battle with cancer – days earlier he had released his completely unannounced and final album, H, a record now widely considered to be a carefully timed and poignant farewell. “He wrote his own obituary. Brilliantly, he saw his whole life as an artwork,” says Francis Whately, director of the upcoming BBC documentary, David Bowie: The Last Five Years, a follow up to 2013’s acclaimed Bowie: Five Years. The programme will air on the first anniversary of the musician’s death. Bowie was preoccupied with mortality. According to his music video director Julien Temple, Bowie had talked about orchestrating his own death since the Eighties. The theme was often apparent in his work, too – in particular, the two albums The Next Day (2013) and, of course, H, which, along with Bowie’s musical, Lazarus, forms the focus of Whately’s film. “If you look at his music, it’s gloomy, it’s existential, there’s very little jollity,” says Whately. “So in a way his last two albums reflect his entire career.” Whately uses these albums as springboards from which to dive further into Bowie’s past, unearthing the inspirations and stories that led to their creation. Yet the documentary will not be macabre. And, says Whately, it will steer clear of the sensational. “It’s strictly about

the artistry,” he says. ”It’s not edifying to know about Bowie’s personal life.” To this end there will be no interviews with any members of Bowie’s family nor his wife, ex-wife, exgirlfriends or his children – those questioned were all fellow musicians. Whately also promises rare, unseen archive footage and audio clips,

including the original, unheard vocal that Bowie recorded for Lazarus, the last thing he made before his death. “There will be some real holy grail material for the fans,” says Whately. “Material they didn’t even know existed.” Eleanor Halls David Bowie: The Last Five Years will air on BBC Two on 10 January 2017.

gq intel francis whately struck up a friendship with bowie after brazenly requesting that the musician provide narration for a film on sculpture. amazingly, bowie called whately within seconds of receiving his fax, and agreed.

bring your ’a’ game




no 25


Photographer and master chiaroscurist Peter Gowland steps into the spotlight

SLEEP THROUGH A NIGHT FLIGHT GQ writers are an itinerant bunch. Here’s our tips...

PETER Gowland was never much good as an actor. But all the time he spent as an extra roaming Hollywood film sets in the Forties gave him something else: an understanding of light. Gowland, who died in 2010, became a photographer, specialising in the female form, and created compositions with an interplay of texture and shade that set him apart from his contemporaries. The results appeared on more than 1,000 magazine covers and transformed erotic imagery – until then largely pinup images that had found favour with American soldiers in the Second World War. The first full retrospective of his output, Peter Gowland’s Girls (Kehrer Verlag, £35), pays homage to his craft. It’s long overdue. EH Out now.

1 Opt to fly on a Boeing 787 if possible. It uses higher air pressure to boost the levels of oxygen in your bloodstream, improving comfort.

GQ INTEL portrait photographer annie leibovitz was one of the first to buy the twin-lens gowlandflex camera, one of many inventions gowland devised, built and sold in his own garage.

2 2 Organise a busy day before the flight to tire yourself out – don’t spend it by the pool.

3 On the plane, set your watch to the arrival time zone. Not only will that help minimise jet lag, but it will also focus your mind on the need to get some rest.

4 Resist the film selection; the screen’s blue light will make your brain feel awake. Instead, read a book and drink two glasses of red wine and consider a mild, over-the-counter sedative.

Gowland believed his subjects’ costumes and coiffures should always remain as simple as possible, so that his pictures didn’t become dated. Indeed, the date of this photograph of Californian model Jo Ann Aehle remains unknown and is difficult to guess.


5 Use sleep mask and ear plugs – they’re provided for a reason. Use a travel pillow, but rotate it to the front for a nod-free flight. See you on the other side. CB

BEFORE you make your next big tech splurge, consider this: what if you bought stock in the manufacturer instead? Here’s how much cash you would have now, had you invested on release day.* CB


2 . B R IG IT TE BAU M ( 1 95 8) Most of Gowland’s images, including this shot of glamour model Brigitte Baum, were captured beside swimming pools or on sunny terraces and Malibu beaches, perpetuating the idea of California as a glorious, postwar idyll.


AMAZON KINDLE Released: 20 November 2007 Price: £147 Invested in Amazon instead? You’d now have: £3,215


TESLA MODEL S Released: 22 June 2012 Price: £36,736 Invested in Tesla instead? You’d now have: £263,303

APPLE iPAD 16GB Released: 3 April 2010 Price: £329 Invested in Apple instead? You’d now have: £1,176

SONY PLAYSTATION Released: 9 September 1995 Price: £191 Invested in Sony instead? You’d now have: £237

*All data from, sourced in November 2016 Photographs Peter Gowland Illustrations Dave Hopkins

1 . J O AN N AE H LE




THE ADY EXPERIENCE How a hotshot singer from Lincolnshire caught the eye of LA’s big guns

Story Kevin Perry Photograph Ray Fiasco

gq intel Virtual reality’s killer app? Music!

an unexpected facet of the new wave of vr devices is how well they are suited to musical experiences. our tips: download thumper and harmonix music vr. you’re welcome. Strings theory: Soul singer Ady Suleiman credits Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix for inspiring him to pursue music

ADY Suleiman’s ascent to soul-singing stardom began entirely by accident. Growing up in Lincolnshire, he was introduced to Jimi Hendrix by his father, but the legend left him cold. “I just didn’t understand it,” admits the 24-year-old. That all changed when he went on a family holiday and took a Hendrix CD by mistake. “I’d put it back in the wrong case so it was all I had to listen to. ‘Little Wing’ made me get it. Suddenly the jigsaw made sense and I understood the emotion. After that I was obsessed.” What had he meant to take? “Big Willie Style by Will Smith.” Suleiman learned to play Hendrix on guitar, then began writing his own songs, influenced by the likes of Amy Winehouse and Bill Withers. After studying at Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts, he went from being a local hit to being in demand all over the world. “I went to LA and got invited to a session with Chance The Rapper,” he recalls. “But when I walked in nobody said hello. It was a bit awkward. Then I heard this tune, ‘Rememory’, and I thought the chorus sounded sick so I started singing under my breath. Everyone turned around like: ‘Yo! What the hell’s that? Get in the booth and sing that.’” Then Chance introduced himself, as did Frank Ocean; Suleiman found himself guesting on the album Surf. Suleiman has since released a song with Joey Bada$$, toured the UK and is about to release his debut album. We posit that listening to Big Willie Style may not have had quite the same impact. “Wait For You” is out now.





Is it a sculpture? A building? A staircase? The only thing that’s certain about Thomas Heatherwick’s Eiffel Tower for New York is that it’s controversial THIS isn’t Thomas Heatherwick’s first rodeo. The British designer behind the 2012 Olympic Torch, the new Routemaster bus and the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames knows how fearless design can divide opinion. So no wonder when he unveiled his plans for Vessel, a 150ft Escher-like creation with 2,400 steps, he called out some snarky comparisons before anyone else could have the pleasure: it resembled a rubbish bin, he said; it was inspired by a skip. Whatever your sentiment (Art News’ reviewer said it was “so ill-conceived that at first I thought it had to be a joke”), this centrepiece for the $25 billion Hudson Yards skyscraper development on the West Side is happening – and will be a significant addition to the Manhattan skyline when finished in 2018. Heatherwick’s hope is that it will fill with people delighting in its multitudinous perspectives on the city and runners repurposing it as a jungle gym. We suspect he will be vindicated. CB




Tory insiders believe Boris Johnson hopes to succeed Theresa May. BoJo is working hard to forge alliances, holding a series of drop-in photo sessions for “colleagues who would like a picture”. His star factor usually means selfies with voters, not fellow MPs!

Estimated cost of Heatherwick’s Vessel, billed by its developer as an Eiffel Tower for New York.

Rise and shine: Vessel opens in 2018

THE MOST GRIPPING OPENING TO ANY BOOK THIS MONTH... That scene in Ian Fleming’s final novel, The Man WIth The Golden Gun, where Bond attempts to spray M with cyanide was based on the real case of Bohdan Stashinsky, a KGB assassin with a secret cyanide weapon, who may still be alive today, as Serhii Plokhy’s new investigative book reveals. This excerpt from the start shows why it had us riveted: “The young man returned to his previous position behind the first turn of the stairs, out of sight of anyone entering. A few moments later he looked out and saw the man he was waiting for – the owner of the Opel Kapitan from Zeppelinstrasse [in Munich]. He was struggling to remove his key from the main door. The young man pantomimed tying his shoelace – he knew that the gesture looked unnatural but he wanted to avoid approaching the man while the entrance door was still open. The young man straightened up and resumed his movement towards the door. “It isn’t working?” he heard himself say. “Now it’s working,” responded the owner of the Opel Kapitan. The young man grasped the outside doorknob with his left hand. His right hand, in which he held a rolled up newspaper, came up, with one end pointing towards the man’s face. There was a soft pop. He saw the older man’s body moving backwards and to the side. He did not see it fall. He closed the entrance door behind him. On the street, he unrolled the newspaper and removed the eight-inch cylinder which had been concealed within. The gun went into his pocket. The mission was over. Stashinsky had finally done it.” The Man With The Poison Gun by Serhii Plokhy (One World, £18.99) is out on 8 December.

Tory Brexiteers are working to woo Ukip defectors. I hear Farage ally Nathan Gill has discussed jumping ship with Europe minister David Jones. Meanwhile, ex-Ukip leadership contender Steven Woolfe is considering an offer to be the Tory candidate in Chester in 2020. How do Corbynistas celebrate Christmas? Some of the Labour leader’s closest supporters are having a get-together at Hackney’s ultra-hipster Oslo bar for “a night of luxury communism”. Will they be joined by a kind and generous bearded old chap who likes to wear red?

Photograph Forbes Massie/Splash


Little is known about Britain’s new “first husband”, Philip May. Downing Street guard him closely, even refusing to confirm who makes his suits. I can, however, reveal his penchant for Hermès ties – he keeps a collection at Number Ten.


The Cloisters, Westminster Abbey

Christian Hodell and Donald McInnes

Camilla Kerslake THE


Scott Derrickson

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter


Photographs James Mason; Xposure

Zara Phythian, Alaa Safi and Katrina Durden

Scott Adkins and Lisa Adkins

Roxie Nafousi

Benedict Wong

Jim Chapman

Lou Dalton

Rachel McAdams

Sarah-Jane Crawford

THE launch party for one of the year’s standout films had to take place at a standout venue – and so it was that the cast of Doctor Strange, alongside guests of GQ and Marvel Studios, gathered in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the premiere. Though not even its gothic grandeur could upstage Mr Cumberbatch...

Mads Mikkelsen


Tilda Swinton

Patrick Moore Jones and Susanna-Marie Webb

Josh Quinton and Pam Hogg


Jonathan Daniel Pryce Alessio Martini and Chris Scott

Richard Biedul

Jo Butler Eric Underwood

Avenue restaurant

Rebecca Filmer and Amy Le Roux



Anna Davidson, Rob Partridge, Neil Thornton, Shannon Monteith, Charlotte Bakewell and Lucy Bond

Delara Nikkhah and Rachael Thomson Spencer Matthews Simon Tuplin and Jane McCorriston

Chris Good

Robin James

Photographs James Mason

Jack Guinness, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Eric Underwood, Jake Armstrong, Matthew Zorpas, Richard Biedul, Roger Frampton and Neil Moodie


Stephane Euzen

GUESTS arrived suitably trimmed, waxed and serum-ed for this year’s GQ Grooming Awards, held at London’s Avenue restaurant in association with Harvey Nichols. Jack Guinness proved a sharp-witted host and the expert judging panel, including the likes of Levison Wood, Matthew Zorpas and Roger Frampton, anointed the new must-haves for your grooming cabinet...

GQ Grooming Power Pack


Jack Guinness

Matthew Zorpas and Jessica Punter

Roger Frampton




COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON... We’ve had Brexit, we’ve had Trump, but the series of unfortunate events is not over yet. Next year comes with a whole host of new global affairs flashpoints IR




South China Sea

















South China Sea

What’s the deal? France will hold elections in April and May. Polls show that far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen could win.

What’s the deal? Russia’s increasingly aggressive role in Syria shows no signs of letting up, and the West is not pleased.

What’s the deal? Like France, Iran is another country with an election next year. Hassan Rouhani, who became president in 2013, has failed to deliver the prosperity he promised.

What’s the deal? Sultan Qaboos is the Arab world’s longest serving ruler, having been in power for 46 years. He has no brothers or children.

What’s the deal? America and China are tussling over the region. Beijing refused to recognise a decision from The Hague rejecting its claim.

The worst case scenario: There have been recent concerns over the 76-year-old’s health. If he were to die, a pro-Iranian leader could plunge the region into instability.

The worst case scenario: China wants to continue taking over islands for military bases and has warned the US to back off. Could this go beyond sabre rattling? CB

The worst case scenario: She has promised a referendum on Frexit. This could prompt the collapse of the Eurozone and energise other populist movements around Europe.


BAND Do something different this month; tune into these new sounds...

How it might escalate: The UK and Germany have already threatened Russia with sanctions; Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus has warned it could lead to WW3.


The worst case scenario: Rouhani agreed the Iran nuclear deal. Without him, this framework for curtailing the country’s nuclear potential could be scrapped.






















The My Morning Jacket singer from Kentucky was born with the gift of a golden voice but he has never sounded quite as cool as he does on this second solo album.

The London-based minimalist composer has crafted a masterpiece inspired by the effect that astronauts experience when gazing down at earth from above.

The debut solo album from the Rosie & The Goldbug frontwoman is indebted to Eighties synth-pop. The best thing to come out of Cornwall since Poldark.

An English eccentric who has set himself quite a constraint on this record: each song is doggedly built on a single chord. Yet he pulls it off. KP

Eternally Even is out now.

Overview Effect is out now.

Rosie Crow is out on 12 December.

The Rest Is Scenery is out on 9 December.

With Joe Goddard, Rundell is one half of The 2 Bears. Now he’s striking out on his own with a wry debut you can dance to. The Adventures Of Selfie Boy Pt 1 is out on 9 December.


HAINAN (China)



Jumper by Berluti, £840.





• ta bl




t he po w


Jumper by Blood Brother, £80.

LIKE Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography, a funnelneck is most easily described thus: “I know it when I see it.” That’s because they come in such a multitude of neck cuts, ranging from insouciant and drape-like to shorter, more controlled versions resembling a curtailed polo. The only common denominator is that they are emphatically not turtlenecks, the modish choice last year. We’re certainly pleased things have relaxed – this style won’t choke you or risk making your body look like a plinth for your head. Plus it teams swimmingly with that other current musthave, a slouchy coat. Relax into winter with one of these. CB


Photographs Getty Images; Jody Todd

Why your neck needs room to breathe



th e pow


s 1 i



Jumper by Hermès, £7,010.


Jumper by Burberry, £395. At

layer your funnelneck with a classic bomber or varsity jacket. the no-collar neck works well with chunky knitwear. suggested piece? oliver spencer’s bermondsey wool-blend bomber. £370.


gq intel

HERE’S a counterintuitive fact: few hotel kitchens can claim a Michelin star. Let us explain. The likes of Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester or Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, to name but two, are separate entities, manned by dedicated teams, housed within a larger premises. We’re talking about general-purpose kitchens that turn out food for room service and the bar as much as the main dining rooms. That’s what makes The Ritz’s shiny new star, recognising the extraordinary standards set by executive chef John Williams, such a coup. The dining room has long attracted old-world grandees and now enjoys a new stream of gastronauts eager to try Williams’ “Menu Surprise” for the first time: six perfectlytuned courses typically culminating in a spectacular tablesideprepped crêpes suzette. But that’s it for spoilers – close a deal, invite the client and discover it for yourself. CB


Jumper by Canali, £420.



WHO’S THE MAN? Best of both: Royal Exchange Grind is an Espresso Martini specialist


FROM BEANS TO BREW It’s weird that it’s taken until now: coffee houses throughout the capital have started serving alcohol in the evenings. These are our favourites...

Royal Exchange Grind

Bar Termini



Taylor St Baristas

Located inside a listed building, this is the most recent addition to the Grind family, the trailblazers of the coffee-by-day, cocktailbar-by-night trend. They roast their signature blend in Shoreditch and ship it over daily.

There’s a dynamic duo behind this place. Overseeing the coffee, Marco Arrigo, head of quality for Illy, who has likely trained more baristas than anyone else in London, while on cocktail duty it’s the bartender’s bartender, Tony Conigliaro.

Hear us out. Hot on the heels of Starbucks Reserve, Costa’s new concept store in Wandsworth has a “tipple menu” which includes beer, cider, wine and prosecco. And it’s open much later, naturally.

This Aussie-run café in Hammersmith transforms into a vibrant bar, selling wine, cocktails and Australian beer. People can’t stop raving about the coffee (made with Square Mile and Nude beans) – just look at Twitter.

At nightfall, the candles come out and customers can enjoy a selection of British craft beers, wines and, occasionally, cocktails courtesy of mixologists Facktory.

Daytime order: Ristretto – espresso with half the water (£2.20).

Daytime order: Bicerin – espresso and chocolate foamed milk (£3.50).

Daytime order: Roasted Hazelnut Latte (£2.55).

Daytime order: Dirty Chai Latte – chai tea with a shot of espresso (£2.70).

Night-time order: Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Earl Grey IPA (£5).

Night-time order: Grind Espresso Martini (£8.50).

Night-time order: Spritz Termini – gin, Aperol, rhubarb cordial, prosecco (£9.50).

Insider’s tip: Come 5:30pm, City folk flock to Grind so get there early if you want a seat. 34 Royal Exchange, Threadneedle Street, EC3.

Night-time order: Hoxton Cider (£4.50).

Night-time order: Negroni Sbagliato – a Negroni with prosecco instead of gin (£7).

Insider’s tip: Visit on a Monday and Arrigo will make your cup of joe.

Insider’s tip: This particular branch also offers an enhanced food menu that’s unlike any you’ve seen at Costa before, including antipasti sharing plates.

Insider’s tip: It’s not on the menu but they make a fine matcha lemonade.

7 Old Compton Street, W1.

328-334 Old York Road, SW1.

28 Fulham Palace Road, W6. @antipodelondon

Daytime order: Macchiato (£2.40).

Insider’s tip: No, you’re not lost. The premises are, in the words of the owners, “hidden down an alley, out the back and round the corner from Chancery Lane”. Kathleen Johnston 26 Southampton Buildings, WC2.

A slew of theories have emerged about series one of The Man In The High Castle, Amazon's gripping adaptation of Philip K Dick’s alt-history novel (nano-synopsis: the Axis powers win the Second World War). Ahead of series two, we assess some of the most prevalent...

Is Hitler ‘the man in the high castle’? The character does indeed live in a castle high in the Alps, but creator Frank Spotnitz has said in an interview that we didn't actually meet the figure in series one. Was Nobusuke Tagomi dreaming when he slipped into our ‘real’ timeline? Unlikely. The subversive film reels clearly show alternative timelines to the one in the show, so it makes sense that certain characters can access other realities. Is the so-called ‘Heisenberg device’ an atomic bomb? Yes, but possibly much more besides. There’s a much-repeated fan theory that a byproduct of the weapon will prove to be the ability to travel between different realities. If series two shows this to be the case, it will explain many of the puzzles in series one. CB The Man In The High Castle returns on Amazon Prime on 16 December.

Photographs @antipodelondon/Instagram; @tbchancerylane/Instagram


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astron. the world’s first gps solar watch. As Novak Djokovic travels the world, his Astron GPS Solar keeps him on time, adjusting automatically to his time zone at the touch of a button and using just the power of light. With dual-time display, Astron is simply the world’s finest GPS Solar watch.

For stockists call: 01628 770988 |




Photographs Apple; Getty Images; Solo Syndication; Xposure


In fact the term hadn’t been invented then, though its essence has always existed. It arose out of the Black Lives Matter movement, which surfaced following the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the ensuing acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman. #StayWoke accompanied social posts about police brutality, racism and the industrial prison complex, reminding us to look beyond face value and to question the status quo. Nearly five years after Martin’s death, “woke” is one of MTV’s top slang words for 2016 and the Urban Dictionary defines “wokeness” as being socially aware in relation specifically to social injustice. Matt McGorry, the one-legged guard in Orange Is The New Black, has a whole Buzzfeed article dedicated to his wokeness, with pictures of him reading The New Jim Crow with witty captions acknowledging his own white privilege. But what does it really mean to be woke in Britain today? I pose this question knowing that I haven’t marched for anything for a long time and knowing that my dinner party conversation is less topical than it once was, my politicising mostly relegated to social media. After the last general election something happened on Twitter. Thousands of Brits announced that – so incensed were they at the prospect of a Tory government – they were moving to Scotland. The comedian David Trent noticed what was going on. “I understood the idea,” he says, “but after seeing 20 of them in a row, I thought, of course you’re not f***ing moving.”

Apple’s water pistol emoji Rice milk


remember the day well, the trio of friends I was with, the crowd a mish-mash of tropes – the elderly, toddlers, teens, nuns, Hasidic jews, women in hijabs – that moved as an amoebic unit, lurching across London. On a cold, grey Saturday in February 2003, I lined up on the Embankment, ready to march to Hyde Park in protest of the Iraq War in one of the biggest day of protest the world had ever seen. Tony Blair had mobilised the troops so we mobilised ourselves. I was 15, and when I went out I borrowed my dad’s Nokia 3210. Its talents were texts, phone calls and Snake. Those days were a seminal moment in the history of communication. It was the crack of dawn of the digital age, before social media existed, before we felt the need to broadcast our breakfasts every day and post selfies of existences superior in their appearance to their reality. At my liberal north London grammar school it was normal and encouraged to be politically aware, to discourse on current affairs, to have opinions on social injustice, politics, classism and racism. We talked about these topics in the classroom and we talked about them in the Wetherspoons on Camden High Street over £1 bottles of WKD. I argued with my friends over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, our throats hoarse from smoking endless B&H Golds in the woods next to school, dodging the resident flasher. We had the privilege of a good education, and we were defiant, opinionated and hopeful. We were “woke”.

are you?

Tom Hiddleston’s “I Ɔ TS” vest National Museum Of African American History And Culture #soblessed

The Oscars Nigel Farage


As social awareness becomes a guiding principle of the digital age, Joanna Della-Ragione argues that for real change, we need to back the internet up

Sir Philip Green’s superyacht Brexit Donald Trump’s locker room talk

The sentiment was simultaneously an expression of anger and utter impotence. “I started thinking, if all those people did move, that would be incredible,” says Trent. So he created a new Twitter handle: @didyoumove. “I collated all the tweets and started replying to them, asking them if they had actually moved.” Twitter shut him down for trolling within half an hour. “It all started with Facebook,” says Trent. “[Posting] “Je suis Charlie”, or changing your picture to a rainbow in solidarity with gay marriage.” If being woke in the digital age is expressing an opinion on socials, what does that sentiment actually do? “I can’t believe all you dumb f***s are obsessed with Kim Kardashian’s ass when there are atrocities going on in Syria,” a Twitter hater rages, their “wokeness” expressed and their activism done in under 140 characters. Adam Curtis’ new film on BBC iPlayer, HyperNormalisation, is a must-watch. The notion of reality in the digital age, he says, has become so abstracted that we are essentially living in a fake world that makes real change impossible. “The algorithms on social media constantly look at the patterns of what you like and then feed you more of that,” he tells us. “So you enter into an echo chamber that constantly feeds you back to you. So again nothing changes – and you learn nothing new that would contradict how you feel.” If you’re a person in the public eye, like McGorry or Trent, the effect your expressed opinions via social media has on society may be activism enough. But to laymen like us, being woke involves more than just a hashtag. I’m not suggesting we come off social media – but it shouldn’t simply be a tool used for meaningless quibbles and self-righteous political banter. It has the power to mobilise bodies and pluck ideas from the digital ether and drop them onto the streets, Black Lives Matter, the Arab Spring and even the London riots are testament to that. Perhaps the question is not about how woke we are, but how woke we are willing to be. It brings to mind Edward R Murrow’s 1958 speech on the rise of TV: “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it’s nothing but wires and lights in a box.”


Andrew Urwin

From The Defenders to DesignSpace, GQ’s interiors expert and app custodian opens the door to his home comforts

This month: AARON CALLOW, Deputy Chief Sub-Editor, GQ CULTURE Artists: Dan Hillier (above); Joe Fenton On the bookshelf: The Milkweed Triptych by Ian Tregillis; Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan; The Expanse series by James SA Corey Music: Makthaverskan (below); Nicole Dollanganger; Sea Wolf Looking forward to: John Wick: Chapter 2; The Thorn Of Emberlain by Scott Lynch; Doors Of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss; Altered Carbon and The Defenders on Netflix Last show: NOFX at Brixton Academy TV: The Leftovers; Preacher; Westworld Boxsets: 1864; Show Me A Hero; The Jinx

HOME AND GEAR Phone: HTC 10 Smart tech: Hive Audio: H3 earphones by B&O Play (right) Watch: Connected by TAG Heuer (below) Cutlery: Salvia by Klong Coffee machine: Gaggia (pictured) Appliances: Smeg (below) Glassware: LSA (pictured) Bathroom: Victoria + Albert Kitchen: DesignSpace London (pictured) Bowl: Memento Mori by Erdem Akan at Nude Gadgets: Kindle Oasis; Google Chromecast Mugs: Richard Brendon Knives: Japanese Knife Company Cookware: Eva Solo Radiators: Bisque Sofa: G Plan Vintage

STYLE AND GROOMING Holdall: Sandqvist (below) Coat: Ted Baker (right) Trainers: Authentic by Vans Swimwear: Vilebrequin Skincare: L’Oréal Men Expert (below) Jacket: Baracuta (pictured) Jeans: Levi’s (pictured) Go-to T-shirt: Whistles (pictured) Shoes: Grenson (pictured) Barber: Ted’s Grooming Room (above) Socks: Uniqlo Belt: Ted Baker Shirts: Cos Suit: Reiss


Photographs Dan Hillier; Jody Todd; Ben Wright

STIMULATION View: From Glyder Fach, Snowdonia (below) To drink: Crystal Head Vodka (above) Bars: The London Gin Club, London W1; RedYellowBlue, London E20 App: NFL Game Pass To drive: Audi R8 Spyder (below) Subscriptions: Coffee by Rave; beer by Honest Brew; meat box by Field & Flower Podcast: Hardcore History Last holiday: Havana Next holiday: Nashville, Tennessee Shops: Amara; Forma House; Sonata Hi-Fi To stay: Albany, The Bahamas Diner: Red Dog Saloon, London W1 City: Bruges





The big reveal: The Trezor’s canopy lifts in place of conventional doors; (inset) Renault’s design director Laurens van den Acker (left) with Jason Barlow

Trezor sharp With groundbreaking design inside and out, Renault’s new electric concept gives GQ a glimpse of a beautifully autonomous future STORY BY

Jason Barlow Andy Morgan



rench car giant Renault was suffering creative stasis when new design director Laurens van den Acker was appointed in 2009. Reimagining the entire visual language for a car company is a Herculean task, but he managed it and the Trezor ushers in phase two. An advanced carbon-fibre chassis underpins its swooping bodywork, but the real kicker is the Trezor’s all-electric powertrain. Renault has been one of the prime movers in the groundbreaking Formula E race series since its inception in 2014, and the company is also Europe’s bestselling electric vehicle manufacturer. So the Trezor’s 260kW, 350hp motor is battle-hardened and because electric power units deliver all their torque from a standstill, it will rocket to 62mph in less than four seconds. The Trezor’s exterior channels some of the most influential car designs of all time: Jaguar’s XKSS and Pininfarina’s 1970 Modulo, among others. Its body is covered in tiny little hexagons that change form as they flow into the car’s curves. There are no A-pillars, so the screen wraps around in an uninterrupted flow, like the visor on a helmet. Yet wood is also a major structural element; there’s a naturally finished wooden frame under the vast bonnet that houses sumptuous leather luggage. The occupants access the cabin via a massive single-piece canopy, which hinges forward on flawlessly engineered struts. Inside, the analogue and digital face-off continues, and though the Trezor’s lipstick-red cabin has a reconfigurable OLED instrument panel, saddle leather and plump carpet are old-school luxury signifiers. “I think it’s a beautiful object,” Van den Acker says. “We’re a popular brand, and we need to make cars that are easy to like.” They need to make this.


Inside track: GQ gets a preview of the Trezor from Renault’s design director Laurens van den Acker in Paris

The Trezor is a statement of intent in the world of autonomous cars. Renault’s target is to make completely safe “hands-off/eyes-off” tech available for its mainstream vehicles. ENGINE 260kW electric motor, 350hp PERFORMANCE 0-62mph in under 4 secs CONTACT

NEED TO KNOW Handle with care (from left): The Trezor steering wheel can extend in width; the tyres are designed to optimise the clearance of surface water; the pedals and plush carpet



The hexagons on the exterior change form as they flow into the Trezor’s curves


+ Persol’s new Classics range, which reissues past silhouettes, is as much a celebration of motoring icon Steve McQueen as it is the company’s heritage. The flagship 714 model uses the same foldaway patterning McQueen wore in The Thomas Crown Affair and The Getaway but they’re brought up to date with an all-new Madreterra acetate and a selection of contemporary lens colours. £225. At David Clulow.

The line of beauty: Classic cars on show at Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille 2016

Photograph Jean Dheilly



RICHARD Mille’s relationship with Jean Todt goes back a long way. The master horologer renowned for his titanium timepieces supplied Todt and members of Scuderia Ferrari during the FIA president’s tenure in charge of Formula One’s most decorated team. And on the occasion of the third edition of Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille, the three-day convocation of aesthetes and automobile buffs held in the grounds of the historic chateau 30 miles north of Paris, the watchmaker honoured his friend’s 50 years’ service to motorsport by inviting him to join the judging of three categories: the Concours d’Elegance, recognising constructors and their vehicles; the Concours d’Etat, reserved for collectors of classic cars, and the Grand Prix des Clubs, represented by 800 historic vehicles from 40 different automobile clubs. The Richard Mille Best In Show was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B from the Thirties. The fourth edition of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille takes place over the weekend of 10 September 2017. Bill Prince




IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RAYMOND WEIL is proud to be supporting Swiss sailing team Realteam as its OfďŹ cial Timing Partner and to introduce a new freelancer able to support the crew in the most extreme sailing conditions. A nice little tip of the hat to Mr Raymond Weil who was a member of the Geneva Yacht Club. Join the discussion #RWRealteam

freelancer collection



For billionaires and British royals, Klosters is the resort where everything – skiing, cuisine, clubs and hotels – remains reassuringly low-key

Photographs Alamy; Tim Graham/Ronald Grant

Old school: The rustic style of Chesa Grischuna's restaurant

Ice views: Berghaus Alpenrösli restaurant; (bottom) the Gotschna mountains as seen from the restaurant’s terrace

AFTER Christmas, the hoteliers and restaurateurs of KLOSTERS brace themselves for the busiest period of the winter season. This hectic interlude has nothing to do with New Year’s Eve, the school holidays or the scheduling of a rowdy snowboarding jamboree on the mountain. The end of January is World Economic Forum time in Switzerland, where the most important people on the planet will be choosing the chocolate-box diplomacy of Klosters, just a short ski away from the concrete hotels and shopping centres of neighbouring Davos, for their convention base. The Luegisland chalet may host Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni... or Bono. Why do the big hitters, game-changers, politicians, money men, Euro-aristos and all-weather downhillers come to Klosters? Because the little Graubunden village does the low-key and discreetly well-appointed snow-and-security thing better than any other resort in the Alps. If it’s world-class shopping, après-ski sushi and party-like-a-Russian nightclubs you’re looking for in a winter sports destination, head for St Moritz or Courchevel. Klosters, meanwhile, is a fabulously snooty, super-civilised, immaculately run farming community that just happens to have world-class skiing at its doorstep. During a high season week you might just catch a glimpse of Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, the king of Sweden or Princes Charles walking the aisles at the local supermarket, but you won’t see a single franchised retail outlet anywhere. When in Klosters, your schedule is get up early, have a hearty breakfast, ski, ski, ski. Stop for a slab of cremeschnitte and a shot of schnapps. Ski a bit more. Dinner. Disco, maybe. Yes, Klosters might require a more vigorous, thigh-burning schedule than other resorts, but rest assured you are following in the tracks of writers, playboys, Hollywood legends, lotharios, divas and adventurers...

White magic: Skiing in Parsenn; (top) Klosters nestled at the foot of the Swiss Alps

During the Fifties Klosters was dubbed “Hollywood on the rocks” because its hills were alive with movie stars and their acolytes – Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Gene Kelly, Greta Garbo, Peter Sellers, Truman Capote and Audrey Hepburn – and they all stayed at the Chesa Grischuna, playing skittles in the Chesa’s bowling alley and dancing atop the piano in the ground-floor bar. Other than installing Wi-Fi, not much has changed in the hotel during the past 60 or so years. For the authentic, old-school Klosters experience ask for one of the older, more rustic rooms. Oh, and don’t be put off by the three-star rating. Klosters’ residents may be used to hosting some of the world’s richest and most powerful but they have put a ban on five-star “luxury” hotels. Klosters Parsenn ski area is 307 kilometres of groomed pistes. If you want a challenge try run No24: a cruise through the trees towards a lunch at Alte Schwendi restaurant ( Or zoom down the 12km long Parsenn Weissfluhjoch to the railway station at Küblis and have a rosti lunch at Kessler’s Kulm Hotel ( before heading back to base.

For dinner the Berghaus Alpenrösli restaurant (, located up on the edge of the village, offers spectacular views of the Gotschna mountains. Restaurant Höhwald (, situated in the neighbouring village of Monbiel, is a charming old farmhouse full of locals and Klosters regulars where the staff don traditional dirndl dresses. Don’t leave without sampling the spätzle with pear, cheese and roasted onions.

Happy feet: Casa Antica has a celebrity pedigree stretching back to the Seventies

Pretty much the only nightclub in town, Casa Antica ( is where Anjelica Huston and her model friend Marisa Berenson used to cut a rug after a day on the slopes during the Seventies. Prince Harry is also a regular. It’s cheesy but a lot of fun. Go on a Friday night and leave at dawn. Simon Mills BA flies to Zurich from £120 return. JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 63



Horizon special: The view of the Swiss Alps from Chalet Chouqui’s terrace; (inset) the home cinema room

Warm welcome (clockwise from above left): The dining table; the 15-metre indoor pool; the chalet’s sitting room

British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Geneva daily from £112 return. british


Chouqui in Verbier keeps its cool on the way to the summit of alpine luxury and adventure

VERBIER is having a “moment”: the young royals are rejecting family ties to Klosters and setting up camp in the new capital of cool. Well, that’s according to the gossip sites. What we can tell you is that, in Chalet Chouqui, it has a top-of-the-line lay-over that features something money – or shared genes – cannot buy: a business partnership that brings a high-altitude hospitality expert and a polar explorer together at a single resort. Ski Verbier Exclusive was founded by David Pearson and Tom Avery to manage 18 Verbier properties, including a Fiona Barratt-designed, shared-use chalet, No 14, topping out in Chalet Chouqui, the last word in Swiss alpine luxe. Built with firm entertaining credentials in mind, Chouqui sleeps 18 (serviced by 12 dedicated staff), and features two sitting rooms and nine bedrooms decorated with herringbone tweeds, faux fur throws, reclaimed wood and custom-made English furniture. As well as the usual down-timing technology (including an impressive wine cellar, a games room and state-of-the-art Sonos music system throughout) there’s a cinema, 15-metre indoor pool, hot tub and hammam. But where Chouqui really scores is in its dedication to the cause of alpine adventure: in addition to organising transfers, lift passes and ski equipment hire, Ski Verbier Exclusive will arrange private guiding, heli-skiing (and parapenting), ice karting and dog sledging. BP From £2,333 per person per week in January based on 18 people sharing and includes meals (breakfast, afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks and canapés and a four-course dinner), 24-hour in-resort chauffeur service and in-chalet ski equipment fitting. Chemin de la Bergerie 59, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland. 01608 674011.

this month on



READ ...our reviews of the latest video games, including Dishonoured 2 and Dead Rising 4



FOLLOW ...month two of the #GQGetsFit body transformations


...the best stories on the @BritishGQ Twitter account GQ After Hours, our selection of the world’s most beautiful women in a daily newsletter

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CATCH ...Facebook Live videos with Gerard Butler, Jenson Button and Brexit-blocker Gina Miller

Check out @britishgq on Snapchat to see behind the scenes of our global adventures










Merrily on high: Mac & Wild’s towering turkey burger


Feast food This year’s yuletide festivities are coming thick and fast, with burger and hotdog joints laying on alt-eat gifts that keep on giving E D I T E D BY



The finest festive fast food Mac & Wild 65 Great Titchfield Street, London W1. 020 7637 0510, The setup: The permanent base of street-food stalwart The Wild Game Co, the smart and Scottish Mac & Wild bangs the drum for modern British game and seafood. There’s also an excellent whisky list. Eat this: The Christmas menu (from £19.95 for two courses) includes a boozy trifle soaked in M&W’s own whisky cocktail. There’s also a turkey deluxe burger: buttermilk-fried turkey, brie, cranberry sauce, bacon and venison sausages (£12). It has a reputation to uphold – the signature veni-moo (venison and beef) burger (£10) has, deservedly, won several awards. Drink this: Blackwatch, the restaurant’s latest pre-bottled cocktail, is a whisky-based twist on the Espresso Martini (£11).

Bubbledogs 70 Charlotte Street, London W1. 020 7637 7770,

Chow hound: Sniff out the surf’n’turf (below) at Bubbledogs (right)

The setup: This tiny bar in Fitzrovia (hence exposed bricks, reclaimed wood, no reservations) boldly pairs loaded gourmet hot dogs with a great list of champagnes and sparkling wines. Eat this: December’s speciality ’dog is the surf’n’turf (£10) – and there’s not a turkey to be seen anywhere. This festive frankfurter is slathered with chopped Cornish lobster, dill-pickle chips and celery. And, really, who needs roast potatoes when you can order a side of crispy tater tots (£3.50) instead? Drink this: Look out for Bubbledogs’ own-label Colin-Guillaume Rosé Brut (£60), a wintry champagne selected especially for Christmas.

Bird in the hand: Grab a turkey deluxe burger (above) at Mac & Wild (left)

Dirty Bones The setup: A third branch of this low-lit, retro “dive and dog bar” opened this autumn in what is surely its spiritual home: a Grade-II listed building in Shoreditch. This ornate 18th-century pub was most recently the site of Les Trois Garçons. Eat this: Highlights from the vast Christmas menu include gooey mac baubles (fried taleggio and cheddar mac’n’cheese balls) and, of course, an aged-beef Christmas burger, with spiced red cabbage, kale holly, bread-sauce mayonnaise and gravy (from £24 for two courses). Drink that: A Mince Pie Bramble: Bombay Sapphire, lemon juice and, merrily, a brandy and port-infused mince-pie reduction (£8). Jennifer Bradly 68 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

Social spheres: Share some mac baubles at Dirty Bones (above)

Photographs Steve Ryan

1 Club Row, London E1. 020 7920 6434,


The Mariners Public House, Rock Come for the views, stay for the food at Nathan Outlaw’s latest ROCK has gone and got itself a bit of a reputation. Rick Stein mocks its conspicuous arriviste second-homers from across the Camel Estuary in Padstow, and with so many new-built, glass-fronted box houses it can seem distinctly un-Cornish (just like Rick Stein). Gordon Ramsay bought a £4.4 million mansion there, then enraged the locals with plans to knock it down and rebuild it. What it certainly does have is a pub with fine indigenous beer, flavour-packed food and a view that is almost impossible to beat. The Mariners is part of Nathan Outlaw’s empire (he has two restaurants in Port Isaac plus the Michelin-starred Outlaw’s at the Capital in London) and GQ got the best of this in pub form. The soft, richly flavoured venison with pickled red cabbage was one of many seasonal specials – including turbot, sole, lobster and mussels – that, as is often the case, exceeds the regular menu in terms of excitement and local provenance. The bar has a partnership with the local Sharp’s Brewery, and its range of subtle, beautifully balanced ales (which helpful staff are happy to pair with your meal) is worth exploring: the Atlantic pale ale, Spiced Red 2012 and the Single Brew Reserve are the standouts among more exotic flights of fancy. But however good the food and drink are, it’s tough to divert your gaze from what lies beyond your table. It really doesn’t matter who builds what in Rock behind the Mariners, in front will always be the sun setting gently over the sands. George Chesterton

Going overboard: Daily specials aplenty and (inset) ham hock terrine at The Mariners

OThe Mariners Public House, Rock, Cornwall PL27 6LD. 01208 863679,


A Kind Of Love Story

Book a table: Chef turned writer Tom Sellers

by Tom Sellers

IN many ways, a book by Tom Sellers was inevitable. After all, this is the chef whose first ventures were called Foreword and Preface, and whose literaryinspired Restaurant Story captured its guests’ imaginations. What nobody foresaw, however, was how Sellers’ first cookbook would upturn conventions. That said, given his predilection for originality, it should have been obvious. A Kind Of Love Story is a romance, right down to its gothic, rose-embossed binding, tracing one man’s passion from its childhood kernel to Michelinstarred maturity, which Sellers reached at 26. It contains no recipes in the traditional sense. Instead, Sellers lets the reader in on something much more intimate, interweaving diary-like vignettes with the science of his methods. With the touching tales behind his most memorable dishes adding warmth and authenticity, this is the work of a true storyteller for whom writing about food signals the start of a new and exciting chapter. Holly Bruce OA Kind Of Love Story by Tom Sellers (Orion, £35) is out now.


Margot In London’s bustling Covent Garden, GQ welcomes the arrival of a calming influence from Italy IF you live in London, Covent Garden isn’t so much a destination as a singularity: we’ll do anything to avoid being sucked into its tourist horizon. The arrival of new Italian restaurant Margot, however, could change that. Margot has one clear goal: to make you forget you’re in

Covent Garden; it’s all curved leather banquettes, antiquated staff uniforms and the kind of mood lighting often seen in horror movie flashbacks. Even the low net blinds are positioned to get a sense of the hustle and bustle without letting traffic or pedestrians peek in: disembodied orange taxi lights float by. If only all the food compared. The starters of Sicilian prawn carpaccio and stewed octopus were marvellous. And GQ’s shared pasta dish – linguine with white truffle shavings – was heaven. Chef Maurizio Morelli is known for his pasta and makes his own. It was cooked to perfection, smooth as silk, buttery and rich. It’s a shame that the mains let Margot down. The monkfish wrapped in pancetta with cannellini beans, black truffle and quail eggs was like a food fight in the mouth. Margot is at its best as an escape from the city – simple things done well. They just need to take the menu in the same direction. Stuart McGurk O45 Great Queen Street, London WC2. 020 3409 4777,


2015 Yarra Valley Syrah by Luke Lambert


House rules: Three members-only hot spots Nightclubs might be dying a death, but private members’ haunts are still big business, as these major new openings attest...

ALBERT’S Useful when... You want to hit the dance floor after dinner but Annabel’s feels too formal. What’s in a name? It’s named after Prince Albert, who established South Kensington as a cultural hub.

QUO VADIS Useful when... You want dinner away from prying eyes – the recently relaunched space now has a hyper-private 26-cover members’ restaurant.

DEVONSHIRE CLUB Useful when... You’re a Square Miler in need of a bolt hole for both work and play. What’s in a name? It’s conveniently located in Liverpool Street’s new Devonshire Square development.

The vibe inside... Debauchery.

The vibe inside... A better-behaved Groucho Club (they wish).

Your proposer is probably… A thirty-something Boujis alumnus.

Your proposer is probably… A Soho ad guy.

Who runs it? Carlo Carello, Piers Adam, Jake Parkinson-Smith and Fraser Carruthers.

Who runs it? The pair behind Barafina, Sam and Eddie Hart, joined by their brother James.

Who’s that over there? Roger Daltrey or perhaps Harry Styles (they hope).

Who’s that over there? It could be Keira Knightley.

Who’s that over there? Looks like club investor Lord Ashcroft. Maybe.

What’s my order? Jeremy Lee’s hake, crab and mussel broth.

What’s my order? The crispy duck salad, no question.

Most original feature… “The Soho Tapestry” by John Broadly, showing the locale. Well, the bits you’d want to see. £500 pa. 26 Dean Street, London W1. 020 7437 9585,

Most original feature… The internal Winter Garden with cigar terrace is a stand-out. Charlie Burton £2,400 pa, 4-5 Devonshire Square, London EC2. 020 3750 4545,

What’s my order? The madeat-your-table steak tartare. Most original feature: Photos by Parkinson-Smith’s grandfather, Norman Parkinson. £500 pa. 926 Old Brompton Road, London SW7. 020 7225 1899, 70 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

The vibe inside... A palatial 58,000 sq ft of art deco business chic. Your proposer is probably… A neobank CEO. Who runs it? Brian Clivaz, of Arts Club, Home House and 12 Hay Hill.

IT MAY be the time of year for traditions – but traditions, like rules, were made to be broken. Instead of a classic Bordeaux or Rhône, look towards the new young guard of Australian producers. Luke Lambert is heading the charge – his Yarra Valley Syrah may evoke the nuances of Hermitage or Côte-Rôtie, but it comes with a freshness typical of the new wave of winemaking. “Instead of the overly ripe style of Shiraz that made Australia famous, Luke is making wines we like to drink,” says Ben Henshaw at Indigo Wine. “By working with high quality fruit he is able to produce seriously elegant and age-worthy wines.” A few years in the cellar will bring out even more nuance, but the blackberry and pepper notes of the new 2015 vintage will taste stunning with roast meats right now. Just decant a few hours before drinking to make sure all the flavours are really flowing and, of course, to add just the right amount of tradition. Amy Matthews O£31. At Highbury Vintners.


Christchurch, Dorset




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The treehouses at Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen’s pool and spa

Time: One hour and 50 minutes

Drive: The station is ten minutes from the coast

From top: The Captain’s Club Marmalade Martini; the terrace at The Jetty; The Dining Room’s interior; Oysters at The Dining Room

With woodland on one side and the sea on the other, there are few rural havens that can compete with the area around Christchurch, nestled at the edge of the New Forest in Dorset. Head south for the comforts of country house hotels, pubs and restaurants – with sea views as standard.

cocktails in town, courtesy of head bartender, Tommo Quy, who’s competed in almost every cocktail competition under the sun. GQ recommends the Marmalade Martini, with homemade marmalade and crumbs of burnt toast, served with a side of toast (not burnt) and marmalade. (Probably one for marmalade fans.) Come dusk, you can’t beat the intimate yet lively ambience at (5) The Jetty (95 Mudeford. 01202 400950. The candlelit room, painted in dark blue, looks over the cove and at night offers a full view of the stars – which, incidentally, are usually visible so far from city luminescence. Try The Jetty’s very affordable tasting menu (£59.50), paired with wines for the most delicate truffle mushroom risotto and – the star of the show – the hot passion fruit soufflé. After an afternoon playing croquet, getting lost in the neighbouring woodland, or toasting yourself by the log fire in the bar – book in one hand, gin fizz in the other – head over to (6) The Dining Room at Chewton Glen, which has a deserved reputation as Christchurch one of the best Station restaurants in the New Forest area. Indulge in the cheese mousse and a juicy sirloin with blue cheese sauce, and then get a complimentary hotel buggy to tow you back to bed. Eleanor Halls




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CRUISING along the magnificent, winding road that slopes down to the five-star country house hotel (1) Chewton Glen (Christchurch Road. 01425 275341. chewtonglen. com), you get an inkling of what to expect there: total luxury. And the first impression doesn’t disappoint once you’ve checked into one of the hotel’s 12 treehouse rooms. The enormous, but cosy, suites-onstilts are completed by a large, outdoor hot tub, a proper fire, spa treatments on your balcony (try the golf ball massage) and a breakfast hamper delivered through a little hatch every morning at 7am. At lunchtime, you can hear (2) The Noisy Lobster (Avon Beach. 01425 272162. noisy before you even set foot on the beach – the queue is so long. But trust us, it’s worth the wait. Not only can you sit outside, staring out to sea, but the seafood (don’t you dare get the burger) is caught locally. The scallops were hands-down the best GQ have ever tasted, and the Noisy Platter for two (we got it for one) could have fed a very happy 5,000. Alternatively, head back to the (3) Pebble Beach restaurant (Marine Drive. 01425 627777., perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea. The tiger prawns are battered to perfection and the seabass is as fresh as the breeze. For an aperitif, (4) The Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa bar (Wick Lane. 01202 475111. offers some of the most adventurous


Platter at The Noisy Lobster; (right) seabass at Pebble Beach; (below) the Captain’s Club terrace

Train: London Waterloo to Christchurch from £55

Christchurch Bay


TASTE small bites


has been eating this month... Well lit: Sup a Virginia Woolf (right) in the club’s rarefied interior


The Bloomsbury Club THE NINTH

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not this literary cocktail bar that’s well-versed in the classics “ONE cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” wrote Virginia Woolf. However, were she to have spent an evening at the new Bloomsbury Club Bar at London’s Bloomsbury Hotel – inspired by the literary greats of the Twenties – perhaps she might have swapped “dined” for “drunk”. It would have been rude not to, frankly, given that the outdoor patio, The Dalloway Terrace, is named after one of her novels, and several of the cocktails after Woolf and her husband, Leonard. Truth be told, GQ preferred Leonard’s cocktail (Maker’s Mark, fresh ginger, orange bitters) to Virginia’s (No3 gin, lemon, raspberry shrub, Cocchi Americano, egg white).

The décor – polished wood, heavy curtains, dark green banquettes – recalls the opulence of the roaring Twenties. Cosy, intimate and plush, it’s the ultimate hideaway for a wintry night. Come summer, migrate to that heated terrace, sparkling with fairy lights and shielded from prying eyes by a huge wall on which films are projected weekly. Were Woolf to dine here, no doubt she would have tried every small plate going, as GQ did, including a cheese board, burrata, tuna tartare, truffle chips, squid, charcuterie board and mini chorizo burgers. On second thoughts, perhaps she wouldn’t have ordered quite so much... Eleanor Halls

Ex-Le Gavroche chef Jun Tanaka’s French/Mediterranean concept is simple yet superbly executed. STANDOUT DISH

Chargrilled Iberico pork, herb vinaigrette and piquillo peppers (£24)

22 Charlotte Street, London W1. 020 3019 0880.

O16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1. 020 7347 1221.


Cliveden House

Comfort zone: Cliveden’s inviting great hall; Scotch egg and salad (inset)

IT would be nice to believe that the choice of room you are given in a hotel reflects the type of character you are. For instance, on arrival at the sumptuous Cliveden House, I am shown to the Buckingham Suite. It is named after the second Duke of Buckingham who bought the Cliveden Estate in 1666 and was once described as: “Courteous, affable, generous, magnanimous... [but] an atheist, blasphemer, violent, cruel 72 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

and infamous for his licentiousness.” Shame I brought the children, really. In reality, every room at Cliveden could tell a fabulous story. From rakes and royalty, to film stars and political leaders, Cliveden welcomed them all and invited them to party like it was 1899. In such ornate surroundings, one could soirée, take tea, promenade around the grounds, then head back for the kind of clandestine trysts such a house seemed designed for – the pool, for example, was where John Profumo first clapped eyes on a topless Christine Keeler. Who could resist? These days Cliveden is owned by the National Trust, but it still has a magical quality that far exceeds the sum of its bricks and mortar parts – both the old and the refurbished variety. From the journey through the grounds, up the gravel drive and to the majestic house itself, it feels like the ultimate stately experience. Checking in confirms this. Wood panels and glorious portraits echo Cliveden’s rich history, but 21st-century service and essential mod cons have been added sensitively and subtly. All

credit goes to the Livingstone brothers (Ian and Richard), who are restoring Cliveden to a standard already achieved at sister property Chewton Glen. A good example is the Astor Grill, a converted stable block that now serves as a relaxed dining room. And if you are still hungry you can take afternoon tea on one of the restored vintage launches that cruise the Thames. Just save yourself for dinner at André Garrett: Cliveden’s Michelinstarred chef trained in Paris, ran Galvin At Windows and now shows off his culinary genius here. Dishes such as foie gras au torchon, roasted Anjou squab and longhorn beef with bone marrow leave you enraptured if exhausted. I didn’t even have the energy to smuggle a pair of serving maids, a stable boy, an opium pipe and a box of brandied otter snouts back to my suite for dessert. The Duke of Buckingham would have been most disappointed... PH ORooms from £396 per night. Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF. 01628 607177.

The Lanesborough’s dining room goes from strength to strength under multi-starred Eric Fréchon. STANDOUT DISH

Slow-cooked Scottish salmon with cabbage and lemon ginger butter (£35 for three-course menu)

Hyde Park Corner, London SW1. 020 7259 5599.

FRONTLINE CLUB Enlarged to include a mezzanine, the Frontline offers some of the best food in the capital. STANDOUT DISH

Lamb and root vegetable pie (£20)

13 Norfolk Place, London W2. 020 7479 8950.



Singer in Cat’s Eyes and garage-punk gang The Horrors, Faris Badwan riffs on vintage finds and joke-shop pranks




Polaroid camera

“I need a zip because I accumulate random objects such as cigarette bangers and miniature pens.” By Comme Des Garçons, £139. At

“A company’s finally remade the original Polaroid cameras, only more reliable. I’m trying to take a picture per day for a year.” By Impossible Project, £179.




“It’s a bit Stevie Nicks, but if I’m in a sterile hotel room on tour a candle really helps me write. These candles actually smell good.” By Diptyque, £42.

“This is vintage, bought in a shop in downtown Vancouver. I particularly like the fact it has a detachable sheepskin lining. I’m very ill-prepared for most occasions so that gives me flexibility.”

Belt “I usually wear vintage belts – this one is a vintage Gap belt that I found. I tend to go for women’s belts, as I feel they’re more inventive than men’s.” From £20.


Sunglasses Bag

“These are cool if you want something different. Plus, they make me think of bizarre late-Seventies punk bands such as The Screamers or The Vibrators.” By Linda Farrow x Dries Van Noten, £230.

“In my bag I carry my electric-shock pen. Recently, I asked my friend Freddie Cowan for his autograph. When he reached into my bag, he got a sharp jolt. He was so angry he threw the pen out the window.”

Jeans “I like jeans that stop at the ankle and I love drainpipes. My favourite jeans are Levi’s. I stick to wearing black because brown makes me look very ill, and I already have a tendency to look ill anyway.” £95.


Story Eleanor Halls Photographs Jody Todd

Suit “Charlie Casely-Hayford and I went to Central Saint Martins together. His tailoring is fantastic and his collections get better and better every year.” £605. WISH LIST

Shoes “I’m very suspicious of anyone who’s experimental with footwear. I prefer to stick to smart, classic and British styles.” By Sanders & Sanders, £310.

Bag “A good bag is essential and although I carry my doctor’s bag everywhere, I need something bigger if I’m going away for a few days. Forbes & Lewis are great for leather accessories.” £290.


For those not satisfied with bronze, silver or gold. The new Cayenne Platinum Edition. Go beyond the podium. With specification including 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels, Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), BOSE® Surround Sound System, online navigation, Connect Plus, sports seats with centres in Alcantara® and much more besides. A car designed to win hearts – and engineered to conquer the road. The Cayenne Platinum Edition from £55,134 (RRP incl. VAT).

Discover more at

Official fuel economy figures for the Cayenne Diesel Platinum Edition in mpg (l/100km): urban 36.2 - 37.2 (7.8 – 7.6), extra urban 45.5 – 47.1 (6.2 – 6.0), combined 41.5 – 42.8 (6.8 – 6.6). CO2 emissions: 179 – 173 g/km. The mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated tests, are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience.


Shelves by Oliver Bonas, £240.

2 Sideboard by Diesel Moroso, £1,176. 3 Mirror by Urban Outfitters, £40. 4 Carafe by Cos x Hay, £39. 5 Bottle by Armani Casa, £405. 6 Chair by Cos x Hay, £135. 7 Table lamp by French Connection, £95. 8 Rug by Ted Baker, from £545.

High-street fashion is obviously no longer just for your wardrobe. With labels launching interiors lines, now you can dress your home as well as yourself

9 Side table by Cos x Hay, £350. 10 Tray by Cos x Hay, £250. 11 Glass case by H&M, £6.99.


12 Coffee table by Diesel Moroso, £624.


13 Vase by H&M, £14.99. 14 Mug by Cos x Hay, £25.




6 4 5





Set design Lisa Jahovic


8 12



A new chapter in the Christopher Ward story, the light-catching lines of the all-new case are inspired by English design. With a power reserve complication to our Swissmade in-house movement Calibre SH21, the C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve blends Swiss ingenuity with British elegance. Steel 40mm ÂŁ1550

Discover the new breed of watchmaker...


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Chopard celebrates the 20th anniversary of its manufacture collection L.U.C. umour has it that Karl Scheufele, a German watchmaker who had acquired the Swiss watch company Chopard in the early-Sixties, took some persuading when his son, Karl-Friedrich, proposed to take the brand to “full manufacture” status in the mid-Eighties. At the time, there might have been little need: competition for complications wasn’t huge, and a number of watch firms were happy to supply the necessary calibres. How times have


changed. Today, the ability to produce one’s own movements is considered the starting point for serious consideration as a watch brand, and L.U.C., the collection named for Chopard’s founder, Louis-Ulysse, is in the enviable position of hosting the vast majority of processes required to produce top-flight timepieces – from tool-making to case-finishing – at its factory in Fleurier. Since its debut in 1996, L.U.C. has gone on to produce most of the major complications

revered by collectors and connoisseurs. And to mark its 20th anniversary, it’s added two travel-friendly timepieces that use a modified version of its tried and tested 96T calibre, featuring an impressive 60-hour power reserve. There’s a world-time model available in steel, rose gold and platinum, but our favourite is the GMT One, available in steel or rose gold, and featuring a handsome bi-colour hour-ring as well as L.U.C.’s trademark dauphine hands. Mission accomplished. BP JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 79

Pussy hound*



person who is sexually aggressive towards women and whose sexual behaviour is regarded as abnormal and unacceptable; also signifies a man in heedless and head-long pursuit of sexual pleasure, unconstrained by social or political conventions | a dog of a celebrity used for hunting, especially one able to track by a scent | a despicable or contemptible man chasing after ‘pussy’ ie, women | verb. harass, persecute, or pursue pussy relentlessly | phrase. ‘he has a reputation as a pussy hound’ | synonym. deviant, degenerate, debauchee, perverted person, pervert, dirty old man, sicko, weirdo. poose-how’nd |

noun. a


Michael Wolff



When the mask slips: Jemima Khan attends the annual Unicef UK Halloween Ball dressed as Melania and Donald Trump, 13 October 2016

‘Reckless pursuit of women is the most damaging thing you can accuse a public person of’

Indeed, the very nature of ambition, the achievement of status and wealth, is that it helps in the quest for pussy (Trump, after all, is the owner of beauty contests). The point of success is not money (perhaps not even for Trump) but sex.


rump, for all the obvious reasons, now helps promote the new vigilante rage and fury against the pussy hound. But it is important to note that this figure, the otherwise respectable man in heedless and headlong pursuit of sexual pleasure, unconstrained by social conventions, is celebrated by literature and history and show business. In fact, the new view elevating sexual caution and equanimity disqualifies much of the literature written by men in the second half of the 20th century, a good part of its subject being uncontainable sexual desire. Philip Roth, in other words, should be in jail. If a real estate developer with orange hair gives the pussy hound an odour too horrible to consider with any tolerance, then shake it up and imagine the pussy hound – likely an even far more rapacious one – as an aging rock star. (Trump’s explanation that when he sees a woman he just has to kiss, kiss, kiss her is curiously reminiscent of Lou Christie’s Trumpgeneration hit “Lightnin’ Strikes” – “When I see lips begging to be kissed, I can’t stop... I can’t stop...”) Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a major male pop star or movie star who does not suggest some kind of sexual predation. (And then there is almost every current male comic, rapper and most male-orientated comedies setting pussy hound standards.) Curiously, the current interpretation of proper sexual manners – the hesitancy and equivocation of the new sexual social contract adopted by feminists, HR departments and in official statements of the left (and of course by parents everywhere) – is hardly new. Most sexual encounters are governed by shyness, awkwardness, the fear of rejection and general middle-class notions of ritual and propriety. It’s precisely this behaviour that so much of modern culture – or at least modern men – has been rebelling against. In the current view, this rebellion has been at the expense of women. Breaking the bounds of sexual propriety represents an aggression on the part of the pussy hound that becomes, in the new interpretation, a psychological and physical assault. The stolen kiss, without which hardly any fictional romance could proceed, is now an attack. Of course, there is the stolen kiss that is more subtly proffered, rather suggesting a qualitative difference between a pussy hound with fine radar (the movie version) and a more blundering example. (There is now the further problem

Photograph Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images

What makes a pussy hound? As a young man, it was clear to me, watching from afar, that what got you a lot of with sex was single-minded focus and indiscriminate pursuit. True sexual success – that is, to be undaunted by shame and rejection and to have any chance at a fair sampling of all the reported variations – involved a drive so determined, a chase so central that it could survive years of inevitable rebuffs, growing cultural opprobrium, not to mention loss of muscle tone, to yet persist and likely embarrass you well into advanced middle age. This may now be an imperilled character trait. The New York Times recently noted that in modern schools and workplaces the emphasis is on “empathy, impulse control and collaboration”. If the pussy hound was already feeling himself isolated and hunted – and, culturally, an odd man out in the age of gender fluidity – now he may be turning into something of an endangered species. Where once “pussy hound” might have suggested some joie de guerre, or a gourmand’s quest, or unflagging chutzpah, now it implies simple plain assault. Vulgarity is a form of violence. Heterosexuality is a form of vulgarity. Next to financial impropriety, being charged with a reckless pursuit of women is certainly the most damaging thing you can accuse a public person of. Unlike financial impropriety, which needs to be proven, a charge of sexual loutishness and aggressiveness in and of itself can finish you off. Does the man match the charge? To be the kind of man who would be accused of being so gross is guilt enough. You not only need to have impulse control, you need to appear to have it. You can’t give your enemies reason to accuse you. Even rumours can be deadly. Undressing a woman with your eyes is all but forcibly undressing a woman. There could hardly be a better case in point, of course, than Donald Trump. If you could pick your most classic offender, the kind of man who best represents that kind of man, well, you could not make Trump up. Trump, as much as he bitterly protested how it could possibly seem that he was worse than Bill Clinton, made Bill, one of history’s all-time pussy hounds, look positively courtly.

To his sudden and surprised detriment, Trump, of the braggart pussy hound persuasion, had long celebrated his own hound pride. Not just in the grab-them-by-the-pussy video that surfaced to metastasising effect during the last month of the long campaign, but in a series of interviews given over many years to the shock jock Howard Stern (whose 30-year métier has been a detailed fascination with and encouragement of what we would now call sexual assault), Trump explained his views about aggressive sexual pursuit and the nuances of his methodology (we would now call it pathology). In these interviews, Trump defined the characteristics of the overt, without-empathy hound – and, from the point of view of many women, he defined the figure of the new sexual enemy. For him, the pursuit is unrelenting. The need is constant – the need for sex, the need to pursue it. Pussy, pussy, pussy. And every woman has one. Don’t stop until...

MICHAEL WOLFF of the invited kiss that is later rescinded.) Still, as a practical matter, most pussy hounds plant a lot of unwanted kisses before they get an accepted one. (In marketing terms, this is called a response rate, which is often very low, therefore it’s necessary to make many offers). The pussy hound acts on the belief that hesitation means lost opportunities. The aggression here (Trump describes “moving on” his target, quite a leap even beyond the standard “making a move”) or the sense of entitlement that might allow a man to disregard ritual, propriety and the possibility of rejection, is part of the new power analysis. In this, men who are older, richer and more professionally advanced than the woman on whom they are moving have a bigger burden to justify their sense of an invitation. In some sense, if the disproportion is too great they may never be able to justify it. Power is an illegitimate factor in the equation. Using your inherent advantage is assault. (Trump’s pussygrabbing language was immediately described by many Democrats in quite some unison as a “textbook definition of assault”, ignoring the fact that language can’t constitute assault, and that there is no such textbook.) In the long history of the pussy hound, leverage was once thought to be held by women. Their power to withhold and deny could be countered only by manipulation, persistence and insistence just short of force. In the current reaction, however, sexual power is held by men, through their position, their wealth, their strength and is countered only by the spectre of public shaming. Indeed, if the former view was entwined with a new psychology emerging in the Fifties and Sixties that saw desire as compromised by social constraints, the latter is now part of a new analysis that sees power – a law unto itself – overwhelming those rules. In this, Bill Cosby, accused by a score of women of drugging and abusing them during the course of his career, may define the furthest spectrum of malevolence, but it is now a spectrum that all powerful men are on. Democrats bragged of turning Trump into Cosby in the last days of the campaign. In some sense the poor are not a part of this new view, rather this is a particular critique of

Sit-in protest: New York magazine’s 27 July 2015 cover, which shows 35 women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault; (below) a placard at a demonstration at Cosby’s performance at the Temple Buell Theatre, Colorado, 17 January 2016

‘Sexual assault is the ultimate metaphor for the ugliness and brutality of powerful men’

privilege. Assuming that a woman might find you attractive, assuming that you are entitled to pursue her, is born of prerogative and entitlement, which is born of wealth and position. Even if she might seem to find you attractive, even if she does find you attractive, that’s invalid or spurious because of your power. (See Trump saying he could grab any woman, that any woman would let herself be grabbed, because he was a celebrity.) In this new paradigm, the perpetrator – older and successful – is, rather by definition, unattractive. The unattractiveness is perhaps not a small point (arguably there are different rules if you are attractive; see the rock star case in point). The implicit assumption here is that nobody would want to have sex with such a person—with the rogues’ gallery here including Trump, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Roger Ailes, Silvio Berlusconi and Cosby – were it not for the coercive force of his power. The modern point is inequality. Sexual assault and harassment charges – to a degree even sexual interest – become the ultimate metaphor for the ugliness and brutality of powerful men, merging into the critique of the one per cent and everybody else’s sense of grievance and powerlessness.

t is possible, if unlikely, that the pussy hound will disappear in future generations. Perhaps already social media, and the algorithms that match desires, makes a pussy hound’s quest more efficient and his random stalkings unnecessary. But certainly the upper ranks of management, the professions, politics, the media and the arts – to name the playing fields of privilege – remain filled with heterosexual men, who, as we used to say, are only interested in one thing.

Photographs Alamy

You know them personally, by reputation and, in more and more instances, through intensive media coverage. Some have been exposed and ruined, others, through charm and PR luck and dexterity, survive, but always walking on a tight rope. There is likely a vast population of pussy hounds who spend a great deal of time and effort mollifying and placating those who might suddenly lower the boom on them (the people who hold the incriminating emails and texts). There are those who no doubt live in paralysing fear that the humiliating evidence against them will make its way into the public arena. There are those who can’t remember all the potential accusers in their past. And there are those who continue to believe their power will protect them. I would be curious to know how many, if any, have actually reformed, or, if hound-dom has just gone underground. After the Trump pussygate video surfaced, a rather constant question was about who in fact talked like this. The answer was, really, nobody, except rappers and comedians. But there is a special way men talk about this, a kind of acknowledgement that the climate is harsh and opposition futile, hence secrets must be kept. I certainly don’t know any man who thinks about this in the way that it appears women think about it or expect men to think about it. After Donald Trump there will certainly be fewer proud pussy hounds and possibly more impulse control. And yet, of course, the hound instinctively hunts.


For these related stories, visit

Michael Wolff Vs Millennials (December 2016) A Scandal Or A Coup? (Michael Wolff, November 2016) Trump Family Values (Michael Wolff, October 2016) JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 83


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Made in Britain

WHEN IT CAME to assembling a team capable of winning the world’s most challenging and prestigious sailing event, the one thing Sir Ben Ainslie didn’t have to worry about was organising an old-fashioned naval press gang. Having won medals at five consecutive Games, including four golds, the most successful Olympic sailor in history may have a fearsome nautical reputation for being the “most competitive man on the planet” (according to one of his rivals), but he didn’t need to strong-arm anyone to follow his star. The chance to be a part of the first British crew to win the America’s Cup is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Forget 1966 and all that... if Britain were to claim the “Auld Mug” this year, it would officially end 166 years of hurt, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of bringing the cup home? “As a youngster, I had two ambitions in life,” Ainslie says, sitting in his immaculate office in the sleek, carbon-neutral HQ his team occupy on the Camber in Portsmouth. “One was the Olympics and the other was winning the America’s Cup for Britain. So this is exactly where I want to be.” He is not alone. Having formed Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) in 2014, the 39-year-old set about raising £100 million in funding, identifying the senior executives to help him run the show and recruiting the very best crew for

From sea to shining sea: Land Rover BAR races Oracle Team USA in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series stage in New York, 7 May 2016



Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew are on the brink of making history as the first British

team to win the greatest prize in world sailing. GQ meets

the men on a mission to bring the America’s Cup home

Paul Henderson



Mark Lloyd

Photographs Lloyd Images


‘The America’s Cup is the last great sporting hurdle Britain has to cross’ JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 87

the task of sailing the most advanced yacht to ever hit the water. And he achieved all that, seemingly without breaking a sweat or losing the smile from his face. He did it, he says, by adhering to two principles: “The first one was that everyone who came on board, from individuals to partners and sponsors, had to be at the top of their field – we wanted the right people in the right roles and they had to deliver from day one.” And the second? “We had and still have a very strict ‘no dickheads’ policy.” Ainslie laughs, but it is a strategy that has served him well so far. From securing the financial backing of British businessman and sailing patriarch/enthusiast Sir Keith Mills and gaining the royal patronage of the Duchess of Cambridge, through to convincing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh to become CEO and establishing a vital partnership with title sponsor Land Rover, off the water Ainslie’s maritime master plan has so far run perfectly. In turn, that translated into serious success in this year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, a race programme that will go some way to deciding which of the entrants eventually challenges for the top trophy. At the moment, Ainslie’s team will head to Bermuda in early January as the most serious challenger to current Cup holders, Oracle Team USA. And that will be when the racing gets interesting, because the Americans hold all the aces. In Aussie skipper James “The Pitbull” Spithill they have a fierce competitor who remains the youngest helmsman ever to win the America’s Cup (at the age of 30, back in 2010). In team owner Larry Ellison, they have a businessman/ philanthropist that Forbes conservatively estimates is worth $49.9 billion (making him the seventh richest man in the world). And as the team defending the trophy, the rules dictate that Team Oracle set the terms of engagement. In other words, the scale of the challenge Ainslie and his outfit face could not be any harder if Team Oracle recruited a leviathan as its sixth man.


Unchartered waters: Land Rover BAR in New York, 7 May 2016; skipper Ben Ailsie; (below) the crew with Ainslie in Chicago, 12 June 2016

“The Americans are the favourites, no question,” says Ainslie. “They are the holders, so they’re already in the final. At the moment, they still negotiate the rules and the protocol for the final and they obviously play to their strengths, so they are going to be extremely tough to beat. That is why the Cup is so hard to win.” There is a pause as the magnitude of the challenge ahead hangs in the air. “But do I think it is winnable? Absolutely. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here doing this and putting all this effort in, believe me. We are in this to win it, end of story.” o understand why winning the America’s Cup is so important to the British, you have to go back to 1851 when Britannia still ruled the waves as the world’s undisputed maritime force. So confident were we in our naval superiority back then, that when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert hosted the Great Exhibition they invited the New York Yacht Club to send over a vessel that would represent American shipbuilding prowess and possibly compete with the might of the British fleet. It was a joke among high society that our former colonial cousins would be incapable of building anything on a par with British naval architects, but when the 101ft schooner America duly sailed across the Atlantic it received plenty of admiring and rather nervous glances. The loud-mouthed Yankee sailors also brought plenty in the way of braggadocio and bold tales of the ship’s speedy dexterity, with Commodore John Cox Stevens (part


of the syndicate that owned the boat) even going so far as to place advertisements in the papers challenging all comers with the offer of a £10,000 wager for the winner. Unsurprisingly, there were no takers, but in order to meet the challenge the Royal Yacht Squadron made their annual race around the Isle Of Wight an open event, with 15 ships invited to compete in a 53-mile race for what was then called the £100 Cup. With the monarch looking on from the Royal Yacht, rather than putting the upstart in her place, America eclipsed the almost entirely British fleet to race home a full eight minutes clear of her nearest rival. As the American schooner sailed proudly over the finish line, Queen Victoria famously turned to an aide and asked, “Who is second?” The response was embarrassingly short. “Your Majesty, there is no second.” And for 132 years, the United States continued to prove there was no such thing as second. Establishing the longest winning streak in sporting history, they defended the newly named America’s Cup 24 times. British sailors challenged and failed time and time again. Or, in the case of Sir Thomas Lipton, a five-time failure. Twenty times the British came to set the record straight and 20 times they came up short. Eventually, in 1983, an Australian team claimed the Cup and broke the American stranglehold, but if the British thought they were about to get their hands on the trophy they were sadly mistaken. The US won it back, then New Zealand took it home. Even the Swiss boat Alinghi was able to sail to victory, twice. The Swiss! No wonder Ainslie is so committed to leading a British team to success. But it is not just personal ambition that is driving him on. “If we can tick off the America’s Cup it will be one

AMERICA’S CUP of the biggest achievements in sport for this country and finally restore us as the greatest maritime nation,” he says.

he America’s Cup AC45 T2 in which Ainslie and his team race has been called the “most technologically advanced yacht ever built” and a “fighter jet on water”. Whitmarsh, however, describes these hydrofoiling catamarans as the “Formula One cars of sailing”. And he would know. Prior to joining Land Rover BAR, he spent ten years at British Aerospace, then another 25 at McLaren, helping steer them to eight world championships. “After leaving McLaren, I needed a new challenge and this has everything,” Whitmarsh says. “There’s technology, competitive racing, passionate people and there is a real chance to make history. Within minutes of talking to Ben I knew I wanted to do it.” With Whitmarsh involved, technical advances came quickly. F1 engineers Adrian Newey (from Red Bull Racing) and Richard Hopkirk (another former McLaren man), plus chief technology officer Andy Claughton, were vital in developing a boat capable of competing with the likes of Team Oracle, Emirates Team New Zealand and Sweden’s Artemis Racing. Whitmarsh admits that for a while BAR were playing catch-up with their rivals, but thanks to the backing of title sponsors Land Rover, the influence of the British marque’s research department and an aggressive self-imposed development programme, the team are at a point where their boat is on a par with the opposition. “This has become such a technical sport that really our mission is to give Ben and his team the best tools possible, to make him the fastest boat we can,” says Whitmarsh. “But it wouldn’t make any difference at all if we didn’t have the best sailors and in Ben and his team I believe we do. Ben is pretty unusual in that although he has that absolute desire to win, he exhibits it in an understated way. He has a humility about him that makes him such an attractive personality. On the water, though, from what I’ve heard, he can be a little different...” Ainslie smiles at Whitmarsh’s description. “I think I used to be a lot more aggressive when

Photographs Lloyd Images; Rick Tomlinson/Land Rover BAR


‘The Americans are the favourites, but we are in this to win it’ it came to racing. Nowadays I am more comfortable on land and a little less abrasive on the water. I like to think I have matured with age.” However, despite turning 40 next year, a marriage to Sky Sports presenter Georgie Thompson in 2015 and becoming a father (to a daughter, Bellatrix) this year, no one – least of all his rivals or his crewmates – should think for a second that Ainslie is going soft. “I’m absolutely 100 per cent up for the battle ahead,” he says with a steely resolve. “I am as motivated and excited by this challenge as anything I have ever done in sailing. These boats are amazing... They give you a real buzz when you race them at full throttle. When you start to foil at 40 to 50 miles an hour, there is nothing quite like it. Plus, as far as a midlife crisis goes, this beats buying a sports car.”

he only way to really understand what Ainslie means is to sail with him, and I got my chance on the New York leg of the Louis Vuitton Cup last year. It would be tempting at this stage to point out that Ainslie must have decided to relax his “no dickheads” rule, but as I was warming the seat up for actors Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones) and Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) maybe I was being a little hard on myself. To accommodate the race, organisers had to set the course between Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan and the Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City. In other words, what little wind was blowing across the Hudson was frustratingly blocked by a collection of skyscrapers. As Ainslie himself described it, this is “the last place on earth you would want a race course”. Throw in grey skies and rain, and you have near perfect non-sailing conditions.


Onboard, however, was an entirely different experience. Having clumsily navigated across the netting and through the various ropes and pulleys that link the 71ft mast, jib sail and rudder to the winches, guide lines and daggerboards, as “sixth man” I was deposited out of harm’s way at the stern, on what can only be described as a deeply uncomfortable hammock. Then Ainslie and his four-man team went to work. Wringing every ounce of speed from the inconsistent wind, the grinder (David “Freddie” Carr), trimmer (Nick Hutton), wing trimmer (Paul Campbell-James), bowman (Ed Powys) and skipper (Ainslie) were a blur of energy, movement and balletic balance. With just a netted deck stretched between the twin carbon fibre hulls, the crew parkoured from one side to the other like trapeze artists performing limbo routines. It was fascinating to watch, but felt like a lot of hard work for not a lot of speed. And then Ainslie found wind. In a heartbeat, the crew responded and within seconds the 1,300kg boat hit close to 30 knots and one of the L-shaped foils deployed, raising the hulls into the air so that it felt like she was flying. It lasted only for ten seconds, but it was an exhilarating and intoxicating feeling. In terms of points, though, New York would mark the low-point for Land Rover BAR. A succession of subsequent wins and high placings in Chicago, Portsmouth and Toulon has taken Ainslie and team to the top of the challenger leader board. A result that could be vital once the America’s Cup moves on to Bermuda in the new year. Over the next six months teams will fall by the wayside until the final race for the Auld Mug takes place in June, when hopefully Britain can once again establish itself as the ruler of the waves. Ainslie, as you’d expect, has no doubts that this time is his time... “Winning the America’s Cup is the last great sporting hurdle we have to cross,” he says. “Having not won it has become part of our British maritime history and my team is aiming to right that wrong. Had I been involved in that first race in 1851, I would have been furious. The British were absolutely trounced. But believe me, in 2017 we will make amends.”

FORGET POPEYE... THESE SAILOR MEN DON’T NEED SPINACH It takes a special kind of sailor to race an America’s Cup class boat. How do you compare to the vital statistics of the Team BAR crew?

3 The number of times faster than the wind the boat can travel



The number of hours training per week, not including time spent sailing

The age range of the squad

35 The amount of water in litres consumed by each sailor in the course of one week




The average heart rate of a sailor recorded during a typical race lasting 25 minutes

The average weight of the crew. The combined weight for the five sailors is 437.5kg

The average weight sailors lift each week

184bpm Maximum heart rate recorded in a race

35,000 The calories expended in training each week

1560 watts Maximum power recorded on an arm grinder during training


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Photograph Rory Payne



THE MOST WANTED: From Robert Redford to Ryan O’Neal, the most stylish men of the Seventies all had one thing in common: a love of shearling jackets. And with the decade back in a big way this season it’s time to get one in your wardrobe. Take a look at Belstaff’s calf leather iteration, which puts that superb shearling front-and-centre for maximum effect. Coat by Belstaff, £2,995.


Come for the bags, stay for the night: Fendi’s flagship store in Rome; (below) Fendi Luxury Suites

Fendi, the Italian super-label with bags of sprezzatura, has never been so desirable

Backpack, £2,040. Clutch, £1,190. Trainers, £415. Both by Fendi.


Photographs Jody Todd


ometimes it seems a label can do no wrong. And right now that label is Fendi. Originally founded as a fur company in Rome in 1925, its distinctive double-F logo has always been a symbol of true luxury. Indeed, blame Fendi for the modern-day phenomenon of the “It bag” after it launched the insanely popular Baguette back in 1997. Despite such successes, however, it has always felt a little, well, rarefied. Until now. Over the past year or so it has turned the humble backpack into a fashion icon thanks to its ubiquitous Bug design – a cartoon-style pair of monster eyes – that has since been translated into everything from wallets to key rings. Its men’s line has traditionally been tiny compared to the women’s, but under the watchful eye of Silvia Venturini Fendi – granddaughter of the founders – it has become arguably one of the most desirable men’s collections around. Expensive yes, but the cut and the quality are faultless. Although Fendi’s headquarters are now in the historic Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, an icon of Fascist architecture nicknamed the Square Colosseum, the label relaunched its famous flagship store on Rome’s Via Condotti in 2016. It’s now one of the most beautiful shopping experiences on the planet, stuffed with art and mid-century pieces that most collectors could only dream about. Upstairs, the third floor has been reinvented as the Fendi Luxury Suites, a miniscule boutique hotel. The first guest was Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld... and let’s just say he isn’t a man happy to bunk up in a Travelodge. It’s just the spot to stay on a Roman shopping trip – and you don’t even have to leave the building. RJ

Sartoria pursuits:

Dolce & Gabbana continues to shake up fashion week with its ‘Alta’ shows, as Dylan Jones reports from Naples hen Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana launched their first Alta Moda collection in Sicily in 2012, it was a relatively small affair, staged in front of 100 invited guests. Four years later and it has now become the jewel in the ever-sparkling crown of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion empire – and the brand’s glittering contribution to the current trend for disrupting the age-old fashion week calendar. This July, more than 300 guests were invited to Naples to watch two fashion shows (one for women, one for men), to dine, to party and to spend quality time with the guest of honour, Sophia Loren. And, yes, like the previous Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria events, it was actually quite extraordinary. In an environment that has seen fashion shows held in iconic


Italian destinations, including Venice, Capri and the picturesque town of Portofino, what could Dolce & Gabbana do this time to raise the bar a little higher? Well, for the men’s show on the Saturday night they fused two strong Italian themes, mixing a veneration of history with a deliberately unironic celebration of 20th-century glamour, in the shape of James Bond. Neapolitan 007, if you will. Or, in the words of Stefano Gabbana, “Salvatore Bond”. On the site of one of the city’s most-loved symbols, the Castel dell’Ovo, or Egg Castle, right in the harbour in Naples, the guests were treated to a cavalcade of models wearing beautiful eveningwear and each and every one of them looking like a James Bond body double. “When we saw the castle we just knew we had to have a James Bond theme, as the place looks so much like a Bond villain’s headquarters,” says Domenico Dolce. “The castle is a perfect venue for a fashion show. It represents the Dolce & Gabbana mix of anticipation and glamour.” As did the clothes themselves, obviously – because what is designer fashion if it isn’t all about anticipation and glamour? The name’s Bond, Salvatore Bond: Dolce & Gabbana showed its 2016 Alta Sartoria collection in Naples

Jacket, £100. Polo shirt, £60. Both by Farah.



Hopsack is a method of weaving fabric to give a “basket-weave” texture that is lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and comfortable. Back in the Seventies, Farah made its name with its original hopsack slack and is now launching a capsule Hopsack collection, expanded to includes a range of shirts, jackets and blazers. More proof that great style is timeless.

Skiing knitwear has gained a reputation as rather, well, Frosty The Snowman. The Sixties-inspired Merino sweaters by Longlanier, however, are far more cool than kitsch. Sleek, understated and fit for purpose, they are produced by the famous Welsh woollen firm Corgi so the quality is second-to-none. Don’t hit the piste without one.

Sweater by Longlanier, £550.


Tradition remains as important as ever for Holland & Holland, but now it’s gunning for modernity too, says Nick Foulkes.

HOLLAND & HOLLAND has had a revamp and I cannot quite decide whether it is a case of Downton Abbey coming to Dover Street Market or Dover Street coming to Downton. Until recently the long-established gunsmith was a bastion of country-coloured tweed, all russet and moss enlivened by the judicious pop here and there of a hummingbird-bright cashmere sweater. In short, the sort of gear that you would expect to see in an upscale gun shop. However, since the retirement of its last creative director, Chanel, owner of Holland & Holland, has decided to get a little more involved and nudge the apparel business in a different direction by asking supermodel Stella Tennant if she would be interested in designing something. She took on the task with help from her friend, former Vogue fashion editor Isabella Cawdor. I was curious to see what they would do; my concern about it going a bit too fashion was tempered by the fact that Cawdor has previously done some great work for gunsmith Purdey. Plus, she knows more about the shooting life than most in fashion: the Cawdor estate is one of Britain’s top commercial shoots. And before Tennant was being shot by Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber et al, she was beating and picking up birds at shoots on her family’s estate in the Scottish Borders. With shooting clothes, once you have bought the kit, you have it and the done thing is to wear it until it falls apart. Given that tweeds can outlive one, two or even three generations of wearers, Holland & Holland wanted to speed up the cycle a bit and broaden the appeal beyond the shooting world while still remaining true to the fact that it is a gunsmith with a factory on Harrow Road. The design of the store is certainly a departure from the clubbiness of old. The look is stripped-out loft with neutral grey walls, the odd jewel-like velvet armchair and some pretty far-out taxidermy. In the menswear department, items such as the black-and-white tweed plimsolls and the moleskin (actual moleskin, not the fabric) tabard that slips over the head and buttons at the sides could hold their own in a Tokyo concept store. But look beyond that and familiar tropes emerge, with much sourced from the British Isles. Some of the cashmeres are made by Barrie in Hawick; while tweeds are from Lovat Mills. Autumnal hues have been replaced by variations of black-and-white checks: one of which, the Shirt by Holland & Holland, £620. shepherd check, was the basis of the very first estate tweed in the 19th century; while the other is more of a Glenurquhart (also an historic design, picked by the Seafield estate in the 1840s) enlivened with a green overcheck. Tradition has never looked so cool.

Home on the range: Holland & Holland’s menswear department in Mayfair, London

Jacket by Calvin Klein, £455.

There will be blood: The classic leather biker jacket is a staple for the perfect masculine wardrobe but that doesn’t mean you aren’t spoilt for choice. The new Calvin Klein Jeans range offers this immaculate jacket with all the essential details and hardware but gives it a modern twist in oxblood. Perfect for layering – in cold weather twin with a T-shirt and a long coat for the ultimate urban rebel look.


Vest by Holland & Holland, £720.

braided leather bracelets started life as a way for the brand’s football-fanatic boss Diego Della Valle to subtly fly the colours of his favourite teams – Della Valle is the owner of ACF Fiorentina. Now they are just as much a fashion statement as they are for football fans so everyone can wear them with pride. Leather bracelet, £135.

‘His clothes have a futuristic utilitarian toughness’

Street star: Nasir Mazhar’s SS17 tracksuits pay homage to clubbing history


Luke Leitch

BEST OF BRITISH: An innovative designer who blends urban eccentricities and club classics with a punk sensibility, Nasir Mazhar is a Londoner going places. Just don’t try to box him in.


Photographs Andrew Meredith; Jody Todd

Photograph by Greg Funnell

asir Mazhar, arguably the most authentically “London” designer in London, is based beneath two railway arches down a Forest Gate alleyway in one of the last remaining ungentrified corners of the city. His neighbouring arches are populated by garage mechanics expertly restoring bashed-up bodywork. Alongside them Mazhar has created his own genre of menswear. The problem is what to call it. Look hard at the clothes on Mazhar’s London Fashion Week Men’s catwalk and you’ll see there’s a lot going on. The nipped waists and broad shoulders of his waistcoat-meets-utility vests echo Jacobean jerkins, Japanese armour and Fred Astaire tailoring. The ripcord that cinches

around some pieces carries the firm smack of bondage. The elongated profile of his signature Bully cap is reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien, while his pocket-peppered body-holsters and backpacks have a futuristic utilitarian toughness to them. Mazhar’s core garment, however, is the tracksuit. The first clothes his label ever produced were two tracksuits so Mazhar’s work is often categorised as “streetwear”, which he detests. “I feel like I need to go to therapy to find the right words to explain why I am into what I’m into.” Mazhar was born and raised in London by Turkish Cypriot parents. The boundaries of Mazhar’s incubation burst when he started a Vidal Sassoon apprenticeship at 16 and as an extension to hair he became interested in hats. An introduction to the fashion PR Mandi Lennard fast-forwarded everything and in 2008 he won Newgen sponsorship to show at London Fashion Week. Then came a double blow: the British Fashion Council warned him his business was “commercially unviable” and Lennard downsized her client list. Mazhar retreated, regrouped, and rather than making historical reference or fantasy his destination, he started using these as influences in designs that spoke to his truth as a clubber. And this August, a pared-down, priceddown 12-piece capsule collaboration with Topman (trackies, tees and sweats featuring his logo and jolts of colour and pattern) hinted at a wider appeal. Yet I can’t imagine a designer so defiantly committed to his scene ever selling out. Forced to deliver a single-phrase summation of Mazhar’s work it might be “alt-punk expressiveness for Rinse FM fetishists” but it’s still far too narrow. Because this is a designer with too many facets to be pasted into any category. As he says, “I’m into action films and being boysie as much as I’m into costume and historical wear.” So if you get it, get into it. Cap, £150. Backpack, £350. Both by Nasir Mazhar.

JIM CHAPMAN: From headgear to work-out wear, start  afresh this new year with style resolutions to refine and reawaken your wardrobe.


Items to banish from your wardrobe... ...If you’re embarking on a new year clothing purge

Top by Nike, £125.

T-shirt by Nike, £25.

Trainers by Nike, £100.

1. Deep V-neck T-shirts We know you’ve been putting in the hours at the gym (and that’s great, really) but not everyone wants to see your “he-vage”, and especially not at brunch. Swap for: A selection of soft and classic crew neck tees by Sunspel. From £60. 2. Square-toed shoes The Nineties might be trending right now, but those clunky, chisel-toed

shoes deserve to be left where you bought them, in the past. Swap for: An on-trend black round-toe lace-up with a chunky sole. 3. White belts Normally, GQ would advise that the colour of your shoes and belt need to match – but white trainers are the exception to that rule. Swap for: A belt that matches the colour of your trousers.

4. Lucky pants Show us a man who got lucky in his lucky pants, and we’ll show you a liar. Swap for: A new set of The White Briefs underwear. From £25. At 5. Novelty ties We know you got it for Christmas, but, as a general rule, these bring more joy to the gift-giver than your colleagues. Swap for: Something a grown-up would wear.

Photographs Jody Todd; @jimchapman/Instagram

A changed man: Jim Chapman’s style resolutions include streamlining his wardrobe and wearing more hats

hen the festive season ends, the time will come to settle into the cold, dark month of January. I think that’s why resolutions are so popular – it will be a new year and a fresh start, but giving yourself a few goals to focus on is also a decent way of making it through what is arguably the most depressing month in the calendar. With that in mind, I have come up with some wardrobe resolutions to help make it out of January in one piece. My first goal may seem a little incongruous as a style resolution, but hear me out: I want to have fewer clothes in my wardrobe. My friends and family are all kitted out thanks to my hand-me-downs and I feel that my collection now ticks all the boxes. I know that I can make pretty much any outfit from the options that I have and so I think it’s time to streamline. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity and I like to invest in my clothes. I look after what I have and I wear items for many years. But you can have too much of a good thing, and owning too many clothes to choose from can be counterproductive. But what stays and what goes? I shall have to be strict with myself and hand down anything that hasn’t been worn for a season or longer. After saying that, my second resolution seems rather hypocritical, because I do want to buy more clothes for my work-outs. I train up to six times a week and it’s a big part of my life, but I’m reluctant to invest in new gear, as I’m only going to sweat in it. However, on the rare occasion that I do get a new T-shirt or pair of shorts, I turn up to the gym with newfound gusto. Anyone who trains regularly can attest to the fact that your head has to be in the game to get the most out of your session and I genuinely feel that when I look right it has a big impact on my work-out. My final style resolution is to wear more hats. Hats and I have a somewhat rocky past; I’ve always liked the idea of wearing them, but as soon as it’s on my head, I become acutely aware of it and feel self-conscious. However, I popped into the St James’s hatter Lock & Co recently and had a good, long chat about the right kind of hat for me and came out with four, which I plan to wear all year round. Whatever your resolutions for 2017, be they style-based or not, I hope they help make your January a little more bearable.






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Shoes by Hugo Boss, £270.

Trainers by Adidas, £70. At Schuh.

I love classic sneakers such as Adidas Stan Smiths and original Nike Air Jordans. But how do I keep them box-fresh white? CB, via email



When wearing a formal shoe on a formal occasion, is there any etiquette on tying your laces in a single or double bow? I hate my laces coming undone but a double knot reminds me of being a kid and making sure I didn’t trip over during sports. Mark, via email

Ever since my very first Style Shrink column I have had a slightly unhealthy obsession with laces, born of the discovery that there are approximately 1,961,990,553,600 different ways to lace a shoe with six pairs of eyelets. So I can sympathise with this query. I have never worked out why the laces of some pairs of shoes always come undone, even if you change the laces, while on other pairs the problem never arises. Alas, I have to say that at a formal occasion I don’t think a double bow is really the way to go – there is something jarring about seeing a bulky knot on an otherwise beautiful pair of shoes. Of course, the simple answer is to wear loafers, but I suspect you might feel that this is rather dodging the issue. My trick is one I learned many years ago from Olga Berluti, a woman who knows more about shoes than I could ever hope to. With the Berluti knot you start the bow with the usual over-and-under procedure, and then repeat this one more time. This keeps the knot tight and tied for the whole day. I don’t know why but it works.

I have never owned desert boots before and am looking to buy a classic pair in a light cream colour. But I believe good footwear marks the gent, so would I be a cheapskate for not going for leather soles? David, via email

I love a question that you can answer straight away – in this case the answer is absolutely. I couldn’t agree more with David about shoes making the man. Show me one who doesn’t check out another man’s shoes and I will show you a liar (or, at best, someone you wouldn’t want to hang out with). But the truth is a desert boot should have a rubber sole. The classic rough suede and crepe-soled desert boot was popularised in the


Boots by Clarks, £95. Fifties by C & J Clark. Inspiration came from the footwear made in Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili bazaar during the Second World War for British Eighth Army officers. And they look as good today as they did when they were out pursuing Rommel. If a suede boot has a leather sole I would call it a chukka – supposedly named after the game of polo. For the original desert boot your best destination is still Clarks. However, I’d like to suggest an alternative. A few weeks ago Made In Chelsea’s Oliver Proudlock was in our office talking about his Serge DeNimes label and I couldn’t help admiring his footwear. He was sporting another Clarks design, the Wallabee, in a boot design in a rust vintage tone and they looked great. Just a thought.

Photographs Jody Todd


It seems to be all about shoes this month. And if I say so myself, I very neatly summed up the appeal of shoes when I appeared – with very unfortunate results – on Come Dine With Me a few years back (trust me, never try to serve Stilton soup). When the film crew were doing their customary trip around my house it was commented on the number of shoes I had in my bedroom. “Well, feet don’t get fat,” I retorted. When it comes to trainers I wholeheartedly agree that nothing beats the pleasure of beholding a pristine white shoe on your foot for the first time. To ensure this sensation lasts as long as possible pretreat the shoes with a stain and water repellent the minute they come out of the box. Any decent shoe shop should be able to provide a good product. When wearing, wipe off any stains or scuffs as soon as they appear to prevent the leather from staining – at a pinch you can use a soft cloth with a little vinegar. The true sneaker aesthete would ideally give the shoes a meticulous going over after every wear. Remember that one of the white shoe’s worst enemies is the sun, which over time can turn them yellow, so always store sneakers out of direct sunlight. And don’t forget the soles. These can be spot-cleaned with a small brush and soap and water. Purists claim that laces should only ever be handwashed but I don’t have a problem with chucking them in the machine – though I would suggest avoiding the tumble dryer. There are also specialist trainer cleaning products available and one brand that I recommend is the rather unfortunately named Crep Protect. From £8.

G Partnership

WELL HEELED Luxury Italian-made dress shoes from Ted Baker give your look a touch of La Dolce Vita Mottaa iridescent, £250. By Ted Baker.

SHOES say a lot about a man, especially the pair he wears with a suit. Fortunately for those of us who appreciate the finer things in life, Ted Baker’s new line of luxury footwear is just the thing to complete your look. They are seriously well-made, and in a world of instant gratification it’s nice to be reminded that the best things in life take time. The shoes are designed in London before being slowly and painstakingly handcrafted by Ted Baker’s Man in Milan, a collection of highly skilled artisans with years of experience working with the finest Italian leather. The result is a collection of shoes that are sharply good looking and unquestionably elegant – exactly what you want them to be saying about you.




1 Persim, £250. 2 Mottaa dark red, £250. 3 Mottaa iridescent, £250. 4 Jyanis, £250. All by Ted Baker.


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: For a classic statement choose a dress watch with Roman numerals.



Excellence Regulator by Louis Erard, £1,350. At

Lindbergh Hour Angle by Longines, £3,110.

C9 Moonphase by Christopher Ward, £1,295.

Classima 10214 by Baume & Mercier, £1,690.

Valiant by Hamilton, £470.

Jackson by Boss, £139.

Maestro by Raymond Weil, £875. Trainmaster Roman by The Ball Watch Co, £1,220. At

FOUR FIGURES Look carefully and you will notice that at four o’clock most watch brands use IIII rather than the correct form IV – and this has been true for centuries. This is called a “watchmaker’s four” and is to do with visual symmetry and to aid legibility when looking at the dial form different angles.


Cargo De Nuit by Prada, £195. At Selfridges.

MUCH OF the recent output from fragrance houses has been focused on a single hero ingredient, celebrating a rare tea, oud or orris root from a specific corner of Tuscany. So it’s refreshing that Olfactories, the expansive scent collection from Prada, based on ten collages imagined by Miuccia Prada herself, is a reflection of the designer’s diverse interests in the arts, culture and, of course, fashion. Abstract names, including Tainted Love and Un Chant D’Amour, allude to cinematic, theatrical and musical works from the latter half of the 20th century. Prince fans, for example, will appreciate wearing the irisladen Purple Rain. And each exclusive unisex scent devised by perfumer Daniela Andrier is delivered in a silk pouch printed with patterns that devotees will recognise from the Prada archive. While they’re not the outward focus, those high-quality ingredients are still there – Marienbad has the oud, Nue De Soleil the neroli, Day For Night the amber. And you won’t find this collection everywhere. In 2003, when the house launched Exclusive Scents, they were only available in selected Prada stores, and Olfactories will be similarly hard to stumble upon. Keep it to yourself... Olfactories eau de parfums by Prada, £195 for 100ml. At Selfridges.

Products to prepare your face for the cold weather... 1. The emollients in this moisturiser team up to create a weather barrier for your skin. Elemental Facial Barrier Cream by Aesop, £39.


Prada redefines the art of fragrance with a series of sensory collages, inspired by archive patterns, pop and, er, Prince.



2. Fend off the season’s chill with a deeply detoxifying facial wash, which uses extracts of natural charcoal to draw out the dirt and oils that clog up pores. Charcoal Face Wash by Clinique For Men, £18. 3. Dermalogica’s Climate Control Lip Treatment, formulated with an exclusive AntiOzonate Complex, prevents chapping and redness caused by the most extreme weather conditions, leaving lips feeling hydrated. CC £8.

The G Preview:January E D I T E D BY


Bringing you the very latest in fashion, grooming, watches, news and exclusive events


Jacket by J Crew, £248. 2 Shoes by JM Weston, £485. 3 Bag by Bottega Veneta, £1,480. 4 Jacket by Scotch & Soda, £215. 5 Titanium INOX watch by Victorinox, £459. 6 Jacket by Penfield, £65. 7 Lord George Eau de Parfum by Penhaligon’s, 75ml for £178. Rucksack by Calvin Klein Accessories, £160. 8 Joggers by New Look, £19.99. 9

We love Resort denim by Diesel Black Gold It’s time to start thinking about updating your wardrobe with some strong transitional items – and you really can’t go wrong with this denim jacket from Diesel Black Gold’s new Resort collection. Embroidered scorpions – coming from this season’s masculine desert storm-inspired theme – give the wardrobe staple a fresh new look. Without a doubt, this strong utilitarian item will see you through rain or shine. Jacket by Diesel Black Gold, £295.


Philipp Plein Spring/ Summer 2017

Jacket by Philipp Plein, £2,780.

Shorts by Philipp Plein, £3,350.

Pioneering Plein

Photograph Jody Todd Edited by Holly Roberts

The design king comes to London Located in the heart of the capital, Philipp Plein’s first London flagship store will open its doors this month. Never one to go unnoticed, Philipp Plein’s London offering is set to make a bold statement on the typically traditional New Bond Street in Mayfair. Developed over four floors, the store encapsulates all of the characteristics envisaged for his new concept – ensuring that the customer is fully immersed into the world of Plein. But the magic really is in the details, from the intricate black marble stairs and the chandeliers composed from hand-blown Murano glass to the oversized skull lavishly encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Known for his heavily embellished, bold designs, German designer Plein may be the new kid on the block, but with starstudded front rows and celebrity ambassadors such as Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown and Tinie Tempah, he has enjoyed unrivalled success since launching his first collection in 2004. The first collection to be sold in the new London store will be Spring/Summer 2017, influenced by basketball style and sees a mix of signature Plein items as well as some new and exciting trend-led pieces. Our top picks for the season? We’d suggest you go for one of the crystal-embellished sweatshirts as a bold statement or opt for this extravagant python detailed leather jacket as a strong investment piece. Philipp Plein, 98 New Bond Street, London W1.

Sweatshirt by Philipp Plein, £1,000.

Jacket by Philipp Plein, £1,115. Jacket by Philipp Plein, £500.

TECH NEWS WITH REAL IMPACT Ars Technica, founded in 1998, is the world’s most influential technology website and community, providing deep analysis and impartial reporting of the confluence of science, technology, policy, and the Internet.

Ars Technica UK builds upon these 17 years of experience, with high-quality journalism that spans the width and breadth of UK and Europe. “Ars comes up with insight that no one else has.” Sergey Brin, cofounder, Google


Photograph Mitch Payne Edited by Holly Roberts


We love BOSS Watches Looking for a watch to complement your work wardrobe? Then look no further than the latest drop from BOSS watches, the “Jackson”. With its modern and simplistic design, this timepiece boasts a navy crocodile embossed strap set on a copper coloured stainless steel case, creating a beautiful and contemporary take on a classic. Whether you team it with your workwear separates or your finest tailoring, it will be the ultimate finishing touch. Navy Jackson by BOSS Watches, £139. JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 111

Electoral collage: Retroactive II (1963) by Robert Rauschenberg A R TI S TI C LI C E N C E Rauschenberg’s personal life was as nonconformist as his work. Having married and had a child with fellow artist Susan Weil, he then met and fell in love with artist Cy Twombly and came out as gay.

FUTURE SHOCK Photograph Nathan Keay/MCA Chicago

Page 138

As Tate Modern opens its Robert Rauschenberg retrospective this month, GQ sets out the vision of an artist 60 years ahead of his time STORY BY Sophie

Music, Sport, Politics, Film, Books, Art and the best opinion for the month ahead...

Hastings JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 117


Behind the mask: David Bowie and Seasick Steve (inset), two very different myth-makers

From Bowie to Beyoncé, 2016’s best albums are more than the sum of their supposed backstory STORY BY

Dorian Lynskey

ne of 2016’s most curious music industry stories was the ballad of Seasick Steve. Biographer Matthew Wright discovered that the raggedy bluesman wasn’t, after all, a boxcar-ridin’, moonshine-sippin’ hobo but a veteran session musician called Steve Leach who found solo success late in life by spinning a yarn. The revelation changed not a note of Steve’s music but punctured the romantic, underdog narrative on which it rested. Does it matter? That’s up to each listener, but would you be able to hear Bruce Springsteen’s blue-collar dramas in quite the same way if he had revealed, in his recent memoir, that he was actually an Upper West Side real-estate scion called Bruce Von Springsteen III? Stories do matter. Any musicians who aspire to signify more than just a nice tune is interested in mythology to some degree and anyone who reads an interview or biography is intrigued by the events behind the songs. But the story of a record can be like the curator’s blurb next to a painting on a gallery wall. If you’re not careful, it can sweep away all of your possible responses to a piece of art and replace them with one imposed by someone else. Some of this year’s best albums ask the listener to separate, as TS Eliot said, “the man who suffers and the mind that creates”. For three days last January, David Bowie’s ★ was a late masterpiece from a living legend; then, suddenly, it was a chronicle of a death foretold. Fans dismantled every line with the tenacity of Bletchley Park codebreakers, determined to make them read like Bowie’s last words. But if it was that obvious and literal, surely every listener would have guessed he was dying? So it was an unfortunate irony that an artist famed for his love of masks and misdirection should be boxed into autobiography at the last minute: a butterfly pinned. I try to remember how mysterious and full of life ★ felt before its creator’s death – how, like all Bowie albums, it laughed in the face of one restrictive reading – and I try not to let that mystery go. Even ★ has been interpreted less narrowly than Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. That is partly Cave’s doing. The devastating documentary One More Time With Feeling framed the making of the album as a response to the accidental death of his 15-year-old son, Arthur. But even though the documentary is a meditation on creativity in the midst of unimaginable grief, the album is a different entity. The songs were recorded after the tragedy but mostly written beforehand, so it’s a stretch to read death into every line. It’s worth listening to Skeleton Tree at least once while imagining you know nothing about its context, remembering that Cave has always been a storyteller rather than a diarist and that the album’s concerns – lust, religion, artistry, apocalyptic travelogues, the big bad world – aren’t new even if the presentation is. Of course, Cave knows that we know the baneful fact at the heart of the record, but if 1997’s The Boatman’s Call was about much more than Cave’s split from PJ Harvey, then the stark, crumbling beauty of Skeleton Tree also deserves to have other dimensions. And Cave deserves to be heard as an imaginative artist, not

just a grieving father. It’s the depth of his art that makes the album truly compelling. Conversely, reactions to Beyoncé’s thorny blockbuster Lemonade are informed by what we don’t know, namely whether or not this song cycle about marital betrayal and forgiveness describes her and Jay Z. It may seem improbably mean for Beyoncé to let the world believe her husband had committed adultery if he hadn’t but she, like Cave and Bowie, granted no promotional interviews, so it’s up in the air. Until she talks, it remains Schrödinger’s heartbreak album: Jay Z did/didn’t betray her and Lemonade does/doesn’t describe the consequences. I find that one disputed fact far less interesting than the album’s imperial command of tones and genres, but the ambiguity is some achievement in an era when it seems superstars have no secrets left. On all three albums, the music is bigger than the story. It’s informed by events in the artist’s life but it’s not nailed down by them. Just as we know that Blood On The Tracks isn’t merely an account of Bob Dylan’s separation from his wife and that Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours goes beyond its backstory of infidelity and divorce, we should use autobiography as one of many possible windows into a record, rather than as a closing door. Consider the story behind another of my favourite 2016 albums. It took well over a decade to finish: a gruelling period marked by chronic illness, lost band members, financial desperation, existential crisis and terribly bad luck. “We lost our minds at various stages,” said one of them. Knowing all that, you might expect to hear a harrowing journey to hell and back. In fact, the band is the Avalanches and the album is Wildflower, an infinitely joyful psychedelic beach party of a record. It’s a fabulous example of music’s ability to transcend the circumstances of its creation. All you really need to know is what you can hear.

Autobiography should be a window, not a closing door


Photographs Getty Images; Jimmy King; Rex



Off the charts Dorian Lynskey picks his top ten recordings of the year



BAD BUSINESS AS USUAL The new chiefs of Fifa, Uefa and the IOC are as compromised and careerist as ever. That means, yet again, the fans will be the losers STORY BY


David Bowie

A multimedia coup but the music alone – vivid, commanding, exciting – makes it a 21st-century pop landmark.

An eleventh-hour creative rebirth which showed that Bowie still had many new places to go.



Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds SKELETON TREE

The Avalanches WILDFLOWER

A haunting investigation of love and death by a great songwriter going for the emotional jugular.

The long-awol Australians achieved the impossible: a record as joyful and eccentric as their debut.





Teen-pop sensations with art-pop aspirations. An album as long and peculiar as its title.

The 75-year-old’s bittersweet wit and musical curiosity are undimmed, making for a fresh and agile late-phase highlight.



Michael Kiwanuka LOVE & HATE


Rich, deep and full of sorrow, the Londoner’s second album is a modern soul classic where Curtis Mayfield meets Pink Floyd.

Anohni reinvents the protest song in a year with plenty to worry about. Electro-pop drama sweetens the we’re-all-doomed pill.





Britain’s fiercest rock band maintain their razor-like precision but expand their emotional range on their furiously uplifting second album.

Fatherhood, homesickness and Nirvana inform this moving album by a Nashville maverick.

Martin Samuel

hall. Visit Sonnenberg, the restaurant that On 1 October 1993, what would have been doubles as Fifa’s exclusive clubhouse, and Bill Hicks’ final performance on the Late Show witness the many generations at play together. With David Letterman was cut. Hicks, it was Infantino’s first action was to give the 2018 and said, had spoken dangerously of the sacred 2022 World Cups a clean bill of health, because cows of mainstream America – Christians, he is a career politician in the world of football the pro-life movement, Billy Ray Cyrus – and and, as such, hopelessly compromised. He it was too much. In a tense exchange with hitches lifts on the same Qatari or Russian producer Robert Morton, Hicks was told he’d private jets as his predecessors. It would be been consigned to the editing room floor and difficult to be as high up in football as Infantino asked to understand Letterman’s audience. was and not at least suspect corruption, or hear “This is a line I’d heard before and it always gossip worthy of further investigation. pisses me off,” Hicks recalled. “Your audiences? No shock then that, once in power, Infantino’s What, do you grow them on farms?” first plan amounts to the ruination of the World And maybe that’s it. Farms. Makes perfect Cup for political and commercial gain. Troubled sense. What could better explain the mealyby pressure from Africa and Asia for greater mouthed creeps, toadies, crooks and double representation, but too cosy with his buddies at dealers that always end up in charge of sport? Uefa to water down their influence, Somewhere, there’s a farm. Gianni he has come up with the idea of Infantino at Fifa, the IOC’s Thomas expanding the event to 40 or 48 Bach, Michel Platini, even new Uefa Who’s who at the teams. More entrants means more president Aleksander Ceferin, all top of the table money, the confederations all get a in a row like genetically modified taste and there are mucho votes for turnips, pumped full of chemicals the president at the next election. that allow their egos, expenses That, inevitably, the competition will and grandiose schemes to reach be weakened and cheapened, as the enormous size. Then dispatched to expanded European Championship the marketplace to sicken us all. was last summer, is the least of Take Sepp Blatter, a bald, white Infantino’s worries. He thought Euro man from Visp, Switzerland. He has Gianni Infantino 2016 was grand, too, despite a rash been replaced by Infantino, a bald FIFA PRESIDENT of dull, low-scoring games, and a rise white man born six miles from Visp, in mediocre, conservative football. Switzerland. Chalk and cheese really. Succeeding Infantino at That and the fact Blatter is currently Uefa, meanwhile, is Ceferin, who banned from all football activity. has followed a similar path by Infantino isn’t. No, it’s just his old immediately talking of taking the Uefa boss, Platini, who’s banned Champions League final outside the from all football activity. Infantino Thomas Bach continent. “I think it might be an idea merely worked with him for years. IOC PRESIDENT in future but we have to speak about Much like Olympic chief Thomas it,” he said. “To go from Portugal to Bach when confronted with a Azerbaijan, for example, is almost systemic state-sponsored Russian the same or the same as if you go doping programme in the months to New York. For the fans it’s no before the 2016 Games. He really problem, but we should see.” should have entered his own No problem? How would he gymnastics event the number of Aleksander Ceferin know? How would any of the farm somersaults he performed allowing UEFA PRESIDENT boys know about fan hardship? a rogue nation to compete. Even They arrive in limousines and leave in after athletics and the Paralympic them, too. When the final was played in Moscow movement took the lead with a blanket ban, still in 2008, nobody from Uefa was checking his Bach stood idle. His inertia summed up another watch or the public transport timetables as dismal period for leadership in sport. Wednesday moved into Thursday due to the This year was supposed to be different. unhelpful 10.45pm kick-off, extra time and Blatter had gone. Rio de Janeiro was the first penalties. And how convenient for Ceferin Olympics under Bach’s control. Ceferin was to pick extreme points such as Azerbaijan a new broom sweeping Uefa clean following and Portugal, when making New York – which Platini’s suspension. Yet what has changed? to many football fans would constitute an What ever really changes? The farm keeps impossible expense – seem a pop around the churning out its produce. All those rotten corner. Yes, Lisbon to Baku is a bit of a trek. vegetables for sale. But London to Munich isn’t – and that was the Visit the fields of Switzerland and it all biggest hike for many fans attending the final in becomes clear. Acre upon acre of protected 2012 and 2013. In May, fans from Spain travelled privilege. The reason the status quo abides, no to Milan. So let’s not pretend a transatlantic matter how many Fifa men are hauled from the journey would not exclude tens of thousands. luxury of the Baur au Lac hotel shielded from Maybe, like the administrators, they’ll grow the public eye with dirty linen, is because their the supporters on farms one day, too. successors were staying in the suite across the

Head count


e will be remembered for what he failed to deliver on 23 June, and if anything reflects a chink in David Cameron’s armour it was the EU Referendum. Of course, this chink is the same chink that made him want to be, and then eventually become, prime minister in the first place, that sense of Etonian arrogance/confidence that tells you anything is possible. But it was also the chink of complacency, the famous “chillax” orthodoxy that has tainted him since he was elected. When, back in the days he was still being driven around in a dodgy Prius, he was asked why he wanted to be PM, his answer was simple, emphatic, and very DC: “Because I


think I’d be good at it.” And before 23 June, I’d say he was. But a chink is a chink, and with regards to the EU vote, Cameron thought he had it covered. Until he started scaring the electorate with frankly unbelievable economic figures, he was a picture of complacency. I was at the Hay Festival in May and went to a dinner with one of the most public Remainers, Roland Rudd. That night I heard a phrase repeated twice that was one of the reasons that the country eventually voted Out: “The problems with these Brexiteers is that they’re just not educated.” Seriously? Isn’t that where Marie Antoinette


Brexit broke David Cameron’s reputation and brought his second term in office to a bitter end, but history may still judge him as a fine prime minister STORY BY

Dylan Jones

went wrong? But although it was an attitude fostered by Number Ten (essentially the British were offered a choice between control and compliance and they chose control), I nevertheless hope David Cameron is remembered as a good man. When he was still in opposition I spent a year with Cameron, working on a series of interviews which would go on to form the basis of a book that would allow him to espouse his political ideas. Some of my friends thought I was crazy to spend so much time with a lightweight Tory who was destined for oblivion and little else. However, I was convinced he was going to be prime minister and I was right. Dead right. Cameron convinced a large part of the country that it was time to move away from the Labour Party and that in itself is no small feat. Cameron and his old advisor Steve Hilton didn’t just attempt to detoxify the Conservatives, they succeeded, and the culture that swept Portcullis House when they were in opposition was developed from a genuine desire to improve the country. And that was What shall remain: David Cameron outside Number Ten, 21 June 2016

10 things that won’t happen in 2017 Britain won’t

1 leave the EU

Safest bet first: Britain will still be in the EU this time next year. Negotiations can only begin in the summer and might not end until 2019. Eighteen months after the referendum little will have actually changed. That said...

Brexit won’t

2 be overturned Don’t think we’ll be staying in after all. Nick Clegg and others will put up a good fight to obstruct it, but they won’t succeed. Even legal challenges to secure an MPs’ vote will delay rather than reverse.


There won’t be

3 an early election Downing Street has promised publicly and privately that it won’t happen. If Theresa May goes to the country in 2017, the next election will be in 2022 but, if she doesn’t, she’ll likely stay be PM until 2025.

Philip Hammond

4 or Liam Fox

Labour won’t

5 get rid of

The five main

6 party leaders

won’t stay in Cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn

won’t change

Brexit tensions will boil over, so keep an eye on rows between Hammond, May’s chancellor, and Fox, her Brexiteer. There can only be one winner, and the loser will leave their job.

If you thought in 2017 Labour would finally get rid of Jez, think again. The hard-left leader is as powerful as ever and would easily win another leadership election. Onwards, comrades.

May and Corbyn’s jobs aren’t under threat, the Lib Dems will stick with Tim Farron, the SNP will keep Nicola Sturgeon and Ukip will calm down and rally behind its new leader.


7 won’t stop

Free movement within the EU will continue and the economy’s reliance on immigration to maintain growth won’t change. This will spell trouble for May with voters and her MPs. It also means...

solely down to Cameron. Yes, there was an expedient obsession with getting elected, but it was an expediency no different from the Blair and Brown administrations. Cameron was determined to improve the NHS. Cameron had seen how it worked up close and the stories he told me of his terminally ill son, Ivan, were heartbreaking. Believe me, this wasn’t a man intent on dismantling the National Health Service. Cameron was never one for shouting, but he got things done. He was adamant; he paid attention to detail. In the summer of 2007 I was being driven with Cameron in the back seat of his hybrid through west London. There was a byelection looming and Cameron was campaigning in support of the local candidate, stopping in local greengrocers, dry-cleaners and newsagents to spread the new Tory love. His personal ratings were rising and the media was paying attention. Around 11.30am, having just finished his cappuccino, Cameron’s mobile rang. These were his days in opposition, remember, when he might call the office to ask whether there’d been any calls and be told that there hadn’t. This time it was Boris Johnson. Cameron had asked him to call to talk about him standing as the Tory candidate for London mayor. He needed someone to stand against Ken Livingstone, who, to many, was still the clear favourite, and although Boris had been in the frame for a while, he had been wavering recently. Having successfully secured a safe Tory seat in Henley, the MP wasn’t convinced about giving it up to take office in what many at the time considered “local government”. Cameron had often been heard telling the press that running for mayor was “definitely Boris’ idea” and, as such, felt a particular need to persuade him to stand. Up to that point, when anyone asked (and they often did) Boris said, “I’m definitely not a candidate” or “It would be a fantastic job but I enjoy what I’m doing.” “Hello, Boris,” said Cameron, with a cheeriness that was likely for my benefit more than Boris’. “So, you’re not going to let us down, are you? We really need you to run against Ken and we all think you’d do a wonderful job. Your party needs you, Boris. Will you say yes?��� Boris responded in the only way he could – with enthusiasm, at length and taking several circuitous conversational diversions until Cameron interrupted with a curt, “We need you in London and we need you to run for mayor. You are literally the only man for the job.” It’s possible Boris simply wanted the boss to plead with him or he may genuinely have been conflicted (probably a little of both). However, he went on to throw his hat in the ring and took office in City Hall a year later. Whatever it was that Boris wanted, it was Cameron who got his way. The last time I saw Cameron was about four weeks before the referendum. I expressed doubt about his ability to convince those outside London to vote Remain, but he appeared more interested in expressing how cross he was with Boris for backing the other side. “He should have waited,” said Cameron. But then the same could be said about him.

Photographs Getty Images; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; The Museum Of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

Cameron detoxified the Tories and helped them develop a genuine desire to improve the country

Ukip won’t die 8 Plenty of pundits proclaimed the end of Ukip post-referendum – they’ve achieved their main goal, so why carry on? Well, those stubbornly high migration figures and a lack of Brexit progress mean the Kippers should remain strong.

There won’t be an

9 economic recession Last year the Treasury, IMF, OECD, Bank Of England and 71 per cent of economists polled by Bloomberg said a Brexit would cause a recession. They’ll be proved wrong, as Britain’s economy continues to surpass the gloomy forecasts.

THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY Robert Rauschenberg’s pioneering work pervades all modern art, from unmade beds to dead animals STORY BY

Sophie Hastings

Best known for his “combines”, abruptly hybrids of painting and walked off sculpture, Robert Rauschenberg’s stage when influence on the Young British an alarm clock Artists (YBAs) is obvious: “Bed” embedded in (1955), which includes his own the painting pillow and paint-spattered quilt, suddenly rang, indicated his is a clear predecessor of Tracey interest in Emin’s “My Bed” (1998), and it is electronics. impossible to see “Monogram” For a 2012 (1955-9), an assemblage of a collaboration stuffed angora goat, rubber tyre, with the tennis ball and a shoe heel, National without thinking of Damien Hirst. Gallery and More interesting, though, is The Royal Rauschenberg’s continuing Ballet, Conrad Shawcross’ terrifying impact on even younger artists. “Diana Robot”, a metallic arm “Rauschenberg’s influence is off inspired by Titian, lunged about the scale,” says Catherine Wood, the stage mimicking dancers’ senior curator of international art movements. “His sheer at Tate Modern. “He was one of inventiveness resulted in works the first post-war artists where packed full of innovation and play,” [the work] wasn’t about having says Shawcross of Rauschenberg’s a particular style or signature, it was about attitude, curiosity.” “pandisciplinarian approach”. Rauschenberg refused to There are parallels too with the acknowledge traditional barriers sexually charged performances of between artistic mediums. artist Eddie Peake, who sent Similarly, sculptor and naked roller-skaters through musician, Steven the halls of the Barbican ART Claydon’s pixel-like Gallery in “The Forever Loop” (2015). metal cubes, musical “Rauschenberg roller-skated instruments made of to music in ‘Pelican’ (1964),” bricks and rope, and resin heads that resemble classical says Wood. “With parachute silk and Victorian busts transformed billowing out behind him like a huge jellyfish. We are re-staging by wigs, primary colours and a dance piece at Tate Modern in semi-cartoonish features, are the January, with set and costumes ultimate hybrid objects. “I always try to make something that gets by Rauschenberg”. You’ll fight up and walks off,” he says. with artists young and old to get Rauschenberg’s “First Time a space in that tank. Painting” (1961), where he Robert Rauschenberg is at Tate painted with the back of the Modern until 2 April 2017. Bankside, canvas facing the audience and London SE1.

Scotland won’t

10 leave the UK

Sturgeon is considering another independence referendum, despite the SNP promising that it was a “once in a generation event”. May won’t allow it, but even if she did, oil prices mean Scots would be mad to leave. Alex Wickham

True original: Robert Rauschenberg in his studio in the Fifties


THE NAKED TRUTH John Currin’s new London show lays bare his evolution from hardcore provocateur to a painter who explores the complexities of human identity STORY BY

Adam Clayton

tep into John Currin’s New York ART studio and the first thing you notice is what’s on the stereo. It’s a kind of anonymous elevator music and he says that’s deliberate. He can’t work to something such as Bob Dylan, for instance. It would be too distracting. Too many ideas. He needs a more soothing soundtrack that allows his imagination to run free and his distorted figures to emerge on the canvas. While distortion has become a characteristic feature of his work, the tone has shifted. Currin rose to fame in the late Nineties painting busty women, nudes and, later, porn scenes inflected with the motifs of Renaissance art. “A big Body count: John Currin in part of that, for me, was you look at a Poussin painting his New York studio, 2013 and you think, ‘God, I wish I could have a tangle of arms and legs and all that kind of stuff,’” says the 54-year-old. “And then I saw a Danish porn film from the Sixties. They Two classic have these stylists that seem to film them in mansions Currin pieces and the funny thing is often the people are very plain, you need normal-looking people. So it was kind of spectacular just to know to look at.” Latterly, the works have been a little less inyour-face, emulating more warmly the refined surfaces of 16th- and 17th-century northern European painting. This is clear as we walk around his domain, a studio that he describes as having the mess of Bacon’s and the light of Caravaggio’s. He’s preparing for a show of new paintings at Sadie Coles’ gallery in London and today is in the process of making the final decisions about the pieces. Some of the female figures are naked, for instance, and he is pondering whether to leave them that way. “I’ve been painting this,” he says, gesturing to THE BRA SHOP a wistfully surreal disrobed figure. “I was concerned: I 1997 was asking Chrissie [Currin’s gallery assistant] whether “This early phase of Currin’s to clothe this woman or not. And I said, ‘Well, am I work was more Playboy making fun of her nudity?’ cartoon than centrefold,” I want her to feel burdened, says Adam Clayton. but not humiliated. I sound like [Spinal Tap’s] Nigel Tufnel: ‘There’s a fine line between stupid and clever,’ or something like that.” He may have spent years studying and reimagining the female form, but Currin says he hasn’t mastered it. “I struggle with the wrists and I’ve never really figured out a good THANKSGIVING way to simplify the collarbone 2003 and base of the neck,” he says. “An American theme, “That’s why I’m interested in presented with deliberate old people because then you religiosity. In style, it could can make it up, like droopy predate the Pilgrims.”

My porno pictures were an elegy for Europe as this libertine, sexual thing

drapery.” Other parts of the anatomy come a little more naturally: “I can close my eyes and paint the breasts – and I always enjoy a bit of pudge around the middle. I get the fun stuff!” There’s fun in those canvases, certainly, but there’s also a hinterland – as there has always been. His interest in porn, he says, is rooted in how it embodies a strange, demented idea of Europe as a place where everybody’s wealthy and the buildings are all beautiful. “I never lost that idea of Europe being a strange fairyland. And I guess the porno pictures were a little bit of an elegy for Europe as this libertine, sexual thing with gaudy interiors.” Yet he says these paintings were double-edged. “I became disillusioned with where Europe was going. Maybe the beautiful things about liberal democracy and the Enlightenment were becoming lost in this kind of f***-fest of drunk people.” While Currin self-deprecatingly asserts that he is “just a painter”, he also has forthright opinions on less abstract politics. Our conversation swiftly turns to the future of the Republican Party. “It certainly is over for me. I’ve always held libertarian views and I had some sympathy for Republicans,” he says. “But, they’re dead to me now. I think the government will continue to become more and more central in everyone’s life and more powerful.” All things must come to an end. The pieces in the new show, many of which are based on stock photography images from outdated catalogues, are a clear departure from those infamous porn pictures. He puts this down to his experience raising young children. “In the immediate sense I feel 100 times older,” he says. “I find I don’t have the urge to be provocative, I don’t have the aggression just to make something and be thrilled if people get upset by it. Now, the idea of it upsetting anybody actually just mortifies me.” John Currin is at Sadie Coles HQ until 7 January. 1 Davies Street, London W1K.

Photographs Allstar; John Currin courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ; Landmark; Art Studio America/Photo by Robin Friend, 2013/copyright TransGlobe Publishing Ltd



Lie detector: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as spy whistleblower Edward Snowden

The tales of two very different rock’n’roll odysseys intersect at one of popular music’s pivotal moments STORY BY

Robbie Robertson didn’t form The Hawks, but he did lead The Band – the name the troupe of (mostly Canadian) musicians took after backing Bob Dylan on his infamous electric tours of 1965-66. Robertson tells the tale of their transformation in Testimony (Crown, out now). It’s a journey that, as the author himself points out in The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s film of their 1976 farewell performance at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, neatly falls into two distinct eras: the “early years” backing R&B shouter Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins as he toured the north American club circuit of the late Fifties and early Sixties, followed by their “discovery” as Dylan’s stage-soldiers and, later, studio cohort. That switch in fortunes was too much for Robertson’s wingman and drummer, Levon Helm, who briefly left to become an oil worker. When The Band (as they were by then known) were reunited, the die was cast, with Robertson furthering their career in the lee of Dylan’s fame (The Band would go on to record two early masterpieces and a number of less memorable albums) while

Bill Prince

attempting to maintain their momentum as progenitors of Americana. By 1976, following the deaths of several fellow travellers and facing the increasing dissolution of his bandmates, Robertson was ready to call it a day, aware that “The dreams of the Sixties and Seventies had faded and we were ready for a changing of the guard.” It was already underway: five days after The Band closed out their show, The Sex Pistols rose to the goading of London Weekend TV presenter Bill Grundy and punk rock went, albeit briefly, viral. It was at that point, their guitarist Steve Jones points out in his excellently ghosted Lonely Boy (Penguin, out now), that punk stopped being about the music and became all about the headlines: a moral panic that shortened the life of the group and ultimately its most famous member, Sid Vicious. Fourteen months after The Last Waltz played out The Band’s career, The Sex Pistols performed their last show (before the inevitable reunions) at the same venue, after which Jones succumbed to the same insobriety and addiction that would claim three-fifths of Robertson’s band, but from which he eventually rebounded, his humour and bolshiness fortunately intact.

IS THERE ANY APPETITE FOR TOPICAL CINEMA? Snowden shows both the studios’ love of worthy, news-based drama and the public’s total disinterest. Amid an information overload, the audience still needs an element of mystery STORY BY

Stuart McGurk

t’s a film about events that have far-reaching global consequences; it pits the personal against the national in the battle to protect all our lives; it has a renowned director, a star cast and a thriller plot that sees the protagonist on the run from the United States of America. Snowden – about the whistleblower who exposed his government’s elaborate electronic spying network, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt – will almost certainly be a bomb. Why? Because in the age of 24-hour cable news, smartphone Twitter feeds and rolling website updates, topical drama can no longer hope to be topical. When Jonathan Franzen was planning a political novel – which eventually became the family-based Freedom – he spend five years trying before giving up, saying: “There are new chapters every week, every hour, every day. There is no room for the novelist to exercise imagination.” The same is now true even when telling true topical stories. There is no room left. Or, rather, there’s no story to tell that hasn’t already been told. It’s why films such as The Fifth Estate – about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his dealings with the Guardian – bombed at the box office. The only people interested in seeing the film would have already read every tell-all working-with-Assange exposé. It wasn’t always like this. All The Presidents’ Men was a hit in 1976, in part, because while the outcome of Woodwood and Bernstein’s reporting was well known, the inside details of how they got there were not. When we’re even now following Snowden’s every thought on Twitter, what insight can a film based on the books from two journalists hope to add? In fact, the topical films in recent years that have worked are ones where removing the very things that make them topical would detract nothing. In the heartpounding (but context-light) re-creations of the Osama Bin Laden raid (Zero Dark Thirty) and the struggle for the control of one of the 9/11 planes (United 93), the topicality for both are little more than a marketing ploy. The one exception to this rule? The brilliant The Big Short, about the collapse of the US stock market during the subprime mortgage crisis. And the reason? Because MORE SECRETS... even though we could read about it everywhere, almost Paul Dano is set to follow no one actually understood it – and they explained it Benedict Cumberbatch by with Margot Robbie in a bubble bath. How could that playing Julian Assange in a not be appealing? Snowden is out 2 December second film about the hacker.




Portrait Of The Artist at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 17 april 2017

Set your cultural compass to this month’s pole stars

Once you’ve seen Artemesia Gentileschi’s extraordinary paintings “Judith And Holofernes” and “Susanna And The Elders” at The National Gallery’s Beyond Caravaggio (until 15 January 2017), her “Self Portrait As The Allegory Of Painting” becomes essential viewing. The drama of Gentileschi’s rape, aged 18, and the inadequate trial of her attacker, left her angry and traumatised, but channelling her outrage through her prodigious talent made her one of the most famous artists in Europe. Other self-portraits on show include Rembrandt, Rubens, Lucian Freud and David Hockney. SOPHIE HASTINGS

cartoonish side, but the first series set up enough tantalising, highconcept ideas to make the second an exciting prospect, not least the much-hinted idea that characters will be able to move into the reality where the allied forces won. SM

Silence out on 1 january

Martin Scorsese’s next Oscarbotherer couldn’t be further from the debauchery masterpiece that was 2013’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, following, as it does, two Portuguese Jesuit priests (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) facing persecution in the 17th century, and who travel to Japan to track down their mentor (Liam Neeson) with the aim of spreading Christianity. Suffice to say there will be no midgets thrown at dartboards. SM

Australia’s Impressionists at The National Gallery, London

Assassin’s Creed

7 december – 26 march 2017

out on 1 january

Showcasing Australia’s four major Impressionist painters, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and John Russell, this exhibition of 40 loans – some never shown before in the UK – considers the role artists played in defining a new national identity. SH

Michael Fassbender continues to show he’s one of the most adaptable actors in Hollywood as he careens between Oscar-weight character studies (Steve Jobs), intimate indie films (The Light Between Oceans) and brash blockbuster fare (the X-Men franchise). Here he’s the star of an adaptation of the eponymous computer game, which sees him as the roof-hopping assassin in the 15th century with a penchant for hoodies. Expect that grin just before many a garroting. SM

Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris: Sparrow Come Back Home at ICA Fox Reading Room


Idris Khan at The Whitworth, Manchester 14 october – 19 march 2017

6 december – 5 february 2017

British artists Buckley and Harris celebrate Mighty Sparrow as one of the most important calypsonians of the 20th century, a singer renowned in the West Indies for the humorous topicality and the lyrical and musical inventiveness of his songs. Their installation of 180 ceramic tiles depict the front and back record covers of Sparrow’s entire career and are accompanied by literature and photographs relating to calypso and Trinidadian social and political issues. SH

The Weight Of These Wings by Miranda Lambert out now (sony)

Inspired by the history of art, music, philosophy and theology, Khan manipulates images and text in paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography. This exhibition features several seminal works, including his black-square sequence, after Kasimir Malevich and “The Rite Of Spring” (2013) made from layering photographs of the score of Stravinsky’s controversial masterpiece. SH

Woman by Justice out now (ed banger/because)

On their first studio album in five years the Parisian duo rein in their noisenik tendencies and apply their bombastic hooks to fluid prog-disco. Like Lindstrom with a French accent and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. DL HELLO, HEAR

A picture paints a thousand words: True Belief Belongs To The Realm Of Knowledge (2016) by Idris Khan

OLD FRIEND As well as covering songs by the likes of Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Howlin’ Wolf, Blue & Lonesome features Eric Clapton, who himself was once rumoured to be joining the Stones.

The charismatic country star’s first album since her divorce from Blake Shelton is a heavyweight achievement. Two discs of expertly crafted and beautifully observed songs about freedom, loss and the things people do to move on. DORIAN LYNSKEY

Blue & Lonesome by The Rolling Stones out now (polydor)

Rumoured to be the Stones’ last album – but let’s not be hasty – this brings the band full circle with spirited covers of the blues songs (Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf) they loved as teenagers. A touching homage to their roots. DL


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story out on 15 december

So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a rebel faction is out to destroy an evil imperial death star, and... what do you mean you’ve seen this one? Au contraire. This, the first of many series spin-offs, is set just before the original 1977 Star Wars, and focuses on a band of rebel spies (led by Felicity Jones) as they try to steal the Death Star blueprints and, just maybe, lay the way for a single rebel pilot to later find a weak spot. Spoiler: they succeed. STUART McGURK

The Man In The High Castle out on 16 december

Amazon’s richly realised TV incarnation of Philip K Dick’s novel – which imagines Germany and Japan had won the Second World War – remains a tad on the


Walking In Berlin by Franz Hessel out on 8 december (scribe)

First published in 1929, Hessel’s wanderings in the Weimar-era German capital mix social commentary with artistic and architectural analysis, thereby forging a link with later “psychogeographers” HV Morton and Iain Sinclair. Much of Hessel’s Berlin has disappeared, but here his musings offer a fresh set of eyes denied the casual city-breaker. BP

Photograph Michael Pollard



Ficus owners dote on them like pets – place them in bright, indirect light and they’ll be faithful companions for years

G Partnership

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINA It’s big, it’s green, and its very existence destroys pollutants. As explains, there’s magic in the Ficus benjamina IT’S not easy being green, sang Kermit the Frog, whose main beef was that people would ignore him for his blandness. But he was a frog with a complex. The Ficus benjamina is as green as it gets, and has no such complaints. There’s no chance of this plant being passed by and as maintenance goes, despite its grandeur, it represents a new level of easy. It asks little of you, and does a whole lot in return. One of the planet’s most popular houseplants, the Ficus benjamina boasts over 800 species and 3000 varieties – you could go for a full crown packed with small leaves, or a more stylised affair with larger leaves. It’s enviably glossy, with different shades of green, and all sorts of leaf markings, while the trunk can be spiral, double spiral, woven and straight. Graceful and elegant thanks to

If the big benjamina is too big for your needs, go for the Bonsai. Peaking at 3ft, other than some gentle pruning it requires as little maintenance as its big brother and, as it’s tropical, is just about the perfect Bonsai.

its drooping leaves, it’s more commonly known as the weeping fig, and is no wallflower: give it a few years and this veritable tree can reach 6ft, with a personality to match its size. It has real character, as history will attest. A member of the mulberry family, it is a subtropical plant – the official tree of Bangkok, native to Southeast Asia, where it has a spiritual heritage. Buddha sat by The Bodhi Tree and reached enlightenment, while Hinduism’s holy sadhus meditate under the Ficus – gods, they believe, dwell on its leaves, and the sadhus chant that it is the king of trees. The Ashvattha tree – the Sacred Fig – has roots that grow upwards and branches that grow down, and they say it has special powers. It’s the Doctor Strange of plants, and our indoor take on it is not far off. The Ficus benjamina is indeed magic – it naturally filters and removes airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, getting rid of pollutants, a real boon to your air quality. In fact, a Nasa study deemed it one of the world’s top 10 purifying plants. It’s genuinely good for you: its healing qualities make it a grand yet calming houseplant that, happy in bright, indirect light, requires hardly any maintenance. Easy!

Elevate your status on the slopes with our guide to on-piste gear and fitness

Photographs Ben Riggott Styling Carlotta Constant Model Alex Nicholl at W Model Management Grooming Chloe Botting

Jacket, £430. Trousers, £325. Both by Volcom. At The Snowboard Asylum. snowboard-asylum. com. Boots by Vans, £210. Hat, £18. Goggles, £140. Gloves, £90. All by Oakley.





Say no to playing it straight Top-flight British football currently has no openly gay players. In an age when society embraces the sexuality of its sports stars, GQ investigates why the Premier League is struggling to keep up, and what the field will look like for the first man to come out...

THERE are no gay footballers in the Premier League. Officially. Off the record: anyone’s guess. Clarke Carlisle, former chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association, has said eight professional players have told him they’re gay. Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu and presenter of the 2012 BBC documentary Britain’s Gay Footballers, says she knows of seven gay Premier League stars. Both Carlisle and Fashanu were, of course, told in confidence. The silence is deafening. Since Justin Fashanu took his own life in 1998, eight turbulent years after coming out while at Leyton Orient, the climate has been confused. In a more enlightened culture we have seen much progress, certainly outside of football, where swimmer Tom Daley and Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas have come out to enormous support and celebration. Swedish defender Anton Hysén, son of Liverpool’s Glenn Hysén, came out in 2011 just as his career was beginning and has had an overwhelmingly positive response. As has Robbie Rogers, who came out just after retiring from Leeds and was promptly signed up by LA Galaxy. On the other hand, little seems to have changed since Brian Clough berated Fashanu for going “to that bloody poofs’ club”. Since then we’ve had Graeme Le Saux being taunted by Robbie Fowler, Luiz Felipe Scolari announcing he’d throw gay players off his team, the Sun calling Cristiano Ronaldo a “nancy boy” and former Fifa president Sepp Blatter responding to criticism of the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar (where homosexuality is illegal) by telling gay fans to “refrain from any sexual activities” if they go there. Last September, meanwhile, LGBT charity Stonewall announced that recent research found that

‘If you’re going to pass to a gay footballer and he’s going to score a goal, that’s all that matters’


Five sporting heroes who made history...


The first woman to win an Olympic boxing title, Adams made no secret of her sexuality. “No one’s ever cared about me being bisexual. I only came out because I had always been out; it’s just the general public didn’t know,” she said. “I’m quite fearless. I’m like, ‘Let’s just go out there and do this and see what happens.’”


When former Wales captain Thomas came out in 2009, it sent shock waves through one of the most macho sports in the world, but he received a huge amount of support from within the game. “I don’t want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player, first and foremost. I am a man.”

Open season: LA Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers came out after leaving Leeds

72 per cent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse while watching live sports in the past five years – an increase on a similar survey conducted in 2009. And in the Premier League, where pressures on players seem higher than ever, closets remain firmly shut. The only out footballer in the UK is Liam Davis, who plays for Gainsborough Trinity, six divisions down from the top. “There are lots of things to consider,” he said to the BBC, comparing his situation to that of those at the top. “The media, agents, tens of thousands of opposition fans – so I can understand why people would be worried about it.” This month sees the release of The Pass, a feature film starring Russell Tovey as a closeted, selfdestructive gay footballer whose psyche takes a consistent beating because of his inner turmoil. The film is produced by Duncan Kenworthy, who brought us Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill, and had writer John Donnelly adapt The Pass from his play of the same name. Donnelly’s inspiration for the story, says Kenworthy – who is gay and a Manchester United season-ticket holder – was United’s The Class Of ’92 photo featuring Beckham, Giggs, Scholes et al. “What if at 17 your life and career were predestined?” asks Kenworthy. “Because as footballers you’re fixed in the public imagination by the rigours of what it takes to become a professional footballer. But what if you had feelings for other men? In order to be successful at that top level you have to conform to a certain image, and breaking the mould will always cause ructions. Our movie is about the internal damage that comes from living a lie. I don’t really know any footballers, but I suspect they fear what the fans would say, the loss of respect, loss of whatever it is that keeps them up there earning millions.” Indeed, Hysén has said gay players are afraid of fan reaction, worried that they might lose sponsorship or even careers. Rogers has said that before he came out he heard much homophobic talk in English locker rooms and on pitches by those oblivious to his sexuality, which made him scared of how they’d react if he revealed he was gay while still playing. He’s spoken of how ruthless UK fans are compared to their American counterparts, how they try to get under your skin, try to destroy you.



Number of openly LGBT athletes at the 2016 Olympics (a record figure up from 23 in 2012):

Comedian Matt Lucas, a lifelong Arsenal fan and patron of the Gay Gooners, the club’s officially recognised supporters’ group, understands players’ fear of coming out. “Someone who makes their living as a professional footballer, it’s hard, so precarious, that anything you think might be a disadvantage you just keep quiet,” he says. “You don’t want to give anyone a reason not to like you.” Things are being done to foster a more accepting and encouraging environment – other than the FA’s 2007 ban of homophobic chanting, fans and players are fined if caught using homophobic language and the FA produced a video attacking homophobia amongst fans, although that riled gay former NBA basketballer John Amaechi, aggrieved that it put the onus of responsibility on the fans. The problem, said Amaechi, lies with the lack of diversity within the FA itself, suggesting that we have to wait for the “dinosaurs” there to “toddle off this mortal coil”. Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which began in 2013, aims to give more prominence to the conversation. Tens of thousands of the laces were sent to every professional club in England and Scotland, to get them to make a visible stand against homophobia and players from 52 clubs laced up, with Joey Barton in particular

Life goals: Lisa McGrillis and Russell Tovey star in The Pass, about the struggles of a gay footballer


Olympic medallist Daley announced in a YouTube clip in 2013, that he had fallen in love with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. As Daley said, “It was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders. I was terrified. And then when it finally happened I was like, great, I don’t need to worry about it anymore.”


Inspired by Tom Daley, former England women’s captain and Arsenal defender Stoney came out in 2014. She told the BBC, “It’s really important for me to speak out because there are so many people struggling who are gay... You hear about people taking their own lives because they are homosexual. That should never happen.”

5. JASON COLLINS Photographs Getty Images; Rex

Ahead of the game: Swedish midfielder Anton Hysén came out as gay in 2011 publicly identifying as gay or bisexual

When basketball star Collins came out in 2013, he became the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sports. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he said, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA centre. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

lending much support. Hysén has said that while players wearing coloured laces won’t change a homophobe’s mind, it furthers awareness. “It’s something; it’s a start,” says Lucas, who thinks the campaign is a good thing, while Stonewall’s head of campaigns Robbie de Santos says the campaign promotes inclusivity. “Whether you’re a football fan, an LGBT fan, a player, a manager – it’s all about saying, ‘We welcome and accept LGBT people in our sport at every level,’” says de Santos. “And I think only that way can we really give gay or bi players in professional games the confidence that they can be safe coming out.” Ultimately, the game is the thing and a hostile homophobic environment, or even just the fear of coming out, is depriving football of talent. Robbie Rogers has said that being closeted meant that he wasn’t a happy player, which meant he wasn’t playing his best. “Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work,” he wrote in his coming out letter. “What footballers want in their team is to be playing alongside another really good footballer,” says Lucas. “That’s all they care about, getting the result. If you’re going to pass to a gay footballer and he’s going to score a goal, that’s all that matters.” Lucas believes that when a Premier League footballer does finally come out, they will be “an absolute superstar. Because they will connect with so many people who’ve never been able to connect with football. Gay and straight”. Kenworthy agrees: “I have a feeling that the first person who comes out in the Premier League will have sponsors falling over themselves to support him.” There is, of course, still abuse on pitches, and a long way to go. But a publicly gay Premier League player seems imminent. “To keep secret who you love? In 2016? No young kid would understand that,” says Kenworthy. “At some point it will happen. And then the floodgates will open. And they’ll still be great players. They’ll just be happier.” Alex Godfrey The Pass is released in cinemas on December 9.

‘The first person who comes out in the Premier League will have sponsors falling over themselves’



Follow a code of honour: prepare, trust and be loyal From work to family and friendship to mental health, the inspirational values of the Scout Association form the foundation stones of a truly good life AS I OFTEN say, one of my proudest achievements is to have been named Chief Scout. In my opinion, scouting is the greatest youth movement in history; I’m always amazed by the achievements of these remarkable young men and women. But the main reason I believe that scouting is such a positive force for young people is that it instils in us certain values that, if we carry them forward into our adult lives, can act as an anchor and a rock. They are as relevant now as they were when Lord Baden-Powell wove them into the scouting movement 108 years ago. The first scouting principle to live by is the one immortalised in the famous motto: a scout should be prepared. It was drilled into us in the military that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And for good reason. Before we tackle any mountain – real or metaphorical – we need to remember that the hard work is done long before we embark on our journey. Much of the success of any expedition depends on the preparation that goes into it. But this is also true in everyday life: time spent in preparation is never wasted. A huge part of preparation is practice and, as the saying goes, the harder you practise, the luckier you become. Ask any great musician, adventurer or sportsman. I love the story of Daley Thompson, the Olympic decathlete, who used to say that his favourite training day was 25 December – the one day of the year he knew his competitors wouldn’t be on the track. We all have it in ourselves to become an expert in whatever field we choose. The difference between those who do and those who don’t, as every scout learns, is simple: a commitment to train, practise, and improve. In short: keeping to the commitment. If we prepare well, whether for a business, a marriage or a mountain, then you give success a fighting chance. Wherever life takes me, I always try to remember the first point of scouting law: a scout is trustworthy. This is one of the founding principles of the movement, and it is key to so many of the elements that we 132 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

value in life: good friendships, good family relationships and good business partnerships. Being trustworthy means not cheating and keeping your word. If you say you are going to do something, you do it. People come to know us by the words we speak, the actions we take and the attitudes we live by. Each time you deal in lies, or renege on your word, you lose influence with others. But if you speak the truth and never betray a confidence, people will trust you, will want to be with you, work with you and you will have friends for life. As any adventurer will tell you, when picking companions for an expedition, you look for many qualities: skill, mental toughness and friendliness. But above all, you want your teammates to be trustworthy. Our lives often depend on each other and that requires genuine trust. I truly believe it is the building block of heroism. My final scouting principle to live by is the second point of scouting law: a scout is always loyal. That means loyalty to what he or she believes is right, and more importantly it means loyalty to his or her friends. Some people might consider loyalty to be an oldfashioned quality, but it’s more relevant now than ever in this fast-paced world where, if we don’t like something, we are tempted to bin it and replace it. We can’t apply that attitude to relationships, because relationships only thrive when we show loyalty to one another. For me, loyalty is an indication of strength. It’s easy to have friends when everything is going well, but I’m mindful of the maxim: “A good friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” None of us can go through life without making mistakes. I have made many and I have learnt so much about my friends in those moments. They have so often gone out of their way to be there for me and I would always do the same for them in return. It is not a condoning of the mistake, it is an affirmation of the friendship. These three qualities – preparedness, trustworthiness and loyalty – are at the heart of the scouting movement. But they are also at the heart of what it means to be human. Truly, principles to live by. Troop leader: Bear Grylls has been Chief Scout since 2009



Read yourself better Face the new year with the self-books that really work One in four Britons experiences a mental health problem and self-help books, while not a cure, can provide inspiration, comfort and edification to sufferers and those close to them. With so many on the market it’s easy to come across a dud, so we cut through the noise and rounded up the best of the year.

Understanding depression

Overcoming anxiety Anxiety For Beginners by Eleanor Morgan

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

The problem: Anxiety is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to understand from the outside. Invisible and seemingly illogical, it can baffle its sufferers as much as onlookers, leading to stigma.

The problem: Depression at its most serious can lead to suicidal thoughts and, in the worst cases, suicide – which is now the leading cause of death in British men under 35. For those suffering from such intense despair, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and it is near impossible to persuade yourself that there might be one day.

The solution: Morgan shows readers that anxiety and depression affect everyone equally, from people of remote tribes to the world’s most famous faces – and men and women of all ages. Her practical solutions include exercising, owning a pet and meditation app Headspace. Suits: Those who relate to the autobiographical and the anecdotal, while also wanting hard scientific facts, medical insights and lessons from Freud. Credibility: Morgan’s first-person account of anxiety was published as part of “The Vice guide to mental health” while she was senior editor. It was read by five million people in four days. Key quote: “This is the mortifying reality of depression. It turns everything inwards. You relate every sound, every vision, back to your suffering and what it means. It’s selfish and bratty and desperate. But no one can see into it. Not really.” £16.99 from Pan Macmillan publishing.

Lack of confidence Conversation Tactics (Book 3): Strategies To Command Social Situations: Wittiness, Banter, Likability by Patrick King The problem: Do you dread social situations more than your annual dentist appointment? Or perhaps you can’t seem to hold down a dinner party guest for more than a minute? Conversation is an art, and a hard one at that. Some are born with the gift of the gab, while others must learn it. The solution: Upspeak (high-rising intonation), aggressive debate, sarcasm and overconfidence are conversation shutdowns, as is false modesty and demanding answers. Instead, King advises selfdeprecation, making others the hero, speaking more childishly and following his “history, philosophy and metaphor” technique. Suits: The no-nonsense pragmatists. Credibility: Patrick King is a social-interaction specialist, whose company (patrickkingconsulting. com) has been featured in Forbes and Huffington Post. Key quote: “By using upspeak, you appear not to be sure about your answer. You sound tentative, confused and noncommittal. You do not sound confident. You’re testing waters to make sure what you’re saying is acceptable.” £7.50 from Create Space.

The solution: Haig, a former depressive with acute anxiety, charts his descent into depression aged 24 as well as his inspirational road to recovery, showing sufferers there is always a way of working out of it. He offers quick-fix solutions such as yoga, meditation, running and slowing your thoughts, and aims to clear the stigma attached to mental illness both to reassure those who suffer from it, and to enlighten those who don’t. Suits: Those who shy away from anything too preachy – Haig’s book reads more like a work of fiction than a self-help guide – as well as those who favour lists of symptoms and solutions. Credibility: This Times No1 bestseller was described by Stephen Fry, who suffers from depression, as “astounding”. Key quote: “You can be depressive and be happy, just as you can be sober and an alcoholic.”£7.99 from Canongate.

Controlling the ego Ego Is The Enemy: The Fight To Master Our Greatest Opponent by Ryan Holiday The problem: Ego is the enemy of ambition, success and resilience, argues Holiday. To be successful, we must pursue something bigger than our own success. The solution: Holiday takes you through his own strategy for beating your ego, working through his three stages of aspiration, success and failure. He urges you to bridle your passion, to remain a student and to be wary of pride and the “expectation hangover” of always looking for rewards.

‘Crafting stories out of past events is a dangerous human impulse’ Suits: The academic type. Ego Is The Enemy reads like a scholarly essay, with examples spanning literature, philosophy and history. Credibility: Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and editor-atlarge of the New York Observer’s technology and business section. Key quote: “Crafting stories out of past events is a very human impulse. It is also dangerous and untrue. Writing our own narrative leads to arrogance. It turns our life into a story – and turns us into caricatures – while we still have to live it.” Eleanor Halls £10.99 from Profile Books.



The Instagram gym bunnies are coming to get you How the latest hashtag hype train is re-sculpting female body image and helping women take control in the bedroom THE UBIQUITOUS photos of smashed measured on anything other than how their avocados on toast and hipster coffees body looks.” have had their day, as a new obsession But we can’t really blame Instagram for hits our social media feeds – welcome the that: fitspiration is just the latest in a long rise of the Instafit. A breed of “strong not line of body-image expectations to which skinny” women have replaced #foodporn women are subjected. After the waif trend with a new social currency: hard muscle. and the pneumatic era of silicone-enhanced Fit is the new rich, and there are plenty forms, shouldn’t strong not skinny – even when served with a smug side of chia seeds of Instagram stars cashing in. One of the biggest in the industry is Michelle “The – be embraced? “I think the ‘lean and clean’ Body” Lewin (@michelle_lewin) with nine women, as I’ve dubbed them, are fantastic million followers. Her fans range from role models for women,” explains Faye newbies to experts, but they all see her Maloney, two-time British gold medallist as “fitspiration”. kickboxer and personal trainer at Ibiza Fitspiration functions as an aspirational retreat 38 Degrees North. “They’re healthhashtag on Instagram (with more than conscious, mainly because of this greater 9.5m mentions so far), and one that is awareness of the benefits of exercise. arguably more potent than “thin”, as As a result, they want to put the hours it provides a powerful visual nudge in to achieve results – and that is to follow gruelling routines empowering. But these women and achieve those rock-hard don’t just associate strength abs. And with Instagram’s with physical wellbeing, 24 filters and 13 editing it’s associated with their options, the unachievable is mental wellbeing too. only a few quick taps away My female clientele from achievable. has almost doubled in the last year, which shows So, why is the new skinny The number of daily active getting so much traction? an enormous shift in the users on Instagram “More than 80m images are number of women wanting uploaded to Instagram every to get fit.” day,” explains Charlie Cottrell, Maloney is not the only trainer head of editorial at social media agency seeing such a rise. Performance coach James We Are Social. “It’s also a platform where King has recently outlined what he has users seek constant approval through new dubbed the “Kardashian effect”. Khloé followers and likes, so it makes sense that Kardashian, arguably the least famous of the sisters and once cruelly dubbed the it has become awash with people seeking validation for their bodies and showing off “Kardashian with gigantism”, has been their hard work.” showing off her ridiculously gym-tight This need for validation and acceptance abs. But her success wasn’t overnight; she has led to confusion as to what it really has been documenting her frankly insane means to be healthy. “What you look work-outs on social media, while garnering like has become a barometer of health on lucrative health product deals. If Kim’s social media, and one that you are judged derrière broke the internet, Khloé’s fitspiration pictures have smashed Instagram. on,” explains sex and behaviour expert “Young women recently seem obsessed Dr Pam Spurr. “Women are offering themselves up for comments on their with emulating Khloé Kardashian’s body,” appearance after adopting new diets and explains King. “They’re younger than the fitness regimes, making it harder for those average gym-goer, which is probably who follow them to believe health is down to social media. But getting fitter




LIFE Strong following: Michelle “The Body” Lewin shares the results of her work-outs on Instagram

younger leads to better long-term health. It also improves confidence and self-esteem. If the catalyst for this adoption of hard work, discipline and commitment is the likes of Khloé Kardashian, Kayla Itsines and Emily Skye, then it can only be a good thing.” So far, so positive from the fitness industry, but how do men feel about strong being the new skinny? “Would you believe that some men are actually threatened by gym-fit women in the same way they are threatened by intelligent women? It’s an extension of the debate regarding the continuing emasculation of masculinity,” says Spurr. “Strong women represent independence and men haven’t modified how they relate to these new women. They’re getting there, but the step change just isn’t as quick as the transformation of these women that we see on social media.” Maloney agrees: “We live in a society where, for so long, strong was only associated with men and it was difficult for women to have power. Strong now represents a new platform for women to be taken seriously, and that can be scary for men.” But men should revere the new female form. Over the past few years, researchers have made important discoveries about the connections between sex and exercise. “Being physically active works like an aphrodisiac for many women,” says Siski Green, sex expert and author of How To Blow His Mind In Bed, “boosting self-confidence and, as a result, desire for sex.” During a work-out, our bodies produce higher levels of somatotropin and testosterone, hormones that play a pivotal role in our sex drives. A 2013 study found that regularly hitting the weights keeps levels of these hormones higher which, along with its stress-busting benefits, can stoke greater sexual desire. “As the number of confident, fit and sexhungry women increases, men can only benefit from the upsurge in fitspiration,” explains Green. Let’s just hope this increase in libido doesn’t lead to a new Instagram trend, “sexspiration”. Because no one wants to see a Valencia filter on that. Kit Jones

Photographs @michelle_lewin; Getty Images

‘Men are slowly modifying how they relate to strong, gym-fit women’


Let your hormones do the hard work Taking on fuel that causes insulin to spike may shatter the benefits of a work-out. For sharper ways to build muscle, lose fat, boost energy and, heck, even your libido, read on…

Keep it quick and boost muscle Weight training builds muscles. But are you doing too much? “If you work out for more than about 20 minutes you switch into a catabolic state,” says Zana Morris of The Library gyms ( “This means your body is flooded with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and instead of using up fat supplies you break down muscle.”


Overdo it and your sex drive will suffer If you work out for too long, the elevated cortisol you produce will in turn elevate your sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG bonds to sex hormones, such as testosterone, leaving less to power your levels of energy and, well, libido.


HIIT can promote healthy hormones After 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), stop. For two hours your body will fast-track the production of human growth hormone (HGH). “This master hormone pushes protein back into everything and encourages a quick recovery,” says Morris. It also promotes cellular regrowth, which keeps your skin, muscles and organs biologically young.


Ditch sugar and stop releasing insulin Avoid sweet protein shakes. “Any kind of sugar – from a protein drink, from meat, from anything – will cause you to release insulin,” Morris says. “Insulin dramatically slows or stops the production of HGH.” You can, however, take pure amino acids to help your muscle to rebuild. Try Strong’s Building Blocks (£35 for a month’s supply.


Swap whey for casein Two hours after your work-out, HGH production will have peaked. Now eat. A low GI diet helps to stabilise your insulin levels. Protein is important, but instead of whey try Micellar Casein (£17.99 for 1kg. myprotein. com). “Digested slowly, it equates to low glycaemic load and gives the body longer to make use of it,” says Morris. “After 20 years of measuring muscle gain versus fat loss, I can tell you how impressive casein is: I sometimes have to stop using it if I put on muscle too quickly.” Rebecca Newman



ARCTIC APPAREL Jacket by Canada Goose A feather-light and stretchy but durable jacket, ideal for layering or coping with milder conditions. £800.

Don’t wipe out: Prior training is important before taking on winter sports


Alpha by Arc’teryx The ultimate hard-wearing Gore-Tex jacket can cope with the harshest conditions. £600.

Master shredding SKIING AND snowboarding place high demands on the body so it’s advisable to begin training two or three months prior to the start of the season. Preseason aerobic training should focus mainly on low-intensity work lasting 20 to 60 minutes to help develop a good base fitness. As the season approaches, include more high-intensity interval training exercises of between 20 seconds and two minutes, followed by periods of recovery. It’s important to include multi-joint exercises, such as squats, Romanian deadlifts, power cleans and Bulgarian split squats. Strengthening your whole body will help prevent injuries and delay the onset of fatigue, and developing a strong core and flexibility is equally important. Jonathan Goodair For more information, visit and

The plan Exercise 1

Pistol squats Stand with arms forward at shoulder height. Balance on right foot with left leg straight forward. Bend knee of right leg into parallel squat, keeping right knee in line with right foot. 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg; 90 seconds’ rest between sets.

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Oblique static lunges

Long-arm side planks

Start in lunge position, with your right foot forward, your knee at 90 degrees and your left knee a few inches off the floor. Rotate torso to the right as far as possible while still maintaining stable hips. Return to centre and repeat. 2 sets of 12 reps for each leg; 90 seconds’ rest between sets.

Start in side-facing plank position with weight on straightened left arm and right arm raised to ceiling. Lower right forearm to floor followed by left forearm, then straighten right arm to return to original position, but facing the other way. Reverse sequence and repeat. 10 reps for each arm.


Snowboard boots by Vans Old-school lace styling combined with custom heat-moldable liners make these boots feel as good as they look. £250.

X Max 130 by Salomon The ultimate modern ski boot, delivering all-day comfort with the best on-piste performance. £320. At Harrods.


Transitions snow goggles by Nike Eyewear that adapts to the light conditions, boosting your vision from dawn till dusk. £250.

Avoid the winter bruise...

Photographs Ben Riggott; Jody Todd Grooming Chloe Botting Model Alex Nichols at W Model Management

Led Zeppelin snowboard by Burton No matter how heavy the misty mountain (hop) conditions, this Burton Led Zep board will get you through the good and bad times. £430.

In anticipation of another season on the slopes, we select the must-have ski and snowboard gear to help carve a path past major meltdowns

MTN Lab helmet by Salomon Also certified for mountaineering, this is the best for handling massif ups and downs. £120. At Ellis Brigham.

Strato skis by Rossignol Ultra-lightweight performance skis that deliver rapid edgeto-edge quick turns and explosive power whatever the conditions. £665. At Harrods.

Voltair Avalanche Airbag by Arc’teryx If you take your snow sports seriously, pack this air bag to increase your survival rate. From £1,000.

Progressor by Adidas These hemisphere-shaped goggles come with a quick-change lens system and fit almost any helmet. From £112.99. At RX Sport.

VIRB Ultra 30 by Garmin This hands-free cam will capture all the action in video. Also records speed and distance. £370.





Shall I tell my wife I’ve gone off sex? ell this is easy. No. Don’t do this. For the love of God, man, no. Think. Think. Have you gone mad? How can this possibly end well? Not if you can possibly help it. No. Part of the problem, obviously, is that you’ll be lying. Probably, you haven’t really gone off sex. You’ve just gone off sex with her. It happens. As Rod Stewart apocryphally said when he split up with Britt Ekland, “Show me a beautiful woman and I’ll show you a man who is tired of sleeping with her.” And this was in the Seventies, even, when Britt Ekland was still the perfect woman and hadn’t started to look like Aslan at all, and Rod Stewart, even more remarkably, already totally looked like Rod Stewart. If you want to split up with your own Britt Ekland, then fine, tell her and get ready to run. Whereas if you don’t, and I’m afraid there’s no delicate way of putting this, you’re simply going to have to wait for the thrill to return – and it will – and in the meantime lie back and think of, well, Seventies Britt Ekland. Which is not, by the way, something I’d ever dream of saying to a woman who is tired of sleeping with her man. That’s different. The avowed sexual egalitarian in me says it shouldn’t be different, but still, I’m pretty bloody sure it is. Women unenthralled about sleeping with men should feel under no pressure whatsoever to stump up the goods.


Not least, frankly, because it’s just embarrassing for everybody. There’s a scene in the 2005 western The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada in which the character played by January Jones has bored, disinterested sex over a trailer park kitchen breakfast bar with her husband, played by Barry Pepper. She seems perfectly willing – it’s not dodgy – but she also doesn’t stop watching her Spanish-language soap opera on the kitchen telly, not even for a second. You don’t want to be that guy. It’s undignified. With men, though, it’s somehow different. Somehow, women are allowed to say, “Actually, I’d rather read a book tonight” without this necessarily being regarded as signifying a deeper, secret problem. Men aren’t because sex will normally still be among your favourite things to do. If it isn’t, and you simply can’t, there will be one of three reasons. Perhaps you have been having sex with

Distraction stations: She may have gone off sex a long time before you

Maybe it’s not just her. Maybe you look like a walrus

somebody else. Or perhaps you have been having too much sex with yourself. Or perhaps you’re mad or sick and you’re about as likely to get it up as you are to sprout wings and fly. Number one is beyond the remit of this discussion. Tell her, or don’t tell her, but don’t imagine that your knackered failure to get another boner is really the issue here. Number two is easily solved by just leaving that thing the hell alone. Number three, though, is where we get serious. Perhaps, none of the above applies. Perhaps, for reasons you cannot quite fathom, it’s just not happening and you also just don’t want it to either. Then, sure, it’s a problem you need to discuss and maybe not just with her. See a chap. Involve her and make sure she realises it’s not her fault. Where you truly have a problem, though, is when it is. You got together, she looked like Eva Green. You wake up one morning, she looks like Philip Green. No, I don’t know how you solve that one, though women seem to be expected to manage when the situation is reversed. Anyway, maybe it’s not just her. Maybe you look like a walrus and stink of cheese. Maybe you can work on this one together. To be honest, I can only actually think of one circumstance in which a man is honestly and openly allowed to say he’s gone off sex, and that’s when you’re trying to conceive and it’s taking bloody ages. She’ll have gone off it, too, weeks earlier, and will be glad of the company. And thereafter, while you do it slowly and dutifully on the sofa, probably in dressing gowns, definitely in socks, perhaps while chatting about other things and very possibly while both paying more attention to Newsnight, your relationship will never have been stronger. Hugo Rifkind is a writer for the Times.

Illustration Ryan McAmis


G Partnership

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NO STRINGS ATTACHED The new range of wireless headphones from Sennheiser delivers perfect sound with no nasty tangles PRONE to becoming damaged or tying themselves in infuriating knots in your bag, headphone wires are beginning to look almost as outdated as the tape decks they were once plugged into. Fortunately, Sennheiser’s new collection of wireless headphones offers its renowned high-quality sound delivered in a range of designs that is tailored to suit a range of tastes. There’s the stylish MOMENTUM Wireless, made with genuine leather for fans of retro cool, and then there’s the URBANITE XL Wireless,

which is perfect for fans of bass-driven club music, while still retaining crystal clear trebles. Alongside them is the noisecancelling PXC 550 Wireless, designed for frequent travellers. With 30 hours of distraction-free listening you can easily cross the Atlantic and back on a single charge, and they’ll even automatically pause your music or call when you take them off. They’re the first-class experience that make fiddling with wired headphones feel like flying long-haul economy.



You’ll make six big, bad calls: learn from them

Don’t sweat the small stuff, the sexual indiscretions or banter gone bad. Make your mistakes earth-shattering, life-shredding catastrophes – you’ll be a better man for it egrets? You’ll have a few. “I wish I’d had more sex,” Sir John Betjeman, poet laureate, famously sighed at the end of his life, suggesting that even the most successful man must confront the gap – the light years, the yawning abyss, the Grand Canyon – between the life that he has lived and the life that he actually wanted to live. When at last the end is near, no man is as sanguine as Sinatra in “My Way”. He is far more likely to rage at the dying of the light, and curse himself for all the roads not taken, and – after it all – wish he had had more sex. In her book, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, Australian nurse Bronnie Ware, who spent years nursing the terminally ill, writes, “People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality and some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions... denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would have done differently, common themes surfaced again and again.” Ware reports that the greatest regret among dying men is the deep remorse they feel for devoting so much of their life to work and career and so little to the people they loved. Far too often we place our jobs above our flesh and blood. But the regrets do not end there.


The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying is a litany of missed opportunities, wasted moments, profound emotions that were left unsaid. We feel bad about the old friends who we let slip from our lives. We regret that we never quite summoned the courage to live the life we wanted rather than the life that was expected of us. And as the nurse gently turns off your lifesupport machine, the chances are that you’ll be kicking yourself for never breaking old, destructive habits and embracing true happiness. Could there be anything worse than mourning all the wonderful things that you never got around to doing? Only this: regretting all the stupid things that you did do. New research suggests that the average

man makes six terrible decisions in the course of his lifetime, half a dozen horribly wrong turns that he then spends the rest of his days trying to mend. Six bad calls that cause not a few pangs of reflective regret on his deathbed but a lifetime of pain, a wheelbarrow of regret to cart to his grave.

Men regret a litany of missed opportunities, wasted moments, emotions left unsaid

Only six? Ah, but this is true remorse for the rotten decisions you have made. This is not a bit of wistful sighing about roads not taken. These are the big, stupid, bad calls that come to haunt you for years and years, sometimes forever. There are – it turns out – greater regrets than not expressing your true feelings to your girlfriend or losing contact with all your old pals. There are regrets about bad calls that warp the course of a lifetime. Just to be clear – a bad call is not a sexual indiscretion on a business trip, or banter that goes too far in a best man’s speech, or projectile vomiting at a breakfast meeting. Those six bad calls are not when you were embarrassed, or humiliated, or let yourself down. A bad call is when you get the big stuff wrong. We will all have our own personal landmarks of stupidity, those life-defining moments when we had a big call to make and got it spectacularly wrong, but they invariably revolve around the same things for every man. Namely, the big decisions we make about who we share our life with, where we work, where we live, what we choose to put into our body and – above all – women. The woman you walked away from when you should have clung to her. The woman you took in your loving arms when – it turns out – you should have run a mile in the opposite direction. We drift through the years but every once in a while


LAST MAN STANDING there is a big call to make. And sometimes – six times says the research – we get it wrong. Can you recognise your bad calls? I find that, as I look back on my life, my bad calls get up on their hind legs and wave to me. Sadly, I can’t miss them. Leaving school at 16 – really dumb. Taking so many drugs in my early twenties – what was I thinking? My first marriage – what a trainwreck. And moving out of London when my daughter was born and knowing that it was a bad call before the removal men had gone. No doubt when my time is done I shall feel a few contemplative pangs of melancholy. But never visiting the Taj Mahal, for example, will seem like a minor regret compared to the motorway pile-up that was my first marriage. Never getting round to reading Lord Of The Rings, say, is not the same source of remorse as dropping out of school or imbibing white powders that could have contained rat poison. “Marry your second wife first,” advises the old adage, suggesting that it is not unfulfilled dreams that we truly regret but the happinessshattering wrong turns we took, the bad calls we made and then had to live with for the next 50 years. And then one day you look back and say, “How the hell could I have ever been quite that stupid?” In retrospect, it was easy. All my bad calls – every one of them – dropping out of school, drugs, my first marriage, leaving London – all seemed like a good idea at the time. And more than this – much more than this – there was no alternative. By the time I was 16, my wonderful grammar school had become a bog standard comprehensive and I loathed it with a passion – I could do nothing else but leave it as soon as they left the gates slightly ajar. My first job in journalism was at NME, where guzzling vast quantities of mindaltering substances was considered normal and – until my friends started dying – a lot of fun. Why would I say no? I married my first wife because she was my best friend and I loved her. And 20 years later my new family and I moved out of London because the suburbs offered the chance to live in a million-pound house with a swimming pool and we foolishly believed that would make us happy. It wasn’t as if my bad calls took 50 years to reveal themselves. The mountains of misery caused by all these rotten decisions were soon apparent. As soon as I was out of school I was stuck in low paid, no skilled jobs. When I was still on my honeymoon with drugs, people were turning blue in bathtubs all around. That first marriage, the move from London – it was


soon apparent that these bad calls were never going to have happy endings. Twenty-eight is said to be the peak age for making a bad call – marrying the wrong woman, taking the wrong job, leaving the right job, moving to the wrong town, spending a night in the wrong bed, putting toxic chemicals in your body for fun – all the classic dumb-ass moves we make. But it is not only the young who make hideous, life-warping mistakes. I look at seventy-something rock stars bouncing their newborn babies on their arthritic old knees, children who will not reach maturity until the doting rock star is either 90 years old or pushing up daisies. What could be a worse call than bringing a child into this world that you will not live to bring up? Yet given the right circumstances – a lover half our age, plenty of money in the bank, vanity about our virility – we are all stupid enough to do the same. A man is never too old to make a seriously life-shredding bad call.

The cruel truth is that bad calls are the only place good will ever come from nd yet what would my life have looked like if I had not made those bad calls? If I had stayed in school? If I had said no to drugs? If I had swerved my first wife? If I had never left London? It is difficult to put a good spin on a car crash but there is no escaping the fact that all my bad calls produced, in the end, real good. They led to enlightenment. Leaving school at 16 toughened me up. Hard years in dead-end jobs gave me survival intelligence and stiffened my spine. And if I had not taken so many drugs – and seen so many people I love wreck themselves with drugs – then I would not have spent a large chunk of my adult life in gyms. Moving to the suburbs for 30 minutes taught me that I am a city boy. And nothing encourages you to make a great second marriage like a bad first marriage. Wisdom has to be earned. Experience comes with scars. And happiness has to be fought for. It is not simply that real and lasting good can come from your bad calls. The cruel truth is that those bad calls are the only place that enduring good will ever come from.


You will, at some point, leave a woman

who is worthy of your love and love a woman who was better left alone. You will walk out of an office – your pride stung, your talent overlooked and your hard work unappreciated – when what you should really have done is stay and fight for your job. You will be far too casual with your own health, far too careless with your heart. Nobody can learn these lessons for you. On the way to the hard-earned wisdom that only comes from bitter experience, every man must eventually fly solo. We make our bad calls alone but they are mistakes that are common to the lives of most men. You will make your own bad calls but they will not be a million miles away from my bad calls. They will be mistakes about work and women, drugs and alcohol, when you stay and when you go. And when you get it horribly wrong, when you make that bad call, you will feel the burn for years. But you can’t land your dream job without getting sacked from a dead-end job somewhere along the line. You can’t find true love without all those botched relationships. You must live in some real dumps before you know with total certainty the house, the neighbourhood and the country where you plan to spend your life. There can be no happy endings without bad calls. Mistakes are how we learn. And mistakes are the only way we learn. “You know, I believe we have two lives,” says Iris Gaines, the dumped girlfriend in Barry Levinson’s 1984 film The Natural, the story of a man who makes some life-warping bad calls and then tries to make them right. “What do you mean?” asks Roy Hobbs, the man who abandoned Iris, his childhood sweetheart, leaving all that was good and then living to regret it. “The life we learn with and the life we live after that,” Iris tells him. We get the big stuff badly wrong. The wrong woman, wrong drugs, wrong job. We make mistakes that change our lives, attempt to bury us, cause untold misery, leave wounds that we carry forever. But the good news is that none of it is beyond recovery. Sometimes you bounce back. Sometimes you simply crawl away from the wreckage – of a bad marriage, of a nothing job, of addiction. And then you carry on, with a harder heart and clearer eyes. The only truly bad calls are the ones you don’t learn from.

G Partnership

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ALEX OXLADECHAMBERLAIN The son of a former England international, Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2011 as an attacking midfielder. Since then, The Ox has made over 100 appearances for the Gunners, becoming the youngest Englishman to score in the Champions League and following in his father’s footsteps by representing England. Wool blend top, £50. Wool blend trousers, £65. Both by Nike. At Mr Porter. mrporter. com. Trainers by Nike, £95. At Office.


Matthew Shave


Grace Gilfeather


Robert Johnston and Paul Henderson

When you are at the top of your game there is only one fabric that can match your performance – naturally


CONOR BENN Undefeated British boxer Benn has big boots to fill. As the son of the legendary former super-middleweight world champion Nigel Benn, Benn’s career has been heavily scrutinised since he turned pro earlier this year. However, after five wins from five fights, he is already being described as one of the sport’s hottest prospects. Watch this space... Merino wool hoodie by Polo Ralph Lauren, £240. At Mr Porter.

n the world of human performance, it often seems that technology is the key to success and, by extension, that manmade makes the man. But it turns out that such thinking is about as mired in misinformation as an Olympic doping enquiry. In fact, it is nature itself, in the form of Merino wool, that is the undisputed champion when it comes to pure action. Not that the wonder of wool should come as much surprise. The oldest pair of trousers known to science was discovered in the 3,300-year-old grave of a nomadic tribesman in what is now western China, and archaeologists are pretty sure they were originally designed for riding horses. But the properties of wool go far further than simply helping your thighs avoid chaffing against horse hair. And to find out how and why, check out the structure of a fibre of wool. Rather than simply being a thread, it has seven distinct layers that help give it its extraordinary properties. First – and this is as important to The Royal Ballet star dancer Eric Underwood leaping on the stage at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House as it is to Tour de France winner Chris Froome cycling up the gruelling hairpin bends of Alpe d’Huez – is softness. Merino fibres are extremely fine, three times finer than a human hair, under all conditions. This also means that it has great natural elasticity, so a Merino wool garment will stretch with you and then return to its original shape during work-outs and extreme performances. Its antistatic properties mean that it is less likely to cling uncomfortably to the body during exercise. Even under the most gruelling physical and climactic conditions, Merino is excellent at keeping the skin dry thanks to its ability to absorb more than a third of its weight in moisture while staying dry to the touch – making it far more effective at moisture management compared to synthetic fibres. Woollen socks are the best bet for runners of all sorts, as they help to keep feet dry while cotton and synthetic models will end up sweat-soaked. Not that all synthetics are bad. When Merino is combined with small amounts of certain man-made fibres it can help also increase the wool’s natural tensile strength, making such garments ideal for full-on contact sports. The combination can also speed up the wicking process of taking moisture away from the body and releasing it into the atmosphere. Its natural crimp also means that Merino wool creates a huge number of tiny, insulating air pockets that keep you both cool in the heat and warm in the cold. And not only will you sweat less in wool, you can forget the fabric conditioner because its complex chemical structure means it can actually lock away the molecules that cause odour. So no wonder when it came to putting Merino wool through its paces we asked some of the fittest, fastest and fiercest men on the planet to step up to the plate. Welcome to wool power.

A Merino wool garment will stretch with you and then return to its original shape during work-outs and performances



ERIC UNDERWOOD Having grown up in a poor suburb of Washington DC, Underwood discovered ballet after stumbling across a dance class at a performing arts school. His natural talent won him a scholarship to the American School Of Ballet, eventually becoming a soloist with The Royal Ballet in 2008 and taking UK citizenship. He’s also an in-demand model having worked with Nick Knight and David Bailey. Merino wool tights by Falke, £69.


CHRIS FROOME A three-time Tour de France winner, road racer Froome is currently the No1 cyclist in the world. Born in Kenya and brought up in South Africa by his British parents, Froome joined the professional cycling ranks in 2007 and has been a key part of Team Sky for the past six years. In 2017, he will attempt to win his third consecutive, and fourth overall, Tour de France.

Merino wool top, £120. Merino blend trousers, £120. Both by Rapha.



CHRIS ROBSHAW England international Robshaw is a former captain of his country, and has twice been named Aviva Premiership Player Of The Year representing his club Harlequins. In 2017, he will be hoping to make the squad for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, having agonisingly missed out four years ago. Wool blend top, £50. Wool blend trousers, £70. Both by Nike. At Mr Porter.


LOUIS SMITH After winning a silver in Rio de Janeiro, Smith became the only British gymnast to win medals at three separate Olympic Games, adding to the bronze medals he won in Beijing and London. Smith’s success has helped him build a strong media profile, boosted in no small way by winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. Wool trousers by Balenciaga, £415. At Browns.



JAMES ANDERSON Anderson is England’s most successful bowler of all time. Having played in over 100 Test matches and close on 200 one-day internationals, he has taken over 750 first-class wickets earning the fast-bowler the nickname “The King Of Swing”. He is hoping to add to that tally during England’s tour of India this winter. We hope so, too. Merino wool top by Loro Piana, £2,370. loropiana. com. Merino wool trousers by Michael Kors, £250.


THOM EVANS A former Glasgow Warriors and Scottish international rugby union player, Zimbabwe-born Evans’ sports career ended prematurely when he suffered a serious neck injury at the age of 24. He made a brief attempt at launching a sprinting career in 2012, and an even shorter stint as a ballroom dancer on Strictly in 2014, but is now focusing on acting and modelling. Merino wool T-shirt by Mover, £67. Merino woo trousers by Z Zegna, £330.


MARK CAVENDISH Dubbed the “Manx Missile”, Isle Of Man road-racer and track cyclist Cavendish has won 30 Tour de France stages, making him the second most successful rider in the sport’s premier event. His success has also earned him an Olympic medal, an OBE and in 2011 he was crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year. Merino wool T-shirt by Armadillo Merino, £60. Merino wool trousers, £330. Wool blend trainers, £285. Both by Z Zegna.

Art Director Michaela Nilsson Photographic Editor Ryan Grimley Fashion Assistant Jake Pummintr Hair and grooming Michael Gray at David Artists using Sukin skincare at Ouai haircare Photographic assistants Chantel King; Jesse Toksvig-Stewart Videographer Louis Mackay Video team Connor Macleod; Raul Melendez; Valerio Cerini

From the Japanese chefs taking over Paris to crazy golf as the new activity to drink to, via an earpiece translator, the new show from the creator of The Wire and the next Jennifer Lawrence, GQ proudly presents its annual digest of the best cars, watches, films, gadgets, destinations, dishes, suits, shirts, albums and buzzwords that you need to know... E D I T E D BY






We’re Drizzy with excitement It’s a testament to Drake’s popularity that when tickets for his European tour went on sale, they sold out in less than four minutes, leaving despairing fans bemoaning their luck on Twitter (Drake, being nice, responded with more dates). Such excitement is understandable – not least considering his last album, Views, ruled the Billboard 200 roost for nine consecutive weeks (that’s more than any album by a solo male act in over ten years) and was the biggest selling hip hop album of 2016. Bring it. The clincher: With rumours of a new album in 2017, Drake’s tour might offer a sneak preview of what’s to come... Drake will be touring the UK from 28 January – 23 February.

Photograph Zach Gold

Drake: The Boy Meets World tour

THE G 100 BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD Practical choice? Maybe not. Impressive as hell? Oh, yes. The clincher: Place your smartphone on the base to charge it wirelessly. £225. At The Conran Shop.


5. Ben Winston

2. Co-living Join the club Co-working was last year’s squeeze. This year – not least with a planned 22-floor luxury tower of shared accommodation and amenities in Stratford, London, called The Collective – it’s all about co-living. The venture is co-designed by PLP Architecture (known for their work on Amsterdam’s ridiculously cool The Edge building) and The Collective, and will feature a public restaurant, roof terrace with Olympic Park views, a stage, an exhibition space, a games room, (deep breath), a cinema, library, garden, gym, spa and even regular linen changes as standard. Hotels better start upping their game. The clincher: The Collective’s previous venture – a 550-bed tower, which opened last year in Old Oak – costs around £1,000 per month for its “twodio” flats. Which, for London, is actually pretty good. 302-312 High Street, Stratford, London E1. From £220 a week.

Photographs PLP Architecture; Getty Images

3. Motu Indian Kitchen Curry favour The off-shoot venture from the folks behind Gymkhana, the Michelin-starred, officially-the-best-Indian-food-in-town, Motu aims to bring the foodie knowhow of their Mayfair restaurant to your door by teaming up with Deliveroo. And, surprisingly, the standard isn’t far off. The best-value order is their “Feast boxes” for two, which contain two mains – take your pick from standard fare like Madras Prawn Masala (brilliant) to the more specialist Bonemarrow Methi Lamb Keema (even better) – and all the sides one needs (even the rice is amazing). The clincher: The mammoth “Feast boxes” cost just £32 – for food of this quality, that’s a bargain.

4. Levitating Bulb by Flyte Floaty light Believe it or not, wireless power has been a thing for more than a century. If only Nikola Tesla had ousted the cabled tech of his rival, Thomas Edison, our homes’ power-lead spaghetti junctions would be less of a headache. Today, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, designer Simon Morris is doing his bit to cut the cords. His levitating Flyte light uses an electromagnet to hover clear of its base and induction power to illuminate the bulb.


The man behind the man Winston is, simply, the most powerful man in Hollywood you’ve never heard of. The long-term friend of James Corden (they met when Winston was 18, on the set of Teachers) accompanied him to Los Angeles and has been a huge part of his meteoric rise – the 35-year-old not only produces The Late Late Show and provides the logistics behind online mega-hit Carpool Karaoke, but is also looking after the spin-off shows – Drop The Mic for TBS and Carpool Karaoke for Apple. The clincher: Winston is also one of the partners of production company Fulwell 73, responsible for sports documentaries such as The Class Of ’92 and I Am Bolt.

6. Quartz app



Text all about it Ever wished you could be like Joaquin Phoenix in Her, with Scarlett Johansson, your personal automated assistant, whispering the day’s news in your ear? OK, well that’s never going to happen. But you can have someone text, yes text, you your news, hourly, with a 100 per cent response rate. When you’re interested in a topic, text back for more. Plus, it’ll only buzz you when it’s really important. The clincher: You know those bewitching three dots that appear when someone’s typing, making you unable to look away? Yup, Quartz uses them too. Which is actually kinda freaky. The Quartz app for iPhone is available in the App Store or at

7. Sheet face masks Skincare covered On a trip back from Seoul earlier this year, we noticed a whole host of men kicking back in the aeroplane cabin with sheet face marks on. Since then, we’ve seen Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Pratt and Justin


7 Bieber giving them a go on Instagram. Now the craze is breaking on British shores, with more grooming brands than ever adding ready-packaged, individual sheet masks to their offering, each with different ingredients to solve any skin worries you have (Elemis, SK-II and Starskin are three we like). All you do is unfold, place on your face and relax. The clincher: For an extra-soothing experience, chill in the fridge beforehand. Pack of six facial treatment masks by SK-II, £60. At Harrods.

8 Boots by Everyday Hero Feet Of Pride Bob Dylan sure could write a tune. He also had exceptional footwear game. This emerging Swedish company has been inspired by the Nobel Prize-winning songsmith to create a range of boots that allow the wearer to walk tall (literally, with Cuban heels) and look the business. The clincher: The Zimmerman Zip Boot picks up where Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent left off. And for half the price. £182.


12. Direct Drive Turntable System SL-1200G by Technics 9

9. Sex x Dogtown Decked out Sex is the hottest new British skateboard company you haven’t heard of (yet), while Dogtown is arguably the most famous name in skate history – which makes its collaboration the most desirable hook-up since Ant met Dec. Expect the multicoloured neon tees, mesh caps and oversized trousers to be as popular at London Fashion Week Men’s as they are at the South Bank’s Undercroft. The clincher: Its reworking of the original 1978 Dogtown Big Foot deck should tempt the most long-dormant of skaters back on to four wheels. T-shirt, £30.

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For the record Thanks to renewed interest in vinyl, Technics have introduced a new model to their SL-1200 series, first introduced in 1970. It doesn’t come cheap, but produces high-precision sound while eliminating quality degradations, much to the delight of DJs and audiophiles across the world. The clincher: The limited edition sold out in half an hour, so expect a huge demand for this beautiful new deck. £2,999.

14. Tyrone Lebon Flash photography London-based Lebon has been taking cool, sun-dappled photographs for style magazines and brands for years, yet it was the music video he conjured for Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” that really sent his cool cachet into the stratosphere. The clincher: We loved his Calvin Klein ads, featuring everyone from Justin Bieber and Kendrick Lamar to Bella Hadid and Kate Moss.

15. 939 SuperSport by Ducati 13. Unsigned musicians Independent means When hip hop wunderkind Chance The Rapper self-released his 2016 mixtape, Coloring Book, he proved labels weren’t essential to success. He proved his point so well, in fact, that Frank Ocean followed suit, self-releasing both Endless and Blonde. Then, it was grime kings Stormzy and Skepta’s turn to show the labels who’s boss: Stormzy became the first unsigned act to win an AIM award and Skepta took home the Mercury Prize for Konnichiwa. Ironically, now artists are playing hard to get, labels can’t stop chasing them. The clincher: As Chance The Rapper puts it, “If one more label try to stop me/ It’s gon’ be some dreadhead n***** in ya lobby.” You heard him.

10. Rings Hand picked After the bracelet boom of the past few seasons, the most important men’s accessory this year will be rings: you’ll start to see them in the most exclusive, hot-button stores – there are iterations dripping with jewels at Gucci and Louis Vuitton. However, there are also pareddown versions at cool Scandi brands like All Blues as well as on the high street. The clincher: Want to try the trend? Stack ’em up – the more you layer, the better. Rings by All Blues, from £110. At

Very easy rider High-powered sports bikes: can’t live with ‘em, can’t wrap yourself around a tree without ’em. As anyone who has experienced the blistering speed of a superbike will know, it’s not the velocity that kills you – it’s the abrupt stopping caused by oncoming vehicles that does the irreparable damage. So Ducati have come up with the 939 SuperSport: a road bike that combines sport styling with a powerful Testastretta engine, and yet is designed for comfort and to be ridden every day. In other words, it is the ultimate bad-ass bike for beginners. The clincher: The “S” version's gear shift allows riders to shift up or down without using the clutch. From £10,995.

It takes two Clive Christian, the luxury British perfume house, has released the seventh fragrance pair in its collection, Noble VII. Rock Rose is the more masculine fragrance of the two, while Comos Flower is its gentler feminine companion. Rock Rose has top notes of citrus, warmed with bergamot, black pepper and a classic cologne touch of neroli. With a matte-black bottle and a gold and red finish, these scents are guaranteed to add a sense of grandeur to your grooming routine. The clincher: Clive Christian is the only house to be granted permission to use Queen Victoria’s crown on its bottle. £350. At Harrods.



11. Noble VII by Clive Christian


16. Taylor Hill

Photograph Terry Tsiolis/CPI Syndication

This year’s model Heard the one about the Victoria Secret’s model discovered in a barn? Well, you have now. At 18, all the doe-eyed Hill was interested in was riding horses. A chance meeting with a photographer (now her agent) at a ranch in Granby, Colorado, however, ignited a modelling career that has become commercial (she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2015), cool (Hill has “walked” for everyone from Armani to Vivienne Westwood) and enviably connected (5.4 million followers on Instagram and counting). The clincher: It's pretty obvious. Follow Taylor Hill on Instagram @taylor_hill

17. David Hockney at Tate Britain The biggest splash Seize the chance to see this extensive collection of Hockney’s changing artistic styles and themes, spanning his entire career. This heavyweight figure of British contemporary art will show a diverse range of his image-making at Tate Britain, from photographic collages and iconic swimming pool paintings of the Sixties and Seventies, all the way through to his recent Yorkshire paintings and experiments on the iPad. The clincher: Taschen’s enormous retrospective – David Hockney. A Bigger Book (£1,750), complete with its own stand designed by Marc Newson – was released this month if you can’t wait. 9 February – 29 May 2017. Tate Britain. Millbank, Westminster, London SW1.

18. BMW M760Li Bahnstormer BMW has created the ultimate continentcrushing command centre for HNI’s in a hurry. Thanks to a performance-tuned V12 engine and four-wheel drive, it gets

to 62mph in 3.9 seconds (the same as an Aston Martin Vanquish) and doesn’t stop until it hits a (tethered) 155mph. The clincher: The M760Li has cameras that scan the road ahead and precondition the suspension settings. No more spilled coffee if your driver doesn’t spot a speedbump. From £131,820.

19. Japarisiennes Turning Paris Japanese Get a Frenchman drunk over a bottle of Bordeaux and you’ll soon have him lamenting the loss of la gastronomie française to Asian Fusion. Across Paris, Japanese chefs are opening high-end restaurants serving classic French cuisine. There is no Japanese “twist” – no foie gras and yuzu. Instead, it’s fine cuisine à la française, made with Japanese precision. The clincher: The trend is turning so many heads it’s moving to London, with Yu Sugimoto to be head chef at Mayfair’s Michelin venue The Square from February. The Square, 6-10 Bruton Street, London W1. 020 7495 7100,

Photograph David Hockney/Tate Britain



20. Floral brogues by Gucci Come into bloom Gucci designer Alessandro Michele is a phenomenon. He has single-handedly turned Gucci into the most desirable label on the planet – some say he has given the entire fashion industry a shot in the arm by showing that it is all about great product. And to prove the point these are the greatest dress shoes we’ve seen for a while. Classic black brogues decorated with tiny pink and green flowers. Subversive has never looked so smart. The clincher: Check out the silver metal tiger heads on the heel! £630. At

21. The new Twin Peaks Finally! First it was happening. Then it wasn’t. Then it was, but not with David Lynch. Now, finally, it is, and it’s almost here. The series that half the people half understood is back with all the major cast (including Kyle MacLachlan as FBI special agent Dale Cooper, though he remains curiously untouched by the intervening 25 years) but a different central mystery.

The clincher: Lynch initially walked away due to budget constraints which means now, rather than a measly eight episodes, as mooted, we get a whopping 18. Twin Peaks is on Sky Atlantic next year.

23. Bugatti Chiron

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Believe the hype Bugatti might not be the best hypercar manufacturer in the world, but it would be safe to say they are in the top one. And if there were any argument, the imminent release of the Chiron – successor to the Veyron – will shut everyone up (principally because it is very hard to talk when your jaw is agape). Not only does it look incredible, so are the numbers. This quad-turbo 8-litre, 1,479bhp-producing wonder can travel from 0-62mph in 2.5secs; 0-124mph in less than 6.5secs; and 0-186mph in under 13.6secs. And they are only making 500. What are you waiting for? The clincher: Bugatti have limited the top speed to 261mph for road use. But how much more is it capable of? Let’s put it this way – the speedo runs up to 310mph (500kph). £1,900,000.


22. Spectacles by Snapchat In the frame Having taken a gigantic bite out of the social-media app market, Snapchat is moving into hardware with its Spectacles. The glasses, equipped with a camera that can record Snapchat-ready, 10-second video clips, may have the unmistakeable whiff of “first gen”, but underneath the bold design is a genius 115-degree, widerangle lens. Capturing video in a circular frame, rather than a rectangular one, the result is said to better represent the human field of vision. Expect this to open up a new frontier in tech. The clincher: At £100 they stand a chance of going mainstream in a way that Google Glass never could.

24. Jorja Smith Heart and soul Musicians are often described in terms of reference points, “the next Drake,” or “the new Beyoncé”. It’s a breath of fresh air, then, that Mobo-nominated Jorja Smith defies such lazy comparisons. Her downtempo R&B single “Blue Lights” sampled old-school Dizzee Rascal, and her follow up, “A Prince”, featuring Maverick Sabre, sampled 17th-century composer Henry Purcell’s “A Prince Of Glorious Race Descended”. This year Mark Ronson saw her at Glastonbury and now he can’t get her out of his headphones, so good luck getting her out of yours. The clincher: Drake just followed Smith on Twitter, and you should too. Follow Jorja Smith on Twitter @JorjaSmith.

25. The phrase ‘It’s lit’ Just add hashtag Essentially the new “squad goals”, “it’s lit” can be used to best effect coupled with the fire emoji on Snapchat, as a hashtag on Instagram or as your mark of approval to the host when you turn up at a party. Essentially: fun is happening. Kids have been using it for ages and now it’s your turn. The clincher: Use in conjunction with the millennial abbreviation “AF” (verbally spell the letters out, rookie) and you’re good to go.

26. Poké bowls Island influence Poké – meaning sliced – is a Hawaiian dish of raw fish, seasoned with rock salt, kukui nut and seaweed, and it’s popping up all over London. Hackney’s Behind This Wall started pairing it with gin highballs in January, and now the capital has four new Poké restaurants in residence: Mayfair’s Black Roe (4 Mill Street, W1. 020 3794 8448, opened in March, Soho’s Tombo (28 D’Arblay Street, W1, 020 7734 1333. tombopoke. com) and Fitzrovia’s Ahi Poke (3 Percy Street, W1. both opened in June, and Island Poké (8 Kingly Street, W1. opened in October. The clincher: The salt in Poké is the perfect hangover minimiser. So more Poké, more cocktails, basically.


27. Elon Musk’s brain The real-life Tony Stark This three pounds of grey matter is responsible for everything from the new Tesla Model S P100D, an all-electric saloon car that can travel over 300 miles on one charge and accelerate faster than a Lamborghini, rockets that can land themselves on floating sea rigs after visiting the International Space Station and – for the super rich in the future – sabbaticals in the shadow of Olympus Mons on Mars. Oh, and he also says we are most likely living in some alien race’s computer simulation. Because of course. The clincher: Your next car will probably be all-electric thanks to this man. Follow Elon Musk on Twitter @elonmusk


years and wrote a book to help others. So when it came to creating his signature knife range, he insisted on using Sheffield steel, partnering with Samuel Staniforth, established in 1864, and together they have created a modern British classic. The clincher: In the words of Kerridge, “Think of these knives as the Land Rover Defender for kitchens.” From £85.

29. Room Collection by Studio EO and Kyuhyung Cho Block and load Modular furniture has long helped us find purely practical solutions to peculiar spaces – with this assembly of pine plywood shapes you can satisfy your design whims too. Comprising 25 different blocks, plus a low table-cumbench, it’s a collaborative work between Stockholm-based Erik Olovsson and Korean-born Kyuhyung Cho that can be bought in whatever configuration you want. Admittedly, you may struggle for space to store more than a fraction of your book collection, but get yourself a Kindle and admire your near-unique new alcove arrangement instead. The clincher: Save at least one aperture to show off Studio EO’s melted-glass vases. From £180. At Acne Jr.


30. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

28. El Primero Range Rover Limited Edition Chronograph by Zenith King of the road Automotive tie-ups in the watch industry are nothing new, but the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph movement (Zenith’s El Primero ) and the world’s first luxury SUV (Range Rover) not only share a birthday worth celebrating (1969*), the Le Locle-based manufacture has used “ceramacised aluminium” to lighten the case (and the cost) of this special limited edition. Cooler still is the elegantly stripped down dial, overseen by RR’s creative director, Gerry McGovern. The clincher: *In other news, man walked on the moon. £6,400.

Blood on the tracks Shortlisted for the National Book Award, Colson Whitehead wasn’t the obvious writer to turn out a state-of-humanity tale of slavery in America. But it turns out he was the perfect person: the “underground railroad”, once a metaphoric network of safe houses to spirit slaves to freedom, is imagined as a steampunk reality, and the result makes us see familiar horrors with fresh eyes. The clincher: For such a weighty topic, it’s light at 306 pages. Not a word is wasted. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, £8.99) is out now.

In the bank For their upcoming Ned hotel, partners Soho House and Sydell Group have gone for all-out maximalism. Housed in the former HQ of Midland Bank, a vast neoclassical landmark built in 1925, it has been designed in the style of a Thirties ocean liner, incorporating period features such as bank clerks’ counters, safety deposit boxes and the vault door that inspired Goldfinger’s set. Hungry? Pick from nine restaurants, including a Cecconi’s – then roll upstairs to one of its 252 luxurious rooms to keep the party going. The clincher: Hotel guests are granted access to the members-only Ned’s Club, which features dining facilities, a spa, gym and rooftop pool. The Ned opens next year. 27-35 Poultry, London EC2. 020 3837 8785.

33. Land Rover Discovery 2017’s seats

31. Knives by Tom Kerridge Make the cut If something is worth doing, Tom Kerridge does it right. When he opened his pub The Hand & Flowers, he was so successful he won two Michelin stars. When he decided he needed to lose weight, he dropped over ten stone in two-and-a-half

32. The Ned hotel


Sitting pretty Like the old Discovery, the 2017 model is available as a seven-seater but, unlike the old Discovery, to save you the bother of moving them around yourself Land Rover has developed an app that allows you to configure all but the driver and passenger seats to be fully declined and raised from your phone. The clincher: On those odd days you want to configure your car’s seats when you’re about to get in it, they can be controlled using switches in the luggage area. From £43,495.

Photograph Gustav Almestål; Burberry




34. Parade jacket by Burberry Military precision Christopher Bailey’s latest collection for Burberry as shown in London last September was his first that combined both menswear and womenswear. The collection itself was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s (appropriately) gender-fluid novel of time travel Orlando. The result is a brilliant blend of Elizabethan-inspired pieces with 19th-century military uniforms and early 20th-century wallpaper prints from the Victoria & Albert museum. This parade jacket is redolent of dashing Hussars and surely the closest you will come to being a romantic hero this side of Poldark while still keeping your top on. The clincher: It also looks great worn with a pair of jeans. £995. JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 163

35. Fleece robe by Soho Home Enjoy some gown time Not content at being the home-fromhome for the international globe-trotting creative classes, Soho House’s Nick Jones has decided to re-create the club/ hotel’s ambience in your home with the Soho Home collection. The secret of the members’ club’s formula is creating a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere that is always welcoming – and what could be more welcome after a long bath or shower than this hooded fleece robe, as found in all Houses and Cowshed spas? The clincher: People will know you are a man of the world thanks to the famously discreet SH logo on the chest. £55.

36. Lisbon



The clincher: The new Museum Of Art, Architecture And Technology opened in October, designed by London based architects AL_A. Avenue Brasília, Central Tejo. 1300-598 Belém, Lisbon.

39. Leather pouch by Loewe

37. Mu-So QB by Naim Speakers’ corner We at GQ love the Mu-So – the oblong slab of musical brilliance that knocked nearly all one-speaker systems out of the water when it launched in 2014, after Naim managed to successfully parlay its hi-fi know-how into a one-stop shop. Still, the downside: it was as heavy as a tombstone. Step forward Naim’s little brother, the cube-shaped QB. The bass may not be quite as filling-rattling, but for its neat size, it’s the best speaker money can buy. The clincher: It can connect to everything, from Apple AirPlay to Spotify Connect and Tidal. £595.


40. Micro-Current Enhancer by Panasonic

38. Beer mug by Connolly Not raving, but downing On the principle there’s a poetry in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well, Connolly – the recently reanimated luxury concept store that operates from a townhouse on London’s Clifford Street – has produced the ultimate beer mug. Hand-blown from one piece of lead crystal, its form was inspired by a photograph of the actor and bibulist Oliver Reed cradling a traditional, dimpled pint glass. The clincher: More penthouse than pub, it will finally do justice to all those craft ales you’ve been chilling. £165.

The finishing clutch The man clutch (we’d call it a mutch if that wasn’t already the name of a 19th-century women’s bonnet) has come into its own. And it’s no surprise that when the bare minimum you need to take on a night out is a phone, keys, wallet and a discreet bottle of Ultradex, pockets alone aren’t enough. So gather up your belongings in the neat pouch by Loewe’s designer JW Anderson. The shape is slim, the leather is super smooth and the zip fastening reveals just enough space for life’s little essentials. The clincher: Orange is the hottest colour for accessories right now. £425.


Facial gymnastics By introducing innovative technology to your existing grooming regime, Panasonic are making it easier than ever to look after your skin. This three-in-one product is the first of its kind, designed to improve the effectiveness of your skincare products by enhancing their purifying, moisturising and cooling capabilities for a firmer and more radiant complexion. The clincher: Who said The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was fiction? Research has shown the Micro-Current Enhancer delivers decreased wrinkle depth in just four weeks. £200.

Photograph © YOOX Net-A-Porter Group

Capital of culture Recently dubbed “the new Berlin” (that’s a good thing), Lisbon has fast become a magnet for young, creative types joining its rapidly emerging arts scene. Why? Well, with a culture of thriving cafés and bars, bohemian lifestyles, affordable rents and 270 days of sunshine a year, you’d be hard-pressed to find a reason not to love Lisbon. The wave of young, entrepreneurial types moving to the city is reflected in the variety of start-ups appearing, from design ateliers to a flourishing gallery scene.


42. Jason Atherton at Heathrow Flight club For a chef with restaurants in Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Sydney and Shanghai, Atherton understands the importance of being able to eat well at the airport. That’s why he has teamed up with Heathrow VIP to offer business and first class passengers a new menu featuring some of the dishes from his London restaurants. The only problem is the food is so good, you might be tempted to miss your flight. The clincher: Atherton’s menu will be updated every month, so even frequent flyers will be spoilt for choice.

43. Benching The new ghosting Every serial dater knows the merits of not turning your back on past dates: your matches becomes a contact list for sex. Last year, the trendy dating word was “ghosting” (aka, completely ignoring someone you’ve dated after you’ve split). Now, though, why rule anything out? They’ll only pop up as a future app-match anyway. Keep in touch with them every so often just in case. The clincher: We were clear this leads to more sex, right?

44. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 More Marvels Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy was meant to be the comic book studio’s first big-screen flop. After all, it was based on a lesser-known comic, the heroes were weird (one was a tree, another a raccoon) and the star was a virtual nobody, Parks And Recreation actor Chris Pratt. Nonetheless, it turned out to be the funniest Marvel film yet, with the most freewheeling sense of adventure. And in Pratt, an instant A-list movie star (for proof, see the cover) was born. Are we excited about next year’s sequel? Yes, we are. The clincher: Expect to come face to face with Peter Quill’s (ie, Chris Pratt’s) dad, played by Kurt Russell. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is out 28 April 2017.

41. The Mission by Nixon Smart moves This claims to be the world’s first action sports smartwatch – so unlike some others on the market that you have to treat with kid gloves just in case the crystal cracks, this is designed to take the knocks. Being a Nixon, surfing is a big consideration, so the Android-running timepiece comes preloaded with an app powered by Surfline, the world’s largest and most trusted source for surf conditions, and Snocountry, its alpine equivalent, to streamline realtime surf and snow alerts to your wrist. The clincher: It’s all about the customisation these days, so you can build The Mission the way you want to. Choose from a variety of colours, straps and other details to design your own – or you can opt for one of the team-designed styles instead. £395.



MOVE One of the most anticipated cars of 2017, the BMW M760Li takes the pioneering 7 Series in a supremely luxurious direction

The most cutting-edge vehicle in its class, the M760Li can travel from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds 6

G Partnership

No detail has been overlooked from the 20 inch alloy wheels controlled by xDrive to the active quad exhaust system that lets you appreciate the sound of the M Performance engine

THE future of luxury exists where the twin worlds of prestige and performance combine. The M760Li is that rare combination. Uniting BMW’s signature “M” power and the cosseted comfort of the 7 Series, it is a car that gives you a fresh perspective – that encourages exploration on your own terms, in a level of comfort that makes any journey feel more refined. Quite simply the most innovative vehicle in its class, the M760Li also happens to be one of the most elegant cars on the road. The BMW M760Li xDrive is the most powerful and prestigious production car in the company’s history. First debuted at the Shanghai motor show last February, the world’s motoring press have been excitedly talking up the 6.6 litre V12 twin turbocharged petrol engine ever since. Given that you can travel from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, it is easy to share their excitement. The 610hp and 800nm of torque makes this clearly a car in its own class. The M760Li combines revolutionary technology with the pedigree of a company that has been turning heads for over 100 years. Every feature makes the driving experience more dynamic – the Head-Up Display and integral active steering enhances rather than stifles the raw thrill of motion. The eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission makes power shifts effortless, while sportier gear changes and an intelligent all-wheel drive system ensure unprecedented control. BMW has also introduced an active quad exit exhaust system, which means you can tailor how much you want to hear the glorious thunder of the

THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE Taking the wheel of the M760Li, one notices that it glides effortlessly at low speeds, but really comes into its own on the open road. Letting the Driving Assistant Plus system guide you soon feels like second nature, with the car acting as a second set of eyes to maintain the distance from the car in front, stay in lane and avoid forward collisions. The Traffic Jam Assistant offers semi-automated driving for those slower moments and Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function now only requires drivers to press a button to incorporate speed restrictions. The masterstroke? Remote Control Parking never gets old.

engine. Gesture Control is available on the go, so you can safely control your car’s audio and field phone calls while on the move. The M760Li also boasts some features that’ll seriously impress your passengers. The full Merino leather upholstery gives the feeling of discreet opulence and, when combined with the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, creates a similar sensation to a First Class cabin or a high end hotel suite. The Sky Lounge panoramic glass sunroof gives the tantalising sense of being wholly part of your environment – even when you’re travelling at speed. While others may be swayed by a new car’s flashy peripheries, this is a vehicle that truly justifies the hype. Not only does it possess considerable power, but it can deliver thrilling speed, stunning accuracy and unrivalled comfort simultaneously. In short, it bears all the hallmarks of over a century spent perfecting the Ultimate Driving Machine.


47. L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

49. Red Dead Redemption 2

Artifice-free grooming Since 1803, L’Officine Universelle Buly has been offering the most desirable scents, as well as more than 400 stylish grooming, cosmetic and hygiene products. The brand selects the best and simplest of raw materials, with no parabens, phenoxyethanol or silicon. With more than 200 years of experience, it’s unsurprising its high-end products also look great – think a French Penhaligon’s. The Parisian apothecary brand is now coming to the UK and launching at Dover Street Market and online at Mr Porter. The clincher: Pick up the luxurious Buly 1803 Crème Pogonotomienne for shaving. The packaging is every bit as beautiful as the contents. Available at Dover Street Market. And

Even wilder West It didn’t take much for fans of this Western game to get excited when Rockstar Games (the folks behind the Grand Theft Auto series) simply tweeted their logo in red: the internet went nuts. That’s because it’s the latest in the firm’s ever more complex sandbox worlds – aside from the usual shooting and driving, Grand Theft Auto V allowed you to play everything from tennis to golf – so a wild West world where almost anything is possible? Yeah, that’s pretty exciting. The clincher: A follow-up teaser showed the silhouette of seven gunmen, so if you’re after straight-up outlaw action, rest assured it’ll have that too. Expected mid-2017.


45. Alpina backpack by Bally Badge up This is the age of the backpack – if nothing else, your joints will be jubilant because they are so much better for your posture than a briefcase or a satchel. And they come in all shapes and sizes, from sporty to sumptuous. The Alpina by Bally also takes on board another red-hot trend of the moment: embellishment. In this case, with patches inspired by vintage luggage labels. The clincher: The best way to carry both gym kit and work essentials in style. £750.

46. Rimowa’s Junkers F13 Aces high This unique recreation of the Junkers F13 is the coolest classic plane money can buy. While the 1919 original was the first all-metal transport aircraft, setting records for altitude and endurance, the Rimowa F13 is really just a very expensive passion project by the CEO of a luxury luggage company. There’s a link between Rimowa and Junkers – they’re both made from the same corrugated aluminium copper alloy – but we suspect it’s just something that Dieter Morszeck really wanted to fly. The clincher: Got the luggage? Now you can get the plane to match. $2.2 million (£1.7m).


48. Tel Aviv Off the griddle A clutch of Levant-inspired restaurant openings – not least the GQ Food and Drink Award-winning Palomar and its younger sibling, The Barbary – have focused attention on the region’s cuisine and, in particular, the food revolution in Tel Aviv. Now is the time to go to the source: stay at the city’s first boutique hotel, the Norman, wander its markets, take in the nine miles of beachfront, but don’t forget to book dinner at 25-yearold super-chef Raz Rahav’s OCD, a few minutes from the centre. The clincher: In March a W will open in nearby Jaffa, confirming the city’s hip hotel credentials.


50. Legacy by David Bowie Bowie’s greatest greatest hits Released via Parlophone, this posthumous album collates a selection of Bowie’s finest songs and singles, spanning almost every album from his five-decade long career. Legacy starts with “Let’s Dance” and ends with Bowie’s final single “Lazarus”, via everything from “Changes” to “China Girl.” The album also features an unreleased version of “Life On Mars?”, mixed by its original producer, Ken Scott. Also: great liner notes. The clincher: To mark a year since Bowie’s death, Legacy will be released on a double vinyl album on 6 January. Legacy is out now.


51. Premium mixers Let the spirit shine through It’s official, traditional mixers are on the way out: now it’s all about “spirit enhancers”. Brands such as Merchant’s Heart boast tonic with a hint of floral aromatics, ginger ale and hibiscus, and pink tonic with peppercorn – all expertly crafted to amplify and complement spirits rather than mask them. The clincher: You’ll find Merchant’s Heart mixers in London’s finest establishments, from Hawksmoor Spitalfields to Holborn Dining Room.

52. Haley Bennett

Photographs Mikael Jansson/Trunk Archive

Don’t call her the new Jennifer Lawrence What do The Magnificent Seven, The Girl On The Train and the Warren Beattydirected Rules Don’t Apply have in common? That’s right, Haley Bennett, whose name you might not have down, but whose looks, charm, and, shall we say, “charisma” you’ll have already spotted this autumn. The clincher: “Everyone thinks I’m Jennifer Lawrence! It’s hilarious!” (OK she can say it, you can’t.) Rules Don’t Apply is out on 27 January.

53. Testa skis by Zai


Get the drift They have been described as the Bentley of the ski world, and it’s not hard to see why. Zai handcrafts its Testa skis in Switzerland, using a mix of lightweight cedarwood, polished walnut, carbon fibre and stainless steel, to create the ultimate in snow-riding performance. How good are they? Well, when a company uses a poem to express its design philosophy, you know it takes its product seriously. The clincher: And here it is: “Zai finds the line/ Reading the mountain/ Plays in the snow/ Like jackdaws in the sky”. £4,230. At Harrods.


Get licky When Allens, the storied butchers of Mount Street closed its doors after nearly 200 years in Mayfair, the world seemed to slow a little. But no longer: the premises have been taken by no less a culinary player than Dean & DeLuca, New York’s finest deli, the progenitor of the whole gourmet grocer scene, and has celebrity fans that range from Helen Mirren to Taylor Swift. Its first European outlet debuts in the UK next spring. The clincher: Look out for a collaboration with the Williams family – as in Pharrell. Dean & DeLuca opens next year. 117 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1.

Console yourself You don’t really need to know that Microsoft’s next Xbox has an eightcore AMD APU, or that its memory bandwidth is 320 gigabytes per second. All you need to know is that it’s really, really powerful – four times the graphical capability of the current Xbox One, and better than anything else on the market. Codenamed “Project Scorpio”, and due out later in 2017, it has been designed specifically for hardware-testing 4K and VR gaming. Ready, player one? The clincher: Existing games such as Halo 5: Guardians, currently hamstrung by Xbox One’s comparatively low power, will finally be able to shine. Xbox Project Scorpio is released autumn2017.

58. Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld

55. Stratajet app Fly by wireless Stratajet is bringing private jets to the masses. No need to call a broker for a quote or sign up to an expensive retainer with a private jet provider, just load up the Stratajet app, input your route and passenger requirements, and let their algorithms calculate which planes are available. With Apple Pay and a credit card you can book with your fingerprint. And because Stratajet includes empty jets flying home, you could save thousands on your next charter. The clincher: With Stratajet you can fly private for less than first class. The Stratajet app for iPhone is available in the App Store or at

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59. KeyMission 360 by Nikon All the action There are no shortage of quality action cams, but how many can shoot in full virtual-reality-ready 360-degree video in ultra-HD resolution? The Nikon KeyMission 360 is just 200g in weight, but features

56. The New Yorker Book Of The Sixties: Story Of A Decade A bite of the Big Apple Every issue of the New Yorker contains at least one gem, so a book containing the best pieces from across a whole decade? Well, that’s quite a prospect, particulary when that decade is so rich in great journalism. The New Yorker Book Of The Sixties explores the most socially transformative period of the 20th century through writers such as Truman Capote, James Baldwin and Hannah Arendt. The clincher: At 720 pages, it will last you until next Christmas. New Yorker Book Of The Sixites: Story Of A Decade (Penguin, £30) is out now.

Dream machine For a while there, it looked like Evan Rachel Wood’s time was up. The Wrestlerstarring, Marilyn Manson-dating, True Blood-scene stealing “best actress of her generation” (according to the Guardian back in 2006), seemed to have fallen off the radar four years ago. But now she has returned as the star of HBO’s higheststakes gambit since Game Of Thrones: the sci-fi drama Westworld, in which she plays the robot Dolores, and she is winning critical plaudits by the dozen. The clincher: In addition to starring in the best new show on television, her character is often totally disrobed. We’re only saying...


two opposite facing, ultra-wide-angle lenses, each with 20-megapixel sensors, and means a single fully rotatable moving image can be stitched together. When using a VR headset, it means you’re virtually there once again at your mountain-biking/white water rafting/walk to the shops adventure (hey, whatever floats your VR boat). The clincher: You don’t have to use a VR headset to watch the footage, you can do it on a laptop, moving your mousepad to alter your viewpoint. £419.

60. HealthBox by Under Armour Boxing clever Under Armour may have arrived a little late to the fitness tracker party, but it certainly hasn’t turned up empty handed. Instead of offering a wearable that half-heartedly encourages you to take the stairs, UA has approached the issue of active health with an all-round package that will monitor how you work, rest and play. Its stylish HealthBox may have been developed in association with HTC, but it wouldn’t look out of place in the new Apple store on London’s Regent Street. The tracker offers the full works and features a wrist band, a heart-rate monitor and a smart body-fat scale. This is the complete fitness package in a box. The clincher: All the data that you generate is synced to an Under Armour app, which can give you a detailed overview of your health. £350.

61. Bert’s Boxes by Bert & May Ready when you are Unless you’ve got Philippe Starck on speed dial, chances are your garden office is, to put it politely, function over form. This one deals with both. The prefab offices are built in 14 weeks and even the smallest model features a 49in Sony TV, Autonomics Mirage music system, Amina invisible ceiling speakers throughout, Nest Learning thermostat, full insulation and Bert & May’s trademark tiling. Because it’s considered a portable dwelling there’s no need for planning permission, either. The clincher: It gets built off site – down to the cushions and curtains – then lowered into your garden. All you do is plug it in and it you’re online. From £50,000.

Photograph Jody Todd; courtesy of Burberry

57. Dean & DeLuca

54. Xbox Project Scorpio


Silk shirts Yes, really The Seventies trend shows no sign of stopping, and one of the most important items you’ll need to tick off this season will be a silk shirt. High-shine fabric was one of the signature materials for spring on the catwalks in London, Milan and Paris, and we saw it used in a totally new way: as your ultimate layering item. One of the best examples of this was during the most recent Burberry show where pyjama shirts were worn partially buttoned over shirts, under warmer top-layers or sandwiched between the two. The clincher: Go for a size larger than you would ordinarily buy to get that signature slouchy look. Shirt by Burberry, £495.

The Honeycomb at Albany by Bjarke Ingels Bee here now Since 2007, Spurs owner Joe Lewis, together with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, has been turning a 600-acre coastal spread of New Providence, Bahamas, into Albany – a remarkable commune for the ultrahigh-net-worth. This year, Mr Lewis and friends will hand keys to the owners of their latest, not to mention most ambitious, development. Its hive-like shape was architect Bjarke Ingels’ engineering solution to a brief to build hot tubs into balconies that overlook the ocean and Albany’s 71-berth superyacht marina. The glass-fronted pools might give the resort’s privacy-vigilant concierges a challenge when it comes to sparing their residents’ blushes, but with resale values already more than 30 per cent above the original listings, a bit of exuberance is only to be expected. The clincher: Ernie Els designed the 18-hole golf course – a fiveminute cart hop away. From $4.5 million. 127 South Ocean Road, New Providence, Bahamas. +1 242 676 6010.


64. Trainers by Axel Arigato Runaway success For a small country Sweden is a fashion superpower. One of the most recent Nordic must-haves to hit the UK is trainer brand Axel Arigato. In the vanguard of the minimal stealth-style movement, Axel Arigato has pared down the trainer to perfection – no nonsense, just pure style. A favourite is cap-toe chukka. With a seven-eye lace closure it sits perfectly just on the ankle and looks great in grey suede. The clincher: These work just as well in the office as they do at the weekend – and are incredibly comfortable. £135.

65. Phoebe Waller-Bridge Britain’s Lena Dunham To say her sitcom made 31-year-old Waller-Bridge a star is quite an understatement: the jet-black comedy Fleabag aired earlier this year on BBC Three, swiftly gained a cult following, made the inevitable move to BBC Two, and before long was streaming on Amazon stateside and clocking rave reviews in the New Yorker. That, in turn, has led to an LA agent for its creator and Hollywood is now hers. Which isn’t bad, considering two years ago it was little more than a one-person theatre show and Waller-Bridge was all-but unknown. The clincher: Mixing heartfelt drama, brutal comedy and the occasional flourishes of absurdism, there really is nothing else on British TV like it. Fleabag is available on iPlayer.

Photograph @farmacyuk/Instagram

66. Trunk, made-to-measure Fit, not fussy We here at GQ are, naturally, big fans of beautiful Savile Row tailoring. But we know it’s not for everyone. Trunk, specialises in casual, refined suits. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t fit well. Step forward its new made-to-measure service, which means you can get all the suits you love that fit you exactly as they should. Many of its customers even simply repeat the same orders with minor alterations – exactly the kind of service you should expect from such a comfortingly intimate setting. The clincher: Trunk is directly opposite Chiltern Firehouse, so you can pop in after a working lunch. 8 Chiltern Street, London W1. 020 7486 2357,

67. Eddie Murphy’s comeback Raw power Remember when Eddie Murphy was good? No? It’s understandable, as

it’s been 28 years since he was a human firework stand-up and for many he’s simply the guy who breaks wind a lot on the big screen in fat suits. In the last five years, he hasn’t even been that, as he took a complete career break. But now, he says, he’s gearing up for a monumental live comedy comeback, telling the Hollywood Reporter that he’d originally quit as it “stopped being fun”, but now, “All of a sudden, I’m this far away from it.” The clincher: He’s set to star in another Beverly Hills Cop film. The Eddie Murphy comeback is on.

68. Twist Plus by OneAdaptr Take charge In an age of virtual reality, 3-D printing and space tourism, it’s incredible we still haven’t fixed some of the tech basics. Case in point: international plug sockets. How many times have you had to schlep around multiple adapters, or gone to a country only to discover that you brought one for a subtly different type of fitting (no – a D not an E!)? The Twist range cleverly incorporates every variant you could possibly want, plus multiple USB sockets, and for something as sexless as an adapter, it looks pretty good to boot. The clincher: The Twist Plus can directly accommodate a MacBook power pack. £29.99.

69. Rise of the veggie burger Veggies assemble Are we over burgers yet? No, of course we aren’t, but all that red meat does not a happy colon make. That’s why, as we all eat cleaner and become more health conscious, the unlikeliest of trends has started to gather pace. For years the veggie burger was the poor relation to the nut roast, but thanks to restaurants such as Farmacy, and the work of glamour cooks Hemsley & Hemsley, all of a sudden it is acceptable – dare we say preferable – to fill our baps with black beans, mushrooms, quinoa and co. They look good, taste good and do you good… which is obviously great. The clincher: Serve your burger with sweet potato fries and you can actually feel your arteries unclogging (sort of).





unlock defences, rather than just one, with a holding midfielder behind (so essentially a 4-1-4-1 formation). The Manchester City manager has Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva perfecting the high-energy, highly intelligent dual roles, although Tottenham have followed suit, with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen forming a dominant midfield tandem. The clincher It could be the magic formula for getting both Alli and Ross Barkley into the same England side (and – weep – would have solved the Lampard-Gerrard puzzle).

70. Ridley Scott’s sci-fi follow-ups Alien vs Blade Runner If you thought Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a one-off in the belated sequel department, think again. Next year will see two follow-ups to iconic Ridley Scott sci-fis. A mere 35 years after the 1982 original, Scott is producing Blade Runner 2049, which once again includes Harrison Ford, while Scott is back in the director’s chair for Alien: Covenant, a follow-up to Alien prequel Prometheus. The clincher: Alien: Covenant sees a new crew discover David (Michael Fassbender), a “synthetic” survivor of the Prometheus expedition. Alien: Covenant is out on 4 August 2017. Blade Runner 2049 is out on 6 October 2017.

71. Munch Fit Power plates This new food delivery service from former personal trainer Angus Fay proves that eating healthily doesn’t mean starving yourself, nor does it mean sacrificing flavour. With three-course meals including protein waffles, banana leaf-wrapped cod and prawn and chorizo skewers delivered to your desk every morning (plus snacks), these individual portions demonstrate just how good healthy food can taste while still helping you achieve your fitness goals. The clincher: The menu changes seasonally, so you’ll never get bored. From £8.50.

72. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis Life, Moneyballed In 2003, Michael Lewis was reading a review in the New Republic of Moneyball, his magnum opus about how data was transforming sports, and came across a reference to the godfathers of behavioural economics, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. He hadn’t heard of them, but it didn’t take him long to figure out, he said, “that in a not so roundabout way, Kahneman and Tversky had made my baseball story possible”. The Undoing Project explores their groundbreaking work on human irrationality. The clincher: It’s not just sports – the book also shows how the pair’s theories have influenced thinking on everything from politics to medicine. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis (Penguin, £25) is out on 6 December.

73. The Eight-And-A-Half Beasts of the midfield Forget the “false No9”, this year’s squad-numerical football buzzword is the “eight-and-a-half”, aka, the “free No8”. Like all good tactical innovations nowadays, it comes from the Pep Guardiola playbook, and sees a team use two central attacking playmakers in the same space in midfield, both looking to


Silent running Driving along with the top down usually involves the wind where your hair should be, but the Dawn’s convertible lid is a bit special. It’s the quietest roof in operation ever built and, when you’re driving, the rake of the windscreen and sunken cabin keeps disruptive wind off your coiffure. The clincher: The fabric is fastened to the metal framework using a French seam, popular among Savile Row tailors. From £264,000.

75. Rix jacket by Castore Hybrid practice Castore sportswear is the brainchild of brothers Tom and Phil Beahon. Coming from a professional sports background (in football and cricket), they believe they understand what the serious athlete expects from his kit. Their mission is to create the lightest, most durable and highest performing sportswear, and everything they make is tested on athletes. The hybrid Rix jacket (opposite) is made from an ultra-lightweight fabric and has fully taped seams and laser-cut ventilation to provide the perfect combination of water resistance and breathability. The clincher: The micro-suede-lined pack-away hood has self-locking adjusters allowing so you can fix them one-handed. £245.

Photographs Allstar; Rosie Harriet Ellis; Getty Images; Steve Sands/Getty Images

74. The Rolls-Royce Dawn’s roof


76. Urban Speed by Montblanc

79. Marcus Edwards

Writes of man As we all drown in a tsunami of emails, the ultimate luxury is the handwritten note. That said, there’s nothing old fashioned about the Montblanc Urban Speed 2-in-1 Rollerball. This is a finely tuned pen that looks cool, too. Made from black resin, it features the classic Montblanc “edelweiss” symbol on the cap, a nod to the brand’s extraordinary century-long heritage. The clincher: With a simple twist of the wrist – and a silicone tip – the pen can be converted for use with a touch screen. £475.

England’s Lionel Messi (maybe) Tottenham die-hards are already aboard the hype train for this 18-year-old, prodigiously talented forward, and others look set to join as he gets first-team minutes this season. Mauricio Pochettino has already compared him to a young Lionel Messi and it’s easy to see why: a low centre of gravity coupled with the ability to keep the ball on a piece of string with a magical left foot, he’s an Englishman with a very un-English style. The clincher: When West Ham’s Reece Oxford was asked who is the most talented player he plays with, he didn’t say French international team-mate Dimitri Payet, but his England youth compatriot Edwards. Follow Marcus Edwards on Twitter @marcusedwards__.

77. Athletico Mince podcast Four-four-funny How does a football podcast avoid being either a smug humour-vacuum or a ranting sub-phone-in mess? By cutting out (almost) all the football, that’s how. Bob Mortimer and comedy writer Andy Dawson (the genius behind Profanity Swan on Twitter) present an eyeweepingly funny, surreal parallel football universe in which Steve McClaren is best friends with a snake called Casper, Mark Lawrenson goes fishing with Robson Green and the Tottenham team have formed a playground gang, called the Tottenham Gang. As we said, surreal. The clincher: Next month sees the release of the first Athletico Mince book. The World Of Football According To Athletico Mince (John Blake, £12.99) is out on 5 January 2017.

78. Harry Styles, the film star A new direction Granted, you’ve probably already heard of One Direction’s floppy-haired troubadour, but you’ll soon also know him as star of the big screen with his debut in Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to Interstellar, Dunkirk – an epic tale of 338,000 troops who were evacuated from France at the start of the Second World War. The clincher: Styles is in some pretty esteemed acting company, with his costars including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh. Dunkirk is out on 21 July 2017.




80. The Netflix vs Amazon war Programme clash Although it’s hard to argue TV is as good as it was in cable’s golden flush of The Sopranos and The Wire, we’ve certainly got more choice than ever before. That’s in large part due to the Netflix/Amazon streaming war, duking it out to rule the future. The result: Netflix has built on House Of Cards with a glut of other shows (Narcos, Black Mirror) and plans more than 1,000 hours of original TV next year, while Amazon Prime looks set to continue their insurgency with everything from The Grand Tour to shows based on films (The Departed, Tremors) and even on podcasts (Lore). The future just needs a good internet connection. The clincher: Netflix’s Marvel superhero series (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage) will culminate next year in the Avengers-like ensemble series Defenders.

81. Clare Smyth’s new restaurant A place of her own Clare Smyth is the last great chef to emerge from the Gordon Ramsay catering college and she might be the best of the bunch. Following the path set by Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett and Jason Atherton, Smyth was the UK’s first female British chef to hold three Michelin stars (at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay), held them for four years, and is now ready to do her own thing in Notting Hill. “It will be a modern twist on fine dining,” Smyth said, “without a dress code or concerns about using the right piece of cutlery.” Watch this space... The clincher: Last year, Smyth was named the best female chef in Britain by the Michelin Guide. This year, she could become the best chef, full stop.

82. The Deuce New York hustle David Simon has made two great miniseries for HBO since ending The Wire in 2008, Generation Kill and the recent Show Me A Hero. The only genuine series was TV purgatory Treme. Thank God that ended, because it allows him to do The Deuce, which is set in and around Times Square in the Seventies and follows the sex workers and hustlers who call it their office.

The clincher: Who else but James Franco to bring that off-kilter, semistoned porn-pimp vibe in the form of lead role Vincent Martino. Oh, and he also plays Vincent’s sex worker brother. Because of course, he’s James Franco. The Deuce is on Sky Atlantic next year.

83. Nicholas Daley Layers of meaning As a designer with Afro-Caribbean and Scottish heritage who grew up in rural Leicestershire and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013, Nicholas Daley’s clothing is infused with multicultural diversity. His sleek-yet-slouchy offering is not only on trend, but it’s also beautifully British in the way it mixes influences: string vests worn with gathered waist trousers, streetwear cut from Scottish fabric and waxed cotton anoraks, all in the designer’s signature earthy colours. In short, he’s the most exciting name in menswear. The clincher: Already huge in Japan (he’s stocked in legendary menswear outpost Beams), this is the year Daley hits the big time on home turf.


Twelfth Night by Mary McCartney Behind the masks Photographer Mary McCartney was only supposed to be taking pictures of Oscarwinner Mark Rylance as he prepared for a performance of Twelfth Night at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway. She was soon, however, allowed access-all-areas to document the lot – from the meticulous prep of the likes of Rylance and Stephen Fry to a table tennis match in full Elizabethan dress to Shakespearean queens enthralled watching a European Championship match. A true look behind the scenes. The clincher: The close-knit theatre company had been touring for more than a decade, so this is an incredibly rare and candid portrait of that backstage intimacy. Twelfth Night by Mary McCartney (Heni Publishing, £24.99) is out now.


85. Golf – the new ping pong Drinking game Before the slew of ping pong bars a few years back – notably the rise (and fall and rise etc) of chain Bounce – there was something inescapably sad about “activity” bars. But table tennis changed that to such an extent that we’re now seeing what else we can attempt half-cut. Step forward crazy golf, and Swingers, which has taken the idea and then some: 16,000 square feet of rolling (fake) green hills, five cocktail bars, a two-storey clubhouse serving food from Le Bab, Patty & Bun and Pizza Pilgrims, as well as a DJ spinning Eighties hip hop and funk. The clincher: They serve your drinks wherever you are on the course. Crucial for that dastardly windmill hole. 8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3. 020 3846 3222.

86. The healthy cocktail Knocking back your five a day Nettle, sorrel, fennel, dill… nope, not a herb garden, the ingredients for a more health-conscious cocktail. Vegetables are the new vodka – or at very least the tonic. From Duck & Waffle’s new foraging-themed cocktail (there’s a spritz with asparagus ends and an aperitivo with avocado) to Dandelyan’s “botany” themed menu (which incorporates plant haemoglobin, pandan and zedoary root) to the UK’s first alcoholic juice bar, Supernatural Spitalfields, which will serve you a Pina Kaleada (yes, that’s a pun on kale), there’s goodness in every sip. The clincher: You can make your own with Oskar Kinberg’s new Cocktail Cookbook, which has chapter headings such as Nettle, Sorrell, Fennel and Dill. Cocktail Cookbook by Oskar Kinberg (Frances Lincoln, £18) is out now.

Photographs Joakim Blockstrom; Getty Images; Yoox Net-a-Porter Group

87. Q Adapt earphones by Libratone Hearing aid How to deal with Apple’s ditching of the headphone jack? Sure, you could get an overpriced, easy-to-lose pair of wire-free AirPods. But better to invest in a pair of Libratone’s new Q Adapt earphones, which connect via the Lightning port, and use the power it provides for noisecancelling tech, which usually requires




an ungainly mid-cable battery. As it’s by style-conscious Libratone, these minimalist buds look as good as they sound. The clincher: To save battery, you can even adjust the noise-cancelling level, depending on how much outside noise you want to let in. £159.

88. Glasses by Coppe + Sid See no evil Nearly 60 per cent of the British public wear glasses. But are they wearing the right ones? Probably not. Coppe + Sid is one of the eyewear world’s best-kept secrets. Every pair is built in the Italian Dolomite mountains and each frame features a thin sliver of the deep blue gemstone lapis lazuli at the temple. The clincher: David Bowie was a huge fan, and paid full price for his pair (the Philadelphia model, if you’re interested). £245.

89 that are both wind- and waterproof. To help you keep foul weather in its place, Mr Armani gives you this perfectly cut but generously padded down wool and cashmere jacket – the smartest way to proof yourself against the elements. The clincher: The unique treatment also allows your skin to breathe so you won’t overheat. £1,350.


89. Storm System hooded jacket by Giorgio Armani Elemental style The Storm System is a treatment developed by the Italian cloth manufacturer Loro Piana to help turn luxury fabrics into performance pieces

90. Hamilton comes to the West End


The Americans are coming They said it couldn’t be done: a musical that was cool yet not ironic. And then Lin-Manuel Miranda opened Hamilton off-Broadway in 2015, telling the tale of founding father Alexander Hamilton, aka the guy on the $10 bill. With a hip hop score, a diverse cast, and a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations in 2016 – of which it won eleven – the show is coming to London courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh. Book early, as tickets in the States have changed hands for up to $4,000. The clincher: “With Hamilton, Broadway is officially the coolest place on the planet. And the smartest. And most exhilarating,” said the New York Daily News. At the Victoria Palace Theatre from October 2017.

91. Wool scarf by Gucci It’s a wrap! With Alessandro Michele steering the creative ebb and flow at Gucci it seems the collections only get more desirable. Inject a little sophistication into your winter outfit by investing in one of his sublime wool scarfs. The clincher: Anyone that knows anything will spot the embroidered bee motif and know that you know too. £180.


92. AirPortr


Luggage genius So your flight out of Heathrow is at 4pm but you have an important client meeting in east London beforehand? What do you do with your bags? Drag them with you? Not cool. If you’re flying BA, the team behind this secure app will pick up your bags from home, take them to the airport and check them in for you. You collect them at your destination. The clincher: You can live-track your bags. Delivery from £20 (£30 with check-in) from central London.

93. Sofort by Leica 99 95

94. Driver shirt by Wayne Sorensen Traffic stopper Wayne Sorensen was the creative director behind swimwear brand Orlebar Brown’s successful transition into an all-round lifestyle label. He has now set up his own eponymous label, basing his designs around six archetypes – the Butcher, the Dancer, the Engineer, the Officer, the Painter and the Driver. The classic shirts are a GQ favourite, especially the Driver. Made in white stretch poplin, the yoke has been removed for a better fit across the back and it features panelled front darts to maintain a functional fit. The clincher: The collection can be mixedand-matched to create the perfect no-fuss male wardrobe. £185.

96. Hairspray for men

99. Mathieu Lehanneur’s liquid marble

97. Oliver Spencer on Vero


93 178 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

Found in translation Imagine a world where language was never a barrier – you could travel anywhere and understand everything. Waverly Labs have designed an ergonomically chic earpiece that pops in the user’s ear, twins with a translator app on your smart phone and quicker than you can say (and understand) “konnichiwa”, you’re hearing the local dialect in whatever language you choose. The future, as predicted in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, has arrived. The clincher: The earpieces are wireless and you can sync them with your digital music service.

Crank the volume While men have used hairspray for many years as a part of their hair regimes, there are very few examples of the product being targeted at – let alone designed for – us guys. This season, that’s all about to change with a swathe of grooming brands introducing gender-specific hairspray for men. This reflects the current trend for longer, more Seventies-influenced styles – something we’re only going to see more of as the season goes on. The clincher: Not only useful for keeping styles in place, hairspray adds the kind of volume even a hair god like Robert Redford would be proud of.

95. Fine wine, by the glass Needle and red Sure, you may have already heard of the Coravin 1000 Wine System. Designed

by MIT-trained nuclear engineer turned spinal implant developer Greg Lambrecht, this innovative system for pouring a glass of wine without opening the bottle (summary: it uses a medical-grade needle to puncture the cork, extracts the wine and fills the space with inert argon gas then allows the cork to naturally reseal) launched in 2014. But now it is enjoying increased uptake in restaurants such as Launceston Place and Marcus, allowing guests to more economically enjoy otherwise extortionate bottles. The clincher: The sommelier of the newly Michelin-starred Ritz has also introduced a Coravin. From £199.

The ultimate in fast fashion In a world where you can get almost anything delivered to your door from your smartphone, it’s incredible that the fashion industry has taken so long to make it easy to buy clothes from the catwalk. Breaking out of the antiquated model in which fashion designers show their designs to buyers six months before they go on sale (and designers abroad rip it all off within weeks) is Oliver Spencer’s presence on new social media platform Vero. As soon as the models march out, anyone using the app can purchase the clothes for delivery the next day. The clincher: You’ll get Oliver Spencer’s latest jacket before everyone else. Unless they read GQ too, of course. Follow Oliver Spencer on Vero.

98. Pilot multi-language earpiece

Still waters Few nationalities blur the lines between art and design more thoroughly than the French, but for Mathieu Lehanneur science is the third piece of the puzzle. At this year’s London Design Festival, Lehanneur – who ranks among notable alumni of Paris’ ENSCI-Les Ateliers – showed new work that demonstrated his “liquid marble” technique, which uses computer modelling to give solid materials the appearance of waves. This “third way” was also rooted in his plantbased air-filtration system based on studies by Nasa, solar-powered street lighting and, no doubt, in a mysterious project next year for the pharmaceutical industry. We’re all blinded by science from time to time, but vision like Lehanneur’s is rare indeed. The clincher: Look out for a hybridengined boat and fold-up electric bike.


Photograph Ed Reeve

Instant charmer Leica continues to produce film cameras alongside its best-in-class digital models, but this is a real turn-up: an instant-film camera in a series of three colours, redolent of the format’s Seventies heyday. The Sofort uses Fuji instant film but Leica film is also available, so the resolution is everything you’d expect of the German optics brand – and nothing like the smudges you see emanating from more plasticky versions. The clincher: Think of this as the photographic equivalent of vinyl, or the perfect foil to “revenge porn”. £240.

You can download the GQ iPhone edition at no extra cost If you have purchased the tablet edition or are a print subscriber, simply search for ‘GQ’ in the App Store and download for free



GUIDE From luxury home accessories you never knew you needed to the gadgets you simply won’t be able to travel without, here’s our guide to the ultimate must-haves – whether you’re buying for someone special or treating yourself. The good news? We’ve done all the hard work for you


Gold Phantom wireless speaker by Devialet, £2,190.

Cashmere polo neck by Brunello Cucinelli, £770.


Jacket by Moncler, £2,940.

Grand Siècle by Laurent-Perrier, £110.

Colonia Oud gift set by Acqua Di Parma, £174.

Navy Bixby bike by Shinola, £1,675.

Made to order Tramezza suede monkstrap boots by Salvatore Ferragamo, from £1,085.

Necklace by Salvatore Ferragamo, £125.

Bra by Stella McCartney, £65. Clutch by Lanvin, £2,172. Eyemask by Coco De Mer, £95.

Ring by Sophie Bille Brahe, £510.

Limited edition Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone London, £90.

FOR HER Shoes by Jimmy Choo, £595.

Silk pyjamas by Oliva Von Halle, £310.



Don’t plan your escape without these gifts from Victorinox Winter is the perfect time to plan your next grand expedition and Victorinox is on hand to get you kitted out. It’s got some truly innovative gifts on offer this year, such as the CheckSmart Luggage Tracker, a tracking device which can be viewed from your mobile phone and ensures that even if your airline manages to lose your bag you’ll still know exactly where it is. Its Spectra 2.0 cases change size to fit the rules of whoever you’re flying with, while its rugged I.N.O.X Titanium and I.N.O.X Paracord watches are as hard-wearing as they come. Spectra Medium Expandable, £425

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2. Tether Jacket, £165. 3. Grand Maitre Chefs Knife, £130. 4. Swiss Army Classic Eau de Toilette, £47. 5. Slimline Laptop Backpack, £85. 6. Rangerwood 55, £80. All available at


Introducing connected by Skagen, a hybrid smartwatch that also looks the part These days we can expect our watches to do a lot more than just tell the time, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of style. Luckily, Skagen’s Hagen Connected hybrid smartwatch manages to combine innovative technology with classic design. The watch features include automatic time and date adjustment, activity and goal tracking, sleep tracking, filtered email and text notifications, dual-time function, an alarm and Skagen Link technology, which allows the wearer to take a photo or control their music with the push of a button. It’s compatible with Android, iPhone and, most importantly of all, your best outfit. Skagen Connected, £195.

Set your style forward this season with the latest range of watches from Fossil What do you get for the man who has everything? A watch that can do more. This year’s timepiece trend is towards wearable technology with a fashionable edge. Emporio Armani is getting in on the act with its Emporio Armani Connected hybrid smartwatch. If you want to personalise your look, Fossil Q Marshal’s new digital display watches come with customisable faces and interchangeable straps. Michael Kors offers jet-set style with its Michael Kors Access Dylan black IP display smartwatch. If you’re more interested in looks than technology, Skagen’s 40mm Hagen features a sandblast dial with linear indexes, three-hand movement and a date window.

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5 2. Fossil Q Marshal, £299. 3. Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, £329. 4. Emporio Armani Connected Hybrid Smartwatch, £259. 5. Skagen mesh strap watch, £165. All available at


Candles by Byredo, £55.

Cashmere throw by Loro Piana, £1650.

Kipton Mixologist Box by Ralph Lauren Home, £3,995.

Type 75 lamp by Margaret Howell X Anglepoise, £130.


Works book, signed & limited edition by Marc Newson, £650.

Martini glasses by Tom Dixon, £75.

Cushion by Hermès, £2,180.


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These handcrafted presents from Smythson will make you want to treat somebody


Christmas isn’t just about big gifts – sometimes it’s the little things that really make all the difference. Whether it’s an elegant key fob with discreet USB memory or a colourful wallet, Smythson has put together a whole range of presents guaranteed to have a big impact. It has diaries for planning the year’s grand adventures, bright new passport holders and luggage tags to take with you – and why not go all out with a backpack to keep it all in. You can even personalise items with a name or initials and there’s a myriad of motifs to choose from. With gifts this refined, you may end up wanting to treat yourself.






1. Albany Soho Diary, £155. 2. Panama Currency Case, £185. 3. Panama Passport Cover, £125. 4. Panama Luggage Tag, £65. 5. Panama Double Zip Travel Wallet, £495. 6. Panama USB Key Fob, £175. 7. Burlington Washbag, £395. 8. Burlington Backpack, £895. All available at



ASOS has something for everyone this Christmas – including you Between parties, dinners and the work do, the festive period is the perfect time to freshen up your style. No matter how exhaustive your Christmas wish-list may be, nobody knows how to treat you better than, well, you. So don’t leave the gifts you receive this year up to chance (or your Secret Santa) and look to ASOS for a winter wardrobe top up instead, including these quality basics, luxe outerwear and trainers. ASOS tweed trench coat, £120. Available at


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5 2. ASOS khaki shirt, £30. 3. Sandqvist Roald backpack, £89. 4. ASOS trousers, £18. 5. Adidas trainers, £50. 6. ASOS jacket, £28. 7. ASOS jumper, £30. 8. ASOS leather camo wallet, £25. All available at

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Freshen up your grooming choices this year with Johnny’s Chop Shop Johnny’s Chop Shop burst onto the scene just two years ago with its breakthrough barber shop fusing Fifties and Sixties retro style with modern-day trends. Its grooming brand is every bit as slick as its rockabilly styling suggests, making it perfect for men who like to look well-groomed with attitude. Its Grooming To Go takeaway pack is loaded with Born Lucky Shampoo, The Freshman Face Wash, Soul Balm, a fold-out comb, a face cloth and its bestselling Wild Cat Hair Clay. Get your hands on the works at Boots, and selected barber shops nationwide. Grooming to Go Pizza Box Set, £20. and select barber shops



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5 7 6 4 2. Hair Clay, £7. 3. Grooming Cream, £6. 4. Dry Shampoo, £5 . 5. Beard Oil, £6. 6. Hair Pomade, £7. 7. Road Trip Gift Set, £18. All available at and select barber shops

Marble iPhone dock by Native Union, £115.

Jet set travel collection by Aesop, £27.

Cityslide calfskin cross bag by Hermès, £2,180.

FOR TRAVEL Travel kit by Berluti, from £780.

Zip up knit jacket by AMI Paris, £255.

Headphones by Canali X Pryma, £550.

Suit carrier by Louis Vuitton, £1,

The winner of

major awards

GQ is the only magazine in Britain dedicated to bringing you the very best in style, investigative journalism, comment, men’s fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. British GQ is the magazine to beat NEW!


Shots Awards Brand Entertainment Of The Year - Series



Ciclope Festival Finalist, Best Direction



Lovie Long Form Or Series Video First Place



Lovie Long Form Or Series Video People’s Choice


DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year


FMJA Stylist Of The Year (GQ Style)


BSME Digital Art Director Of The Year


DMA Designer Of The Year


TCADP Media Award


FPA Feature Of The Year

2014 2014 2014 2014 2013 2013 2013 2013

FPA Journalist Of The Year Amnesty International Media Award PPA Editor Of The Year FMJA Online Fashion Journalist Of The Year EICA Media Commentator Of The Year DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year BSME Editor Of The Year FMJA Outstanding Contribution To London Collections Men PPA Magazine Writer Of The Year Mark Boxer Award BSME Editor Of The Year DMA Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year Help For Heroes Outstanding Contribution Px3 Prix De La Photographie Paris Gold Medal Foreign Press Association Media Awards, Sports Amnesty International Media Award Amnesty International Media Award One World Media Press Award The Maggies Magazine Cover Of The Year P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Editor Of The Year

2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2010 2010 2010 2010 2009 2008

2007 2007 2007 2007 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2005 2005 2004 2004 2003 2002 2002 2001 2001 2001 2000 2000 1999 1999 1999 1995 1995 1995 1994 1991

BSME Magazine Of The Year BSME Brand Building Initiative Of The Year MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Best Cover P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) P&G Awards Best Grooming Editor (GQ Style) P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Interviewer Of The Year MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Best Designed Consumer Magazine MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Subbing Team Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year Magazine Design Awards Best Cover Association Of Online Publishers Awards Best Website BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Designer Of The Year Printing World Award Total Design Award Jasmine Award Winner Printing World Award Jasmine Award Winner PPA Designer Of The Year Ace Press Award Circulation Ace Press Award Promotion PPA Columnist Of The Year PPA Publisher Of The Year British Press Circulation Award Best Promotion Of A Consumer Magazine

Suit, £1,550. Shirt, £415. Tie, £115. All by Dolce & Gabbana. dolcegabbana. com. Watch by Cartier, £28,700.

‘I’ve worked with two actors who I could tell had something special: Tom Hanks and Chris Pratt’ Denzel Washington


Whether taking the lead in the second instalment of Marvel mega-hit

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY or saving the world from dinosaurs,

Chris Prat t has emerged as a golden-era Hollywood star in an age of superhero disposability. Now, he tells GQ about stripping to make ends meet, working with

J E N N I F E R L AW R E N C E and his self-made formula for success







Stuart McGurk

Kurt Iswarienko

Annie Psaltiras

‘We were told that Guardians Of The Galaxy would be the first Marvel movie to bomb’ James Gunn Blazer, £550. Shirt, £230. Trousers, £370. All by Giorgio Armani. Socks by Dolce & Gabbana, £35. Shoes by Christian Louboutin, £565. Watch by Cartier, £28,700.


Chris Pratt has always been something of a self-starter. When he was 13, his mother sent him to school in a pair of $10 shoes and it was around about then he realised they were poor. His mother worked on the checkout in Safeway, his father in construction. This didn’t overly bother him – his parents loved him; this isn’t that story – but the shoes did. “That was when I was first insecure about it. Shoes were a big deal and I just wanted to get better shoes.” So, at 14, he decided he’d start stripping. He’d always, in fairness, been an exhibitionist, never minded getting naked much and once, notably, got suspended from the track team for stripping on the bus. So he figured he may as well turn his hobby into his job and monetise his nudity. He advertised his services – “Like, I put the word out there that I was going to start stripping. I marketed myself” – set his price ($40, money up front) and was soon hired for his first gig. Granted, being a teenage stripper in small-town America (Lake Stevens, Snohomish County, Washington, pop 4,923) had its limitations, not least his curfew, which reduced him to daytime disrobing. But then, as his first clients were a bunch of teenage girls celebrating a birthday, that didn’t seem to get in the way. He went around to the house, started his routine (“I was totally pulling it off!”), yet soon realised their parents had unexpectedly returned. He jumped out of the balcony, put his clothes back on outside (“It was like something out of a John Hughes movie!”), walked back around front, said hello to the folks, who were now leaving again (“Hey, guys. What’s up?”) and went back in to finish the job.

If you were a teenage girl in Lake Stevens who hired Chris Pratt to strip, you got your money’s worth. It was, however, to be a short-lived career. “I never,” he says, “joined the union.” There was a 40th birthday, then a grandmother’s birthday (“It was more funny than weird”), yet it ended when he briefly considered going full-time and arrived at the local strip club to audition, only to see a guy out front sleeping in his car (“It just felt seedy, and that I was moving into less innocent territory”). Eventually, however, he did buy new shoes – a pair of Reebok Pumps, which he then refused to take off for more than three years. They got so small he had to cut the pump out to create more space. Before long, his toes were hanging out the side. Still, he loved those shoes. He was, he says, “a hustler. I was always finding ways to make money at a young age.” It was a self-starting nature he learnt, he says, from his mother. “She taught me how to set goals. She taught me how to be entrepreneurial. She was always a survivor.” When, at ten, he dearly wanted a BB gun, she told him to stick a picture of it on the fridge and get working. The Pratt mantra: set goals, work hard, save. And so he cleaned cars and flipped burgers, mowed lawns and babysat; in the winter he went door to door and asked if driveways needed shovelling of snow; in the summer he went door to door and asked if people wanted to buy the blackberries he’d picked (business got so good he started taking preorders). Eventually, he bought the BB gun. “I loved that BB gun. I must have shot it 10,000 times. It was my main toy. It was mine. I bought it – you know what I mean?”

And when he realised the bigger he got the louder the laughs became, he went with it and got bigger still. It was Pratt, once again, being entrepreneurial. He set a goal and he ate towards it. “Everything, and two of everything. If there was food, I would eat it. Dark stout beer. Hamburgers. Cheese and sugary desserts.” It was a few years later, though, that Pratt’s straight-down-the-line quality finally butted against his shot of becoming a star. He was in LA, in the back of a limo with his brother, Cully, heading towards NBC Studios in Burbank and an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Parks And Recreation was winding down, but he had no obvious out. He’d had bit-parts in some big films – a washed-up ball-player in Moneyball, a member of Seal Team Six in Zero Dark Thirty – but nothing had stuck. And, as he said to his brother in the back of the car, it was the latter that had left him most frustrated. He’d gone from over 300lb to a ripped 240lb for Zero Dark Thirty. He’d set a goal. He’d worked hard. But no reward. “It’s not in the movie. You never see it. I’m wearing a long-sleeve kit the whole time. All this f***ing hard work that I put in, this change, this transformation between schlubby, comic Andy Dywer to this leading man character...” The person who had seen the change most was his brother. Almost every day, Pratt had sent him a shirtless shot to mark his progress – “Like, dude, check it out!” And, every day, Cully would reply in the affirmative: “F*** yeah, Chris!” or “Way to go!” But what good was it now? Cully, however, had a plan. In the back of the car he said to his

‘My mother taught me how to set goals and be entrepreneurial. She was ALWAYS a SURVIVOR’ When, at 12, he later got a real gun (“Well, my cousin bought it for me, with my parents’ permission”), it was “one I paid for with money I earned”. It’s a can-do attitude that has, mostly, served Chris Pratt well. It meant, for instance, that he never minded playing the cartoon douchebags early in his career – what he now calls the “Johnny from Karate Kid types”, because, hey, it was work. And when he landed a role in US sitcom Parks And Recreation – think The Office, only set in a parks department – he didn’t mind one bit playing bumbling comic foil Andy Dwyer, a man who could often be found naked, or falling over in roller skates, or falling over in roller skates naked.

brother, “Show Jay the picture!” Pratt explained he couldn’t – they did “pre-interviews” for these things; he couldn’t go off-piste. Besides, Pratt had other concerns. Specifically, “It’ll make me look like an asshole.” But Cully wouldn’t quit. “Dude,” he kept saying, “if people see this picture it’s going to change how people see you in Hollywood. People need to know that you’re capable of looking like this.” Pratt didn’t show the picture that day. But a few days later, during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he finally took his brother’s advice. The internet, predictably, went nuts. And Cully was, of course, right.

In fact, not long after, when he was in talks about starring in a new Marvel film called Guardians Of The Galaxy, as lead Peter Quill/Star-Lord, it was Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, who arrived at a meeting with a printed-out screen grab of the picture Pratt had shown on Ellen. He asked him one question. “Can you get there again?” Pratt smiled. “I can do better than that.”

meet Chris Pratt on a late summer day in LA, just after the GQ shoot. We’re sitting on the balcony of a house high in the Hollywood Hills and he’s changed out of a suit that forever looked on the verge of rebellion to gym gear that can just about handle the strain. “Hey, buddy!” The unshocking fact of meeting the 37-yearold is he’s exactly as you’d imagine him to be. Part jock, part joker. Funny, but not snarky. Earnest, but not serious. When he shakes your hand, it’s firm, but there’s also something in his eye as he does so that says, Is this OK, buddy? Based on one of the more obscure Marvel comics, 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy – featuring a walking tree whose entire vocabulary consists of “I am Groot”, a musclebound lunk who doesn’t understand metaphors and a genetically modified raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper – was expected to be Marvel’s first box-office failure. “We were being told the whole time, in every article, in every interview we did that it would be the first Marvel bomb,” says Guardians director James Gunn, who confesses he feared the same. “Other Marvel movies don’t have people challenging the villain to a dance-off at the end of the movie.” It was, of course, anything but, gaining rave reviews and making just shy of $800 million. It was, in many ways, a throwback – an idiosyncratic action comedy that relies far more on a pitch-perfect script than any particular action. It confirmed Pratt as something of a throwback too – a charismatic star who could make you watch a movie purely by being in it. The next summer, he carried the latest Jurassic Park instalment (Jurassic World) on his back and saw it make an absurd $1.67 billion, second only that year to The Force Awakens, while this summer he was the highlight in a well-received remake of The Magnificent Seven alongside Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Next up there’s Passengers, a sci-fi drama in which he stars opposite Jennifer Lawrence, which sees them as the only two people to accidentally wake up from hibernation pods on a long-distance space transport, 90 years before their destination (oops), while a muchhyped sequel to Guardians Of The Galaxy will arrive in April.


Guardians CONFIRMED Pratt as a throwback STAR who could make you watch a movie just by being in it Coat by Burberry, £1,195.



‘There was NO vanity with Peter Quill.


He was just having FUN’

Waistcoat, £510. Shirt, £230. Both by Giorgio Armani. Trousers, £310. Belt, £170. Both by Canali. Boots by Aquatalia, £695. aquatalia. com. Watch by Cartier, £28,700.

Yet, Pratt tells me, all this might not have happened, as he very nearly didn’t even meet Gunn for Guardians Of The Galaxy, let alone have discussions about if he could get in the right shape for it. He initially auditioned and that was that. “I didn’t even get a callback, didn’t even meet the casting director, and went to meet their assistant, but didn’t hear anything. It was over...” Except, of course, if you’re Chris Pratt, it’s not. He went to the casting director again and managed to sweet-talk her into sneaking him into an audition with Gunn. “And he was like, ‘Who do we see next?’ She said, ‘Chris Pratt!’ He responded, ‘He’s that chubby guy? I thought we decided...’” I ask Gunn if that’s how he remembers it. “Oh, yeah. That’s absolutely true. He was this chubby guy that was falling around in the office in a scene that I saw [from Parks And Recreation]. I said I don’t understand how you could think he could be Star-Lord. I nixed the idea, she brought it up again, I nixed the idea, then one day it was, ‘And here’s Chris Pratt.’ I’m like, I thought I told you... but within 30 seconds, I knew he was the right guy.” Adds Pratt: “Within a minute he knew it was me and I knew it was me. And then he just said, any questions?” Marvel don’t let actors read actual scripts, so Pratt knew almost nothing about the film beyond the comic it was based on. “I was like, how much f***ing time do you have? Like, yeah, tell me everything. Tell me the script scene by scene, starting now, to the end, because you f***ing people won’t let me read it. So yeah, I have questions, I have nothing but f***ing questions.” Gunn laughed. “That’s exactly what Peter Quill would have said.” Watching Guardians Of The Galaxy, it doesn’t take long to appreciate its particular charm. One of the first scenes sees Pratt’s Peter Quill – a thirtysomething man who was abducted from earth as a kid and has become a selfstyled outlaw/bounty hunter called Star-Lord – roaming an alien planet. It’s dark, desolate, and, so far, so overly serious sci-fi. Once Pratt realises the coast is clear, however, he puts on his now-vintage headphones, presses play on his now-vintage Walkman (tape: Awesome Mix Vol 1) and begins dancing around the planet to the tune of Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love”, kicking space-rats out of the way as he goes and picking one of them up – to sing into like a microphone. From that, to an ending where the villain is challenged to a dance-off, via a vintage pop soundtrack, it’s really not what you’d imagine a superhero movie to be and, indeed, one where Pratt isn’t really a superhero.

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CHRIS PRATT Yet Pratt initially struggled, says Gunn, as he was always trying to do too much; he was always worried in any given scene that he wasn’t being entertaining enough. “The dancing scene was like pulling teeth,” he says. “Chris was full of anxiety. I still see it when I watch it. I mean, he wanted to hire a choreographer at a certain point. I was like, no! It’s supposed to look like sloppy white guy dancing, you know?” For other scenes, says Gunn, “he has a need to juggle, a need to entertain, to be fidgeting around, to always be entertaining and funny... but it worked against us for a good portion of the movie. What made the difference between Chris Pratt sidekick and Chris Pratt movie star was just letting him trust himself that he does have this natural charisma, this natural vulnerability, so you can just get out the way. You don’t always need to do everything.” It’s a natural charisma that elicits some impressive comparisons. “He has that old Gary Cooper-style charm,” says Gunn, “but also there’s a vulnerability that’s very modern and separates him from big movie stars over the last ten, 20 years.” “I would say Harrison Ford,” says Morten Tyldum, the director of Passengers. “I always felt Harrison Ford looked like he’s about to shoot himself when he’s carrying his own gun. He always looked afraid, he’s not just this tough guy, you know? And that’s something Chris has – that masculinity, but also” – that word again – “vulnerability.” I contact Denzel Washington, his co-star on The Magnificent Seven. “In my career,” he tells me, “I’ve worked with two actors who I could tell had that something special that would resonate with audiences – Tom Hanks and Chris Pratt.”

he script for Passengers, out later this month, had been bouncing around Hollywood for a while, ever since it was included on 2007’s Black List for the most admired screenplays, and so it says everything about both Pratt’s status and Hollywood’s timidity that an original work takes the likes of him and Jennifer Lawrence signing on in order to get made. “They just couldn’t put it together until Jen and I signed on to do it,” says Pratt. “They just couldn’t justify making it.” He marvels at Lawrence’s natural ability: “She is truly one of the greatest actresses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She acts like Adele sings. You just sit back and you think, damn, some people.” To be clear: he’s not saying Lawrence can sing, too. “No! She’s a terrible singer! But she’s a wonderful actress. She could just do it. She could just turn it on and it strikes emotion in you, like some people can just open their mouths and sing.”


For Pratt, this is more than simple professional admiration: despite his natural comic gifts, in terms of dramatic acting he sees himself as a fixer-upper. And so, self-starter as always, he has come up with various tricks and techniques (“Tricks that I invented... I mean, I think I invented”) to help him along the way. He first came up with colours to help him when shooting a movie called Delivery Man. It came to him one day while he was thinking about “sonic and solar wavelengths”. Although music affects him – “You can’t just put music on in a scene; it’ll f*** it up” – he realised he could use colour instead: “I thought there was a correlation.” For Delivery Man, he placed orange Post-its behind the camera (“To represent this feeling of inadequacy”). For Magnificent Seven, he used yellow, as, for him, he thought of the central double-yellow road lines in America which signify no overtaking and therefore the danger of facing oncoming traffic if you do. “I would just think of the colour and in those moments I would determine, OK, I’m going to

role for Pratt, as he was so different to what they had in mind. “The character of Andy is extremely annoying, because he’s a bag of weight over Ann’s shoulders, which is why it was such a hard part to cast,” says Jones. “But he just has this natural charm and appeal, so he’s charming enough to make it OK.” Amy Poehler, the show’s lead, says: “He’s a natural in every sense of the word. He has a looseness you just want to lean into.” The looseness – not to mention Pratt’s desire to innovate and his comfort with nudity – did have unexpected consequences, like the scene when his character arrives naked at Ann’s doorstep and shocks Poehler’s character inside. He wasn’t getting the right amount of shock so he did one take where he was actually naked. Cue: right amount of shock. It was the take they used, but it also saw a letter arrive from NBC’s HR department to Pratt, telling him he should not disrobe again (“I’ve still got it,” he says). “Her face says it all,” says Jones. “It was just really funny and really shocking. With

‘Chris has the old Gary Cooper CHARM. He has the MASCULINITY, but also that vulnerability’ do something right now that may well result in my own death.” More recently, he’ll decide what animal his character is. For his ex-navy raptor wrangler in Jurassic World, it was a dolphin, as “they lead with their heads”. For his wily, hard-drinking, gambling ladies’ man in The Magnificent Seven, it was a fox, for more obvious reasons. For Passengers, he says, he distilled it down to pronouncing a word – specifically, Lawrence’s character’s name, Aurora, which he initially struggled with due to its softness. As his character is an engineer, a man’s man, he wanted to be able to pronounce it crisply. It was his wife, the actress Anna Faris, who suggested he was better off just embracing it. “Like, I want to be that. I want to focus on also being gentle and soft and sensitive and thoughtful, all the things you wouldn’t expect to be inside this package of a guy.”

alk to his former Parks And Recreation co-stars about the meteoric rise of a guy who played the show’s goodhearted dunce and nearly all say it doesn’t particularly shock them. Rashida Jones, who played his longsuffering girlfriend, Ann, in the show’s first series, remembers they virtually recast the


a group that’s difficult to surprise and shock, he managed to do it more than once.” Nick Offerman, who played the gruff head of the parks department, became firm friends with Pratt after discovering a “kinship in mischief and off-colour humour”, and offers the following tale, which warrants quoting in full. “Early on we did an episode at a restaurant called Jurassic Fork. They said we could order whatever we wanted to and Chris said, ‘I’ll get a slab of ribs.’ The director said, ‘You know you’re going to have to eat that every take.’ And he simply nodded and said, ‘Yes, I understand.’ And then with each take he would sit there and look at me while he ate, like, ten ribs per take. It was so devilishly funny. The audacity of, ‘Oh, this is the eighth take. Do you think I’m even approaching full? Think again, buddy.’ He ate dozens of ribs. He ate an inhuman amount of meat. Then we went out to lunch in the parking lot and the caterer had set up these large grills. And I said, ‘What’s for lunch today?’ And they said, ‘Ribs.’ And I laughed at the irony, assuming Chris would have loved to have ribs if he hadn’t just eaten 117 of them and just then he walked by with three racks of ribs on his plate. He is a real life superhero.” Offerman also remembers Pratt’s entrepreneurial nature, as he arrived every day with a new film or TV show idea to pitch to him.

“You know: ‘Hey, I had this great idea for a time-travel movie.’ And you lay it out and brainstorm together. But every time Chris pitched me he would always have two or three twists in there that would cause me to say, every time, ‘Chris, that is an amazing idea. You should leave right now; don’t tell your agent that idea.’ I think that’s his secret weapon. He seems only to be a beautiful, athletic, affable, friendly guy, but his secret weapon is he’s actually the smartest person in the room.”


ack in LA, on the balcony of the house in the Hollywood Hills, as the sun is setting, Pratt stands up to show me the route he would drive as a struggling actor – tracing the way with his finger along the intersections of the city below – from Century City to Westwood, to the restaurant he worked at and back again, earning enough in tips to afford the gas each time. Pratt was practised in thrift and so quickly worked out the best way to stretch a dollar. “I’d make 20 bucks last the whole week.” He’d bulk-buy cans of sardines – “They’re like 79 cents, the cheapest protein in the store” – and eat it with eggs. Lots of eggs. “Sardines

having fun kicking rats. When I saw it I was so worried about what people were going to think about me... but Peter Quill couldn’t give two shits what people thought about him, because he’s not performing. He’s just having fun.”


hich, really, is another way of saying he doesn’t have to always do the thing his mother taught him. Chris Pratt doesn’t always have to hustle. When we spoke about the impact of his parents, Pratt also spoke about his father, a “difficult” man, the opposite of his mother in many ways – strict and sometimes cold where she was gregarious and warm – but devoted to his son nonetheless. He turned up at every one of his high-school football games. He was a man Pratt loved but also one he once got into a fist-fight with over the remote control. He was diagnosed with MS when Pratt was young, refusing any and all treatment and eventually pushing the family away, living in an assisted living facility on his own until his death, two years ago, at the age of 60. When I ask Pratt the effect his father’s death had on him, he said the things you’d expect a

‘I ripped open some WOUNDS that had been healing. But I knew it was RIGHT for the moment’ and eggs, eggs and sardines. Mackerel cans this big” – he makes the gesture of a man struggling with a beer barrel – “and tomato paste.” It was, in many ways, a throwback to his youth, when, as he puts it, “Life was a series of choices based on the price backwards on the menu, when you didn’t look at, ooh, what do I want, you look at the lowest number, that’s what you’re going to get”, when “the difference between a large soda and a small soda was the 49 cents, and you didn’t spend the 49 cents”. Once, he says, “I heard someone say to me if it’s a problem that can be solved by money, it’s not a real problem. And I thought what kind of f***ing asshole would come up with that?” He’s not done, he says, with honing his technique. One thing he says he needs to work on is his voice, and how that leads to “the rhythm of your spirit”. “Yeah, that’s the next one. That’s the one where I feel I can make a lot of gains. And the rhythm of my soul part. Like learning to play a different kind of music.” He gets now, he says, why the opening dance scene in Guardians works so well and why he’s anything but awful in it. “Oh, for sure. Because at the moment there was no vanity in there. Peter Quill was just

son to say. He had been sick for a long time; it was very hard. “It affected me just as it would for anyone who loses someone that they love and respect and honour and cherish.” It happened in the middle of filming Jurassic World – he didn’t tell many people, only confiding in a “small handful” – and found the biggest test was “keeping my composure”, and remaining a leader. “Keeping the train moving.” It’s only later, when I speak to Gunn when I’m back in London, that I realise there’s another significance. A large part of the second Guardians film, he tells me, centres on Pratt’s Star-Lord finding his father, played by Kurt Russell. And – reading between the lines – possibly losing him again too. Pratt, he says, is “spectacular in it” and, in one scene, “emotionally completely raw”. “Chris’ dad passed away a couple of years ago and it was a very difficult time,” says Gunn. “I think there was a lot of that in this movie. That’s not something that is comfortable for anyone but it was a way of processing some of it in a way that was safe.” I speak, later, to Pratt on the phone and mention what Gunn had told me. He goes quiet for some time, before saying, “Yeah, I mean... um... you know... that’s really

uh... that’s a really intimate question... Hold on a sec.” Some silence again and I can hear movement. “OK, sorry, just there were people in the room and it’s such an intimate thing I wanted them to leave.” He’d already done a version of that particular scene, he says, but he wasn’t happy with it so they scheduled time in to go back and do it again. Gunn never came right out and mentioned the death of Pratt’s own father but, then again, he didn’t have to. “No, he never came right out and said it, but it was very much a moment of exposing some pretty raw nerves. The truth is I ripped open some wounds that had been healing for some time. And I didn’t want to. But I knew it was right for the moment.” But this isn’t that ending. It didn’t heal, he says, any pain. Because why should it? “There are wounds that are never going to be totally healed. It would probably make for a better story if it was some emotional thing that I hadn’t dealt with.” I ask what part of the scene most hit home. “Realising... realising... ahhh... ” He clears his throat, and starts again. “Realising that when we face the death of a parent, you sometimes feel regret that you didn’t fully embrace what you had.” It’s clear from speaking to Pratt what lessons his mother instilled in him from a young age – the confidence, the hustling, the idea that you can never work too hard for what you want – and so when I asked him back in LA what he’d learnt from his father, he said, “I could be more indifferent to other people’s opinions than I am. If I was him that wouldn’t be a problem.” And so, I ask him now if he thinks he’s learning that – to be more indifferent. Because isn’t that, after all, the very thing that let him become a star? To realise he didn’t always have to try and be funny. To realise he shouldn’t care if his dancing was bad. To not worry too much what people thought of Chris Pratt, because, it turned out, just being Chris Pratt was more than enough. There’s a pause on the line again before he says he thinks there’s a spectrum and while his father “fell pretty hard on one end, I was on the other”. He pauses a final time. “But I don’t want to move too far.” Passengers is out on 21 December. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is out on 28 April 2017.


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Grooming Bridget Brager at Wall Group Styling assistants Allyson Sutton and Dolly Pratt Photo assistant Brian Carter Fashion Editor Grace Gilfeather Tailor Carlos Ortinez Production Dana Brockman Digital technician John Schoenfeld

AVENGERS ASSEMBLED! Ever since Robert Downey Jr became Tony Stark, Marvel’s cinematic universe has spiralled from one Hulk-busting smash to another. Ahead of the next instalment – Chris Pratt’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol 2 – let GQ guide you through every throw-down, team-up and Easter egg in earth’s mightiest franchise. ILLUSTRATION BY

Christian Tate



From failed artist to Facebook fetishist, there are critics and then there’s JERRY SALTZ. The one-time trucker turned Pulitzer-nominated writer has used his online persona to rail against the wild excesses of the market and claim his place as art’s social-media poster boy bat’s private parts, naked Ancient Greek girls and boys, enemas being administered, sex from every entry point imaginable, tits, penises, balls, vaginas and arses in every shape and form. Let’s not forget gorilla sex, too. And this is just a one month recap of Jerry Saltz’s, shall we say, colourful Instagram output. You might not immediately get it, but all this derives from the world’s most famous and celebrated contemporary art critic. Oh, and I’d be remiss for forgetting all the peeing and defecating by the young and old, human and animal, on any and all comers. I have known American critics Jerry Saltz and his wife, Roberta Smith (of the New York Times), for nearly 30 years and have read just about every word either has ever written. As a curator, all I ever wanted was to be reviewed by Saltz and Smith (she complied more than he). You imagine them working side by side, furthering the art cause like John and Yoko protesting for peace with a bed-in. Married in 1992, Smith is a brilliant, stern, latter-day schoolmarm and Saltz a boundary-pushing populist who has changed how critics communicate and cultivate audiences (his is probably the largest since the form’s ancient advent). Saltz’s launch is well-trodden territory, but in a nutshell he’s from Chicago, failed as an artist and gallery owner, then drove long-haul trucks before, as a self-avowed late-bloomer, he began writing about art in his forties for Art In America, Frieze, Arts Magazine, Time Out New York and the Village Voice (where Smith cut her teeth) before assuming his present role at New York magazine.


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A star is born One morning back in June of 2010, Saltz woke up like the character in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, but instead of a cockroach he had mutated into an unsuspecting reality TV star. Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist, an epic overstatement if ever there was one, produced by actress Sarah Jessica Parker, was intended to discover and crown the next Jeff Koons. On each of its two series, 14 artists competed for $100,000 and a one-person show at the Brooklyn Museum – so much for institutional integrity. China Chow, more esteemed for being a model and the daughter of restaurateur Michael Chow than as an art aficionado, served as host and another judge (besides Saltz and others). I wonder how Chow’s father, a recent convert to painting, would have fared on the show. The programme unleashed within Saltz the latent persona that he always knew existed: a newfangled art media spokesperson, small in stature but larger than life. Before his starring turn, Saltz visited one of my curatorial efforts in the mid Nineties. He was chief critic for Village Voice and I remember him dropping that favourite C-list line to some unsuspecting (and attractive) artists: “Don’t you know who I am?” But Saltz rebooted was and is an ebullient, impish cutie that continues to grate on many, yet endears him to more. Like Nick Broomfield, the documentarian who inescapably inserts himself into the narrative of the lives of the subjects he reports on, Saltz took it a step further by reviewing himself, the 214 GQ.CO.UK JANUARY 2017

Bad medicine: Jerry Saltz’s social-media persona is a shot in the arm for art criticism

Saltz was his TV show’s only real artwork, a self-created, self-centred masterpiece show and the behind-the-scenes production. It was all too masturbatory, as the programme sucked from the get-go, even before it died a premature death. The only real artwork that emerged from the initiative was Saltz himself, the self-created, self-centred masterpiece he could never make in his art studio.

Social media re-reinvention There was a perfect storm – Saltz’s TV notoriety coincided with the advent of social media and the explosion of the art market onto a global stage stoked by the boogeymen of big bucks, glamour and lack of attractive alternatives in the financial markets. Jerry hitched his fate with Facebook back in 2011, where he proceeded to spearhead a novel form of democratic art communication by ushering in an era of participatory criticism; in the process, he opened the floodgates. Art, politics, race, religion, gender and sex, all were ripe for discussion, depiction, dissection and/or denigration. It culminated in a short-lived New York magazine column in which Saltz became the art world’s agony aunt. For better or worse, Saltz exposed himself in a way few had experienced since 1972,

when Vito Acconci masturbated in Sonnabend Gallery, New York, as a piece of performance art. But even Acconci was obscured, hidden away under false flooring; Saltz lets it all hang out about three times daily. Facebook, where all the crazies come out of the woodwork, is about social intercourse in a fashion from which Instagram recoils (despite sharing the same owner); threads of arguments can rage for years. I miss it dearly since I got expelled for posting an image of Acconci’s hairy ass from an exhibit at the Museum Of Modern Art. OK, not the most appetising of things, but not exactly reprobate. Back in 2013, an internet eternity ago, I wrote that Saltz’s Facebook audience of more than 35,000 (this was before he signed up to Instagram in 2014) was analogous to filling an Olympic stadium for criticism, a form of writing that is regularly declared dead. As of writing, Saltz boasts 190,000 Instagram followers – a status few denizens in the art world could match and dwarfing his Facebook following (about 83,000, including subscribers, not to mention more than 78,000 on Twitter, which I never took up as I can’t think in 140 characters). Saltz’s unrelenting social media fetishes don’t titillate, rather they annoy – but then again he’s still on, I’m off – and include pictures of ancient sex, animal sex and anal sex; he’s an equal-opportunity, nondiscriminatory pervert. Instagram is more tolerant, and at the same time less a platform to proselytise, grandstand, and seek revenge (hence my Facebook banishment), perhaps because it’s more commercialised and nothing sells more than sex, not even art (unless replete with nudity).

Saltz vs the art market Art is philosophy in pictures with price tags affixed. If indeed Jerry Saltz has no beef with

Photograph @JerrySaltz/Instagram

What’s less known is that Saltz’s father operated a lingerie company after emigrating from Estonia and his mother committed suicide by jumping out of a window when he was only ten. With no female presence whatsoever – he’s got two brothers and two stepbrothers – there were no sisters, aunts or even grandmothers to mollycoddle him, which surely coloured the outlook of the man we know today: a walking, talking figurehead for all that’s good, bad and ugly about art, artists and the art world. And which may go some way to explain his ubiquitous pornographic provocations and obsessions (more on that to follow). Saltz’s writing voice is colourful, conversational, lively and erudite, a feat none too easy to repeat. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prize For Criticism nominations, but more than that, Saltz and Smith are the defenders and evangelists of galleries, and those who man (and woman) them, as much as the artists who fill them. Like midwives, they walk us through a contemporaneously unfolding slice of art history in real time, explicating all from the trenches of their beat: namely, international art as seen and experienced (primarily) in New York and its environs.

JENNY SALTZ art fairs, auctions and the market – he “loves it” he assured me in an email – you wouldn’t know from reading him; he’s spilt tons of ink, and ones and zeros online, complaining. But art and money have been bedfellows since art came off the walls of caves, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon, if ever. In his countless writings, Saltz has railed against great collections being broken up, sold off in lots to the highest bidders and unlikely to see the light of day again. He has beseeched auction houses and sellers to exhibit a conscience by helping museums raise money and offering significant price breaks. All well, good and admirable, but we live in societies where individuals have the choice to decide for themselves what to do with their time and money. More socialistically, Saltz has called for price caps on artworks, staring at $1,500, far from the starter figure of $25,000 that a young artist may fetch today. He remarked that a zero could comfortably be lopped off every invoice amount, from emerging to established artists, in essence devaluing art. Sounds to me more worrisome than a market run amok. Saltz is none too pleased with the megamoney fat cats he deems not worthy of Hirst’s diamond skull, but he misses the fact that the trickle-down economic spillover supports us all. Saltz believes that referring to himself as always starving (and on occasion posting bank receipts that reflect his micro-balance) gives him licence to take the piss out of the ecosystem that produces $300 million works of art and those that countenance, even embrace it. I am of both minds regarding monster painting prices and can see how the spectacle incites anger and always will. But art in museums, and there is plenty still, is accessible and without an entry fee in many venues. And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch. In his own words from a 2012 New York column Saltz laments, “In the last decade, art fairs mushroomed and became allencompassing, fully comped VIP monstrosities and entertainment complexes for the one per cent.” On the topic of the recent fad for

‘Art fairs have become VIP monstrosities for the one per cent’ JERRY SALTZ

The fox and the hound: With a 190,000-strong Instagram following (and more on Twitter and Facebook), Saltz speaks to a wider audience than any other art critic, and uses his reach to rail against the market

curated auction sales Saltz jibed, “I say it’s all just a bullshit ploy to massage client egos and reel in rubes.” I’d say it’s just another way of trying to refresh the constantly repeating chore of having to sell more. Saltz grates at the supposition collectors could enter art history by flashing astronomical sums; witness the surfeit of private museums in the last 25 years, a phenomenon that’s currently booming in Asia. Says Saltz on the topic, “High prices become part of its temporary content, often disrupting and distorting art’s nonlinear, alchemical strangeness. Art is long. The market is not.” I’d rephrase it, art is long and so is the market, sometimes they profoundly reflect one another, other times not, and so it goes. Yes, you can lament the market for the sake of its capricious frailties and at times incomprehensible nature, yet it’s as much a part of human nature to trade as to create. And so what? You can’t begrudge the market for being... a market. As a cynical idealist, I shall always hold out the hope of an aesthetic meritocracy that defeats all disingenuousness in the field.

What future for the famous critic? Jerry Saltz is the anti-critic critic, making critic-art out of the whole cloth of himself. Saltz is human Xanax; always “on”, he’s forever cheerful, an antidote to life’s chores and routines, maybe shying from his family history of despondency. I can’t remember ever seeing him grumpy or imagine him out of character, even in the midst of pillow talk with Smith. But don’t let the cloak fool you. Underneath Saltz’s puppy dog persona he does not suffer fools lightly and is known to ruthlessly

strike out at those he disagrees with (almost always men), unfriending and offering a coldshouldered future. Saltz deservedly basks in the limelight, fame and acclaim that transmogrified him. He is a supernova schmoozer and elfin grassroots rabble-rouser. He is the most popular (ever) populist, in the vein of Matthew Collings or, better yet, Sister Wendy, but with a much wider audience than both – and all others – combined. I can envision Saltz on Speakers’ Corner on a sunny Sunday, reeling in the crowds with the hilarity of his humour and self-deprecating nature. The Saltz shtick is an act worthy of the Borscht Belt (the now-defunct so-called Jewish Alps in upstate New York), which he could in all seriousness successfully take on the road more than he already does on the lecture/teaching circuit. Saltz is a sex-crazed, workaholic, prolific old war horse who chides writers that don’t write every day. He regularly posts images of the enormous coffees that fuel his words, which haven’t stopped flowing since I first put my head inside an art gallery. And although he never reviewed a single show I curated in 25 years, he’s invariably complimentary on Facebook and in correspondences. I cherish any missives from Saltz and Smith and consider myself lucky to have the dialogue I’ve had with both over the decades. Thanks, guys.


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While others of his generation saw the credit crunch wreck their futures, one young hedge-funder was courting infamy making millions from failed biotech, gouging prices on life-saving medicine and – the worst crime of all – taking to Twitter to brag about it. As MARTIN SHKRELI faces trial for fraud, GQ asks...

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The outrage over Shkreli and Daraprim didn’t just catch on – it went viral

MARTIN SHKRELI Social graces: After leaving a Congressional enquiry into his practices, Martin Shkreli tweeted, ‘Hard to accept these imbeciles represent the people,’ 4 February

n his 33 years on planet earth, Martin Shkreli has made quite an impression on his fellow humans. He has been called a sociopath, a “shrivelled piss-peanut brain”, the troll of the century and – by popular consensus – the most hated man in America. The usually even-tempered CNN anchor Jake Tapper has suggested there are many “who might like to remove [his] smile with the business end of a shovel”, while the affable late-night talk show host Seth Meyers has described him as “a real slappable prick”. Even Shkreli’s personal hero, the Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah, refers to him only as “that shithead”. For good measure, Hillary Clinton has asked a federal agency to investigate him, while none other than Donald Trump has thundered, “He’s zero. He’s nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself.” For those not familiar with Shkreli’s bizarre rise over the past two years as a pop-culture hate figure (his face was even printed on masks worn by protestors outside a recent UN meeting in London), he is a Wall Street hedgefund owner turned biotech company CEO of Albanian and Croatian heritage. His wealth is estimated at $80 million. His IQ is reportedly in the Albert Einstein zone of 160-plus. And thanks to his extreme disposable income, he is the proud owner of both a Nazi Enigma coding machine – “it’s like owning a gas chamber” – and the closely guarded single pressing of the Wu-Tang Clan’s almost mythical double album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Shkreli paid a ludicrous $2m for the latter – including its silver and nickel CD case – under a contract that reportedly included a provision that, over the next 88 years, the seller “may


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Tom Williams

(during one “diss video” – on which more later – he sips from a glass of wine). But perhaps the weirdest, most disorientating thing of all about Shkreli is that upon closer examination of his life and career, it is hard not to conclude that although he is undoubtedly a troll of internet-breaking proportions, he is also – by accident or design – as much of a hero as he is a villain.


f he’d made different choices, Martin Shkreli’s life could very easily have ended up as an archetypal all-American feel-good tale. Born on April Fool’s Day 1983, he grew up with two sisters and a brother in a modest house in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, a working-class area known for its particularly high concentration of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. His father – whose family name comes from an Albanian tribe that dates back to the 15th century – worked as a doorman and janitor. By most accounts, Shkreli was raised a

When he was sure he had a monopoly, he raised the price 5,500 per cent Catholic, even getting weekly morality lessons at Sunday school. Like other kids in Brooklyn, he was obsessed with rap and the violent soap opera of East Coast/West Coast rivalry. But he was an oddball and a loner, eventually qualifying for a place at Hunter College, an elite state-funded high school for gifted children on Manhattan’s Upper East Side – to which he would later make a controversial donation of $1m. Shkreli has claimed that his most powerful memory from high school was seeing a classmate struggle with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic condition. “You remember when he could play in gym class and then he wasn’t allowed to any more,” he once recalled. “You remember when he could walk, [then] you had to watch him not be able to walk any more.” Shkreli was either kicked out or he dropped out of Hunter aged 16, but he got a diploma thanks to credits for an internship at Cramer, Berkowitz & Company, a hedge fund set-up by Jim Cramer, now better known as the maniacal host of the CNBC finance show Mad Money. (Shkreli said he got the job by proving to Cramer he could play the guitar after bragging about it on his CV.) By the time Shkreli had earned a degree from Baruch College – one of New York’s less expensive

business schools – the internship had turned into a full-time job. The way Shkreli tells it, he started out as the office photocopier refiller, but set about making himself useful as a stock researcher with an uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit in company press releases. This was, of course, a highly prized skill, because hedge funds love nothing more than to bet against the stocks of bullshit-prone companies – the practice known as short-selling. And, as most are now aware thanks to Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale in The Big Short, there are billions to be made by correctly predicting that companies will fail. The downside of this darkest of financial arts – especially in biotech, where immense risks are taken to develop drugs that could save lives and end suffering – is that it doesn’t tend to win you many friends. At nights, Shkreli immersed himself in biology, chemistry and genetics textbooks – he’d never had more than basic education in these fields – while during the day he trawled through reams of test results and medical papers, looking for things that didn’t add up. His first target was a company developing a new weight-loss drug – and the whiff of bullshit was so overpowering he told Cramer’s traders to go short. With some hesitancy, the hedge fund took his advice. And sure enough, the drug proved to be such a dud that the stock halved in value. The profits from the wager were substantial enough – and unusual enough – to set off alarm bells at the Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC), Wall Street’s powerful regulator, which called Cramer and asked if it had acted on inside information. Shkreli thought this was hysterical. “I had a ball with it,” he later gloated. The SEC investigation didn’t go any further. But Shkreli’s reputation as a “boy genius” had been made. Shkreli left Cramer in the mid-noughties to become an analyst, but the prospect of becoming another suit-and-tie on Wall Street didn’t excite him. So, with typical hubris, he founded his own hedge fund, naming it Elea Capital Management. How much money he raised – and from whom – remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that it gave him an opportunity to make bigger bets than ever, one of them being a short-sale trade with Lehman Brothers that went horribly awry. When the stock that Shkreli had bet against went up instead of down, he was left owing $2.3m to cover his position. By which time, of course, he had gambled away all his cash. Lehman sued in New York state court and won a default judgement. But this was 2007, and, as if by divine intervention, Lehman – a

Photograph AP

legally plan and attempt to execute one heist or caper to steal it back” – on the condition that “said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/or actor Bill Murray”. (Disappointingly, the heist clause was later discovered to be a hoax. The other details are real.) More to the point Shkreli is currently awaiting federal trial for what prosecutors in New York have described as “a securities fraud trifecta of lies, deceit and greed” that could see him locked up for 20 years. Shkreli, who declined to talk to GQ, has pleaded innocent and insisted via Twitter that he will prevail. And yet, in another deeply odd twist to this tale, the criminal charges against Shkreli are almost entirely unrelated to the brazen act that made him so infamous – that being his decision last year to hike the price of a life-saving drug for pregnant women and Aids patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill, overnight. Looking back now, Shkreli admits the move was a mistake. But only because – wait for it – he thinks he acted with too much restraint. “Healthcare prices are inelastic,” he shrugged, when asked about the controversy at a recent healthcare summit. “This is a capitalist society... with capitalist rules. My investors expect me to maximise profits.” What’s more, Shkreli maintains that far from representing the very worst of humanity, he is in fact a deeply misunderstood altruist – and the world’s most eligible bachelor, to boot. In an effort to prove the former, he has attempted to cash-in on the outpouring of bad will towards him by auctioning the opportunity to punch him in the face, with the proceeds going to a five-year-old leukaemia survivor whose father – a porn-DVD pioneer and friend of Shkreli’s – died suddenly in his sleep. As for his appeal to the opposite sex, he claims to receive “50 to 100 date solicitations per day” in spite of spending much of his time holed up in his Bruce Wayne-like bachelor lair in Midtown Manhattan, where he uses Periscope and Twitter to giggle over childishly offensive memes, antagonise his enemies (during the recent US election, he leaked Hillary Clinton’s private email address and claimed she had “unmistakable” signs of Parkinson’s disease) and offer free chemistry lessons and finance tutorials to anyone who will listen. If this isn’t all head-spinning enough, Shkreli mixes the above with fluent hip hop references (he once tweeted a picture of himself sleeping under a “2Pac”-branded blanket) and often adopts a tough gangsta rap persona that is deeply at odds with his reedy voice, lily-white skin and almost comically diminutive stature

MARTIN SHKRELI 158-year-old institution regarded as one of the world’s safest investment banks – was wiped out a few months later. By an utterly insane stroke of luck, Shkreli got a reprieve. Like millions of his fellow millennials, Shkreli celebrated the Great Recession by moving back in with his parents. By now, however, he was hooked on the drug of short-selling and had a network of wealthy fans who recognised his rare talent for knowing when biotech companies were overegging their press releases – that disastrous Lehman trade notwithstanding. Within a year, he had won over enough of those fans to launch a second hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, the name spelling out his initials and those of Marek Biestek, his partner and friend. Shkreli went all-in on the new venture, sleeping on the floor of his office and working such long hours he would forget to brush his teeth or comb his hair. He also began to use deeply unconventional investment tactics. On Christmas Day 2010, for example, he wrote a letter to the FDA, personally urging them not to approve an inhaled insulin product, the manufacturer of which he had shorted aggressively. Shkreli didn’t make a secret of his financial interest in seeing the product fail. In fact, he trolled about it online, including on the stock market analysis site Seeking Alpha. He even reportedly got into a screaming match with the manufacturer’s CEO at a conference in San Francisco. No short-seller in history had been this brazen before. Shkreli’s ability to plant seeds of doubt in investors’ minds caused deep unease in the biotech sector, where emotions alone often dictate stock prices (revenues and profits are nearly always hypothetical). Some said it was all for the good, helping root out fraud. Others countered that his FDA petitions, online rants and other scorchedearth moves were a form of asymmetrical financial warfare. His most vocal critic, the nonprofit Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington, tried to get the SEC and the Justice Department to investigate him. Its requests fell on deaf ears. On the face of it, MSMB was a runaway success. Indeed, by 2012, the fund’s original investors were told they had almost doubled their money, net of fees, thanks to Shkreli’s short-selling. At which point Shkreli declared – in his usual outrageous style – there was no longer “enough money” in hedge funds. No, the big gains were to be found in building a real company, he said. So instead of

betting on the failure of others, Shkreli would now set about showing the world how to do it right himself. If there was ever previously an example of a Wall Street short-seller deciding to take the ultimate long position – founding a blue-sky drug research company – no one could think of it. But that’s precisely what Shkreli did, albeit while quietly setting up yet another hedge fund, MSMB Healthcare, on the side. Shkreli presented his role-reversal as a come-to-Jesus moment, inspired by a close friend who had watched a little boy suffer and ultimately die from a rare genetic condition, myotubular myopathy, which affects muscle development and motor skills. The tale had apparently shaken Shkreli to the core, perhaps bringing back memories of watching his classmate succumb to cystic fibrosis at Hunter College. “I want to save children’s lives,” he informed Bloomberg News earnestly.

Club med: Protesters target Shkreli’s HQ following his price hike of the drug Daraprim, 1 October 2015


hkreli named his new company Retrophin – a nerdish portmanteau of “recombinant dystrophin” (the latter being a protein found in muscle fibre) – and declared its mission was to find treatments for catastrophic illnesses for which there are no cures. The only hint of the troll still lurking behind Shkreli’s new superhero persona was the sleazy method by which he brought Retrophin to the Nasdaq stock market, a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am reverse merger typically used by those who can’t raise funds via more respectable methods. Still, in just over a year, Retrophin was worth $700m and ticking up steadily towards a billion. For a few months, Shkreli seemed to fully embrace his new role as a world-changing biotech CEO. Visitors to Retrophin’s headquarters on Third Avenue in Manhattan would find him strolling around wearing fluffy slippers,

with a stethoscope around his neck, dreaming up new ways to heal the human race. In perhaps the most breathtaking example of how he focused his extreme IQ on the task, he cold-called a medical geneticist named Susan Hayflick, who worked on the other side of the country at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland. Hayflick was used to toiling in deep obscurity. But Shkreli had somehow dug up her 25 years of research into a rare and terrible disease called PKAN, related to mutations in the PanK-II gene that cause involuntary muscle spasms. PKAN’s symptoms arrive slowly but relentlessly, until the patient can no longer walk, see or even swallow food. Heart-wrenchingly, most of its victims are children – and there are as many as 10,000 cases worldwide. With no known way to reverse PKAN’s course, patients typically die within ten to 12 years. Hayflick had successfully identified the gene behind PKAN, but come to a dead end when trying to find a cure. Shkreli called her because he’d thought of a molecular modification that might work – but he needed a phD researcher to test it. Hayflick was sceptical of the cocky young man on the line, who claimed to be a self-taught biologist and multimillionaire CEO. But she couldn’t resist seeing if he was right. And – she could barely believe her own eyes – he was. “Humbling,” is how she later described the experience. A US patent for Shkreli’s PKAN treatment, code-named RE-024, was issued two years later in March 2014. The FDA has since approved it for further tests. Not all of Shkreli’s good work at Retrophin came with the potential for royalty fees. In another case, he and other company officers scrambled to donate a year’s supply of life-saving drugs to an elevenmonth-old boy awaiting a liver transplant in Caracas, Venezuela. The drugs weren’t manufactured by Retrophin. Shkreli had simply read about the case on his Bloomberg terminal and felt compelled to help. The toddler’s father, a 26-year-old tool salesman, was overcome with gratitude. But Shkreli’s inner-troll still lurked. Desperate for revenue to fund Retrophin’s ambitious and eye-wateringly expensive research, he began to experiment with buying the rights to forgotten and/or discontinued drugs, then modifying them to treat other conditions. But along the way, Shkreli noticed a loophole in US regulations that was practically begging to be exploited. Instead of buying old drugs and going to all the effort and expense of redeveloping them, why not just snap up

some hyper-niche treatments – the kind of drugs with zero competition – then double the prices? It might not be moral. But neither – technically – was it illegal. And so, in May 2014, Retrophin acquired the rights to Thiola, used to treat a rare disorder that causes excruciatingly painful cystine stones in the kidneys, ureter and bladder. Only, instead of doubling the price, Shkreli couldn’t resist going further by jacking it up twentyfold, from $1.50 to $30 per pill. The typical prescription for Thiola requires up to 15 pills every day, meaning the cost of treatment shot from $8,212 a year to $164,250 in an instant – the only saving grace being that, in America, it’s usually insurance companies that foot the bill. (Though there is nearly always a “co-pay” for patients.) Unlike rival companies, which justified price increases by putting their newly acquired drugs through cursory new trials and giving them new names, Retrophin made no such effort. It was almost as though Shkreli was trying to create outrage. But aside from a few angry pharmacists and benefits managers, the move went largely unnoticed – which seemed to convince Shkreli that he had stumbled upon a brilliant new business plan. Retrophin’s board, meanwhile, had a few reservations. Most of them related to its growing unease over Shkreli’s needlessly provocative behaviour. During his tenure, the young CEO had already become embroiled in a toxic feud with a former employer and his family, allegedly going so far as to harass them via email, Facebook, LinkedIn and texts. The matter was settled out of court. In another incident, Shkreli tweeted cryptically, out of the blue, “This is one of the best days of my life!” – sending investors into a frenzy of speculation. He sold 292,400 of his own shares in Retrophin the next day, netting a $4.5m profit. Those who dared criticise his mind games found themselves abused on Twitter by anonymous users with handles such as @Thug_BioAnalyst. Some of the tweets, it was claimed, were coming from within Retrophin’s own headquarters. Shkreli countered angrily, “I don’t surveil my employees for what they tweet about. Who gives a shit?” The way Shkreli saw it, his board had nothing to whine about. When he founded Retrophin, a single over-the-counter share in the company was worth a nominal ten cents. By the time of the Thiola deal, it had touched $20 – a staggering 2,200 per cent return. Nevertheless, when the stock began to slide back towards $10 in the autumn of 2014, the board concluded that it was time to show Shkreli the door.

“The Retrophin board is grateful to Martin for his creativity, energy and vision,” read the terse statement announcing his resignation. Shkreli responded with a tweet accusing his fellow directors of being “inane” and “overly focused on irrelevant innuendo” but seemed otherwise undeterred. Indeed, he had reportedly leased new office space within a few days, and by February 2015 had formed a new company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, named after the British mathematician who cracked the code of the Nazis’ Enigma machines (hence Shkreli’s eventual purchase of one) only to be persecuted after the war for being gay. Shkreli’s new business model was similar to that of Retrophin’s, only with more aggression and less shame. After reportedly raising $90m, largely from himself – though he listed more than 30 other “preeminent institutional equity investors” – Shkreli paid $55m for the rights to Daraprim, used to treat potentially fatal malaria and parasitic infections in

Those who dared criticise him found themselves abused on Twitter patients with weak immunity, such as pregnant women and Aids sufferers. Typically, the drug is taken for weeks or months after initial hospitalisation. Instead of merely raising the price, however, Shkreli made it a condition of the deal that all existing supplies of Daraprim be removed from wholesalers. When that was done, he imposed severe restrictions on distribution, ensuring that if a rival company wanted to go to the expense of testing and approving a generic alternative, they would struggle to find enough of the pills to do the necessary reverse engineering. Finally, when he was sure that he had a virtual – and entirely legal – monopoly, he raised the price by an astounding 5,500 per cent, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. In the chaos that ensued, one hospital in Massachusetts complained urgently that it had been unable to get hold of Daraprim for a critically ill and uninsured patient for a week. This time, the outrage didn’t just catch on – it went viral. Shkreli initially backed down, inspiring the priceless headline, “Martin Shkreli Lowers Drug Price, Is Still An Asshole”. But then he put it back up again and dug in, hiring a crisis PR firm and four lobbyists. In Shkreli’s mind, Daraprim’s new price of

$750 per pill was simply the drug’s market value – probably even still below its market value – as determined by idiotic US regulations (not his fault) that allowed him near-monopoly status. If anything, he suggested, it was the drug’s previous price that had been the scandal. He certainly shouldn’t be persecuted for being the only one clever enough – indeed courageous enough – to take advantage of the opportunity. As he protested repeatedly during a round of television news interviews, “If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle and we buy that company and ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that should be a crime.”


ust before dawn on Thursday 17 December 2015, Shkreli was jolted awake by FBI agents bursting into his apartment – a suitably lavish pad with nine-foot high ceilings, a state-of-the-art kitchen and a private balcony with views over Manhattan. Grim faced and stubbled, the Turing CEO was ordered to get dressed – he grabbed blue jeans and a grey hoodie, pulling the latter up to conceal his face – before being led out of the building, past the uniformed doormen and concierge desk and into a waiting police car. By now he was America’s public enemy No1, but the seven-count indictment against him made no reference to the price of Daraprim. Instead, the charges all stemmed from Shkreli’s now-defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management. Specifically, prosecutors alleged that Shkreli had made the same kind of catastrophic bet at MSMB that he had at his previous hedge fund, Elea Capital Management. Only this time he was left having to cover a position triple the size – $7m – and he owed it to Merrill Lynch, which, unlike Lehman Brothers, stubbornly remained in business and wanted its money back. Amazingly, Shkreli had allegedly managed to keep all this a secret and settled quietly with Merrill for $1.35m in late 2012 – at the same time disclosing that MSMB had “$0” in assets. According to court documents, Shkreli nevertheless sent an email to MSMB investors some five days later, announcing the good news that they had almost doubled their money and would be given cash redemptions by the end of the year. Unless, of course, they’d rather have stock in his new company... His simultaneous decision to found Retrophin and become a visionary CEO was therefore allegedly just a ruse – as was his third hedge fund, MSMB Healthcare – to raise money to pay off those he’d defrauded. For all his talk of saving children’s lives, prosecutors concluded he had in fact been running a common-or-garden Ponzi scheme.

MARTIN SHKRELI As for the methods that Shkreli devised to get money out of Retrophin, these allegedly included backdated investments and loans – both to and from his worthless hedge funds – and payments for fake consulting services to his increasingly suspicious investors, who eventually cottoned on to his fraud and threatened to go to the press. In total, it was alleged that Shkreli looted $11m from Retrophin, all of which went to his former hedge fund backers, who had initially put up $8m. These numbers, of course, make the case all the more astonishing. Because while Shkreli’s victims didn’t double their money, as promised, they did all end up coming out ahead – an unheard of outcome for a Ponzi scheme. Especially one that had been busted by the feds. Stranger still, investors in Retrophin – the vehicle allegedly used to settle the debts – got richer, too. Not long before Shkreli’s arrest, the biotech company’s share price had hit an all-time high of $36 – meaning someone who bought in for $10,000 before it went public ended up with a $3.6m stake in a $1 billion enterprise. Not a bad outcome for any investor, never mind an alleged victim of fraud. As for Shkreli’s willingness to exploit the sick and vulnerable with outrageous drug prices, he made the argument after his arrest that patients without insurance, or in dire financial need – about half the total – had always been able to get Daraprim for $1 per pill through an economic assistance programme. It was only America’s deeply unpopular health insurance companies that were being stiffed for $750 – and the money went to a good cause. “I’m like Robin Hood,” he told Vanity Fair with a straight face. “I’m taking Walmart’s money and doing research for diseases no one cares about.” What’s more, Shkreli pointed out, he had done the public a favour by highlighting the absurdities of America’s dysfunctional healthcare system. Shkreli has grown only more defiant since his release on $5m bail. (In spite of rumours to the contrary, his Wu-Tang Clan album wasn’t seized as collateral.) In February of this year, when he was hauled in to testify before Congress, he refused to answer the questions of South Carolina representative Trey Gowdy, best known for his relentless interrogation of Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings. Moments after the hearing ended, however, Shkreli logged on to social media and offered to take any and all questions from the public. “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government,” he tweeted. Similarly insolent was his performance at a

court appearance in Brooklyn, when he and his former lawyer Evan Greebel – now a codefendant in the case – were given a trial date of 26 June 2017. (This could be delayed by three months if Shkreli’s request to be tried separately is granted.) On his way out of the courthouse, Shkreli leaned over to his defence lawyer and asked – loud enough for the press to hear – “Can I play Pokémon Go now?” All of which begs the question, who is Shkreli really? A greedy short-seller who repeatedly tries to cover up his losses? A troll who needs constant attention? Or a genius and visionary who really does want to make the world a better place and went to extreme methods to do so – only to be brought down by his inability to do anything tactfully, or by half? Whatever the case – and it may very well be a combination of all three – there’s no doubt Shkreli is one of a kind. It takes a special individual, after all, to end up on trial for a fraud that – as far as GQ can tell – made all of his alleged victims better off.

As he left the court, Shkreli loudly asked, ‘Can I play Pokémon Go now?’


s Shkreli awaits his day in court, his hate-figure status has only intensified – while his behaviour has grown more erratic. At one point, he became so outraged by mockery from his one-time hero Ghostface Killah he uploaded a “diss video” on YouTube. In it, he addresses the camera directly while flanked by three black-hooded men. “I’m gonna erase you from the record books of rap!” he taunts, after threatening to delete all of Ghostface’s work on the $2m one-off album he owns. “You’re an old man that’s lost his relevance and you’re trying to reclaim the spotlight from my spotlight!” At other times, Shkreli has seemed consumed by melancholy and self-doubt, periscoping as he walks the streets of New York in silence. In one particularly sad moment, he was hoodwinked into a fake interview with a C-list comedian, during which he was asked if he had any friends. As he began to answer – “Of course! Uh... no, not really” – the camera crew dropped a boom mic on his head. The clip of his humiliation is now a popular gif. A recently leaked screenshot of Shkreli’s former profile on the dating website OK Cupid has only added to the bathos. “I am endlessly entertaining, providing comedic

relief and artistic thought in one convenient package – what a catch!” read his headline. Further down, under “What I’m really good at” Shkreli had written – with some understatement – “Logic, difficult situations and tough choices.” And under “Six things I could never do without”, he included “Time – our friend and our enemy.” For a man now facing up to 20 years in prison, it was a prescient – not to mention poignant – observation. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from Manhattan, the influence of the most hated man in America is being felt in a very different way by Jay and Laura Kulsrud, the parents of three boys in Grace City, North Dakota. Their eldest, Lane, used to enjoy running around and playing basketball. Then, out of nowhere, he began to slur his words. Not long after, he lost his ability to balance. Desperately worried, Lane’s parents took him to hospital, where he was given a diagnosis of PKAN. Out of extreme caution, the Kulsruds also had their other two sons tested for the incredibly rare condition. In both cases, devastatingly, the results came back positive. As of now, the disease remains a death sentence of immeasurable cruelty for all three boys, with no approved cure. But a recent article in the Kulsrud family’s hometown newspaper, the Bismark Tribune, included a curious footnote: “The family’s hope rests with a new drug called RE-024, made by Retrophin, a US pharmaceutical company.” The very same drug, in other words, that Shkreli co-invented after teaching himself biology and cold-calling a geneticist whose work he randomly followed. A drug that, if you believe New York prosecutors, was a diversion to cover-up short-selling losses. Retrophin has since given an update on the drug’s development at the 20th International Congress Of Parkinson’s Disease And Movement Disorders in Berlin – a story that went unreported by the same US media that took so much delight in Shkreli’s downfall. Making no mention of Shkreli’s name on the patent, nor his controversial pricing strategy that raised the money needed for research, the company used dry scientific language to reveal that two brothers with PKAN had undergone a six-month trial course of the pills. “Treatment with RE-024 was associated with clinically meaningful improvements,” it noted, “including the regained ability to walk.”


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Pal Zileri

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Acne Studios

January 2017

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adig & Voltaire 020 7730 1880 @zadigetvoltaire JANUARY 2017 GQ.CO.UK 251


76 <78 WN \PM ?7:4,


The spectacular view from the balcony at Chesa Futura in St Moritz

The cosy sitting room at Fleurettes in Verbier





A chalet in the Austrian Alps offered by First Kitzbühel

The curvaceous exterior of Chesa Futura in St Moritz


The wellness area in the Megève chalet

Six Senses Residences Courchevel

A sitting room with a view in Aspen, Colorado

THE GREAT ESCAPE The chartering of a superyacht is one of the most alluring experiences imaginable. Splendid views, unparalleled comfort and absolute privacy are assured. Contact Cecil Wright & Partners for an introduction to superyacht living at its finest.


EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE COURCHEVEL THE ONLY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN COURCHEVEL 1850 SERVICED BY THE AWARDWINNING HOTEL AND SPA MANAGEMENT COMPANY, SIX SENSES. These 53 beautifully appointed apartments for sale are located in the heart of Courchevel. Built to the highest standards, every aspect of the apartments and penthouses has been methodically and tirelessly crafted. The development features a Spa by world renowned Six Senses, 24 hr concierge and private ski-in, ski-out service. Prices start from €1.5 million.

SHOW APARTMENTS OPEN Contact Savills on +33 (0) 619 8329 45 +44 (0) 207 016 3744 Iniala Beach House, Thailand

8:78-:<A 8:757<176

•Š’—ž– ™›˜™Ž›¢ $ QHZ GHYHORSPHQW RI VXSHUVL]HG KRXVHV GLUHFWO\ RQ WKH EHDFK RQ WKH JODPRURXV ZHVW FRDVW RI %DUEDGRV KDV MXVW FRPH RQ WKH PDUNHW -HVVLH +HZLWVRQ WDNHV D ORRN For at least 20 years it has been almost impossible to buy a new house directly on the beach on the west coast of Barbados. Which makes the launch of Beachlands, a development of four high-end homes located right by the sea on the Platinum Coast, an extremely rare set of properties to come to the market. ‘I have not seen such a superb property come to the market before, located directly on this stretch of coast, in 20 years of selling property in the Caribbean,’ says James Burdess, director of the Caribbean office for Savills estate agency, who is in charge of sales for the project. ‘The developers, UK & European, have taken their time with this project and hired the top people in the industry.’ The west coast’s popularity is down to the fact that it has some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, as well as the best swimming beaches on the island. Here, the houses are big and the hotels well known – most notably Sandy Lane, the salmon-pink home-fromhome for the business community, which is a 10-minute walk down the beach from Beachlands. Also within easy reach is the island’s most famous restaurant, The Cliff, its sister restaurant The Cliff Beach Club, and the

boutique hotel and restaurant The Lone Star. Beachlands is also just 100 metres south of Limegrove, with high-end shops including Cartier and Burberry, as well as a cinema, bars and a night club. The villas at Beachlands are sizeable, each measuring about 14,000 square feet, with plot sizes of an acre. The properties are spaced out from one another, set away from the road and raised above the beach – high enough for privacy but low enough to see the sea from a sofa in your living room. One of the villas, Villa Tamarindo, is under construction and expected to complete by May 2017. The owners of the three others will be able to adapt the design and size. Each villa comes with a luxurious pool, shaded by the mature mahogany trees, some 75 years old, which run parallel to the beach. The architect Larry Warren, who built the ‘new’ Sandy Lane in 1998, designed the contemporary colonial exteriors for Villa Tamarindo. He chose shingle roofs, covered terraces outside the rooms to control the temperature within, and exteriors made of coral stone. The interiors have been designed by Elena Korach of AQA Studio, who also oversaw the interiors at the Raffles Resort on

Canouan Island. The distinction between indoors and outdoors is blurred in the living room, thanks to doors that divide it from the terrace, which disappear into the wall when shut, allowing the terrace to become an extension of the interior. Barbados, which measures 21 miles by 14 miles, is a stable island, both politically and economically. On November 30, it celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain. At the top end of the market, the large homes on the west coast are still sought after and there is strong demand for such properties on the rental market. The island has two marinas, on the north-west coast, and seven golf courses, and also offers deep-sea fishing, surfing along the choppier east Atlantic coast, and a tennis centre. ‘This development is the best in class,’ says Burdess. ‘Instead of the 60 apartments that could have been built on the site, we have four homes. It’s likely you’ll have to wait another 20 years to find a similar project come on to the market again.’ For further information, please contact James Burdess, director of the Caribbean and Latin America department at Savills, on 020 7016 3740 |

Accommodation and Amenities The main accommodation includes:

ST JOHN’S WOOD NW8 A beautifully proportioned mid terraced family home of the highest quality. The property has accommodation which spans over 5,697 square feet, offering bright and spacious family living, including a wonderful lower floor entertainment area incorporating a cinema room, family room and a separate gym. The property is offered in excellent condition throughout, and has been subject to various refurbishment projects over the years.

Location Hamilton Terrace is conveniently located for the shops and cafés of both St. John's Wood High Street and Clifton Road, W9. It has excellent transport links, including St. John’s Wood Underground Station (Jubilee Line) and Warwick Avenue Underground Station (Bakerloo Line), both of which provide easy access to the West End, the City, Canary Wharf, and the Heathrow Express.

Drawing Room • Kitchen/Breakfast Room • Family Room • Master Bedroom Suite with His & Hers Dressing Rooms and En Suite Bathroom • Four Further Bedrooms • Three Further Bathrooms • Playroom/Cinema Room • Gym with En Suite Shower Room • Self-Contained Guest/Staff Flat • Utility Room & Boot Room • Office Area • Storage Room • Wine Room/Cellar • Part Air Conditioning • 130ft Rear Garden • Secure Off Street Parking for Two Cars

Price On Application

Joint Sole Agent

The Tower House Carlton Hill St. John’s Wood NW8

An iconic detached St. John’s Wood villa built c 1850 which has been fully refurbished and redesigned to suit modern day life. Entrance Hall • Drawing Room • Dining Room • Study • Open Plan Kitchen/Breakfast Room • Family Room • Cinema • Master Bedroom with Ensuite Bathroom, Two Dressing Rooms and a Private Terrace • Four Further Bedrooms, Two with Ensuite Shower Rooms and Two with Ensuite Bathrooms • Two Cloakrooms • Leisure Facilities: Large Swimming Pool, Gym, Sauna, Steam Room and Two Shower Rooms • Strong Room Wine Cellar • Upper Terrace • Lower Terrace • Landscaped Rear Garden • Private Parking for four cars behind Electric Gates Staff/Nanny Flat: Sitting Room/Bedroom, Shower Room and Kitchen • EPC Rating F


JS A Sav i l l s 020 3043 3600

020-7225 0277


St Luke’s Street Chelsea SW3

A meticulously refurbished three bedroom house in the heart of Chelsea. This house offers excellent space for a purchaser to move into immediately whilst benefiting from fantastic volume with a southern, easterly and western aspect. Drawing Room • Kitchen/Dining Area • Master Bedroom Suite with Dressing Area and Ensuite Bathroom Two Further Bedrooms • Bathroom • Utility Room • Cloakroom • Patio • Terrace • EPC Rating C



020-7225 0277

Petersham Place South Kensington SW7

An immaculately designed and exceptionally well-appointed double fronted mews house within moments of Kensington Gardens and benefitting from a sizeable garage. Entrance Hall • Drawing Room • Master Bedroom with Bathroom and Dressing Area Ensuite • Bedroom Two with Bathroom Ensuite Bedroom Three/Study • Kitchen • Utility Room • Garage • EPC Rating D



020-7225 0277

Pavilion Road

Dove Mews




+766-+<176; +7=6<

Eaton Square

Victoria Road



Tregunter Road


Battersea Power Station

:-/-6-:)<16/ :1884-;



One Hyde Park

Hyde Park Gate


The Ridge is a truly stunning piece of architecture and has been designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, quality and lifestyle requirements. Set on one of Sunningdale’s most prestigious roads, a stone’s throw from Sunningdale golf course, local shops and the train station. With only ten stunning mansion apartments, this development affords the comfort and security of apartment living but with exclusivity. Each apartment offers the luxury, style and spaciousness of a large family residence, but with the added welcome addition of a concierge service, security and the ease of the ‘lock up and go’ lifestyle. Striking duplex apartment with 3 bedrooms, all en-suite, study, cinema room and garden terrace G Concierge Service G Lift access to all floors G Secure basement parking with large lockable storage unit

G Private outside space to all apartments G Bespoke Italian kitchens G Share of Freehold

Showhome open 7 days a week 10:00-16:00 CALL NOW FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO VIEW 01344 875593








70% SOLD

SIMPLY SPECTACULAR A spectacular leisure suite, Harrods concierge, private cinema, glorious gardens, breathtaking views of the Thames, and Richmond’s exclusive shops and restaurants at your fingertips. The ultimate lifestyle can be found exclusively at The Star and Garter, the iconic Grade II listed landmark beautifully restored by London Square.

Exceptional two bedroom apartments from £1,750,000 Viewing by appointment only, please call 0333 666 0102 to confirm. The Sales Suite and Show Apartments are open daily. The Star and Garter Sales Suite, Richmond Hill, TW10 6RR.

Selling agents Computer generated image depicts The Star and Garter and is indicative only. Details and prices are correct at time of going to press. December 2016.

Setting The Residential Standard Octagon has been setting the standard in residential new build throughout London and the Home Counties since 1980. Our reputation for building magnificent, contemporary styled homes is unrivalled. We have become a leader in our field by specifying the finest materials, fi xtures and fittings. Add to this a truly bespoke approach to design and fi nish, and a customer service that is second to none and it is easy to understand why a home by Octagon is always cherished.

020 8481 7500




+4 4 ( 0 ) 20 72 93 0 8 1 0 ONENINEELMS .COM




















































FIND YOUR NEW LONDON HOME WITH CREST NICHOLSON Crest Nicholson has been building new homes for over 50 years and is firmly established as a leading developer with a passion for not just building homes, but creating vibrant sustainable communities. Dedicated to excellence in design and innovation, sustainability and customer service.

A boutique collection of 28 highly specified 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments & penthouses, with a concierge, roof terrace and all with outside space. Minutes from London Bridge station in the heart of vibrant Bermondsey.


Prices from £749,999 Sales & Marketing Suite open daily, book your appointment. 36 Snowsfields, London, SE1 3QQ

A collection of 77 new luxury apartments & houses situated in Zone 1, directly opposite Borough Underground station for superb access across London. Prices from £714,995 Sales & Marketing Suite open daily, book your appointment. 180 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1LH

A collection of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments, penthouses, duplexes & mews houses nestled around a central courtyard garden. Just a few minutes walk from Waterloo and Southwark stations. SE1

Prices from £699,995 Sales & Marketing Suite open daily, book your appointment. 1-19 Valentine Place, London, SE1 8QH

To register your interest please contact us on 0800 088 6421 or visit

Computer generated images for illustrative purposes only. Pricing correct on 17.10.16. Crest Nicholson London 7th Floor, New Fetter Place, 8-10 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1AZ. Crest Nicholson London is a division of Crest Nicholson Operations Limited, Crest House, Pyrcroft Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 9GN. Registered in England under Company No. 1168311.






020 3770 2196




The chef who ate his critics is back to turn the air bleu at Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay hich came first , the acerbic one-star review or the flouncing celebrity chef? It’s a question I ask myself as, pessimistically, I sit down to lunch alongside coach-loads of Chinese tourists at Gordon Ramsay’s new brasserie in Bordeaux named – what else? – Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay, a split-level dining room in the town’s Le Grand Hôtel. How do I know I’m in the right place? Well, aside from the tourists taking pictures of their entrées, there is an awning advertising the fact that said famous British chef is indeed in situ. Despite Ramsay’s dominance, this is my first time meeting the chef or eating his food; quite an achievement if you contemplate his two-decade long ubiquity on the global food scene, and one that he might find rather insulting. The food is, in fact, surprisingly good. The problem with Ramsay’s commercial success is that you expect all his restaurants to be Fine McDining. But my pork terrine still manages to taste of pig, marbled beautifully with hazelnuts and a home-made piccalilli, while my cod main is perhaps the best piece of fish I have eaten outside my in-laws’ house in Chantilly. (Although I have to say this, it’s also the truth.) Not that Ramsay cares what I or, indeed, any reviewer writes. Why would he? His achievements are staggering: his restaurant on Royal Hospital Road alone has held three Michelin stars now for more than 15 years, London’s longest ever three-star reign. And the sister restaurant upstairs here in the Grand Hôtel, Le Pressoir d’Argent, won its first Michelin star last September after being open for only four months. So why does he still bother cooking – or at least endorsing new food – for us mortals when surely he could be making beans on toast for David and Victoria Beckham for the rest of his days? “Good question. When you’re not busy you work to get busy and when you are busy you look to stay there.” Ramsay is more softly spoken in person than the pantomime villain we see giving poor US MasterChef contestants the hairdryer treatment on television. Despite the lower decibels, however, he still manages to sound like an army drill sergeant, though he’s hardly intimidating. When he talks, his tiny eyes ignite like the backlight on an iPhone 7, two blue pilot flames burning out of the cavernous folds that make up his face. “Have you ever met the UFC fighter Conor McGregor? No?


Well, he fights because he loves it. People always think it’s about the money but it’s not; it’s the passion. I need the pressure. I need that hit. And I like ruffling feathers.” Now that social media has made every diner into an instant critic, does Ramsay miss the weekly sparring with the likes of Giles Coren? “Well, I kicked the f***ers out long before the internet – I don’t think we’re doing too badly, do you? The whole blog thing has only improved chefs. We get the feedback earlier.” But now, I counter, the critics he’s being judged by are unqualified. “It’s hard for chefs to be judged by people who know less about food than they do – that’s the kick in the bollocks. You take someone like AA Gill, his talent, his humour, the guy should have a f***ing stand-up show! “They all tried TV. I saw an ad for Giles Coren’s Million Dollar Critic show – ‘I’ve closed restaurants, I’ve made chefs cry...’ Giles Coren, you pompous prick! Seriously. Come on, Lord Napoleon! When I worked with him on The F Word he wouldn’t drink the wine we served and he’d send the waiter out to buy his own expensive stuff. Critics walk into restaurants now and they shiver because they’re already full. In the Nineties they had power – and bile – but they can’t close us down anymore.” Remember the Pétrus debacle? Back in 2008 Ramsay split with its head chef, Marcus Wareing, and opened up Pétrus (part three) round the corner. AA Gill and Coren dined there together and utterly eviscerated the place. Gill wrote: “Everything about this restaurant, this food, this service is hopelessly passé, utterly has-been. So, so completely defunctly dead.” Gill described his John Dory fillet as having been “overcooked or liberated from the Natural History Museum”. Although perhaps unfair, Gill is, as ever, nothing if not wonderfully poetic in his assassination. How sharply did that review sting? “When Giles and Adrian did a number on me they f***ed me sideways,” Ramsay admits. “I had to go to get stitches. But I walked round the following week, when it was solid and full, and people would come and say, ‘I can’t believe it was as bad as that, what did you do to them to warrant such treatment?’ And then I remembered: I kicked them out. So you have to take it on the chin. But now, at 49, my skin is a lot thicker. Every shitty article like that we send to Vegas to make paper for my new fish and chip shop. I can’t take critics seriously anymore.” And as for Coren’s television programme, has Ramsay actually seen it? “It got pulled after one series.” Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay, 2-5 Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux, France. +33 557 30 43 04,

VERDICT F***ing food +++++ F***ing service ++++, F***ing talk ++++,F***ing alpha maleness +++,,F***ing critics ++++,Overall ++++,

Illustrations Anton Emdin; Zohar Lazar

‘I need the pressure. I like  ruffling feathers’

©2016 movado group, inc.


Gq012017 uk