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H A R R O D S – M E N ’ S I N T E R N AT I O N A L G A L L E R Y – LO W E R G R O U N D F LO O R


TH E WOR LD ’ S FI RST M ASTER CH RONOMETER Proven at the industry’s highest level, the OMEGA Globemaster has been rigorously tested and officially certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). Along with exquisite design, it combines superior precision with anti-magnetic resistance of 15,000 gauss, proudly setting a new standard in watchmaking. For OMEGA, this is just the beginning. www.omegawatches.com / globemaster

/21'21à%RQG6WUHHWà2[IRUG6WUHHWà5HJHQW6WUHHWà6ORDQH6WUHHWà:HVWÿHOG/RQGRQà:HVWÿHOG6WUDWIRUG&LW\à5R\DO([FKDQJHà%OXHZDWHUà%UHQW&URVVà+DUURGV 0$1&+(67(5à6W$QQ6WUHHWà7UDIIRUG&HQWUHà/(('6à&RPPHUFLDO6WUHHWà%,50,1*+$0à%XOOULQJà*/$6*2:à%XFKDQDQ6WUHHW


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92

Editor’s Letter

Michael Wolf

Jerry Hall is Rupert Murdoch’s new queen consort and the latest in a line of women to shine a light on the media mogul’s emotional insecurities.

31

Foreword

Forget wide boys and pneumatic women: the powerhouse county of Essex now holds the keys to the kingdom.

96

The Lab

BY ANDY COULSON

Charlie Casely-Hayford illuminates his own sense of style.

Tony Parsons

Who are the real victims of Europe’s refugee chaos?

G U I D E

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S G 2 0 16

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Travel

Our Stuf

58

A

Chamonix’s must-stay chalet; The Principal Madrid; get set for the Florida Keys.

81

54

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G U I D

77

S

S P A

Teutonic tone-ups at The German Gymnasium; eat and drink your way around Manchester’s Spinningfields; plus, get juiced with actor Andrew Cooper.

The jewels in Dolce & Gabbana’s crown; Luke Leitch’s new Best Of British column; plus, Style Shrink and Crockett & Jones.

BMW’s 7 Series is the luxury cruiser for men who chauffeur themselves; Honda’s sci-fi super-Civic.

69

Taste

Dresser

6

54 Cars

GQ’s agony aunt tackles stags.

103

205

S P A

53 What I Wear Menswear designer

Victoria Coren Mitchell

64

34

2 0 1 6

Hugo Rifkind tries to fix a phone and a relationship.

E ID

63

The Argument

U

The masters of marquetry.

Broadway smash musical Hamilton stages a revolution; artist John Akomfrah’s new film installation; cashing in on football’s first openly gay player; David Bowie’s ★ rises; how the world forgot artist Bernard Buffet; The Big Short’s even bigger weakness; why app-based economics is not the end of capitalism; Gary Kemp on capturing Pinter’s pauses; don’t bet against a Tory outsider taking the reigns from David Cameron.

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61

Bachelor Pad

103 The Drop

61

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Details

Brie Larson’s great escape; gym bags that pack a punch; London’s secret drinking dens; the hot-hatch hyper trend; Jack Garratt’s Phase shift.

2

34

Ultra HD televisions, clarified; plus, one-pot home cookers take our orders.

Jim Chapman tackles life’s touchstones.

82

Watches

Van Cleef & Arpels’ outstanding complications.

212

212

Grooming

The annual GQ Spa Guide; plus, Alice Hart-Davis on nanotechnology skincare.

FEBRUARY 2016 G 15


Photograph Matthew Shave. Ski suit by Superdry, £250. superdry.com. Boots by Moncler, £345. At Harrods. harrods.com. Goggles by Uvex, £745. At Surfdome. surfdome.com. Gloves by Hestra, £125. Skis by Line, from £450. Both at Ellis Brigham. ellis-brigham.com

1 9 6

Beyond the black run

Take skiwear up a gear this season with cooler-thanthou slope kit.

FEBRUARY 2016 G 17


On the cover: Suit, £2,040. Pocket square, £86. Both by Louis Vuitton. louisvuitton.com. Shirt by Berluti, £490. berluti.com. Tie by Marni, £130. At matchesfashion.com

46

Features & fashion 46

Have Europe’s bleeding hearts got it wrong on refugees?

Britain’s greatest sporting ambassador meets GQ’s arch interrogator as he faces a scandal that threatens his golden reputation.

By Tony Parsons F E B 2 0 1 6 £3.99

THE MAN WHO SANK THE COSTA CONCORDIA Exclusive interview By Robert Chalmers

84

160

216

GQ Portfolio Products and events.

Life

Jonathan Goodair’s new sport-specific work-outs; Bear Grylls gets you lean for 2016; whisper porn; plus, a new year challenge chart.

170

Tattoo artist Scott Campbell is redefining his craft with the most decorated stars on the planet.

For most men, fear kills the senses. It makes us fail. It makes us weak. Not so the star of The Danish Girl, who’s riding his anxieties to Hollywood superstardom. BY STUART McGURK

Vertical limit

Take up running (literally). GQ meets Thomas Dold, endurance sport’s highest achiever. BY ALEX MOSHAKIS

176

Eddie Redmayne

Bella Hadid

Gigi’s younger sister shimmies into the spotlight. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WILL DAVIDSON

178

Animal instincts

Big-game hunting doesn’t get any bigger than the annual Safari Club International in Las Vegas. GQ bites the bullet with US gun culture. BY NICK FOULKES

186

242

Alessandra Ambrosio

The Victoria’s Secret siren turns big-screen star in Daddy’s Home. PHOTOGRAPHED BY LIZ COLLINS

Stockists

188

244

Out to lunch Daisy Lowe at Sexy Fish.

Under the skin BY DYLAN JONES

Big game hunting in Las Vegas, Andy Coulson in Essex, Seb Coe in trouble and Daisy Lowe at sea (in a fish restaurant)

219

Alastair Campbell meets Sebastian Coe

170

The rat and the sinking ship

Does Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia’s ”Captain Coward”, deserve to have his reputation hauled over the rocks? BY ROBERT CHALMERS

117

The 50 Best-Dressed Men In Britain This year’s list of finely garbed greats covers princes (yes, plural), businessmen, pop stars, three Beckhams and one iron-clad Oscar winner.

176

FEBRUARY 2016 G 19


Editor

DYLAN JONES PA TO THE EDITOR & EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR Annabelle Morell-Coll DEPUTY EDITOR Bill Prince CREATIVE DIRECTOR Paul Solomons FASHION DIRECTOR Robert Johnston MANAGING EDITOR Mark Russell FEATURES DIRECTOR Jonathan Heaf SENIOR COMMISSIONING EDITOR Stuart McGurk COMMISSIONING EDITOR Charlie Burton HEALTH & SPORTS EDITOR Paul Henderson ART DIRECTOR Phill Fields ART EDITOR James Ramsay DIGITAL ART DIRECTOR John Hitchcox DESIGNER Oliver Jamieson JUNIOR DESIGNER Joseph Sinclair Parker DESIGN INTERN Anna Gordon PHOTOGRAPHIC DIRECTOR Ger Tierney PICTURE EDITOR Cai Lunn ASSISTANT PICTURE EDITOR Ryan Grimley STYLE & GROOMING EDITOR Jessica Punter FASHION EDITOR Grace Gilfeather SENIOR FASHION ASSISTANT Holly Roberts CHIEF SUB-EDITOR George Chesterton DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Jennifer Bradly SENIOR SUB-EDITOR Aaron Callow GQ.CO.UK NEWS EDITOR Conrad Quilty-Harper GQ.CO.UK FASHION EDITOR Nick Carvell GQ.CO.UK FEATURES EDITOR Matt Jones GQ.CO.UK PICTURE EDITOR Alfie Baldwin GQ.CO.UK INTERNS Shereen Sagoo, Max Williams FEATURES ASSISTANT Eleanor Halls CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Luke Day, Katie Grand, Luke Leitch, Lou Stoppard POLITICAL EDITOR Matthew d’Ancona CONTRIBUTING STYLE EDITOR Sascha Lilic LUXURY EDITOR Nick Foulkes LITERARY EDITOR Olivia Cole EROTIC AFFAIRS EDITOR Rebecca Newman COMEDY EDITOR James Mullinger FENG SHUI EDITOR Tracey Emin TABLET PROJECT MANAGER Liam Keating TABLET PRODUCER Emma Dahlquist

Contributing Editors Mel Agace, Andrew Anthony, Chris Ayres, Jason Barlow, Stephen Bayley, Tara Bernerd, Heston Blumenthal, Debra Bourne, Michael Bracewell, Charlie Brooks, Ed Caesar, Alastair Campbell, Naomi Campbell, Robert Chalmers, Nik Cohn, Giles Coren, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Andy Coulson, Adrian Deevoy, Alan Edwards, Robert Elms, David Furnish, AA Gill, Sophie Hastings, Mark Hix, Julia Hobsbawm, Boris Johnson, John Kampfner, Simon Kelner, Rod Liddle, Frank Luntz, Dorian Lynskey, Piers Morgan, John Naughton, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Ian Osborne, Tom Parker Bowles, Tony Parsons, Oliver  Peyton, Julia Peyton-Jones, Hugo Rifkind, David Rosen, Martin Samuel, Darius Sanai, Kenny Schachter, Simon Schama, Alix Sharkey, Ed Smith, Lou Stoppard, Ed Vaizey, Ed Victor, Celia Walden, Danny Wallace, Jim White, Michael Wolf, 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 EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER Stephanie Chrisostomou INTERNATIONAL PERMISSIONS MANAGER Eleanor Sharman SYNDICATION syndication@condenast.co.uk DIRECTOR OF PRESS AND PUBLICITY Nicky Eaton

Publisher

VANESSA KINGORI PA TO THE PUBLISHER Kanyinsola Oloko ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Justin Barriball ACTING COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Sian Roberts ADVERTISEMENT & DIGITAL DIRECTOR Hannah O’Reilly ACTING ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Vikki Theo SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Lauren Maher ACCOUNT MANAGER Max Mendelewitsch FASHION MANAGER Madeleine Wilson ACTING SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Jade Bousfield PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Michiel Steur ADVERTISING FASHION ASSISTANT Rachel MacBeth CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART DIRECTOR James Warner ACTING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART DIRECTOR Toria Sefton CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART EDITOR Nick Paterson CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MANAGERS Ottilie Chichester, Alexandra Carter TALENT AND INNOVATION MANAGER Nicola Butler RETAIL EDITOR & HEAD OF SPECIAL PROJECTS Giorgina Waltier COPYWRITER Ed Cooper EVENTS DIRECTOR Michelle Russell REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Karen Allgood HEAD OF THE PARIS OFFICE Helena Kawalec PARIS OFFICE Florent Garlasco US ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Shannon Tolar Tchkotoua US ACCOUNT MANAGER Keryn Howarth ITALIAN OFFICE Valentina Donini, Daniela Conti CLASSIFIED DIRECTOR Shelagh Crofts CLASSIFIED SALES MANAGER Emma Roxby CLASSIFIED SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Holly Kettle, Chloe McDonald CLASSIFIED SALES EXECUTIVES Harriet White, Felicity Reid DEPUTY MARKETING AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR Gary Read ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MARKETING Susie Brown MARKETING MANAGER Katie Bowden SENIOR DATA MANAGER Tim Westcott SENIOR RESEARCH EXECUTIVE Claire Devonport CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Richard Kingerlee NEWSTRADE CIRCULATION MANAGER Elliott Spaulding SUBSCRIPTIONS DIRECTOR Patrick Foilleret ACTING SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS MANAGER Michelle Velan CREATIVE DESIGN MANAGER Anthea Denning SENIOR MARKETING DESIGNER Gareth Ashfield PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Sarah Jenson COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Xenia Dilnot SENIOR PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Emily Bentley PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Katie McGuinness COMMERCIAL SENIOR PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Louise Lawson COMMERCIAL AND PAPER PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Martin Macmillan TABLET PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Lucy Zini COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Jessica Beeby HEAD OF DIGITAL Wil Harris GROUP PROPERTY DIRECTOR Fiona Forsyth MARKETING DIRECTOR Jean Faulkner HR DIRECTOR Hazel McIntyre FINANCIAL CONTROL DIRECTOR Penny Scott-Bayfield FINANCE DIRECTOR Pam Raynor

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

Chairman, Condé Nast International

JONATHAN NEWHOUSE 20 G FEBRUARY 2016


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SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS The subscription rates for GQ for one year (12 issues, including postage) are: UK £47.88. Overseas Airmail per year: 99 euros to EU, £90 rest of Europe and £119 to the rest of the world, $129 for air-assisted periodicals postage to the US – USPS/ISSN 003615. (Postmaster: GQ c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd Inc, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001). Customer enquiries, changes of address, and orders payable to: GQ, Subscriptions Department, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF. Subscriptions hotline: 0844 848 5202, open Monday to Friday 8am-9.30pm; Saturday 8am-4pm. Manage your subscription 24 hours a day by logging on to magazineboutique.co.uk/youraccount. Distributed by Condé Nast & National Magazine Distributors (COMAG) Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE (Tel: 01895 433600; fax: 01895 433605). The paper used for this publication is recyclable and made from renewable fibrous raw materials. It has been produced using wood sourced from sustainably managed forests and elemental or total chlorine-free bleached pulp. The producing mills have third-party certified management systems in place, applying standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This magazine can be recycled either through your kerbside collection, or at a local recycling point. Log on to recyclenow.com and enter your postcode to find your nearest sites.


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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. www.tagheuer.co.uk


EDITOR’S LETTER

MANY TRIBES, ONE RELIGION

Photographs Getty Images; @matthewzorpas; Mario Vivanco; Xposurephotos

Walk the line (from top): Sam Smith, Alex Turner and Lewis Hamilton win a well-deserved place in GQ’s Best Dressed list for 2016, while blogger Matthew Zorpas (bottom right) features in our Instagram top ten style leaders

Fashion for men these days has an echoic force. Seriously, has the British man ever looked as good as he does today? It’s unlikely. Not as many people were watching him back then, of course, back before men became as objectified as women, but you get my drift. Cast your eye around town: men have a swagger about them today, a licence to flaunt and a real sense of self. Today, all the style tribes, perhaps for the first time ever, are all seriously on fleek. In the digital agencies of Old Street, formerly the home of dishevelled creatives, you’ll now find a gentleman that GQ’s features desk insists on referring to as the “urbane lumberjack”. He hasn’t shed the hipster codes – note the beard and the hiking boots – but those hiking boots are upscale Red Wings, his beard is expensively oiled and he has dressed the whole thing up with a seriously loud windowpane-check woollen suit. Genius! Well, maybe not genius, but clever, thought out. Different. Or head down to the King’s Road, from which the Sloane Ranger had seemingly not budged since Peter York first noticed him way back when (Chelsea is now like those parts of North America that are completely prescriptive in the way they expect men to dress – even the Russians and the French who move here are wearing yellow corduroy trousers and unironic Gucci loafers within two months of completion), and you’ll find the eminently sprezzier “nu-Sloane”. This chap is still at home in a coral-coloured shirt and expensive, ill-fitting jeans, but rather than imitating his father he has rejuvenated the get-up with man-jewellery (a Robert Tateossian bracelet perhaps, or a Stephen Webster skull ring, the sort that tells anyone who’s interested that you’re a little bit rock’n’roll, but not too much – like a temporary tattoo, I suppose), an Aztec belt, possibly a hat. And @matthewzorpas he’s swapped out the deck shoes for a limitededition pair of quilted Chuck Taylor Converse. FEBRUARY 2016 G


EDITOR’S LETTER

In many ways, high fashion is no longer a signifier of pop culture – in Britain it is pop culture ravers, this current wave prioritises luxury, quality and craft. That’s why one type we keep seeing, the “modish rocker”, is actually a complete misnomer. His Chelsea boots, skinny jeans and leather jacket – probably with a tight-fitting shirt unbuttoned to the sternum – are a direct reference to bands like The Clash and The Libertines, but actually he’s got far less interest in Joe Strummer or Carl Barât than he does in Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent. In many ways, high fashion is no longer a signifier of pop culture – in Britain it is pop culture. Look at all those Instagram images of men showing off their sockless brogues or selvedge denim turn-ups. The #menswear tag may attract derision in some quarters but it captures a swell of popular interest in dressing well, and doing so for its own sake. Long may it last. Importantly, this has nothing to do with the wisdom of crowds, has little to do with any kind of gang mentality or having a penchant for fashion (weirdly). No, today’s style is idiosyncratic and is all about being an individual, however corny that may sound. London biographer Peter Ackroyd once said that all the fashions of London are transitory, although this is not strictly true. Some stay forever, some disappear almost immediately, while others keep transforming themselves in an often quite bewildering way. This issue contains our 15th annual Best Dressed list, and although it’s officially a list of the best-dressed men in Britain, by default this means the best-dressed men in the world. As, frankly, there is no cooler country for menswear. The star of this year’s list is the incomparable Eddie Redmayne. With his first Oscar win for portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, Redmayne is arguably the biggest breakout film star that Britain has produced in the past decade. As GQ has already said, he’s also one of the most stylish, thanks to his skill in out-of-the-box black tie and having an eye for bold, truly well-fitted tailoring, whether he’s on duty or off. According to GQ.co.uk – which is an authority on such things and should never be questioned – Redmayne is able to look like a genuine 21st-century leading man whether he’s on official duties or keeping it casual at the weekend. This is anchored by an impressive selection of superbly fitted statement suits, and Redmayne regularly experiments with colour, fabrics and cut across designer and high-street brands. Can act a little, too.

Dylan Jones, Editor

26 G FEBRUARY 2016

Follow us @britishgq @dylanjonesgq

Photographs Getty Images; Reuters; Splash

Even men who like to kick about in tracksuits and trainers are suddenly looking sharp. Not all of them, mind, not the ones you see walking the wrong way along dual carriageways with white bull terriers on blue baling twine, but the professionals who wince at the thought of wearing a Savile Row suit to work. Whereas a penchant for wearing sportswear outside the gym was once a social death sentence (no chance of parole), you can now go to Soho House and feel positively out of touch if you’re not wearing “sports luxe”. Quick recap in case you’ve been living under cobblestones: this is the style popularised by the likes of Kanye West and comprises couture sneakers (high tops and excessive colours preferable), designer sweatpants (if they cost anything less than a week’s salary, they don’t actually count) and a smattering of more formal items. You’ll see it among retired hedgies as much as the fashion crowd. The office here is particularly fond of a version of sports luxe that they once spotted in Mayfair: loose grey jogging bottoms, a black T-shirt and a blazer made from fleece accessorised with a pocket square. Take that, Kanye. In the same way that our cities are full of mingled architectural styles – Victorian warehouses, Georgian terraces, 20th-century Designs for life: This year’s Best Dressed suburban dwellings, 21st-century upended list, including (from vitrines – they’re also full of extraordinarily top) Harry Styles, varied street styles. Diverse as they may be, Daniel Sturridge and Eddie Redmayne, all these tribes have one thing in common: represents the broad they spring primarily out of an interest in and brilliant range of style rather than music. Unlike punks, goths or British menswear


Contributors

Tom MUNRO

Luke LEITCH For his first column, GQ’s Contributing Fashion Editor Luke Leitch looks at how the east London label Sibling has helped power the capital’s reputation for progressive menswear. “Hell will freeze over before they get me in one of their pairs of hot-pink PVC chaps – but I’m a longtime fan of Sibling,” says Leitch. “In conversation, team Sibling is every bit as intelligent, amusing and surprising as their clothes.”

Having photographed the likes of Daniel Craig and Kate Winslet and directed videos for Madonna, Tom Munro now turns his lens on Eddie Redmayne for this month’s cover story. “My approach to photography is pretty classic,” says Munro. “When I shoot celebrities I always aim to draw out something that might not have been seen before. In this instance, it was Redmayne’s intensity and intellect. It’s all in the eyes.”

Jim CHAPMAN This issue, mega vlogger and GQ style columnist Jim Chapman talks us through his new year’s resolutions. Top priorities? Spring cleaning his wardrobe and getting fit. Well, within reason. “I’m never going to have a body like Brad Pitt and it’s about time I come to terms with that,” he says. “This year, if I don’t have a chest cut from marble in a fortnight, I won’t be crying myself to sleep.”

AA GILL On GQ.co.uk, AA Gill contends that cinema has fashioned the modern psyche. “How did anyone know what they were thinking before movies?” he ponders. For Gill, watching a film with an unhappy ending was his first childhood step from innocence. “My whole life had been happy endings. How could something that awful just happen in front of my eyes?”

Photographs Getty Images; Rex

Andy COULSON The only way is Essex for author and political strategist Andy Coulson. In this month’s Foreword, he considers the region’s huge significance.“Essex has never been more powerful. It is now represented in unprecedented numbers at the cabinet table,” he says. “But despite this clout it continues to have serious ‘brand’ issues.”

Jonathan GOODAIR A trainer for more than 25 years (and GQ contributor for two), Jonathan Goodair – based at London’s Home House gym – has toned up England rugby players and Olympic runners alongside a host of celebrities. This month, he starts a new column for the magazine about sport-specific training and dives in with swimming. “Enhancing performance and enjoyment in a particular sport comes from understanding its physical demands,” says Goodair. FEBRUARY 2016 G


Illustration Martin Rowson

Ongar games: Van Outen, Essex, Mirren, Churchill – all denizens of Britain’s greatest county

ESSEX ON THE BRAIN This maligned county is not merely a home to barrow boys and good-time girls, but a creative powerhouse with a rich history and the most important location in British politics. Reem... S TO RY BY

ANDY COULSON FEBRUARY 2016 G


F  

or David Cameron, it seems, the only way is Essex. Post-election, he has packed his team with talent from my home county. Why? Because he fully understands the significance of the Essex vote, but has also come to value the insights and instincts of those who have seats there. Robert Halfon, from Harlow, despite recent difficulties, is one of the most impressive campaigning MPs in Westminster (his work on rising petrol prices took the issue to the top of the political agenda) and is now minister without portfolio. The communities minister, Mark Francois, who, despite the slightly poncey surname, is a Basildon comprehensive schoolboy with real nous (he also beat Boris Johnson to be selected for Rayleigh in 2001). And there’s the talented Priti Patel from Witham who, after the election, was promoted to minister of state for employment. John Whittingdale, the culture secretary and the man taking the fight to the BBC, represents the good people of Maldon. And yet, after an enforced period of telly watching, much of it daytime, I remain Worried Of Wickford. Because despite this newfound political clout, her reputation (for Essex is most certainly a “she” – although minus a vajazzle) is still stuck firmly in a stilettoshaped hole. The Only Way Is Essex recently celebrated its fifth anniversary – a major achievement for its producers and perma-tanned cast, but a bit of a worry for those of us who care about the county. For Towie has become the unofficial tourism ad for Essex abroad. Reviews in the US described it as reality TV genius. The New York Times rated it as better than their own, and very successful, Jersey Shore, saying: “The real difference of Essex is stylistic and it’s quite striking. If it were on television and you happened to tune in while channel-surfing, you would not be able to tell right away, and perhaps not for several minutes, that you were watching a nonfiction show.” It’s a different programme that better captures the Essex I love and know. James Corden and Ruth Jones’ brilliant Gavin And Stacey brought to life the tenets of an Essex upbringing – one of noisy family parties, a continual commentary of good-natured ribbing and unstinting loyalty. I have a brother and sister-in-law who are a (younger) version of Gavin’s Billericay-based parents, Mick and Pamela. Their home is the venue for a semi-permanent party for my niece and nephew and a large part of the population of Canvey Island. At Chez Coulson there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved by a 1am rendition of Booker Newberry III’s “Love Town”. Corden and Jones captured the essence of the happy Essex home in all its mock-Tudor magnificence – Corden even having the good grace to make Gavin a Spurs fan. But Towie is different. And by virtue of its “reality” tag it will be seen as the more authentic, more credible, more truthful representation of Essex. And that, as Joey Essex would say, is “bang out of order”. Trust me, it’s not snobbery. I spent most of my teens in white socks and slip-on shoes and have never managed to throw away my old Depeche Mode LPs (this may also be down to the fact Dave Gahan was my brother’s friend and had his first ever serving of spag bol round our house). It’s only the fact that the tattooist shut early when I visited 20 years ago, after a few too many Jack Daniel and Cokes, that I don’t have the three swords of Essex permanently emblazoned on my backside. I come from a big family and it spreads across Essex – from the borders of Suffolk down to Canvey, across to Basildon, back down the A127 to Rochford and out to the picturesque villages around Finchingfield. My grandparents were firm believers in the Sunday afternoon drive and there aren’t too many Essex towns that don’t hold a childhood memory for me. Most of these day trips took us along the coastline (the longest in the country, since you ask) from Walton-on-the-Naze to Southend-on-Sea. I was born in Basildon, went to school in Wickford and my early 32 G FEBRUARY 2016

Essex woman is not to be messed with and when it comes to winning her vote, a nice suit and a smile will get you nowhere working life was also rooted in Essex on the Evening Echo newspaper. I spent more than two years covering Basildon and Billericay council meetings, carnivals and court hearings before moving to London and the Sun. Working at the Echo gave me a grasp of the rich and varied history of the place – a history that no longer plays a part in Brand Essex. For if my home county were a paint it would say only one thing on the tin... Essex Girls. Consider this Collins English Dictionary definition: “Essex Girl n. informal, derogatory A young working-class woman from the Essex area, typically considered as being unintelligent, materialistic, devoid of taste and sexually promiscuous.” And here’s one of the first jokes that pops up if you Google “Essex girl”. Q: Why is it good to have an Essex girl passenger? A: So you can park in the handicap zone. Subtle, eh? Now look, I don’t mind a funny Essex girl gag (and nor do my three sisters, more importantly) but where are the Kent girl gags? Why aren’t the fair maidens of Middlesex or Sussex getting it in the neck as well? Germaine Greer – an adoptive Essex girl – reckons this is a good thing and proof that no other English county is as interesting as Essex. She may have a point, but when and why did this Essex rebranding occur? One of the first incarnations was in Birds Of A Feather – the story of two north London girls who retreat to the “posh” suburbs of Chigwell. But the term Essex girl wasn’t properly embedded into the nation’s consciousness until a little later – and my old boss on the Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, was almost entirely to blame. When, in the early Nineties, two girls from Essex confessed that they’d slept with all five members of New Kids On The Block, Kelvin went into overdrive. I was there as reporters were dispatched to every far-flung corner of Essex, a “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Essex” was compiled through the night and an all-ports alert was launched for Essex girl jokes. The mailbag response was incredible. Kelvin was on to something and that something was wearing a fluorescent boob tube. Spitting Image then filled its boots and another Sun columnist, Richard Littlejohn (Ilford), put the icing on the cake by writing The Essex Girl Joke Book under the pseudonym Ray Leigh – geddit? And so the modern Essex girl’s fate was sealed and suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst (Woodford) turned in her grave. Efforts have been made to redress the balance. The Essex Women’s Advisory Group (Ewag) was set up to, “Monitor the wellbeing of women and girls who live in Essex by broadening their vision, selfworth and belief.” Ewag chairman George Courtauld, the county’s vice lord lieutenant, said at the launch, “Essex girls may be noisy and blowsy and laugh a lot, but it’s because they’re cheerful, self-confident and capable of achieving a great deal.” I couldn’t agree more, George, although you might want to drop the “blowsy” – definition: “untidy, slovenly or sluttish”. Continued on page 241


hit the gym in style

p.37

secret restaurants p.39

jack garratt blows up

p.41

x-files re-opened

E D I T E D BY

p.43

CHARLIE BURTON

S T Y L I N G BY

SAMIRA NASR Necklace by Links Of London, £195. linksoflondon.com. Opposite: Shirt, £90. Jeans, £110. Both by Calvin Klein. calvinklein.com. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik, £650. At Harrods. harrods.com. Necklace by Links Of London, £195. Bracelet by David Yurman, £2,300. davidyurman.com

G FEBRUARY 2016


THE

MOVIE S TA R

HOW to unwind after 12 hours filming inside a 10x10ft windowless box? For Brie Larson, whose days involved just that during the fiveweek shoot in Toronto of her Josef Fritzl-inspired – and Oscar-tipped – movie, Room, the answer was simple. Karaoke. “I would go almost every night,” says the 26-year-old. There was a strip of open-mic bars nearby so she would pick a venue, turn up, sing one song (her go-to: “a lot of Pressure or Destiny’s Child”) and leave half an hour later without ever ordering a drink. She thought it vital to compartmentalise an otherwise emotionally draining role. “It became a location in my brain I could go to and either switch on or switch off.” Filmed chronologically, Larson escaped when her character did (stop screaming, that’s not a spoiler: the film dwells on what happens afterwards). So was she relieved to finally shoot outside? “The room was actually a safe space – we could control the light, we could control the temperature,” she says. “Very quickly we wished we were back there.” CB Room is out on 15 January.

Brie P H OTO G R A P H E D BY

PAOLA KUDACKI


THE

WILD MAN

In 2014, he trekked the entire length of the Nile. Now explorer Levison Wood is back after walking all 1,700 miles of the world’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas. We spoke to him ahead of the book and TV documentary about this gruelling expedition.

THE

POLITICS RECAST

Lynton Crosby is the election svengali who got Cameron into Downing Street and Boris into City Hall (twice). Now, his firm is advising Zac Goldsmith on his London mayoral campaign. Here are three proven strategies to expect:

What’s the best moment that didn’t make it into the TV show? Meeting the

1

Dalai Lama. We got to his monastery and just by sheer chance he was holding a ceremony so we joined the queue. He asked us what we were doing and invited us in for tea. I thought I was going to be told the meaning of life, but actually he just gave me some visa advice. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t tell the Chinese that you’re going into Tibet on foot.”

The message is everything The theory: There must be one clear message that differentiates the candidate and is consistent across the campaign. The practice: Goldsmith will likely play on the fact he is independently minded, so will fight for the interests of Londoners.

2 Watch the negatives The theory: Get angry and you’ll alienate voters. Instead, a negative message should be measured, consistent and contrast the candidate with their opposition. The practice: Goldsmith would be wise to cast Labour's Sadiq Khan as a creature of the unions who nominated Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting that Londoners are not his true priority.

3 Get social The theory: If you engage on social media, you give voters the sense that their vote will make a difference. The practice: Look at the recent run of YouTube videos and tweets. The medium is the message.

G FEBRUARY 2016

On the edge: Levison Wood’s car plunged 150 metres off cliff in the Himalayas

Calling oneself an explorer sounds odd in an age abundant with

information. Where’s left to explore? There

are still places to be discovered. Bhutan, for instance, is so thinly populated that a lot of the valleys are completely unexplored – if you speak to any Bhutanese they genuinely believe in yeti. They didn’t even know tigers existed in Bhutan until a few years ago. You encountered some massive landslides on the trip – were they the hairiest moments? No,

the hairiest moment was when we had a car crash. That was horrific. The brakes failed as we were going downhill and the driver lost control. We dropped 150 metres off a cliff – that’s the same size as the Walkie-Talkie building – and rolled and bounced down the side. I had my brother in the car too. We are lucky to be alive. Walking The Himalayas is on Channel 4 now. The book (Hodder & Stoughton, £20) is out on 14 January.

to-do list: play darts at flight club Darts: not very GQ? Clearly you’ve never been to Flight Club. Designed by the team behind Zetter Townhouse, the “social darts venue” in Shoreditch brings smart technology to the traditional game: high-speed cameras follow your dart through the air and a computer tallies up your score. Combine that with a trend-abreast drinks list (including jam-jar cocktails, natch) plus a menu of seasonal sharing plates and it might just be the hippest room ever to incorporate an oche. 2a Worship Street, London EC2. flightclubdarts.com

THE

ARTIST TO

WAT C

H

THE COLOURFUL (AND CONTENTIOUS) WORLD OF TEDDY M

When British pop artist Teddy M was creating his Love Woman collection, he had a litmus test for whether a piece was developing as it should. “If it didn’t arouse me,” he says, “I’d scrap it.” Although the figures in creations such as “Yum Yum” (pictured) are anonymous, they were inspired by the physiques of Candice Swanepoel and Rihanna. Images of consumerism have been a recurring motif in Teddy’s output since 2011, winning him admirers such as Lindsay Lohan and Eric Clapton plus gallery space in London, LA and New

York, where he now has his first solo show. His painting style – thick lines, bold colours – allows him to work rapidly, and while the paint’s drying he swaps canvas for iPad to avoid interrupting his flow. One of those digitally produced portraits, of Monaco royal Charlotte Casiraghi, caused controversy, resulting in her lawyers issuing an oicial ban. Love him or loathe him, his art can get you hot under the collar. Nude In New York is on now at Universal Display, 138 West 25th Street, New York. teddym.com

Photographs Getty Images; Teddy M; Tom McShane

FO

A VERY MODERN EXPLORER


Bag by Moncler, £565. At matchesfashion.com

GQ TIP! invest in a shoe bag – try the nike brasilia – to stop the holdall smelling of trainers

Bag by Louis Vuitton, £1,210. louisvuitton.co.uk

Bag by Boss Green, £250. hugoboss.com. Water bottle by Bobble, £10. At Debenhams. debenhams.com

Trainers by Dior Homme, £720. At Harrods. harrods.com. Bag by Coach, £650. coach.com

Photographs Full Stop Photography

Bag by Alexander McQueen, £825. At Harrods. harrods.com

THE

STYLE MA

NUAL

GYM BAGS THAT ARE FIT FOR EVERYWHERE

A gym bag isn’t just the bag you take to the gym. It’s also the bag you take on the commute and to the office before your work-out – and possibly to a social engagement afterwards. In other words, it’s one of the most visible bags in your life. So why would you plump for something less than stylish? These designers are making luxe options that look so good you’ll actually want to up your new year’s training sessions... FEBRUARY 2016 G


THE

TECH TO GET

THE SMARTEST SPEAKERS IN THE ROOM

ROCKET’S RETURN Elton John’s new record is a reunion of talent and a knowing revisit of the classics, says Dorian Lynskey ELTON John has spent the last few years playing through a deck of creative possibilities. He teamed up with his contemporary Leon Russell for The Union, opened up his back catalogue to Australian electronic duo Pnau on Good Morning To The Night, and stripped everything down for the ruminative The Diving Board. His new album, Wonderful Crazy Night, however, is core Elton, with loyal lyricist Bernie Taupin and three-time producer T Bone Burnett joined, for the first time in nearly a decade, by The Elton John Band. John casts himself as a self-quoting legend and nostalgic fanboy on an LP full of country-rock, soul, blues, Saturday-night rock’n’roll and big, pianodriven ballads. He rifles through his record collection with gusto. It’s been a while since anyone sang, as John does on “Tambourine”, about “a gypsy in the moonlight” – but the time warp effect is, one imagines, intentional. John owned a good chunk of the Seventies and he has every right to revisit the territory, especially when he does so with such warmth and joy. Wonderful Crazy Night is out on 5 February.

the editor’s verdict “Elton has written an album full of songs he’ll be playing as encores for years to come.” Dylan Jones

38 G FEBRUARY 2016

Active duty: By auto-tweaking the audio, the Sonos Play:5 offers a great sound in any environment

Sonos’ ultra-highfidelity wireless Play:5 beats and tweets with crystal clarity, wherever you position them in the room HERE’S the agreed-upon fiction: when you buy a high-end speaker, you’re going to place it in the ideal spot between the walls and your seat, possibly even incorporating extra bookcases to break up the sound and wall hangings to reduce wave bouncing. But do you do it? Not a chance. That’s why the multi-room wireless music company Sonos has reinvented one of its three core speakers to work optimally in whatever scenario it finds itself. The new Play:5, developed in collaboration with legendary producer Rick Rubin, makes use of a new calibration tool called “Trueplay” that automatically analyses the room’s acoustics and adjusts output accordingly. Even hidden away behind a curtain, the speaker will sound clear. And what a sound. The three tweeters and three mid-woofers, all individually amped, produce rich, detailed audio that’s leaps ahead of its predecessor’s capabilities. It can work as part of a stereo pair, too, but let’s face it: when it’s this impressive, you hardly needed an excuse to buy another. CB £429. sonos.com


THE

LONDON SCENE

the skinny

find it inside...

how to get in

ON A HIDING TO SOMEWHERE As big restaurants come back into fashion, a new trend has emerged: secret concepts hidden within the main event peony

beer & buns

An intimate bar based around a large central table specialising in dim sum and Oriental cocktails.

Styled on a Japanese “izakaya”, it has the largest collection of Japanese craft beer in the UK.

aulis

below & hidden

A six-seat development chef’s table that might be London’s first restaurant-withina-restaurantwithin-a-hotel.

This newly opened late-night redoubt is lounge-sized but comes with its own Nineties-style bottle service and dedicated DJ.

Opium, itself a speakeasy located behind a faded jade door off Chinatown’s main drag.

K10, an unassuming spot behind Liverpool Street station, which serves City types lunchtime sushi from a conveyor belt.

Fera, Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred modern British restaurant at Claridge’s.

The basement (as the name suggests) of the sprawling, stately home-like dining space of B&H Buildings.

Climb the spiralling, incense-heavy staircase and pass through the Apothecary Bar on the first floor.

Sidle past the server at reception and swing a right up the stairwell behind the fridges before following the chalk drawings.

Stroll straight through the kitchen, turn right at the back, then make your way up the small flight of steps to Aulis.

You need to be on the list (that’s easy – just ring and book) then take the staircase behind the old piano to the left of the entrance.

Showing the boss who’s boss.

Chef groupies. Get up close and personal with a culinary maestro.

ideal for...

Wooing a Bumble date or impressing outof-town friends.

The famous – and the agoraphobic.

go-to order

The sui mai (pork and prawn dim sum, £6.50) and a Golden Sazerac (El Dorado 12-Year-Old Rum, absinthe, goji berries, ginger and lemongrass smoke, £16).

Chashu pork belly hirata buns (two for £7.50) with Hitachino Nest White Ale (£7.15) – it’s the only place in the country that serves it.

There’s only one: the ever-changing tasting menu (£130). For your cocktail, try a Pea Shoots (apple marigold and vermouth with pea shoot-infused vodka, £15).

The Lego Head: a bottle of “Banktown Special” mixed with champagne, served in a huge head made of Lego. Instagram at the ready.

the deets

15-16 Gerrard Street, W1. peonychina town.com

3 Appold Street, EC2. beerandbuns.co.uk

49 Brook Street, W1. feraatclaridges.co.uk

42 Northampton Road, EC1. bandhbuildings.com

to-do list: read the new julian barnes book

POWER

For a long time, it seemed there would forever be a little corner of Fortnum & Mason that was The Fountain. It was home from stately home for distinguished gentlemen and grand dames for 60 years. But my, how things have changed. Renamed 45 Jermyn St, it is now modern, glamorous and fashionable – as you’d expect from Fortnum’s CEO, Ewan Venters, whose vision has given the 300-yearold store a new lease of life. The bold interior is the work of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (see also Sexy Fish, The Ivy). And in the kitchen, Lee Stretton (formerly of Hix and Le Caprice) has created an all-day menu of on-trend tastes alongside timeless classics that will have The Wolseley looking nervously over its shoulder. Throw in a caviar trolley that is fast becoming the talk of the town and you have all the makings of a new dining icon, with a minimum 60-year tenancy. Paul Henderson

Into

TINARIWEN?

PJ HARVEY?

BAND

Try

Try

Confessions Of A Romance Novelist is out on 15 January.

le

The Traveller is out on 15 January.

t • ta b

Adore Life is out on 22 January.

Leave Me Alone is out on 8 January.

3

spo

With her PhD in literature, The Anchoress’ Catherine AD – a former ballet dancer – has crafted a fine, hyper-literate pop record. Kevin Perry

um

m

Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall flies in for a guest appearance, but it’s the Grammy-nominated Senegalese guitarist himself who will knock you halfway around the world.

th e pr emi

le

The second album from London’s most austere post-punk band comes prowling out of the darkness, with frontwoman Jehnny Beth even sharpertongued than before.

is

ta b

Four girls from Madrid who are keeping the flame alive for good-time, ramshackle indie rock, while managing to steer clear of heroin or prison time.

3

HINDS

THE ANCHORESS

iu

Try

BAABA MAAL

ot

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

Try

SAVAGES

the pre m

Into

JOY DIVISION?

is

Into

THE LIBERTINES?

3

Into GQ

45 Jermyn Street, London SW1. 45jermynst.com

sp

Photograph Mitch Payne Story Nicholas Clarke

Here’s the unspoken truth about Julian Barnes: he’s the critics’ darling (he won the Booker in 2011), but his later novels have been a little, well, self-absorbed. How refreshing, then, to read The Noise Of Time. Set in 1937, the cryptic premise – a man waiting by a lift in a Leningrad apartment block to be taken to the “Big House” – sets in motion a story that’s reflective, smart and eminently readable. The Noise Of Time (Vintage, £14.99) is out on 28 January.

THE

FEBRUARY 2016 G 39


HATCHES TO CATCH

bring your ’a’ game no 14

BOWL A STRIKE EVERY TIME Grown-up lanes (think proper bars, decent music) continue to open across town. Time to skill up...

THE

OSCAR BAIT

Time was, only supercars packed more than 300bhp. But a new breed of hyper hatchback brings serious speed to the people...

quick

WRITERS’ BLOCKS It’s Oscar season! Ahead of the awards on 28 February, we asked the writers behind two of the frontrunning films to explain the scene they found most difficult to get right... The film

STEVE JOBS The rise, fall and rise again of the man behind Apple. 2 See those arrows halfway up the lane? Aim as above, with a view to hitting the “pocket” between the first and third pins. (Left handers: mirror these and all subsequent instructions.)

3 Line up a four-step approach to the foul line, starting with your left foot just right of centre.

4 Swing the ball backwards to shoulder level as you make your approach. Keeping your arm straight, use its pendulum motion – rather than your strength – to generate force. Slide into the final step.

The scene

Backstage at an Apple launch, Steve Jobs argues with Chrisann Brennan, the mother of his daughter, denying paternity. Its writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) explains... ”The scenes with Chrisann are the ones that were rewritten the most. When I’m writing scenes with an argument between two people, one of them comes out on top. And initially I made Steve the good guy. But I decided to change that. He makes an entire speech about why he took a DNA test: he says the board, collectively, thought Chrisann was deranged and might come back and sue Apple. There were some lines that were funny and they felt good while writing them. But I was creating someone you wanted Steve to beat up and that wasn’t fair. I take a lot of showers each day, especially if the writing isn’t going so well. I put a new set of clothes on and feel refreshed. Those were certainly eight-shower days. You know the band Three Dog Night? Lumberjacks would sleep with a dog at night to keep them warm. And a very cold night was called a three-dog night. So those were eight-shower scenes.” Steve Jobs is out now.

The film

SPOTLIGHT An utterly gripping dramatisation of the real-life Boston Globe investigation into child abuse at the Catholic church.

40 G FEBRUARY 2016

Unlike most hatchbacks, this one’s rear-wheel drive. Six sells! True to BMW tradition it has a zippy 3.0-litre straight-six engine. Family man? A five-door’s also available.

The scene

Walter “Robby” Robinson, the head of the Globe’s Spotlight investigative team, has his first meeting with the paper’s new editor, Marty Baron. Its writers Thomas McCarthy (Up) and Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate) explain... “It was the very last scene we shot, and we were tweaking it up to the last minute. There’s a lot of information that it has to get across, including the financial situation at the Globe and the sense that Marty might be about to make cuts. But we wanted leave the audience unsure how they felt about the guy – we didn't want to spell out his plans for the paper in that conversation. So, originally, the dialogue was more towards Marty saying explicitly: ‘I’m gonna make lots of cuts.’ Then we had language that was too much the other way. The ‘aha‘ moment was a line we gave Marty about making the paper ‘essential to the community’. It was both really specific and a bit ambiguous – is he driving towards cutting the Spotlight team or not? And that language comes directly from our many meetings with the real Marty Baron.” Spotlight is out on 29 January.

wooden-tongue watch 5 Release the ball at the bottom of your downward swing, letting your thumb come out first. Slightly flick your hand anticlockwise for spin and follow through. Celebratory Big Lebowski references optional.

BMW M135I

(320bhp, £31,860)

Style isn’t simply about what you wear, it’s also a matter of how you talk. By order of GQ, never allow the following past your lips: 1 With all due respect Whatever follows will almost certainly contain none of the respect that’s due. 2 It is what it is You don’t say. 3 360-degree Even marketeers now groan at that piece of jargon. 4 Can I get a download on this? You haven’t fooled us. We still don’t think you’re smart. 5 That’s boss Says he who’s never going to become the boss. 6 Run it up the flagpole Why don’t you go up there with it?

AU DI RS3

(362bhp, £40,795) Brace yourself: it does 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. That’s 0.1 seconds of a Lamborghini Gallardo. Fire up the Quattro Its all-wheel drive system makes it ride like it’s on rails. And just like the Eighties rally legend it has a baritone five-cylinder engine.

V O L K S WA G E N GOLF R400

(395bhp) Beefier than a Bugatti, its 395bhp and 2.0-litre engine dwarfs the power-output-per-litre of one of the most expensive cars in the world. Shifting gear You won’t be able to have a manual – insiders tell us it’ll be a DSG auto only. It lands in 2016, but won’t be cheap. Budget for a shade less than £40,000. Matt Jones

insane !

Ilustrations Dave Hopkins Photographs Getty Images

1 Pick a lighter ball – trust us – and sink your middle finger, ring finger and thumb inside, all up to the second knuckle. Don’t grip; support the ball with your palm facing the ceiling.


JACK OF ALL TRADES

GQ meets multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt ahead of the release of his debut album, Phase (self-produced, of course)

RUMOUR MILL

by alex wickham

MUSIC MAN

DON’T be fooled by that luxuriant beard: Jack Garratt is no folkie. Or, at least, not any more. Fresh from supporting Mumford & Sons and winning the Brits Critic's Choice award, the Buckinghamshire-born musician releases his debut album, Phase, a collection of hard-topigeonhole pop offerings such as “Weathered”, which begins softly only to explode into euphoric, stereo-wobbling beats. Taking cues from everyone from James Blake to Stevie Wonder, it resists categorisation the way Garratt resists the razor. “My inspirations are drastically different,” he says, “which is why my music is.” Just 24 and already a ten-year stage veteran, Garratt toured pubs as a young teenager with his acoustic guitar, before taking a left turn into electronic music 18 months ago. The new songs require a special rig to perform live, allowing him to sing, play piano, drum, strum and loop himself all at the same time. “I just did it,” he says, modestly. “I didn’t think of it as being this big, impressive, look-at this-kid-doingone-man-band stuff...” But people are – and should be – impressed. Backstage at the Mumfords’ Gentlemen Of The Road festival, Garratt plucked up the courage to approach the Foo Fighters. “[Drummer] Taylor Hawkins turned to Dave Grohl and said: ‘Dude all that sound we heard earlier, that was this guy. That was just him.’ And Dave said: ‘You did all that by yourself?’ It was amazing.” Now Garratt’s star is ascending, will his expansive sounds gain an expanded line-up? “No, it’s still the same setup: the drum pad, the keyboard, the guitar and my vocals. I haven’t brought out my trombone... yet.” Matt Glasby Phase is out on 19 February.

In good company: Jack Garratt’s Brits Critics’ Choice award was previously won by Adele and Florence And The Machine

THE

THE

Guardian journalist turned Corbyn spin doctor Seumas Milne hasn’t quite got the hang of life on the dark side. Labour MPs sitting behind him in a meeting were able to look over his shoulder and see the contents of a message he was writing on his phone. Turns out he was slagging them all off!

The Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee is notorious for its perks. Recently, chairman Jesse Norman, Labour MP Julie Elliott and Tory Damian Collins all enjoyed paid-for trips to the Rugby World Cup, while Nigel Adams landed free Glastonbury tickets. No wonder a position is so sought-after.

Senior aide to shadow chief secretary to the treasury, Ken Penton, has delivered a damning assessment of Corbyn’s leadership. He thinks that Jezza is “irresponsible, selfish and wrong” and his supporters are “self-indulgent and insular”. Will Penton be next in line for the purge of moderates?

The Lib Dems lost 49 seats at the election, their HQ has suffered an exodus of staff and donations have dried up. That hasn’t stopped them splurging £50,000 a year on a new “director of people”. Since the party only has eight MPs left, that’s a lot of money per person...

FEBRUARY 2016 G 41


THE

HUMOUR SLOT

TAKE a picture; it lasts longer. Even better, let Instagram do it for you. Here are the three funniest we’ve seen this month.

The bucks stop here: The trip to Oliver Sweeney for the hip flask (see below) includes an optional two-hour personal shopping slot. That’ll make sure everyone is dressed to spec

Follow us @britishgq @dylanjonesgq

@BEIGECARDIGAN

THE

LIFE

UP

@J O N N Y FA M O U S

@ _T H E B L E S S E D O N E

G FEBRUARY 2016

GRADE

HOW TO ACE THE PRE-STAG

STAGS have changed. Where once the standard operating procedure was to spend the night in a local watering hole getting steadily intoxicated, now they involve paintballing weekends in Croatia or blow outs in Las Vegas. In other words, they are increasingly fiscally demanding. And when the guest list will inevitably comprise a couple of friends, a smattering of acquaintances and many more total strangers (not the group with which you would necessarily choose to go on an expensive holiday) that can seem a bit rum. Hence the rise of the pre-stag. It’s an evening out much more in the spirit of the old genre, so that everyone can get to know each other before – and therefore have a better time during – the main event. Our preferred option is to hit up London’s Ivy Market Grill, the recently opened offshoot of the storied Ivy restaurant, which has tapped right into the trend with its new “Grooms” package. For a double-takingly reasonable £60 a head, this offers each guest two courses from the main menu, a Chivas Regal cocktail (plus a bottle of Chivas Regal), a hip flask from the adjacent branch of Oliver Sweeney and a guaranteed sense of occasion... regardless of the temperature of the groom’s feet. CB 1 Henrietta Street, London WC2. theivymarketgrill.com

Top table. The Ivy Market Grill - an offshoot of the Ivy restaurant – is ideal for your pre-stag

While everybody at the table gets a hip flask (see top), the groom alone gets this double version. The package also includes an Oliver Sweeney personal shopping appointment.


THE

TV

SHOW

X-FILES: DECLASSIFIED Ahead of Fox’s new mini-series, GQ presents a primer on The X-Files’ monstrous maze of conspiracies

start PARTNERED WITH

FOX MULDER

GIVES BIRTH TO

DANA SCULLY

FBI agent obsessed with the X-Files, a “garbage dump” of unexplained phenomena.

HIS SISTER WAS

BECOMES ONE OF THE

In 1973 she was abducted by extraterrestrials while in Fox’s care. She is never found.

SACRIFICES SAMANTHA

ONE OF THE

ABDUCTEES Dozens of figures experimented on by alien colonists over the decades.

BILL MULDER Fox and Samantha’s father, who orchestrated the secret handover of Syndicate members’ loved ones – including his own daughter – but then has a crisis of conscience.

EXPERIMENTED ON PART OF

USED FOR COLLABOR ATE ON

COLLABOR ATE ON

ALIEN COLONISTS

THE PROJECT

A group of “Greys” that landed in Roswell, with ambitions of colonising Earth by 2012.

An effort to create alien/human hybrids.

CREATE

COLONISE VIA

THE SYNDICATE A shadowy organisation formed after the Roswell incident dedicated to shaping humanity’s future in secret.

SEARCHES FOR A VACCINE AGAINST

CLONES

BLACK OIL

An entire series of adult Samantha duplicates appear, as well as clones of other important figures.

A sentient virus that takes control of humanoid bodies to allow the aliens to reproduce.

DOESN’T INFECT

DESTROYS

THE FACELESS ALIENS Rebels who mutilated themselves to prevent contamination and oppose the Greys’ expansionism.

BUT COULDN'T STOP

THE CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN A mysterious figure who knows the truth behind the X-Files and worked to obscure it.

THEIR CASES STILL LINK BACK TO

JOHN DOGGETT AND MONICA REYES Agents assigned to the X-Files and their remaining mysteries after Mulder goes into hiding.

A NEW THREAT FOR

SUPER SOLDIERS Alien doppelgangers, many created from clones, that replace

their human targets and move colonisation forward through infiltration. Matt Kamen

THE ART BOOK: SIXTIES AMERICA, DRAWN TOGETHER You might associate the satirical cartoonist Ronald Searle with Britain – he is most famous, of course, for St Trinian’s. But during his travels in the US in the Sixties he inked a body of illustrations that offer an arch chronicle of culture on the other side of the Atlantic. With illustrations that have been largely unseen since original publication, an elegant new coffee-table book, Ronald Searle’s America, combines savage critiques on poverty with quieter observations about quotidian life: sunbathers in Miami, say, or bumbling crowds in Times Square. The edition also features notes from Searle’s own sketchbook, capturing an Englishman’s bemusement at stateside idiosyncrasies – a bemusement that lends his drawings their inimitable charm. Eleanor Halls Ronald Searle’s America (Fantagraphics, £65) is out on 14 January.

FEBRUARY 2016 G

ONE OF WHOM MAY BE

BIOLOGICAL FATHER OF

NAMED AFTER

CONCENTR ATES ON CASES INVOLVING

SAMANTHA MULDER

Photographs Alamy; Allstar

A special agent, medical doctor and professional sceptic.

WILLIAM Despite being infertile, a son is conceived (possibly with Mulder), though his true origins remain mysterious.


Natalia Czarnomska, James Edga r and Kirsty Rose Heslewood

Dawn Higgins and Laura Archbold

THE

TECH Roman Kemp

LA

UNCH

THE GOOD TIME GANG

Charlie Morgan

Photograph Photographs Xxxxxxxxx Adam Duke

Jim Chapman

Amy Lou

Oliver Proudlock and Darren Kennedy

Nik Thakkar

Zoe Hardman

Ben Mills and Jordan Stephens

To the Mondrian London Hotel, then, for the launch of the Huawei smartwatch (below). GQ Fashion Director Robert Johnston gave a speech about the collision of tech and fashion; our columnist Jim Chapman joined a panel to discuss its broader implications; and the elegance of the watch itself demonstrated why it’s a trend we’re right behind.


FEBRUARY 2016 G

Henry Conway

Sean Teale

Daisy Lowe

Dan Gillespie Sells

Kirsty Rose Heslewood, James Edgar and Natalia Czarnomska

Henry Holland

Sarah Ann Macklin

Georgia LA

Doina Ciobanu

Gary Thomson and Sophie Ennett

Catherine Murray and Adam Mynott

Hackney Colliery Band

The Huawei Watch

Matt Johnson

James Suckling and Jaime Winstone

Kristina Blahnik

Mark Russell and Robert Johnston

Anoushka Probyn

Sarah-Jane Mee


He’s one of life’s frontrunners: a double Olympic gold medallist, successful businessman, Tory MP and the man who led London to a triumphant Olympics. But now, as new president of the IAAF, could cleaning up his beloved athletics – a sport in turmoil – be a race too far?

Sebastian There are some people for whom being an Olympic legend, with some of the longest-standing world records of all time, would be enough. But Sebastian Coe is not your average athlete, nor your average human being. From athletics, two Olympic golds, two silvers and eleven world records behind him, he went into business, successfully, and is today chairman of CSM Sport and Entertainment. Then he went into politics, becoming a Tory MP. This was perhaps the least successful of his careers. He lost his seat in the landslide that swept Tony Blair to power. Next step, private secretary to William Hague, and another defeat to TB in 2001. So back to business, but also by then a seat in the House of Lords, and a developing profile as a leading sports politician, campaigner and administrator. These threads of his past made him the obvious man to lead the bid to land the 2012 Olympic Games for London – successfully. Then the hard part, getting London ready and delivering the best Games of all time, which led to him being made a Companion of Honour to add to his knighthood and his peerage. But Coe looked for another race to win, beating Ukrainian former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka to be president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). I L LU S T R AT I O N BY

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JEFF WACK

The celebrations were brief, as soon afterwards came the report exposing systemic statesponsored doping by Russia, and Coe’s first big test, which led to the IAAF suspending the Russian federation from competition. This is an interview in two parts. First, I spoke to him before the report on Russia was published, and again a few weeks later, as a media frenzy continued to erupt around him. I should declare an interest here. If my relationship with Seb started out as one of hero (him) and fan (me), as a result of our constantly crossing paths in parliamentary and then sport politics, we have become friends. So I was determined I would not give him an easy ride.


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

‘Now, more than ever, there is the appetite to make the right changes. I just need to ride out the storm’ The next battle: Lord Coe has been used to being a hero, but his new job as the head of world athletics has plunged him into an unforgiving arena


IAAF was the most momentous event in your life apart from the birth of your children. How can it compare with beating Steve Ovett in Moscow in 1980 to win Olympic gold? SC: It is of a different order: you have the opportunity to shape the whole of your sport. The moment of winning gold doesn’t have the ability to change the destiny of something. That was a moment. But I think about the journey from scruffy municipal track in Sheffield, a kid out of a secondary modern, through my athletics career, then politics, then the Olympics in London, and all the things I have done, I made a judgement – this is what I really wanted to do. AC: My theory is that you are so competitive you just have to find new head-to-head contests – you vs Ovett, Tory vs Labour, London vs Paris, you vs Bubka for the IAAF. SC: You forget that when I was 14, 15, I was more interested in a political career than a sporting career. AC: Why are you a Tory? SC: Instinctively that is what I believed. The politics of a city like Sheffield in the Seventies was raw. I was a child of the three-day week, coming home and the lights were out at five in the evening and you did your homework under a light Dad had fixed with a car battery on the table. It was not sustainable. AC: Where are your politics now? SC: I am a traditional Conservative. I don’t get too excited, I don’t hate, I don’t do synthetic rage. I believe in small government, we are better off having as much control as we can over income, but there must be a safety net. I believe in the NHS; state education. I was only ever educated in state schools. AC: But went private for your own kids. SC: It suited us to do that and I wanted to make sure they got good sporting opportunities. AC: That brings me to the 2012 legacy. It has not happened in the way you and I wanted. SC: It has happened, but not as much as we might have wanted. We were haemorrhaging participation numbers and the least you can say is we staunched the flow. AC: But how could we go through the wonder of the Games and then Michael Gove cuts schools sport? SC: It was not a good decision and that is why I spent the first two years as chair of the legacy group getting the sport premium into primary schools, the extra one-and-a-half days offer, the premium per head – we had to redress that. AC: But how could Cameron and Osborne let that happen after the Games? SC: They addressed it quickly. I said the

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Cheat sheet: The Sunday Times covers the 2012 Olympics Russian doping scandal, 2 August 2015

social change legacy since the Clean Air Act. I always say to John Major about legacy – your old boss has the Good Friday Agreement, John Major need look no further than the lottery. It changed the face of arts, culture, sport. Had we not done that, we would not have got the Games. AC: How do you feel about the challenge ahead? The IAAF does not have a great reputation... SC: I don’t think it has a terrible reputation. We’ve been hit hard in the last few months. AC: Partly because of how badly it has done things in the past few years. SC: No. We are sitting waiting for two independent inquiries, one about individuals within my sport, and a broader-based one about the fragilities around some international testing systems and we know the countries where the issues are being made. The risk is we will get two meaty issues conflated. The issue I took with the media [is that] they were trying to construct the idea that we at best sat

‘This must not become a McCarthy-esque witch-hunt’ challenge now is primary-school sport and they let me get on with it. I will concede we should never have had to do that. AC: The Olympics was a massive opportunity. Look down there [from his sixth-floor office] and see how many obese people there are waddling along. SC: Don’t confuse two things. The issue with that is less sports participation – I want to see that as high as it can be – but the biggest challenge is not whether 20 more people play rugby league. The big challenge is physical inactivity. AC: And diet. SC: It is partly to do with diet, but the issue around physical inactivity is that for years governments have seen it as obesity, therefore public health, therefore the NHS. But it is about the built environment. You came here today, you went to the lift, there are no stairs. By 2030, 50 per cent of the nation will be physically inactive, just doing enough to get through the day. AC: Greater sports participation would help deal with that. SC: It won’t galvanise the people who don’t want to be involved in sport. One of the things I am proudest about with London is that we really did get young people engaged. AC: Then they couldn’t find facilities. SC: That is not true. Nobody can say they cannot do what they want because of facilities. When I was chairman of the UK Sports Council I had a budget of £43.3 million covering everything. The National Lottery has changed all that. I see it as the greatest

on our hands and at worst we’ve been complicit in some massive cover-up, and we haven’t. There is an ethics committee inquiry into the conduct of certain individuals, but there is nothing in the history of my sport or the IAAF that says we’ve been sitting there doing nothing. Why have we been collecting blood and urine samples since 2005? AC: But the point Dr Michael Ashenden [anti-doping expert enlisted by the Sunday Times for a recent investigation] was making was that all this information was available, but people were still running. SC: First of all, what information? And secondly, he himself said that the blood passport cannot be interpreted on one or two readings. The clue is the word “longitudinal” – you could wake up with an elevated whiteblood-cell count, I would not immediately say you have leukaemia. He himself said you cannot extrapolate too much. This must not become a McCarthy-esque witch-hunt. Also, he would not have known whether any of the findings had been followed up. AC: If things were more open and transparent we would. SC: So every time a reading is elevated, you are saying we put it into the public domain, with all the potential damage to the reputation of an athlete, when two days later the reading goes back? They may have been training at altitude, dehydrated after a half marathon – there are all sorts of factors to take into account. We have shipped a lot of reputational damage by chasing people out of my sport. It would have been easier to have

Photographs John Frost Newspapers; Rex

AC: You said becoming president of the


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL turned a Nelsonian eye. Remember, we test more than any other sport. AC: More than cycling? SC: Yes, absolutely. AC: Per athlete? SC: Yes. We test every discipline. And at the world championships in 2011 and 2013, every athlete had blood taken. No other sport can say that. AC: But you are saying take the blood, do the tests, but then don’t make the judgement. SC: It is complicated; it doesn’t fit easily into a few columns. There are two things here: testing and profiling. The blood passport is a way of profiling. The second an athlete gets into senior ranks, we start profiling. You have blood, urine – we will go OK, normal, normal, normal, then something goes up, so let’s watch this, that could go elevated over a period of time, so then we get suspicious, then do target testing. It’s not as simple as saying here is one test and it is all crystal clear. AC: Whose job is all this? SC: Wada [World Anti-Doping Agency] is the policemen to the whole of sport. We are not doing that. AC: But you could now devise a new system for athletics. SC: Yes, and I want to want to make it more independent. We have a problem of perception and reality, and there comes a point where you have to concede and move on. Too many people have questions about our sport. We have to show this can be done independently. AC: Michael Ashenden says use Transparency International. SC: No, it has to be inside the sport. AC: So what do you mean, by being more independent? SC: What I am working on is to double the pool for the tests. At the moment the

top ten in every discipline in the world are constantly tested. Usain Bolt is the most tested athlete on the planet. AC: More than Chris Froome? SC: Any Jamaican who won will have been tested at least six times while at the Games. AC: So how did Asafa Powell get through for so long? SC: That was food supplements. I always say to athletes I ran 800 metres in 1.41 and I did it on food. So I want the top ten to be doubled to 20 and I want it done independently. This is what I have asked our team to start working on. Then I want national agencies to test anyone who is senior in their sport, but not in the top 20 globally. AC: Costs a lot of money. SC: And we have to find it, and if it means re-prioritising, I am prepared to do it. I can then reduce the pressure on the federations, take them out of litigious arguments. I also want to speed up the time between a positive test to a sanction. Why does it take so long? Because it gets tied up in litigation, and you have to be really clear what you are doing. There are tests that show clearly, no question, doping. There were two in Beijing where they just went yeah, hands up, no appeal, ban them. Others are complicated, and you must treat people fairly. AC: When Bolt was racing against Justin Gatlin in the World Championships, were you saying, “Usain, whatever you do, you just have to win?” SC: Honestly? Yes. Of course. AC: How big a disaster would it have been if Gatlin had won? SC: We would have survived because the sport always will. But am I pleased Bolt won? Yes. Not just around the drug issue, but because he is a genius and he is a better athlete – on a different planet. I don’t want to remember Bolt in the way I remember

‘I’m unreconstructed: for serious transgression, out forever’ Muhammad Ali. When Usain has his time, I want to see him go out at the top. I don’t want to see him struggling for two or three seasons. AC: Should Gatlin even have been there? SC: I have always been unreconstructed: for serious transgression, out forever. AC: What about someone like David Millar in cycling – gets done, serves time, comes back as a campaigner? SC: The argument has always been about redemption. AC: You don’t feel Gatlin Time lord: redeemed himself? Record-breaker SC: I would have like to have seen Sebastian Coe at the Future him more contrite. Decoded event, AC: Can you put hand on heart on London, 10 November 2015 behalf of Mo Farah and Paula

Radcliffe and be 100 per cent sure they have never done anything wrong? SC: Can I put hand on heart for anyone other than myself, probably not, but do I believe they are clean athletes; yes, I do. AC: Were you annoyed when [Tory MP] Jesse Norman got Paula thrown into the mix at the select committee inquiry? SC: I thought the way Paula was treated by the select committee was really shabby. AC: They were just doing the Sunday Times’ dirty work, weren’t they? SC: I don’t know. But I thought it bordered on the McCarthy-esque. I didn’t obviously see the remit for the committee. Anyway, I am being told I will be called, so I will go. AC: Did you go over the top in saying they had “declared war on my sport”? SC: No, because they selectively used the information they had. My sport was under attack. Our sport. My son tells me to stop saying “my sport” and say “our”. AC: He’s right; he should become a spin doctor. How big is the Lance Armstrong shadow in all this? SC: Big. There are some people that think we are cycling circa the Armstrong era. But I would far rather be interrogated by you about high-profile positive tests than asked why we are not doing enough. AC: You said Bolt was the most tested athlete on the planet. When I interviewed Armstrong he used those exact words about himself. SC: That is the problem. AC: So you have to do more. SC: I can just show you the numbers. I was tested more than 200 times, and I do have sympathy with athletes. When I broke records in 1979/80, I had some jerk from the Sunday Telegraph writing every week that I could not have done that naturally. AC: Are you too much part of the athletics establishment to drive real change? SC: No. AC: Now about your work on the Fifa ethics committee... SC: I set it up from nothing. I left when England started bidding for the World Cup ten months later. AC: So what is your analysis of Fifa ethics today? SC: I don’t know. AC: Oh, come on. SC: How would I know? But I look back and wish I had stayed because I would have put things in place. AC: All this stuff about the recent bidding processes, the Americans now piling in arresting people... what do you make of it? SC: Well, it is not clever and this has a long way to run, and the problem is that you end up with the prevailing view that it is a plague on all your houses. AC: So you become the Sepp Blatter of athletics. FEBRUARY 2016 G


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL SC: [Laughs] Yes, because now more than ever there is the need and the appetite to make the right changes, and every day I get calls and messages from people in the sport saying, “Keep going, make the changes,” so I just need to ride out the storm. AC: Were you surprised at the scale of what was revealed about Russia and the storm that followed? SC: We had to deal with it. We quickly suspended the Russian federation Tough talk: Lord – I don’t think people expected that Coe is questioned – and I was clear we had to look at by the Culture, Media and Sport ourselves, at the IAAF. The president committee in SC: Yes. Well, no. But yes [laughs]. of the Russian federation is clear Parliament, 2 December 2015 AC: You and George Osborne they have to make changes and were in the 2001 Tory election move at speed. team that we beat so heavily. Has AC: Do you think Vladimir Putin is on anything surprised you about the performance-enhancing drugs? Do you way he has developed? think those pecs are natural? SC: [Laughs] I am saying nothing, on or off SC: No. AC: Next prime minister, do you think? the record, in response to that. SC: I hope so. AC: Do you think it was sensible to AC: Rather than Boris? describe Lamine Diack [his predecessor, SC: It’s nothing against Boris. I just think now subject of a French criminal inquiry] George would be a good PM. as your spiritual leader when you won? AC: Yet he was the only politician to get SC: If I had been standing there with a booed at the Olympics. French prosecutors’ charge sheet, clearly it SC: Not the only one, I’m sure. would have been a ridiculous thing to say. But AC: Tessa Jowell didn’t. I can honestly say nobody saw that coming. SC: Tessa is a national treasure, and she From the German TV report in December wasn’t in government. George was the 2014 we had a number of independent chancellor doing some difficult things. He inquiries coming, and we knew there would has a real cultural bandwidth that doesn’t be difficult things to confront, but what always come out. He is as comfortable nobody saw coming was the by-product discussing the latest novel or film or play. He for individuals within the organisation. has a bohemian background. I actually really AC: But what people are saying is you like him. He is smart, funny, clever. And he is should have known, because of your tough. Prime ministers need that. position as a vice president. SC: Just be clear about my role, I was not AC: Do you feel that what is happening his deputy. There were two senior vice to Labour means the Tories are in for presidents, and I was one of five vice a generation? presidents, and for most of the time I was SC: No, I don’t think you can conclude that.

‘Here we are fighting for the heart and soul of our sport’ But I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn leading Labour can land well. My gut instinct is there will be a bit of a cult thing for a while, but the support is mile-wide and inch-deep. AC: So if Cameron stands by his pledge not to fight another election, you think both parties will have new leaders by then? SC: I do, yes. A 325-page report is published by the World Anti-Doping Agency accusing Russia of “state-sponsored” doping. Subsequently, the IAAF suspends Russia from international competition. I speak to Seb Coe again ten days after the scandal breaks. AC: So are you still glad you won the election to head the IAAF?

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virtually full-time working on the London Games. I am not making excuses, but giving you context. Even after the Games, I was the guy switching the lights off. Now did we have the right corporate governance for the IAAF? Clearly not. Was there too much power in the hands of one person? Yes. And that is why I am making changes. Every waking hour is going to create a system that commands respect, and that will include proper scrutiny of everything I do. AC: Does it help perception that the IAAF is based in Monaco? Do you think a shift to Macclesfield would be a good move? SC: We are having a root and branch review, but there are no plans to move to Macclesfield.

AC: So where does this figure on the

storm/crisis/challenge counter? Bigger than the Olympics? SC: Up there, yes, because this is eye-ofthe-storm time. This is a different order to something like digging your heels in to make sure the Olympic infrastructure is there, or sorting out ticketing. Here we are fighting for the heart and soul of our sport. When I think back to being trained as a 14-year-old by a guy who drove us round in a camper van, and coached every day but 25 December, because he loved the sport, to the horror show that played out on global media a few weeks ago, I know how big the challenge is. AC: Do you think there could be worse to come? Other countries? Big-name athletes? SC: I don’t know. But I do know the best way to support clean athletes is through systems that catch and punish dirty athletes, and the way we dealt with the Russians shows how serious we are about that. AC: Even though it means some clean athletes will have been hit by the ban? SC: For sure, there were Olympic champions at the table making the decision; we do not like to stop clean athletes competing, but the systems failed and we have to change them. AC: So do you think the Russians will be at the next Olympics? SC: It all depends on the pace at which we and they make changes. It is about the criteria applied and whether the independent chair on anti-doping comes back and says they are satisfied. I am not interested in all the geopolitical talk around this – my focus is entirely to ensure safe and secure systems that make our sport clean. AC: Do you not think one of the reasons the storm has been so severe is because you have been too defensive, and always seeming to take the side of athletes and the sport when it is attacked? SC: If you mean when I said some people had “declared war on my sport”, that was not an attack on the press. The media has every right to challenge us and to expose wrongdoing, but that was specifically about the selective use of data to damage athletes I know to be clean. AC: You seemed a bit taken aback by the ferocity of Jon Snow’s questioning on Channel 4 about Russia. SC: To be honest, I thought it was all a bit formulaic. I knew what to expect that day, I did not hide away from anything or anyone. AC: Do you not think you are just too much the athletics-establishment man to be the one who clears up the mess? SC: Judge me on what I do over the next year or two. If you think you see me go soft or go native, then come and put the questions to me again. But I love the sport, I don’t like what has happened to it, and I am determined to get the wheels back on the bike.


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WHAT I WEAR The co-founder of his eponymous menswear brand, Charlie Casely-Hayford, reveals his debt to British subculture P H OTO G R A P H BY

SIMON WEBB

Glasses

Watch

“Until I came across eyewear specialists Cubitts, I had always worn contact lenses. I love their stylish selection of frames.” £125. cubitts.co.uk

“My father [Joe] had a Breitling Navitimer. It obviously had a lasting effect on me as I now have a modern version of the same style myself. It’s possibly my favourite possession.” £8,000. breitling.com

WISH LIST

Wallet

WISH LIST

Speaker “I would love one of these to take on our fashion shoots and in the studio. Music has always been integral to our brand DNA.” T7 wireless speaker by Bowers And Wilkins, £300. bowers-wilkins.co.uk

Coat “I only wear long, double-breasted coats. I particularly like the masculine feel of a slightly oversized Chesterfield. I prefer British subculture to the Establishment.” By Crombie, £895. crombie.co.uk

“I love this wallet because it’s streamlined, and therefore wouldn’t break the line of my suit.” By Comme Des Garçons, £128. At doverstreetmarket.com

Trousers “These are made to measure. They’re inspired by the way in which skinheads wear their jeans. I’m 6ft 6in, so I pretty much have to make everything myself.” By Casely-Hayford, £445. casely-hayford.com

WISH LIST

Fragrance “This scent would be perfect for an evening event, such as a dinner party.” Rose Of No Man’s Land by Byredo, £88 for 50ml. At Harrods. harrods.com

WISH LIST

Trainers

Story Eleanor Halls Grooming Alice Howlett using Urban Decay Cosmetics and Bumble And Bumble

“If I’m not wearing my boots, in the summer I tend to wear a pair of sneakers with my suit, and I love that kind of look.” Boosts by Adidas, £130. adidas.co.uk

WISH LIST

Pen “I’m constantly sketching whenever I can find a few seconds to myself, and this would be great to put in the inner pocket of my suit.” Meisterstueck LeGrand fountain pen by Montblanc, £1,015. montblanc.com

Boots “I always wear black 14-hole boots; I have five pairs. I wear a suit everyday and all of my suits are cropped so they all work with boots.” £70. At transworldsurplus.co.uk

WISH LIST

Folio “I love how minimalist and modern this is, and it would be good to take to meetings.” By WANT Les Essentiels, £349. wantlesessentiels.com

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E D I T E D BY

PAUL HENDERSON

Backseat driver: Take control of BMW’s new 7 Series – a car so smart it can park itself

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CARS

B  

S TO RY BY

JASON BARLOW

P H OTO G R A P H S BY

NICK WILSON

ack in 2002, archaeologists dredged up what is now thought to be the earliest recovered example of the wheel from the Ljubljana Marshes in Slovenia. They reckon it’s up to 5,300 years old, which makes it a much younger innovation than you’d think. The wheel itself might well be older, but making it function properly required something more advanced: an axle. And that didn’t happen until the Bronze Age. On the 24-hour clock of human evolution, that puts it at about two-and-half minutes before midnight. Even so, it must frustrate the hell out of the German car industry that, try as they might, they can’t reinvent the four round bits on the corners of their cars. The wheel is irritatingly unimprovable. Lord knows, they’ve tried to reimagine everything else, born of a conviction and confidence that’s marrow-deep. The new BMW 7 Series epitomises this titanic Teutonic self-belief. Only the kitchen sink is missing. Of course, the big luxury limo has long been a mobile manifesto for technological superiority. Like its main rivals, Audi and Mercedes, BMW uses its plutocratic range-topper to showcase the next wave of tech, most of which will cascade down into the more proletarian end of the line later on. Crowd-pleasing stuff such as a semi-autonomous mode, self-parking, gesture control and a mini iPad-style key are all here. There is also a concierge service, and the 7 Series boasts such a profound degree of connectivity that it – and its ilk – risk dragging the automobile into our era-defining privacy debate. (Indeed, BMW has a fortified building stuffed with humming servers somewhere in Munich. I asked


CARS to visit it, and was firmly rebuffed. But I like to think the guy who runs it looks a bit like Christoph Waltz.) In this context, and given that the person the 7 Series is aimed at is likely to remain a stranger to the front seat, it seems perverse to actually drive the thing. So that is exactly what I did. This is a process akin to being given the keys to a nuclear reactor without reading the instruction manual first. There’s that Display Key, for a start. The upside is that it has a trick swipe display showing the car’s security status and can programme the climate control and even remote park the car (“RCP” is an option). This tech has been around for a while now, but the

BMW breakthrough is that the car’s sensors and cameras are now clever enough to dispense with the driver. The downside is that, although as beautifully designed as anything by Jonathan Ive or Marc Newson, the key feels eminently losable (and costs £230 for a replacement). Or worse, would call to mind the cover of Sticky Fingers if you shoved it in your pocket. Or Mae West. Driving, then. Western masters of the universe might not bother, but in China – where a 7 Series owner’s estimated average age is 28 – the chauffeur gets the weekend off and clients drive themselves. Although BMW has lately tweaked its ultimate driving machine mantra to include

Hands-on boss: The BMW 7 Series’ ‘Ambient Air Package’ settings (above); the Touch Command tablet (below)

HONDA’S CIVIC DUTY Historically, the Honda Civic Type R was the poster child for normally aspirated, rev-to-theskies hilarity. But the 2016 model’s had a turbocharger strapped to it, which stuffs a huge 306bhp and 295lb ft into the 2.0-litre engine. It’s already beaten the Renaultsport Mégane around the Nürburgring by three seconds (in prototype form), but inside there are proper seats, sound systems and sat navs. Honda tells us it is 155 per cent stifer than the normal Civic, too, and down a curly road it will dip into corners, stay there and flick you out the other side at physics-defying pace. OK, so there is a little bit of turbo lag, but its ability to get you down a tricky road – and from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds on to 167mph while still having room for the big Saturday shop – more than makes up for it. Matt Jones £29,995. honda.co.uk

G FEBRUARY 2016

BMW 730D The “Ambient Air Package” gives the driver a choice of eight fragrances to pump around the interior. ENGINE 265bhp, 2,993cc turbodiesel PERFORMANCE Top speed 155mph (limited); 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds PRICE From £64,530 CONTACT bmw.co.uk

efficiency, the dynamism of its cars is a major USP. To which end, the new 7 Series features a “carbon core”, so that it incorporates carbon fibre in strategic areas of its body, including the sills, roof and central tunnel. Elsewhere you will find aluminium, magnesium and high-strength steel. It is all about shaving off weight, and when you factor in the new car’s extra equipment, it’s around 200kg lighter. And you can tell. The 730d – the range’s big player – hits 62mph in just over six seconds, sits silently and effortlessly at 120mph on the autobahn and can still return a claimed average of 60.1mpg and just 124g/km of CO2. Even if you don’t care, these are impressive figures for a car of this size and stature. It’s a real hustler, too. The chassis is fashionably configurable: Eco Pro throttles back on the fun in pursuit of maximum saintliness; Sport cedes control to the driver. But there’s also an adaptive mode called Executive Drive Pro, which analyses your driving style and the sat-nav data to alter the powertrain and chassis accordingly. The car’s sensors can read the road ahead, drawing the whole experience into a virtuous circle. Turn into a fast, tightening corner and the 7 Series holds its line and clearly wants to commit to the apex rather than wallowing about all over. That’s one option. The other is that you ignore all that silly stuff and enjoy the ride. The seats are fantastic, the head-rests marshmallow soft and eight different massage functions are available in the rear, along with an integrated “Touch Command” tablet. There’s also 4G, super-fast mobile broadband and ear-popping 16-speaker audio from Bowers & Wilkins – the level of which you can adjust using the thrillingly pointless gesture control (by miming a little circle in front of the central screen). But what do I know? When my nine-year-old son sat in it, he uttered four words: “This is the future.” And he’s not wrong.


Chairman’s Letter At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that with enough help from our kind, generous supporters AIDS can be beaten. 1RWRQO\WKDWLWPLJKWEHWKH¿UVWGLVHDVHLQ human history that is reduced from a global killer to a marginal health condition in one generation. This isn’t fantasy! We have the medicines and the know-how to test, diagnose, treat and support people living with HIV all over the world. What’s even better, once they are on treatment, they are up to 96 per cent less infectious. That means they don’t pass the disease on to others and the epidemic runs out of road. The one obstacle in our path is stigma. This means that people are too afraid or too ashamed to admit they are at risk and do something about it.

Photograph 9VIPU/HTTVUKwhereloveisillegal.com

Imran Uganda Imran writes about the day his mother disowned him: “She walked away and left me on my knees begging for her to at least listen to what I have to say... I left school while being mocked, laughed at – on that day hating myself to the extreme. I felt I wasn’t worthy living; where was I to start from? How, when the only person I trusted in the world turned her back on me? And this was the beginning of my suffering.� Imran (above, photographed with his partner) is a young gay man from Uganda. In high school, he was mocked, bullied and harassed for his sexuality, forcing the university administration to involve his mother. “She told me I was a disgrace and I wasn’t worthy of being her son. She went on to disown me there and then in front of the entire school and its staff and [said] that she would prefer me dead rather than have me alive as gay.�

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is working with partners around the JOREHWR¿JKWWKLV:HKDYHUHFHQWO\ODXQFKHGDQHZFROODERUDWLRQZLWK the US government to fund programmes for very vulnerable people at HIV risk in the LGBT community. We’ve also initiated a new SURJUDPPHWRWUHDWWKRXVDQGVRIDGROHVFHQWVZLWK+,9LQ¿YHPDMRU cities around the world who are too scared to access services. These programmes change lives and help stop the epidemic. Help us create an AIDS free future. Kindest regards,

David Furnish, Chairman

CREATING AN AIDS FREE FUTURE.

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Tony PARSONS ‘Mother’ doesn’t know best on immigration

It wasn’t enough to give refugees a round of applause – they all needed jobs, homes, medical care and education as well G FEBRUARY 2016

he Germans have a word for it: willkommenskultur, a culture of welcome. It is a concept that is only possible in an affluent, tolerant, enlightened democracy – you can’t have a culture of welcome when your people are starving or if you live in a police state. But Germany’s willkommenskultur is real, a noble sentiment that is haunted by the ghosts of the last century. Willkommenskultur was necessary in a country where the wealthy, free West Germany was for 45 years divided from the poor, communist East Germany, then painfully – and expensively – reunified after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany’s culture of welcome also springs from a deeper, darker well, the collective memory of a time when the Germans did not attempt to welcome those who were different, but to exterminate them. The perfect expression of willkommenskultur came when Syrian refugees arrived at Munich station in September and were applauded by the locals. Is there any other nation on earth where refugees would be clapped for showing up? The welcome was warm and genuine – but the Germans were also applauding themselves, happy to finally be the world’s good guys. And how sweet the sound of applause must have seemed to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has always made her response to the migrant crisis sound like a moral crusade. “If we start having to apologise for showing

a friendly face in emergencies,” said Merkel, “then this is not my country.” Merkel, an east European, knows what it is like to grow up behind walls and wire, and to be a migrant in a richer land. But then the weather changed and so did public opinion. Willkommenskultur was confronted by its great dilemma. The desperate needs of the developing world have no end. But German resources do. By October, Merkel’s approval ratings had dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in four years. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was reporting that the chancellor was planning dramatic cutbacks on Germany’s wanton generosity to Syrian refugees – ending the automatic right of family members to join those already in Germany, cutting the residency right of Syrians from three years to one. Apparently it wasn’t enough to give the refugees a round of applause and a cuddly toy – they all needed jobs, homes, medical care, money and education for their children. And happy integration was far from inevitable. A report prepared by Germany’s security and intelligence services was leaked to the newspaper Welt Am Sonntag. It stated, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab antiSemitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples as well as a different societal and legal understanding.” The document warned of a furious backlash waiting down the autobahn. “German security agencies will not be in

Illustration Sam Kerr

By promising Syrian refugees a warm welcome, German chancellor Angela Merkel is not fulfilling her country’s moral duty, but fanning the flames of European fascism


LAST MAN STANDING the position to solve these imported security problems and thereby the arising reactions from Germany’s population... Mainstream civil society is radicalising because the majority don’t want migration and they are being forced by the political elite.” The report by the German security services did not make limitless immigration sound like a morally good thing to do. It made it sound like national suicide.

et nobody is allowed to question the essential goodness of obliterating European borders. Chancellor Merkel’s moral imperialism has stifled all debate and dissent. Eastern European leaders who disagree with her are denounced as racists who do not embody “European values”, as if unrestricted immigration has always been a well-loved feature of life on the continent. Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister, was singled out for particular criticism as Hungary erected a 109-mile razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia. Orban’s concern was that the overwhelming majority of the migrants are Muslim. “Islam was never part of Europe,” said Orbán. “It’s the rulebook of another world.” This kind of talk is considered unforgiveable by the moral imperialists. “Let them in!” advised Pharrell Williams on stage in Italy (as if the US doesn’t have a border with Mexico). “F*** the politicians!” seethed Benedict Cumberbatch in one of his nightly on-stage lectures after playing Hamlet. This was moral imperialism at its most virulent – as though opposing unfettered immigration was not simply an alternative view, but inherently evil. It was both Merkel’s personal history and the history of her nation that made her opendoor policy possible. The long shadows of Nazi Germany; the high walls around the East Germany of Merkel’s childhood. And although they call her Mutti Merkel – mummy Merkel – it is telling that the chancellor is childless, and perhaps less concerned about what Germany will look like two or three generations in the future. And Germany will certainly be a far more Islamic country. But Germany has had no great terrorist trauma to make them wary of letting in overwhelmingly Muslim migrants. There has been no German equivalent of 9/11 or 7/7 or the Charlie Hebdo massacre. There are very few German Muslims rushing off to join Islamic State. And consequently there has been no serious thought about how well all these overwhelmingly Muslim newcomers will integrate – or perhaps not – in tomorrow’s Germany. The assumption has always been that they will soon all be wearing lederhosen, supporting Bayern Munich and believing in the equality of the sexes. Possibly this is too optimistic. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel’s limitless

generosity, Germany has let in an unknown number of migrants. One figure, leaked to Bild magazine from inside the government, suggests it could be as high as 1.5 million in 2015 alone. Not all of them were Syrians. Not all of them were fleeing war. Not all of them have enlightened views on women. In a letter dated 18 August 2015, four women’s organisations wrote to the minister for social affairs and integration in Hesse, expressing concerns about the 5,000 asylum seekers crammed into former US military bases in Giessen, western Germany. “It is a fact that women and children are unprotected,” said the letter. “This situation is opportune to those men who already regard women as their inferior and treat unaccompanied women as ‘fair game’. As a consequence, there are reports of numerous rapes, sexual assaults and increasingly of forced prostitution. These are not isolated incidents.” But it is a bit late to start worrying about social cohesion. Mutti’s reckless generosity has turned one of the great European nations into a refugee camp. The strains on infrastructure have been monumental. In the western German town of Eschbach, Gabrielle Keller received a letter from her landlord telling her that the apartment block where she had lived for 23 years was being turned into a refugee shelter. “I think it’s a scandal to throw tenants out of their apartments,” she told Die Welt. It was an experience replicated across Germany. In Hardheim in the southwest, 1,000 migrants were sent to live among 4,600 residents. A 1,000-year-old town was changed out of all recognition almost overnight. But the problems of Merkel’s moral imperialism feel like just the beginning. Will the newcomers settle happily in Germany? Will they integrate? Will their children and their grandchildren grow up to be fulfilled German citizens? Fingers crossed, eh, Mutti? Merkel continues to insist that there is “no upper boundary” to the number of refugees that Germany will accept. With thousands of refugees still sleeping in tents as winter temperatures drop below freezing, this flies in the face of reality. Even Merkel’s allies are saying

As the ancient forces of fascism begin to stir, it doesn’t seem like Merkel has done something unquestionably good

that Germany is struggling. “There are real limits to how much pressure we can put on our cities,” Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democratic Party, told Der Spiegel magazine. “Our reception capacity is limited,” said Joachim Gauck, a former human rights activist. Germans now realise that “feed the world” is easier sung than done. For the regular visitor to Germany, it was not remarkable that Merkel faced a growing chorus of criticism. What was amazing was that she was still so popular. But with more than 500 attacks on refugee centres in 2015, her no-borders policy did not feel like an act of moral goodness. All her good intentions seemed to have laid the foundations for a terrifying backlash. As the ancient forces of fascism begin to stir in Germany, it does not seem like Merkel has done something profoundly, unquestionably good. It feels like she has been stupid, reckless and wrong.

et the belief persists that it is morally correct to champion limitless immigration, that it is possible for all the world’s oppressed, hungry and unhappy to come and live in the West. The great lie persists that we can solve the problems of the world with a pious Twitter hashtag. Moral imperialism encourages sensible folk to make promises they are unlikely to keep. There are four million displaced Syrian refugees on the planet and none of them are living with Nicola Sturgeon, although the SNP leader sounded absolutely unequivocal about giving a Syrian family a room under her roof. “Yes, I would absolutely be happy to do that as part of a bigger, wider, more organised approach,” she told Sky News. But it turns out there are, in fact, no plans for her to share her home with any of those four million refugees. We need to deal with the greatest tide of human migration since 1945 with more than moral imperialism. By promising to give a safe German home to anyone who wants it, Merkel did not do a good thing. Far from being an act of human kindness, Merkel’s grand gesture will result in untold human misery that will endure beyond our lifetimes. Merkel will learn that no nation on earth – no matter how wealthy, well-intentioned or tormented by guilt for the war crimes of its past – can give a safe European home to the desperate millions in the developing world who would love one. The town of Sumte, near the river Elbe in eastern Germany, had a population of just 102 until it was obliged to accommodate 750 migrants almost overnight. Moral imperialists like Angela Merkel, Benedict Cumberbatch and Pharrell Williams should reflect on the 102 residents of Sumte. And summon up a little compassion for those poor suckers. FEBRUARY 2016 G


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HUGO RIFKIND

This month:

My phone needs fixing In the battle of the sexes, digital savvy will only get you so far. Nowhere, to be exact, says Hugo Rifkind

Illustration Ryan McAmis

he says, “I think my iPhone is broken.” He says, “You don’t have an iPhone.” She says, “Yes I do. A Samsung one.” And he says, “You’re killing me.” She says she doesn’t know why he has to be so condescending about this sort of stuff, and he says he’s sorry, but it’s just not an iPhone, and it’s really confusing when she calls it one, and she says but he wasn’t really confused, though, was he, and he says oh, never mind, what’s wrong with it, anyway? “It’s not doing the thingy,” she says. “Righto,” he says, carefully. “It won’t send,” she says. “There’s not enough wireless. The apps are fine, but not working.” This could be dangerous, he thinks. So he asks if she’s tried to fix it. “I’m too busy,” she says. “I’ll have to go to the Apple shop.” “That’ll take even longer,” he says. “I don’t mind waiting,” she says. “I’ll have a bit of peace and quiet. Check my emails.” “On what?” he wants to say, but he doesn’t have the nerve. Plus, he feels it’s important that he point out she can’t go to the Apple shop, which is for Apples. She needs to go to Carphone Warehouse. She says, “Isn’t that for carphones?” He says, “I feel like you only say these things to upset me.” And she says, “I feel like you do.” He’s pretty sure he could fix it. The thought of her walking around with a poorly configured smartphone in her pocket upsets him. Or anybody doing this, really. Sometimes, on the bus, he

starts thinking about how many of his fellow passengers have their Gmail set up as a POP3 account, and starts feeling so edgy he has to get off and walk. He couldn’t possibly tell her this. He genuinely fears it might stop her from fancying him. “So do you want me to have a look?” he says. “Who do you think I’ve been texting?” she says. “Excuse me?” he says. “Nothing,” she says, quite quickly. “That thing you just said...” he says. “Forget it,” she says. “But no. No, I don’t want you to have a look. And I’m not hiding anything. It’s just, there’s nothing less attractive than a man trying to fix your phone.”

Star employee: George Clooney’s hypothetical tech nous could create problems for your relationship

George Clooney ixing Amal’s phone... Surely she would ind that sexy?

This was his fear. Although, also, he wonders if it can possibly be true. George Clooney fixing Amal’s phone, say. Surely that would be quite sexy? “Yeah,” he says. “But mechanics are sexy, aren’t they?” “You fancy mechanics?” she says. “No,” he says, and then he remembers Kylie Minogue, and the way that, in Neighbours, her character worked in a garage. “Well, not usually. But fixing a phone is the same thing, really. Isn’t it?” She says, “Wouldn’t work in a porno.” He says, “I beg your pardon?” She says, “Nothing.” And he says, “I’m really beginning to wonder what you do with your smartphone.” Then he says, “Would it make a difference if I was George Clooney?” And she says, “What?” He says, “Would I be allowed to fix your phone if I was George Clooney?” He says it’s a serious question. If a man fixing a smartphone is so damn unsexy, does that mean fixing a smartphone would be enough to make George Clooney unsexy? Or is George Clooney so sexy that he could fix Amal Clooney’s smartphone and still be sexy afterwards? In a nutshell, is his own problem really that he’s good at fixing smartphones? Or is it that he’s not George Clooney? “I’m not seeing him as a mechanic,” she says. “In one of your pornos?” he says. “Niche,” she says. Then she says, “Anyway, I bet Amal fixes his smartphone.” “She’s an international lawyer,” he says. “So she’s probably too busy.” She says, “Like me.” And he says, very firmly, “Yes.” OHugo Rifkind is a writer for the Times. FEBRUARY 2016 G


LIFE HACK

AGONY AUNT

Stag nights to suit all, the ineluctable virtue of pyjamas and aping James Corden. Victoria Coren Mitchell has words to the wise

The other best man? You couldn’t pick one? You thought your wedding day was a good time to demonstrate commitment-phobia? Jesus. Why not two brides while you’re at it? You might as well have two stag nights. But does everything need to be abroad? What about the costs of all this schlepping about? There’s too much pressure on your hapless wedding guests to shell out for plane tickets and hotel rooms on top of the gift. The bankroll clearly isn’t a problem for your jet-setting best men, but surely you’ve got a couple of lower-earning friends. What about that guy from school who thought he was going to be a professional drummer? I’m not sure you can buy a lot of flights with his wage packet from Starbucks. So why not pick somewhere a bit more affordable and local? For example: the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. I’ve been to Monte Carlo and Bury St Edmunds is a lot more interesting.

What is the correct thing for a man to wear to bed nowadays?

Not sure what you mean by “nowadays”. The correct thing for a man to wear in bed is, as it has always been, a pair of dark cotton pyjamas. This is true even if you’re alone. Awake or asleep, you

G FEBRUARY 2016

should always dress as though people are looking. It’s good for the deportment. You might wonder how dark cotton pyjamas can “always” have been the correct attire, given that men did not start wearing them until the late 19th century. Before then, flowing nightgowns were the norm. But I stand by my rule: it was always

correct to wear pyjamas, men just took a few centuries to realise it. Before then, they looked like wazzocks. I expect nightgowns are fashionable again now. No doubt, in east London, it’s acceptable for a fellow to remove his tweed jumpsuit, wax his moustache, lean his unicycle against the wall and hop into his nightgown. But such people need not concern us. Some men think it is correct to sleep naked. It is not. If a woman wants to see you naked then it’s far more fun to unwrap the treat first, like a Christmas present. And if she doesn’t want to see you naked then God knows it’s bad manners to insist.

I notice that James Corden is currently the coolest Englishman in the world. Should I gain weight?

Well, I’d need to have a look at you. But probably not. It’s terribly dangerous to base your look on charismatic famous men. James Corden is attractive for his wit and charm, not his physique – and now he’s a Hollywood star he’ll probably go all weird and thin anyway. Besides, beware the whims of the cultural zeitgeist. Is Russell Brand so quickly forgotten? Perhaps you could pair James Corden’s weight with Russell

Brand’s hairdo for the perfect “now” look. The risk is that you might resemble Elvis Presley at the exact moment he died.

My girlfriend says she wants to watch me with another man and she’d like to see us “go at it hammer and tongs”. I am 100 per cent heterosexual. What can I do?

Darling, she isn’t talking about sex. She’s saying you’re not up to the household DIY and you need to get some help. Tell her that you’ve taken her at her word and hired a professional. He will be coming round on Saturday night with a full toolkit; the two of you will exert yourselves relentlessly through the night and she’s welcome to watch. Of course, if by some chance there is a misunderstanding, you will be obliged to have full gay sex. But, if you’re a typical 21st-century man, you’ll probably find that easier than putting shelves up anyway.

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 YOUR EMAILS For to-the-point answers to life’s whys and wherefores, share your burning issues with GQ’s agony aunt at: askvictoria@condenast.co.uk

Illustration Magda Antoniuk

I’m getting married later this year in Saint-Tropez. One of my best men (an old school friend) has ofered to host a stag night in Monte Carlo. It’s only a couple of hours up the coast so we can do it the night before the wedding. But the other best man (my brother) says we should go to Cuba the month before. What do you think?


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Fit for purpose: The historic German Gymnasium in King’s Cross, London, has been transformed into a luxurious Mittel-European restaurant

Work up an appetite

London’s much-anticipated new restaurant opening – housed in the site of Britain’s first purpose-built gym in King’s Cross – offers a fresh (front-flip-and-half) twist on an under-appreciated cuisine. GQ learns the ropes in the German Gymnasium... FEBRUARY 2016 G


THE RESTAURANT

German Gymnasium How a historic gym became a smart European brasserie – and an exercise in good taste EVEN in an era brimming with polymaths of epic proportions, Ernst Georg Ravenstein stands out as a particularly omniscient Victorian. Cartographer, geographer and author, the Frankfurt-born Brit was also a founding member of the National Olympian Association and a pioneering advocate of the health benefits of gymnastics, writing a book on the subject. In 1865, he created the German Gymnasium in London’s King’s Cross, essentially the country’s first purpose-built gym. A century and a half on, the pommel horse and uneven bars may be gone, but the German Gymnasium’s doors are open once again, housing a recently launched restaurant of the same name which, Ravenstein would no doubt be delighted to learn, offers the diner plenty of good health. Classic MittelEuropean dishes such as currywurst with pommes frites, smoked schinkenknacker (pure pork sausage) with sauerkraut and potato purée and schupfnudeln (noodles) and wild mushroom provide a thorough workout, as does its comprehensive grill selection. On GQ’s visit, the colossal veal schnitzel and warm potato salad with lingonberry compote got our judge’s 10.0, a dish we finished with a clean dismount. The Grade II-listed building between King’s Cross station and St Pancras International is a spectacular space, with the German Gymnasium spread over two floors that comprise a grand café, restaurant, patisserie counter, Meister Bar and alfresco terrace. Neat nods to the site’s athletic past abound, with interior designers Conran and Partners artfully blending intriguing original features, such as climbing hooks in the ceiling and timber roof trusses, with handsome contemporary leather booths, grandiose sweeping stairways (under which are tucked super-slick wine cellars, brimming with Rieslings and lesser-known Danube delights) and a bold, brightly lit bar area that’s the perfect space for a warm-up cocktail or a warm-down digestif. Whether or not Ravenstein was a dab hand in the kitchen is sadly unrecorded, but we can be sure that had he been alive today he would no doubt have put his name down for a shift. Mark Russell OG erman Gymnasium, 1 King’s Blvd, London N1. 020 7287 8000, germangymnasium.com

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THE RECIPE

Roasted free-range duck with braised red cabbage, dumplings and orange sauce By head chef Bjoern Wassmuth

FOR THE ROAST DUCK Ingredients O1 duck, 2.2 kg Method OClean the duck (remove the giblets from inside; do not wash) and season with salt and pepper inside and out. Roast in the oven at 120C for 120 minutes, put aside. OTo finish, place the duck back in the oven at 240C for 20 minutes to crispen it up.

FOR THE BOILED DUMPLINGS Ingredients O800g russet potatoes (about  4 large) O1 large egg OSalt, pepper, nutmeg O120g (or more) all-purpose flour O30g potato starch (or corn starch, if you can’t get it) Method OCook the unpeeled potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender, drain, cool slightly and peel. Mash the potatoes with fork or run through a ricer. Add the egg, season with salt and nutmeg and add flour and potato or corn starch. OUsing hands, knead mixture until smooth dough forms, adding more flour if dough is sticky. Form dough into balls. OCook dumplings in large pot of nearly boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes (or until dumplings rise to top). For the other dumpling recipe see GQ.co.uk

The bird is the word: Roasted free-range duck is the order of the day at the German Gymnasium, King’s Cross, London


TASTE small bites

FOR THE BRAISED RED CABBAGE

Park life (clockwise, from main): One of Swinton’s Woodland Shacks; the lake at Swinton Park; Samuel’s pavé of dark chocolate

has been eating this month...

Ingredients O1kg red cabbage, very thinly sliced O220ml red wine O1 tbs sugar O150ml red-wine vinegar OThe juice of 1 orange O2 Granny Smith apples, sliced O3 tbs butter O2 large yellow onions, very thinly sliced O100ml duck broth OSalt and pepper O3 cloves O2 cinnamon sticks O1 bay leaf O4 juniper berries O10 black peppercorns O4 tsp cranberry jam or redcurrant jam Method OPut the cabbage in a mixing bowl with the wine, sugar, vinegar, juice and the apples and let it marinate for 24-48 hours. OMelt the butter in a braising pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions until caramelised and just beginning to brown. Add the marinated cabbage and duck broth, season and stir thoroughly. Add the spices, berries and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if needed. OAt the end finish with the jam and add more salt, sugar and vinegar to taste.

FOR THE ORANGE SAUCE Ingredients ODuck trimmings O1 carrot O1 onion O1 celery stick OTomato paste O75ml red wine O110ml port O500ml duck stock O2 large oranges, freshly squeezed juice only (around 150ml) OSalt, bay leaves, black pepper O4 tbsp orange liqueur Method ORoast the duck trimmings, add carrot, onion and celery, and roast until dark brown. OAdd tomato paste and de-glaze with port and red wine, reduce, add duck stock, orange juice and slowly simmer. Reduce by half. OStrain and season to taste and finish with the liqueur.

Where

MAC & WILD The Wild Game Company’s restaurant is small (the menu smaller), but the venison delivers taste on a massive scale. standout dish Venimoo, the beef/venison burger voted London’s best in 2015

THE HOTEL

Swinton Park and Bivouac

65 Great Titchfield Street, London W1. 020 7637 0510, macandwild.com

Live the Downton dream in an impressive Yorkshire country hotel, or find your inner Bear Grylls in a log cabin in the woods... Doesn’t sound like a difficult choice... No, it isn’t really. Swinton Park is the wonderfully grand and eccentric ancestral home of the Cunliffe-Lister family, with a history dating back to the 17th century. The huge, high-ceilinged rooms are all individually designed (GQ recommends the Wensleydale suite or the Turret), but what they have in common is they all contain (inexplicably) an old-school trouser press and picture windows that look out on the jaw-dropping 200 acres of deer-filled parkland, lakes and gardens. It’s pretty, then? And then some. David Hockney said it briefest and best: “Yorkshire is quite dramatic and beautiful, the crags and things.” As a whole, the Swinton Estate extends to 20,000 acres (making it only slightly smaller than Manhattan), offering guests the opportunity to walk, horse ride, pony trek, clay-pigeon shoot, mountain bike and fish. And for the ultimate old-school lord-of-the-manor experience you can try your hand at falconry.

TOKIMEITE Its name might translate as “anticipation”, but the London home of seven-Michelin-starred Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata has finally opened its doors. standout dish Soy-marinated wagyu rump steak 23 Conduit Street, London W1. 020 3826 4411, tokimeite.com

This outdoors stuff sounds great. If that’s your bag, Swinton also offers a glamping experience at Bivouac, where you can choose between Meadow Yurts (no, us neither), or the Woodland Shacks. These award-winning, open-plan wooden cabins don’t have electricity, but they are beautifully handcrafted, with log-burning stoves, camping kitchens and an outdoor hot-tub. It’s rough, ready, rustic and utterly romantic. Sounds great… but if we preferred a little more luxury? Stick to the big house. There are five large reception rooms in which to hunker down and enjoy afternoon tea. Then there is the family chapel that now acts as the Swinton bar, serving cocktails made using local ingredients. And best of all, the magnificently appointed fine dining Samuel’s Restaurant, where chef Simon Crannage makes full use of the local produce that you may have passed during your exploration of the grounds. OK, you’ve convinced us, we’re going. Only one problem: our trousers are a little creased… Funny. PH OSwinton Park, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 4JH. swintonpark.com, swintonbivouac.co.uk

CHUTNEY MARY The capital’s only truly pan-continental curry house has set up shop in St James – and it’s terrific for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails... standout dish Kid Gosht Biryani 73 St James’s Street, London SW1. 020 7629 6688, chutneymary.com

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Club rules: Mayfair’s Charlie has an invitation-only club within the club

THE CLUB

Charlie If some venues are for letting loose, others are more about being seen – and few crowds grab the eye quite like those at Charlie in Mayfair. Named after Charlie Chaplin, the club has hosted Bradley Cooper and Lindsay Lohan, so why not you? Explain the Charlie Chaplin thing… There’s a Twenties theme: art-deco furnishings, flapper waitresses and a club within the club. Club within the club? It’s called Haig, an invitation-only room which the owner, London Hospitality Group, operates with David Beckham’s Haig whiskey. Inside is a quiet bar with a pool table. What’s the door policy? Guest list or members only. Joining requires an introduction and approval, plus a £1,000 annual fee. Friends of members are permitted. Tables are £1,500 to £3,000. What’s everyone drinking? Veuve Clicquot or Cîroc all the way. Unless you’re in the Crystal Head Vodka room of course. Another sub-room? A small, private seating area named after

the distinctively bottled vodka. Request “table 27” for access. What’s the music policy? Open genre. Come on, you’re not really here for the music... Charlie Burton O1 5 Berkeley Street, London W1. Thursday to Saturday, 11pm-3am. 020 7499 7188, charlieberkeley.com

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir

THE ROUNDUP

Déjà food: New restaurants from familiar faces

Dishoom Carnaby

Hoppers

Shotgun

Kingly Street, London W1 dishoom.com

49 Frith Street, London W1 hopperslondon.com

Kingly Street, London W1 shotgunbbq.com

The setup: Dishoom’s fourth outpost is the coolest yet, nodding to the Sixties rock’n’roll revolution in Bombay and London. Eat this: Succumb to the Carnaby special, sali boti (£9.90) – tender lamb in a spicy gravy sprinkled with crunchy “crisp-chips”. Drink that: Kickstart the night with the seriously strong Commander (£9) – a bone-dry Martini-based cocktail with backhanded absinthe wallop.

The setup: Karam Sethi has the Midas touch: see Trishna, Gymkhana, Bao, Bubbledogs and Lyle’s. Now it’s Hoppers – Sri-Lankan pancakes, dosa, karis and rave reviews. Eat this: Start with bonemarrow varuval (£4.50), then head for Ceylonese spit chicken with gotukola sambol and roti (£17.50). Drink that: Try the Pineapple & Black Pepper Punch (£8.50) for fun, then stick with the Lion Sri Lankan Stout (£6.50). PH

The setup: Lockhart’s Brad McDonald brings us another slice of Southern US cuisine at this smart and compact new barbecue joint. Eat this: Don’t listen to the show-off call of the whole pig’s ear and sour pancakes (£8): it tastes just as you fear it will. A far more succulent section of animal head comes in the form of sticky ox cheek (£33). Drink that: The excellent house red, a 2014 Stocco Refosco, is on tap (and just £4.50 a glass). JB

Jennifer Bradly

G FEBRUARY 2016

THE BOTTLE

FOR a vineyard that only started life in 2002, this biodynamically managed 24-hectare estate in New Zealand’s Central Otago has wasted absolutely no time in generating both buzz and brilliant Pinot Noir in equal measure. Under the watchful eye of American owner Marquis Sauvage and his small team, vineyard development has been deliberately careful and controlled (it also has its own winery), marrying the skills of Californian wine production with local knowledge to produce six vintages but only one high-end Pinot Noir. Medium-bodied, but with the deep fruity flavour of a Burgundy, this is ripe, refined and outstandingly drinkable. Burn Cottage is on the fast track to becoming one of the New World’s best. PH £45. At thenewzealandcellar. co.uk


TASTE Pressed gang: Juiceman’s ‘warm winter spice’ juice

THE BAR

Wringer & Mangle HACKNEY’S latest new bar and restaurant springs from London Field’s old laundry building as fresh as a bundle of clean linen. It is the new outpost from Gerry Calabrese, son of cocktail legend Salvatore Calabrese, and the brains behind the award-winning Hoxton Pony and Hoxton Gin, and therefore in a strong position to lead Wringer & Mangle towards similar heights. This vast (250-cover) bar has the potential to feel a little overwhelming, with its high ceilings and industrial emptiness, were it not for the cosy retro decor, the scattering of wingback armchairs and mismatched tables, and the comforting fire pit in the middle of its all-weather terrace. In keeping with Calabrese’s self-proclaimed title as an “East End drinks maverick”, the menu is as inventive as it is extensive, boasting a £10 cocktail list which plays on the quirky laundry theme and offers plentiful variations on the classic Collins. Rinse your palate with a Quick-Spin Collins (Hendrick’s

THE BOOK

Juiceman

Photographs Tom Bowles; John Carey; Rebecca Naen; Penguin

by Andrew Cooper

gin topped with cucumber and cardamom foam) or perhaps the Long Rinse Collins (Belvedere vodka infused with sage leaves, fresh lemon, cardamom syrup and then shaken with fresh blueberries and sage leaves) for an immersive washing-machine experience. The food has a similarly quirky spin, with a “build your own roast” offer on Sundays (£15), which allows guests to choose from the selection of meats and sides on the menu. If you find the thought of self-assembly too tiring for a Sunday afternoon (wouldn’t blame you), you can settle for a traditional Afternoon Tea (£30), with gin cocktails served in quaint little vintage teacups, followed by a drunken 5pm wander round the bar’s own exhibition of local art and photography before you eventually stumble home to put a wash on. Eleanor Halls OWringer & Mangle, The Old Laundry Building, Sidworth Street, London E8. 020 3457 7285, wringerandmangle.com

Wring masters (clockwise from main): Inside Hackney’s Wringer & Mangle; its Laundry Collins cocktail; Coin Laundry’s prawn cocktail

MODEL/ACTOR Andrew Cooper is not just a pretty face. As the star of the Diet Coke ad in which his sweaty gardener whips off his top to impress a pack of picnicking cougars, you can see he takes his health and fitness seriously too (if you don’t remember the advert, your girlfriend certainly will). But Cooper didn’t get where he is today by guzzling Coke. For the past 12 years he has been drinking, developing and perfecting a collection of juices, smoothies and snacks in his alter ego of The Juiceman. Although his concoctions are available to buy online and at Fortnum & Mason, thanks to Cooper’s new book you can now create his recipes at home. Easy to make, simple to prepare and naturally healthy, this is the perfect way to start 2016 (especially if you spent the end of 2015 over-indulging). PH Juiceman by Andrew Cooper (Michael Joseph, £16.99) is out on 14 January.

If you like that, you’ll love... Coin Laundry You wait ages for a clothes-washing-themed bar, and then two come along at once. Following in the suds of Wringer & Mangle is Coin Laundry, a new bar and restaurant spread over two floors. The house special is chicken kiev, pudding is Black Forest trifle, and Soda Stream-inspired cocktails are the order of the day. 70 Exmouth Market, London EC1. 020 7833 9000, coinlaundry.co.uk

THE PUB

The Beckford Arms SECOND only to the A40 as England’s answer to Route 66, the A303 – the trunk road linking Basingstoke and

Honiton – has several worthwhile waypoints for the culinarily inspired: The Bell at Wylye springs to mind, as does The Lamb in nearby Hindon. But the best is found amid the rolling parkland of the Fonthill Estate. Here, The Beckford Arms offers the road-weary yet resolutely picky great food in a classic country

pub environment with small but elegantly attired rooms (eight in the pub and two lodges five minutes away) and enthusiastic young staff. If it’s a pit stop, devour its Westcombe rarebit, served alongside a shot of Guinness to bring out the cheese – and if you’re staying, aim high with a dish of local Boyton Farm mutton,

smoked lamb sausage and white bean purée. There’s an outdoor pizza oven, while the breakfast (£15 for nonresidents) will send you away grimacing at the lesser fry-ups that inevitably lie ahead. BP OFonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6PX. 01747 870385, beckfordarms.com

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TASTE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Spinningields, Manchester

Craft beers at The Oast House; The Lawn Club’s slow cooked chicken (below)

The Ink Me Drink Me cocktail at Tattu

A feast of modern Indian dishes and the Galub Jamum dessert (left) at Scene Indian Street Kitchen

G FEBRUARY 2016

Time:

Taxi:

From two hours, nine minutes. virgintrains.co.uk

From Manchester Piccadilly to Spinningfields from £6

The regeneration of Manchester is well documented and continues apace in the 21st century. It’s now a considered mix of new-build and sensitively reinvented historic properties, and nowhere illustrates the point more clearly than Spinningfields, where oice blocks and glamorous eateries literally share a postcode with Coronation Street.

DIRECTLY opposite Granada Studios, in a smartly converted Victorian school, stands (1) Great John Street Hotel (Great John Street. 0161 831 3211, eclectichotels.co.uk). There are echoes of its previous incarnation – the staircases are still marked “Girls” and “Boys” – but the conversion is a smart and quirkily hip one, where canny, split-level work has made cosy bedrooms from highceilinged classrooms. The history of (2) The Oast House (The Avenue Courtyard. 0161 829 3830, theoasthouse. uk.com) dates back even further: the heart of the building is an actual 16th- century oast house. While it comes close to hipster clichés – it’s a “deli, rotisserie and BBQ” – such claims are easily forgiven, partly because of the lamb hot-pot pie, but mostly because it’s a thoroughly decent boozer, with well-kept draught beers and seven (yes, seven) fridges of craft beers. Across the square sits (3) The Lawn Club (Byrom Street. 0161 914 7830, thelawnclub.com), a restaurant that’s been made to look like a smart tennis club, down to the turf outside. It’s surreal but highly likeable, with a strong selection of craft beers, well-made cocktails and chef David Gale’s crowd-pleasing menu – particularly the lobster roll with kimchi slaw. Asian influences abound across Spinningfields, from (4) Tattu (3 Hardman Square, 0161 819 2060, tattu.co.uk) – a slick Chinese bar and restaurant staffed mainly, it seems, by former Hakkasan employees – to (5) Scene Indian Street Kitchen (4a Leftbank, Irwell Street. 0161 839 3929, scenedining.com), which gives

classic Indian fare a Dishoomesque, upscale nudge. The room is vast but the welcome is warm and the cooking exceptional: a bargain lunchtime thali delivers big flavours and change from a tenner. And then there’s the pan-Asian/Pacific Rim fare of (6) Australasia (1 The Avenue. 0161 831 0288, australasia.uk.com). Cynics will declare it the sort of blingy, style-over-substance joint that defines Manchester, and the entrance (a glass pyramid), location (under the Armani store) and some prettybut-average dishes seem to back up that case. However, service is utterly superb, and when the food is good – such as the robata-grilled mackerel with Kentish wasabi – it’s very good. The bling thing certainly applies at (7) Neighbourhood (The Avenue North. 0161 832 6334, neighbourhoodrestaurant. co.uk) and the loft-style decor makes it an appealing place to imbibe. A better bet though is (8) Manchester House. (Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge Street. 0161 835 2557, manchesterhouse. uk.com). The office-block location looks unpromising, but Aiden Byrne’s dual-level project deserves its acclaim. The Lounge, the 12th-floor bar, serves the best cocktails in Spinningfields and the views, while inevitably grey, are impressive. Even better, though, is the secondfloor restaurant. The tasting menu allows Byrne to go “the whole chef”, frequently brilliantly so, but the à la carte mixes some of the more esoteric dishes with straightforward steaky crowdpleasers. Modern flair and the traditional? Clearly the Manchester way. Neil Davey

Foie gras brulée (top) and salt and pepper beef skewers (above) at Australasia

Neighbourhood’s mini cheeseburger; queenie scallop (right); Lounge on Twelve at Manchester House (below)

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Photographs Manox Photography; The Vain Photography/Carl Sukonik

The lobby at Great John Street Hotel, a converted school

Train:

London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, from £29 (one way)


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! 2015

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Photographs Dave Benett, Scott Grummett

Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender

Jeremy Irvine Angelina Jolie, Tinie Tempah, Brad Pitt

Grey Goose Le Rêve

Claudia Winkleman

Grey Goose Martini

In entertainment, the need to surpass expectations is paramount. When combined with telling an impactful story, it can become a worthy challenge, too. Thankfully vodka virtuoso Grey Goose also considers pushing the boundaries to be total routine, with an A-list-worthy lineup serving as further proof. In this light, master mixologist Joe McCanta created Grey Goose’s 2016 Film Award Season Cocktail Collection. A celebration of those dominating the silver screen this year and a sure fixture at the string of award parties that follow, the Grey Goose Le Fizz, L’Amour, Femme Confidante, Martini, VX Martini Exceptionelle, Le Rêve and Bitter Revenge (below) pay homage to 2016’s most prominent films - the original set of inspiration behind the recipes. Thankfully, you needn’t be an A-lister to enjoy McCanta’s creations, nor do you have to be celebrating (or commiserating). Instead, you can discover how to create Grey Goose’s most celebrated cocktail collection at greygoose.com

Keira Knightley

February can only mean one thing: award season. For its stars, only the best will do, especially with Grey Goose playing the lead role

Lupito Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor

IN THE MIX

Suki Waterhouse, Laura Haddock, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth

TRAVEL.FASHION.LIFESTYLE

Nick Grimshaw and Greg James

LIVE


E D I T E D BY

PEAK AND TRANQUILLITY Ski of-piste in the Vallée Blanche then relax at Chamonix’s luxurious Amazon Creek

Bed and (snow) board: The Amazon Creek chalet in the Mont Blanc valley, France; its indoor pool and one of its eight opulent bedrooms (inset)

CHAMONIX is not really a ski town so much as a winter-sports hub; an old school Alpeniste’s town of 10,000 people (double that in high season) replete with top-end gear shops, patisseries, bars and restaurants and a satellite of ski areas, hamlets and villages surrounding it. Dealing with Chamonix’s sprawling and diverse downhill adventure options can be tiresome on a budget – lots of queuing for crowded buses, schlepping around with your boots slipping on ice to catch one of the free minibuses the locals call mulets (little mules) – so to maximise enjoyment of the vertiginous challenges set by Les

BILL PRINCE

Houches, Le Lavancher, Argentière, Le Buet, Le Tour, Les Bossons etc, you need to invest in some meticulously organised Alpine luxury. First, you need somewhere to stay. Away from the rowdy ski bums in town, but well-connected to the ski lifts and téléphériques, preferably with a clear view of the surrounding Mont Blanc massif. GQ chose Amazon Creek, eight minutes’ drive from Cham-central and billed as “the most luxurious chalet in the Mont Blanc valley”. It sleeps ten and has a private chef and a concierge service. There’s a private swimming pool, cinema,

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indoor Jacuzzi, an outdoor tub and a sauna. Decor is appropriately Heidi-marries-Swiss-banker luxe: sturdy wooden farmhouse construction, a vast and handsome reception room, an open fire, leather sofas that swallow you and your post-skiday champagne flute whole and beds you won’t want to get out of – until the sun streams into your room, you clock the soaring Aiguille du Midi peak in the distance and hear the gentle rustle of the chef preparing your scrambled eggs, that is. After a couple of flat whites, a morning dip and a fresh juice, you pull on your Patagonia, climb in Amazon Creek’s Mercedes bus and head off for the most sublimely thrilling adventure in the Alps – the Vallée Blanche. This world-famous and truly spectacular 20kmlong run with a vertical descent of 2,700m is, officially, an off-piste run, which means that even the voie normale (regular route) is an ungroomed, unpatrolled wilderness bereft of markers to steer you away from its chasm-deep crevasses. (Just the route’s start at the top of the Aiguille du Midi – a precarious ridge edge with a 50-degree pitch on both sides, tackled with skis slung on shoulders and gloved hands death-gripping a guide rope – can be a bit of a test for the faint-hearted.) So, while the views are staggering and the ride utterly exhilarating, you are definitely going to need a guide. Good job then that Amazon Creek has Michel Fauquet of ENSA (L’École Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme) on its books. GQ’s advice is to stop halfway down the glacier for a baguette and beer lunch at the rocks they call La Salle à Manger (“the dining room”). As you munch your jambon et gruyère sandwich mixte, admire the amphitheatrical splendour of the surroundings, then point your skis downhill and follow your guide home. If you avoid the crevasses, there’ll be a cake, a pot of tea, a roaring fire and massage waiting for you back at your chalet. Simon Mills

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Chalet Amazon Creek (sleeps ten), from £14,320. Includes transfers, resort driver service, private chef, food, wine, beer and soft drinks, chalet host and concierge service. amazoncreek.co.uk. BA flies to Geneva from London Heathrow from £75. britishairways.com

G FEBRUARY 2016

The reign in Spain (clockwise from main): The imposing Principal Madrid hotel; the capital’s artisan Mercado de San Miguel, outside and in; panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s top-storey Terraza

Hotel of the month: The Principal Madrid WHEN you are next in Madrid, look up and you’ll notice something strange. It’s a five-storey city. The Spanish capital sits in its own charming space, neither ancient nor modern, not overwhelming but no shrinking violet. It must be a candidate for Europe’s most relaxed metropolis. A city that generally stops climbing at five gives the sixstorey Principal (seven, if you count La Terraza) a distinct advantage. This beautiful boutique hotel is a sublime expression of Madrid itself: elegant, grand in an unassuming way and, though it’s relatively new, already feeling comfortably lived-in. The almost-secret entrance off a corner of the Gran Via gives a clue to its particular qualities. A doorman directs you to the lift, in which you ascend to the sixth floor that hosts the reception, dining area, lounge and Ático restaurant, all drenched in natural light by day and stellar panoramas of the city by night. These distinct elements hug the circular floor plan, which surrounds the staircase and atrium. The real trick of this curious layout and the atmosphere it generates is to give the hotel the feel of a private members club, in which discerning visitors or Madrilenians will feel both at home and in exclusive company. The Ático is overseen by Ramón Freixa (whose twoMichelin-starred Único is just around the corner in the


TRAVEL Sunshine estate: Blue Charlotte, The Moorings’ largest villa, was featured as the central characters’ family home in Netflix’s Bloodline

AFTER-HOURS MADRID The one time you can guarantee the city will truly stir is after 10pm, so if you can retune your body clock, the Mercado de San Miguel is lively, young and stylish, with a wide range of superb seafood, meat and snack stalls, plus bars, sherry and cocktail sellers.

GET READY FOR A KEY-NAISSANCE ...Or how Netflix show Bloodline put the Florida boondocks back on the map

Photographs Alamy; Blasius Erlinger

BA flies from London Heathrow to Madrid from £114. britishairways.com

well-heeled Salamanca district) and offers top-end Spanish/ bistro fare, such as croquettes of baby squid in black ink, monkfish with chicory and herb mustard, and cheesecake with candied pine nuts and honey. It is wise to copy the Madrilenians’ love of long lunches, and food halls provide an atmosphere that restaurants and tourist traps may lack, while still serving the very best tapas and traditional Spanish food. Otherwise, tucked away in the Platea food hall – a converted cinema in the edge of Salamanca – dishes such as the deconstructed flounder and the veal tartare ensure that Arriba is packed for lunch from 2pm. As any boutique hotel with ambition would, the Principal has a spa, sauna, gym and welcoming and discreet staff, but the real joy comes from that feeling of relaxed exclusivity on the sixth floor. So when you’ve had your fill of Madrid’s nocturnal buzz, take your bucket-sized gin and tonic in hand and make the trip up to La Terraza for 360-degree views of the city from its (slowly) beating heart. George Chesterton Rooms start from £170 a night. The Principal Madrid, Marqués de Valdeiglesias, Gran Via 2, 28004 Madrid. +31 91 521 87 43, theprincipalmadridhotel.com

Tucked away behind a hot, humid tangle of orchid-filled mangroves, an unexpected celebrity hideaway has been left undiscovered for years. Models, fashion photographers and Hollywood A-listers have been quietly meandering down US Route 1 to the heart of the Florida Keys for The Moorings Village experience since the Nineties – as the framed thank-you notes covering the walls of the hotel’s subterranean games room attest. From Kate Moss and Billy Joel to George W Bush and Heidi Klum, this little-known hotel boasts quite a visitors’ book. Now the secret is out. Thanks to a Netflix summer hit, The Moorings has a not-so-quiet cult following. And visitor numbers to the long overlooked Florida peninsula were up 20 per cent in 2015 as fans flocked to the sleepy fishing community of

Islamorada – the location of the Emmy award-nominated drama Bloodline, starring Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard. The original plan had been to film the show in the buzzier Key West – a four-hour drive further down to the state’s southernmost tip. But when the production team came across The Moorings on their way to scout locations, there was only one thing for it: rewrite the script. It is easy to see why the decision was made. The 18 individual Keys-style villas that make up the sprawling 18-acre hotel look out onto a picture-perfect white-sand beach and one of the most photographed jetties in the world – used as a location for everything from Victoria’s Secret calendar shoots to Charlize Theron’s June 2014 US Vogue cover. Blue Charlotte, the largest of the villas and the one used in

Bloodline as the central characters’ family home, has now become something of a Florida Keys icon thanks to its striking white wraparound verandas and blue shutters. The property’s swimming pool, private cinema and, in particular, that games room are all great add-ons. But it takes some hotel to maintain an 80 per cent renewal rate on bookings when there is no bar or restaurant on site. Instead, The Moorings is twinned with Pierre’s at Morada Bay, a laid-back restaurant within walking distance where tables are set up on the beach. If a long overdue renaissance of the entire Keys region comes to fruition, thank Bloodline – and then the real star of the show, The Moorings. Emily Wright

From £236 a night in low season to £1,683 a night for the biggest property (sleeps eight). themooringsvillage. com. BA flies from London Heathrow to Miami from £412 return. britishairways.com FEBRUARY 2016 G


HOW WE LIVE

Our Stuff

The master vlogger and style doyen downloads his personal classics, from Burberry and Bose to green tea and gothic fantasy

This month: JIM CHAPMAN, fashion columnist, GQ STIMULATION To read: Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch To read again: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (below) To watch: The Walking Dead Drink: Green tea Gallery: The Royal Academy Website: YouTube Film: Fight Club (above) Signature dish: Seafood linguine View: From Le Sirenuse in Positano

P O R T R A I T BY

MIKE BLACKETT

Grooming Lucy Pearson using MAC Cosmetics

STYLE & GROOMING Work denim: 510 by Levi’s Weekend denim: 501 CT by Levi’s (below) Wallet: Card holder by Burberry (below) Suit: Bespoke by Dunhill (main) Winter coat: Camel double breasted by Burberry (above left) Dress shoes: Oliver Sweeney (below) Trainers: Chuck II by Converse Fragrance: Tom Ford For Men (left) Grooming: Series 900 Laser Guided Beard Trimmer by Philips Skin care: Face Defense SPF15 by Murad Sunglasses: Ray-Bans (right)

CULTURE Last meal: Hawksmoor roast On the night stand: Invasion Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen Favourite album: Silent Alarm by Bloc Party (above) Last play: The Book Of Mormon Next play: I had tickets for Hamlet but missed it because I was away Museum: Natural History Museum (of course!) Pub: The Sands End

GEAR Phone: iPhone 6 Watch: Portofino with black dial and Milanese strap by IWC (above) Audio indoors: Sonos Audio outdoors: SoundTrue around-ear headphones II by Bose (above) Cameras: Sony A7; Canon G9X (below) Apps: Twitter; Instagram; Snapchat; YouTube Gadget: Xbox One

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BILL PRINCE

Watch by Van Cleef & Arpels, £25,800. vancleefarpels.com

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VAN Cleef & Arpels is one of the most fabulous jewellers in the world. What woman wouldn’t consider selling her soul for one of its pieces? Much like the French rapper MC Solaar recounts in “Cash Money”, “Je suis une matérielle, bébé je t’aime/C’est Van Cleef & Arpels si tu m’aimes” (“I’m a material girl and baby I love you/It’s got to be Van Cleef & Arpels if you love me”). But what is less known is that the Place Vendôme-based house also makes spectacular men’s timepieces. This isn’t a brand with any interest in the ordinary. Last year it unveiled the Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication, on which the six planets nearest to the earth were shown moving in real time. And then there is the Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs (translated as “the time here and the time elsewhere”). Although it may appear to be a straightforward GMT watch with a dual time zone feature in two jump hour windows, it has an exclusive dual-time complication that features an automatic movement with double jumping digital hour displays and retrograde minutes. In terms of complications, they don’t come much more complicated. And when it is all fitted into a super-slim movement in a white gold case, true horophiles can only be impressed. This is what you might call poetry in motion. Robert Johnston

Photograph Mitch Payne

Van Cleef & Arpels’ spectacular men’s timepiece includes a dual-time complication for the ages


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UNDER THE SKIN

Since drawing ďŹ rst blood aged 15, tattooist Scott Campbell has been making his indelible mark on an ever-expanding industry. Now, as he takes on the art world, GQ traces his path from outsider to A-list cultural icon S TO RY BY

DYLAN JONES

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GAVIN BOND


SCOTT CAMPBELL

Photograph Xxxxxxxxx

Artist in residence: Scott Campbell’s Whole Glory, a pot-luck tattoo booth installation; (opposite) Campbell in his Brooklyn studio, November 2015

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Fashion statement: Scott Campbell customised bags for Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer collection 2011

change, but largely the world is a different place now; I even know a High Court judge who has a discreetly placed tattoo that he got while on a bicycle tour of China. One of the reasons for this change in the zeitgeist is, in Britain at least, because of how David Beckham has transformed the way we perceive tattoos, assuaging our fear, and encouraging us to embrace them in the same way they have been embraced in the world of professional sport. In this regard, the UK has been hugely influenced by the US, which predictably neutered the tattoo before anyone. The States has a habit of emasculating youth culture, and one of the ways in which the hipster has become a stylised iteration of the rebel is through the appropriation of tattoos. In fact, in an age of cascading political

Photographs Gianni Pucci/GoRunway.com; Scott Campbell; @scampbell333; Management+Artists+Syndication; Emily Rosser

Until a few years ago I’d always adhered to Tony Parsons’ theory about tattoos, and the idea that you only made a mark on your body if you couldn’t make a mark on your life. But then I went to Palm Springs. I had never been to the Californian desert city before, but was excited about seeing all the mid-century modern architecture; it’s now so fetishised, it’s even got a name: desert modernism. I was told to stay in The Parker, and I’m so glad I listened: the resort was the first Holiday Inn built in California, and the renovation has been brilliantly done, being a homage to Polynesian mid-century style as much as anything else. In this respect it has the best lobby of its kind, with an interior overseen by the designer Jonathan Adler. It’s easy to get this kind of thing wrong, and often this style just ends up being reductive; Adler has done a magnificent job, though, and wandering around the property you have this weird sense of having gone both backwards and forwards in time. Bizarrely, there isn’t a shop in The Parker (which is just as well as I might have bought everything in it), although if there were it should probably sell fake tattoos, as everyone by the pool had one – and by everyone I mean every abdominally fab actor, every iPadobsessed agent and self-avowed narcissist. Big ones, small ones, ones that snaked around their owners’ hips like ivy. Unlike parts of the UK, where a tattoo is still an uncompromising signal of carpetbagged authority, under the scorching California sun these tattoos looked more than cool. Even the ones that appeared to cover an entire limb. The semiotics of the tattoo have changed completely in the past ten years, so much so that when it transpired that Samantha Cameron, fashion ambassador and wife of our prime minister, had her own tattoo, the only media outcry came from the Daily Mail. We’re no longer surprised when people turn up for job interviews with a visible tattoo, in the same way that we’re not surprised when they turn up without a suit. “Corporate” can still cast a weary eye over this demographic


SCOTT CAMPBELL

Body and soul: Campbell and his wife, the actress Lake Bell, August 2013; (below) fine art in his Brooklyn studio

“People had tattoos or people didn’t have tattoos, and there was a huge gap between. Whereas now, the question has shifted: it’s not, ‘Do you have tattoos or don’t you have tattoos?’ it’s, ‘What do you have tattooed?’ It’s become like shoes – everyone wears shoes, so it’s more, ‘Oh, what shoes do you wear?’ You know, and people make their judgements and express themselves through that.”

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Eye of the needle: Precis, a watercolour of Campbell’s prison tattoo machine, 2014; (left) Instagram post, October 2015

uncertainties, many find it heartening – comforting, even – that the margins of the culture have moved so swiftly towards the middle. Scott Campbell knows all this because he is at the forefront of that culture, and because he has a trompe l’oeil life. While he has become an acclaimed artist in New York, a known face on the Brooklyn art scene, married to the actress Lake Bell, a figure on speaking terms with the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Jay Z, Penélope Cruz, Courtney Love and Josh Hartnett (and the best man at Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding), 38-year-old Campbell is also one of the most illustrated men in the US. He is, as they say, heavily inked. Probably the most famous tattoo artist in the country, he is celebrated as much for his body art, and for the art he inks onto other people’s bodies, as for his standing in the art world. “When I started tattooing, there was very much a line in the sand,” he says, in his studio in Brooklyn’s Grand Avenue (“Brooklyn with tattoos, is the same as Beverly Hills with plastic surgery,” said GQ’s Michael Wolff recently).

ampbell grew up “lower class”, as he describes it, in a Southern Baptist family in a Louisiana fishing village called Hermitage, not that far from Baton Rouge. His father was in the oil business, running a small oil-services company and working on rigs. When his mother died, the 16-year-old Scott went off to live with friends in Texas, finishing his schooling there. He got his first tattoo when he was 15, primarily as a way to irritate his parents. He walked into a shop called Dragon Mike’s And Tiger John’s and asked what he could get for $25. What he could get was a little skull on his leg. “I didn’t care, you know, it didn’t occur to me to ask, ‘What would I get tattooed?’ – I just wanted a tattoo. And I walked in and he was like, ‘You can get this skull or you can get this butterfly.’ But it was really: boys get skulls and girls get butterflies.” He went to college in Texas to study biochemistry (he had this fantasy of becoming a medical illustrator), dropped out, had an early midlife crisis at the age of 19, and ran away to San Francisco. This was 1996. The only thing he knew about San Francisco was that the Dead Kennedys were from there, “So there must be something worthwhile, and I just got in a car and ended up there.” He had never been north of Oklahoma in his life. Soon after arriving he started working as a copy editor in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s infamous City Lights bookstore, immersing himself in the culture, reading books, going to gigs, digging the scene. It was then that he became embroiled in the world of tattoos, using his body as a canvas. “I got really into it,” he says. “I loved the transience of it all. When people hear the

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Bone idols (from top): Campbell’s artworks Noblesse Oblige, 2011; and Beginnings, 2014

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“Even now, with a lot of clients, people get tattooed when they feel out of control, like you’re going through a heartbreak or someone you love dies or you fall in love and you’re going through this big change. Tattoos can be a really amazing way of reminding yourself that you are in control of who you are, because it’s a very immediate and very symbolic way of making a choice. Just that little kind of exercise can be really powerful, like asking me why I got tattooed when I was 15. I playfully say it was to piss off my parents, but every 15-year-old pushes against the world to claim who they are, and it’s a way to do that. Because my father would never get tattoos his whole life, this was a way of promising myself I’d never grow up to be like my dad.” After San Francisco, he bummed around Europe and Asia before finally settling in Williamsburg in 2001. Here he opened his own tattoo parlour, Saved Tattoo, and quickly developed a celebrity clientele, tattooing

Photographs Scott Campbell; @scampbell333; Getty Images

word ‘tattoo’ they think ‘permanent’, but it’s not permanent at all. If I send a piece to a museum, that piece lives forever. Whereas if I tattoo someone’s arm it’s only around for as long as that person, and it will get sunburned and it will age and have its own life.” In his little gang, he was the one who could draw, the one who would paint the Danzig logos on the backs of their denim jackets, and so it seemed perfectly reasonable for him to start to draw on skin. Predictably, the first 20 or 30 tattoos he did were terrible, but he soon got the hang of it, and so more and more people started pitching up at his apartment. Then Campbell started charging money for his services, and all of a sudden it became his job. There was a “super-shady” tattoo parlour five blocks from his house that was open until three in the morning, which is where he learned his chops, starting at the bottom, tattooing drunk bikers or drunk gangster kids. “Back then, all I wanted to do was a Tweety Bird that I didn’t have to apologise for. Because you have to do a good 300 tattoos before you can really say you know the craft. And even to this day, if you asked me, ‘OK now, what do you bring to it that’s different?’ I don’t know. I don’t take credit for doing anything better than anyone else. I feel like if I have anything going for me it’s that I really am interested in, and I really do put a lot of energy into, the stories behind tattoos. I try to take a genuine interest in why someone wants a tattoo.” Campbell loved meeting ageing veterans with their fading tattoos, loved the marginality of it all, the criminal overtones, the stories, the sounds, the buzz. He would sit around all day, listening, sometimes working on skin, and then walk home with a pocketful of cash each night.


SCOTT CAMPBELL getting tattooed that you make a decision to take your physical self less seriously – less precious. For me it’s a way of acknowledging that ‘I am ephemeral’. “I don’t have this concern like, ‘Oh my god in 30 years what if I don’t like it...’ That stuff doesn’t matter. There’s no guarantee that I’m going to be here in 30 years. It’s like the classic cliché boyfriend/girlfriend tattoos of the guy getting a girl’s name or the girl getting a guy’s name. There’s a textbook speech that tattoo artists give when you walk into a tattoo shop where it’s like, ‘Are you sure this is the one?’ I’m the first person to do the total opposite and be like, ‘F*** it, do it, of course it’s a terrible idea – the odds are stacked against you that you’re still going to be with this person in a year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put everything into it.’ I do have ex-girlfriends’ names on me, and there’s absolutely never a moment where I’m embarrassed or humiliated by them – I’m incredibly proud that every time I fell in love I did it like I meant it, I did it 100 per cent. Sure, it takes people a few times to figure out how to love, but I encourage people to take themselves less seriously, and be less precious, and put more value on experiences. Being covered in tattoos definitely takes away the luxury of denial, it definitely forces you

Drawn in: David Beckham has encouraged the mainstream acceptance of tattoos; Campbell now charges $500 per hour for his tattoos (above left); Campbell’s Instagram posts demonstrating his work

Marc Jacobs (two bull terriers on his shoulder), Helena Christensen and Heath Ledger (his first celebrity client, who commissioned a small bird on his left forearm). He was that good. Even then he could feel things were changing. Not only were tattoos starting to lose some of their negative connotations, but also they were being adopted by so many people in the creative industries, and starting to be looked upon as a plus rather than a minus. “I suppose tattoos are still transgressive in that I do feel like it’s making a decision about your own body, but it’s not rebellion,” he says. “There’s no shock value, I mean this is New York City. I can walk around with shorts on, covered in tattoos and nobody cares. So that allure of it is not really valid. When I was a kid, if someone had tattooed their whole arm, that was severe. Now I feel like you have to get your face tattooed if that’s what you’re going after. But I think there’s a dynamic of

to acknowledge your past, you know, like if you posed the question, ‘If you erased all my tattoos today, would I get the same things tomorrow?’ Of course I wouldn’t, as I’m not that 19-year-old kid that got the purple scarab on his arm, but I like having that little kid with me. I like looking at it and remembering that kid. It definitely forces you to reconcile with your past a bit. “I think getting tattooed is not saying, ‘I’m important,’ but, ‘I’m in control of myself.’” Campbell, of course, acknowledges the enormous influence that David Beckham has had in desensitising how tattoos are perceived by the public and the media. He accepts that there is a stratum of the tattoo fraternity who would have liked it to remain some sort of subculture, but knows that, in this respect, the perception has changed irrevocably. “What David has done for the culture has been immense. Through the world becoming more accepting of tattoos – I mean first of all

it’s nice that I don’t get my bag searched every time I go through customs now – it’s made a more discriminating tattoo client. People put a lot of energy into researching tattoos and looking at what they want and looking at different artists. With more attention comes better understanding and that’s never a bad thing. When I first got my arms tattooed, driving around in Texas, any time I got pulled over by a cop, if he saw my tattoos he would search the car. And it’s nice not to feel that judgement any more.” Sometimes Campbell even forgets he has them. He was in London recently, staying at a fancy hotel, and – jetlagged, at silly o’clock – decided to go to the gym. He was wearing bright red shorts, the kind worn by rollerskating waiters in a Seventies NYC gay disco. But what the hell? It wasn’t as though he was going to bump into anyone he knew, was it? As he approached the locker room, he saw two elderly women staring at him, almost in shock. “I was just like, ‘They’re red shorts. People wear red shorts all the time, why are you making a big deal?’ Then I was like, ‘Oh right, I’m that guy, I’m the tattooed guy.’”

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or the past six or seven years, Campbell has involved himself in the art world, initially as part of group shows, and then on his own. He works in watercolour, ink and mixed-media, often using bank notes and – seriously, why wouldn’t he? – the iconography of the tattoo parlour. As a boy he would go to museums and look at paintings and he remembers the first time he saw Cy Twombly’s work because it was the first time he was emotionally moved by something that was intangible. He couldn’t explain it – “I didn’t know why I felt that way” – but the sensation stayed with him. It wasn’t until he moved to New York and started mixing with the art crowd he realised “that artists are just screw-ups who couldn’t get real jobs”. It was this “aha!” moment that caused him to think he could become an artist professionally. Encouraged by his success with celebrities, and after collaborating with

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Marc Jacobs – he customised a number of bags for the designer’s 2011 spring/summer men’s collection – he moved from skin to canvas. He also married well, meeting the actress Lake Bell on the set of her HBO show How To Make It In America in 2011, and then tying the knot two years later, in New Orleans. One of his biggest projects developed after an impromptu visit he made to a Mexican prison at the turn of the decade, where he inked and photographed a succession of inmates. From this he produced a little edition of makeshift prison tattoo machines fashioned together from telephone cords, plastic spoons, wire, melted toothbrushes, coins, sharpened guitar strings for the needles, and even the legs of Ken dolls (“The hardest part of the machine to come by in jail is the motor, which usually comes from a Walkman or a VCR...”); each one of Campbell’s little sculptures comes with its own cellphone charger. By pretending to be working for MTV – “If you tell them you’re from National Geographic they don’t care, but if you tell them you’re with MTV it’s like, ‘Great, come on, whatever you want!’” – the prison authorities allowed him access to most parts of the institution, where he started photographing, and then tattooing, the prisoners. And because they wouldn’t allow him to bring his tattoo equipment into the jail, he started using the machines the inmates use. “Prison is an environment where you have this whole population that’s been dehumanised, you know, everybody’s given a number and a uniform, so the tattoos that people get to kind of reclaim what identity they can are powerful, and I feel like they have a real visceral purpose. The inmates were visually intimidating, and when I walked in there as the little skinny white boy there was a moment where I questioned what the hell I was doing there. But when I expressed genuine curiosity and genuine interest in them, it was amazing – they were so thrilled to be seen as ‘valid’ in some way. They were incredibly helpful. And a lot of the prisoners there were California gang members who had been deported and then gone to prison in Mexico, so there were a lot of English-speaking guys, and I can fumble my way through in Spanish. I think the inmates were just thrilled to have someone paying attention to them.”

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urrency is a big motif in Campbell’s new work: sculptures and small installations crafted from US bank notes, not that he’s making any kind of political statement. Or so he says. For him, it’s just “punk rock”, a little anti-establishment sentiment. He would cut up all this money – real money – and get a kick out of it. He loved the way people have such a strong emotional attachment to money, and kept asking him how much he’d cut up in order to produce his pieces. “People were obsessed, rather than

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‘I don’t care about money – I can never let a boring artwork leave my studio’ being outraged that I’d just started painting on a $500 canvas!” he says. “But you have to use real money to make the sacrifice in order for the piece to have that power.” Using money both as a motif and as sculptural material is hardly new. And in a world where popular iconography is subverted for humour, agitprop, marketing and pornography, sticking a photograph of Mickey Mouse or Kim Jong-un on a five-dollar bill is not exactly the height of sophistication. But while he might be following in the brushstrokes of Phillip Hefferton, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mark Wagner, Justine Smith or, indeed, Andy Warhol himself, Campbell brings a refreshing edge to this aspect of his work. Unsurprisingly, his pieces are perfect for Instagram, and yet he tries to keep social media at bay. “I’m very analogue in what I do,” he says. “That’s a whole conversation for the art critics, like the Richard Prince thing of taking Instagram photos and calling them art. Instagram has become this giant jet stream of imagery and ideas, and maybe some artists have become more curators than actual creators. It’s like hip-hop songs that sample sounds and beats from other songs and make a new track with them. Now, because of the internet and all these things, you have this incredible fountain of material, and then you pull it apart and assemble new things from it. If you’re asking whether that’s valid or not, it’s just the way things evolve because of the speed of information now. “I use skulls in my work, and nobody invented skulls, they come and go. They’ve been relevant since the start of time. I use skulls because I have a relationship with them. The actual symbolism of a skull is so far removed, now it’s just an exercise to experiment in different situations.” With success comes acclimatisation, and a recalibration of ambition. It’s no different for Campbell. “It’s funny, my ambition has changed a lot,” he says. “I had a daughter in the past year, and that has definitely impacted on my ambition much more than success has. I feel like my drive, what pulls me forward and what directs the way I make

art, is to try and be as unaware of the audience as possible, and have faith that if I have fun doing it, then that energy will resonate in the final product. I had this dream about a month before my daughter was born. I imagined, like, ‘If I died right then, and she didn’t know anything about her father, and all she knew about her father was the work he left behind...’ and I woke up and I was, like, ‘I don’t care about the money, I don’t care about anything – I can never let a boring artwork leave my studio,’ like everything I put out there has to be something that she can look at and say, ‘My dad made that,’ and be proud, and it’s been really amazing being inspired in that way, rather than being inspired by my accountant.” He still works as a tattoo artist, although less frequently these days. He charges $500 an hour, with a $1,000 minimum. He says it’s a lot for something with no resale value, but then that’s what he does for a living. His most recent project was “Whole Glory”, a hole-inthe-wall tattoo booth in one of Marc Jacobs’ West Village studios, where he sat for a week tattooing the arms of people without knowing who they were (very Marina Abramovic, this). And now he’s off to LA. Like many New York artists, Campbell is moving his family to Los Angeles, and taking a huge studio in the downtown district. He’s been encouraged to go by his friend and fellow artist Wes Lang – “I don’t know if it’s actually a better life out there or he’s just lonely, but he’s talked me into it” – and the prospect of bringing up his daughter in the sunshine. “I kind of feel like getting out of New York is like getting out of an abusive relationship, where you’re like, ‘Actually, I deserve sunshine. I deserve a garage, and quality of life.’ New York was so inspiring because of the creative community here, because of all the artsy weirdos, and it doesn’t happen that much any more and I miss it... I miss the kids being experimental and feeling like there’s this cool stuff, like inspiring things are happening. But it’s so expensive now, in order to be an artist in New York you have to make half a million a year, and that eliminates people just passionately making things. I feel like Berlin has it still, Detroit has cool stuff going on, and LA has it.” Campbell will thrive in Los Angeles. He already looks like a rock star, and when he’s hanging by the pool in the Downtown Standard, or walking along Santa Monica Beach, or even walking in the woods above Palm Springs, he’s going to fit right in. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to have a tattoo in the sun?

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A Bigger Splash (Dylan Jones, December 2015) Return Of The Prince (Dylan Jones, November 2015) The Art Of Irony (Dylan Jones, October 2015)

Photographs Getty Images; @scampbell333

SCOTT CAMPBELL


‘Women.What do I know?’ Rupert Murdoch may be the fearsome great white shark of business, but his fractured love life

His search for glamour and companionship has seemed so uncharacteristic as to be discounted from his story


MICHAEL WOLFF

Photograph i-Images

betrays a vulnerable man torn between fusty family values and a burning desire for beauty

In plain sight: Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall at the Rugby World Cup ďŹ nal at Twickenham, 31 October 2015

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MICHAEL WOLFF

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t a particularly dicey moment in my own love life when I was interviewing Rupert Murdoch a number of years ago, I tried to get some advice from him about, well, about anything a man with three wives, the latest the age of his children, might offer. This is what he said: “Women. What do I know? Women.” Then he lifted up the end of his tie, quite a fashionforward one, and studied it closely. “My wife,” he said, “gave this to me. So I wear it.” I can’t make out what else is on the recording, just mumbles and sighs. Among the many unexpected aspects of the epochal Murdoch saga, from Adelaide to global conquest, is his emergence as a lover and connoisseur of beautiful and charismatic women, with Jerry Hall, that most famous of rock chicks (ex Mick Jagger, ex Bryan Ferry), his latest consort. His increasingly public relationship with Hall has been largely treated as either an affront to rock’n’roll or as one of those sexual heehaws that happen in the lives of old billionaires. But, in fact, it is better seen as another revealing and quite consistent part of the Murdoch persona: his pursuit of beautiful women has shaped him and, therefore, in some sense, our time. His search for sex, glamour and companionship – he has very much sought all three together – has always been in plain sight, and yet, given his more famously hard-hearted, bottom-line, grumpy lack of sexiness, this has seemed so uncharacteristic as to be entirely discounted in the Murdoch story. When he abruptly announced the dissolution of his 30-year marriage to his second wife Anna in 1997, nobody speculated that there might be another woman involved – however much another woman is pretty much the only reason a post-middle-aged man leaves a long marriage (particularly a billionaire, particularly in California, a community property state). Shortly after the marriage dissolved, his oldest daughter Prudence took her seemingly bereft father on a sailing trip without it crossing her mind that his frequent apologies about having to take private phone calls might have any connection to his marital woes. When, not long after, he called her at home in Sydney and mentioned, by the by, that he had met “a nice Chinese woman” Prue got off the phone, whooped, and ran upstairs shouting to her husband Alasdair, “You won’t believe it!” As it happens, his first marriage to Prue’s mother had hardly been less of a shock for the Murdoch family. Rupert then, at age 25, was the scion of one of the most important families in Australia. While he was making a reputation as a boy publisher, it was his mother and two sisters who represented the Murdoch’s social standing and the good name of patriarch Keith Murdoch who died a few years before, and who now formed a protective cocoon around the family’s only male heir. 94 G FEBRUARY 2016

Imagine the horror when Rupert ran off with an airline stewardess. “It was,” his mother said to me, dryly, in an interview 50 years later, “unexpected.” In the face of withering, if not implacable opposition, from his mother and sisters, he married Patricia Booker anyway, displaying his essential dual nature: while seeing himself as a model son whose first loyalty is to his family, he would do what he wanted to do anyway. His eleven-year marriage to Patricia, which produced Prudence in 1958, and which was compromised by his unceasing travel as he built the Australian leg of his empire, came to an end in 1967 when he spied Anna Torv, a trainee or “cadet” at his Sydney paper, the Daily Telegraph. Once again, he defied his mother, Elizabeth, becoming the first of a long line of solid Presbyterian Murdochs to be divorced. Both Patricia and Anna were particularly comely figures – “my son is susceptible to attractive women,” noted his mother acidly – with Anna being the more comely. Indeed, Rupert’s next three children, Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James, as young wealthies growing up in New York, all had a near-model look that did not come from their father.

Hot ticket: Rupert Murdoch kisses Jerry Hall after Australia score against New Zealand at Twickenham

For Hall, quite a collector of icons, Murdoch may be one of the few men to rival Jagger

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urdoch in the Seventies and Eighties, full of ambition and entitlement, bore an awfully close resemblance to a jet-setting, international-empire-builder playboy. But this was also in another sense his guilty fantasy. That is, he would have liked to be much more of a rogue then he was. There are his Page 3 girls at the Sun, partly born out of his admiration for or envy of Sixties girlie publishers, Hugh Hefner and Bob Guccione. He had a serious extra-marital flirtation in the Eighties – the only one I uncovered in my research for his biography – but post-haste he introduced the woman to one of his business associates whom she married. Petronella Wyatt, the daughter of his friend Woodrow Wyatt, and a friend of Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, would, years later, recall his ogling attention to her as a teenage girl. And then, beginning in 1985, there is Hollywood. His purchase of 20th Century Fox was in part motivated by what motivates every outsider to overpay for a movie studio: “Girls, what else?” said John Evans, a close Murdoch lieutenant and confidant at the time. There was even a secret facelift in the late Eighties (which will dramatically fall into deep crevasses). Still, at the same time, there was Anna Murdoch’s iron will that Murdoch, in one sense less international playboy and more Dagwood Bumstead, bends to and cowers from. His daughter Elisabeth much later recalled how her father is easily dominated by women, describing him essentially as a conventionally henpecked husband. Indeed, Murdoch is conflict averse within his family and ever placating. Many of his most conservative views are in fact Anna’s, a serious Roman Catholic. At several points he considered converting to appease his wife. Their social life was entirely run by Anna – a kind of Nancy Reagan, benefit-affair, dinner-jacket social life, which he submitted to and bitterly complains about. Murdoch appeared to be the model of the conventional husband – and too appeared to be the kind of conventional husband in the deepest hell of repressed desire. Many of his closest lieutenants recall Murdoch on the 20th Century Fox lot, where he was based in the early Nineties, as an unhappy, lonely figure who did not want to go home at night. Then, in 1997, on a visit to Hong Kong, Wendi Deng, an employee at his office there, struck. His sudden metamorphosis, almost superhero like, into an international Don Juan, and apparent immediate willingness to compromise his fortune, family and reputation, perhaps only made sense as the product of some truer nature. Or, the wiles of a savvier player: Wendi, opinionated and domineering. But was it love or obsession? Defy-theworld stuff. His mother barred Wendi from her door. His children stopped speaking to


MICHAEL WOLFF him. His associates tried to undercut her. He was putting billions at risk – really his entire business. But Rupert and Wendi were locked together, physically holding each other. Moony hand-holding stuff. Stroking. Snogging. Him rushing into her arms as he leaves the stage after an annual meeting. Rupert is one of earth’s most compartmentalised men, and here he was in the love compartment. Indeed, he so turned over his life that he would never see his former wife Anna again. His life became Wendi’s life. Where they lived, how he dressed, who they saw. A rebirth for him. Or a weird, and for every one around him, eye-rolling, body snatch. Wendi talked to a friend about Rupert and Viagra. There was also, in the cost born by every great lover, deep pain. The Los Angeles Times threatened to run a story that Wendi was in a relationship with Chris De Wolfe, then the head of MySpace, which Murdoch acquired, in part at Wendi’s urging, in 2005. Company lawyers and communication people debriefed them both. It was a humiliating inquisition (designed to produce consistent stories) that quickly filtered throughout the company. And yet admitting defeat in his marriage would be worse for him still. It became a terrible struggle, if not a war, between each party in his and her designated camp. Several times, during the period I was interviewing Murdoch, he would seem to have shown up at his house just minutes before I got there, clutching his overnight bag. Wendi, eager to be well represented in Murdoch’s story, was adamant that I interview her close confidant Tony Blair, who, for the better part of a day in his London office, described for me Wendi’s vital position in the Murdoch family drama.

Photographs i-Images; Rex

f the media was surprised by the dissolution of the Murdoch marriage in 2013, insiders were surprised only by the Murdoch wrath and resolve. The Wendi situation – the various people with whom she was linked and her geographical distance from her husband (her pieblocking appearance at the parliamentary hearing in London during the hacking investigation was carefully negotiated) – became an “I-see-nothing-I-hear-nothing” theme of executive life at News Corp. His break from Wendi came a few months after reports of a new relationship. More eye rolling, but events were in motion. He dispatched Wendi in a sudden divorce filing, catching her entirely unaware. For good measure, and closing the Murdoch iron door, his side leaked reports of her affair with Blair. He had once again blown up his family life – his two young daughters learned of the divorce when paparazzi showed up in front of Brearley, the school they attend on East 83rd Street in New York – and at 82 he was single, with his older children competing to influence

When it comes to women he is awkward, buttoned-down, baled and retro

Power couple: Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch’s third wife, with him at the Cannes Film Festival, 17 May 2011

his life’s new turn, and, as it happens, nixing the new relationship. It was quite a restless wilderness, marked by a succession of feelgood real-estate deals. He bought a house and winery, and the largest piece of land, in Bel Air, California. He bought the penthouse triplex in a new cool modernist billionaire development in the unenticing Madison Square neighbourhood in Manhattan – and then sold it before moving in. Then he bought a romantic townhouse with bohemian and arty airs in the West Village. But it has five storeys of steps for a now 84-year-old man, and opening on to the street, offers virtually no security – and he put it back on the market almost straightaway. Meanwhile, the wife of every man of clout and wealth in Manhattan of a certain age is trying to fix Rupert up. He tells people he’s lonely and depressed. His children tell people he’s lonely and depressed. A worry among his children and various of his close executives is the young woman, Natalie Ravitz, who was installed as his chief of staff during the hacking crisis (his secretary of

more than 40 years, Dot Wyndoe, was forced into retirement) by Joel Klein. Ravitz curates a Tumblr account – “Murdoch Here” after his phone greeting – that seems, even for a Murdoch employee, alarmingly adoring. She left the job last spring, reportedly at the urging of his son, James. Rupert Agonistes is a figure who shuttles between action, method, calculation, control and yearning, fantasy and passion. Perhaps that is the secret chemistry for successfully gambling and winning. Likewise when it comes to women, he is awkward, buttoneddown, baffled (during the nine months I interviewed Murdoch on a weekly basis, I was often accompanied by my research assistant, Leela de Kretser, a young and attractive Australian, who had previously worked for the New York Post and for Murdoch’s paper in Melbourne, with Murdoch never acknowledging her presence), and aggressively retro (I once asked him why he had no women on his board, he replied, “They talk too much”). And yet, he develops obvious crushes (Rebekah Brooks being one of the most flagrant and long-term), is a goner when it comes to female attention and flattery, and has taken some of his biggest risks, in a life of risks, when it comes to women. All reports put him over the top when it comes to Jerry Hall, who he apparently met in Australia over the summer, introduced by his sister Janet Calvert-Jones at a benefit. And she is on board with him. Visiting the set of a movie in London, she was overheard explaining her new shorter hairstyle as something Rupert wanted, and that she likes “a man with strong opinions”. At 59, Hall is almost age appropriate, or, at least, not going to have more Murdoch children, which makes her an ideal companion from the point of view of his sons and daughters. What’s more, if Wendi Deng, a Yale management school graduate, often intruded in Murdoch business affairs, Hall, a former model, seems to be a much safer business bet. Indeed, each of Murdoch’s sons has married a former model. For Hall, quite a collector of cultural icons, Murdoch may be one of the few men with enough standing to rival Jagger’s. If your romantic inclinations tend to take you to the centre of attention and immediacy, the soon to be 85-year-old Murdoch, still striding the earth with full purpose and faculties, might yet be quite a satisfying date. For Murdoch, it is another worthy chapter in his unlikely quest for love and beauty.

MORE FROM GQ

For these related stories, visit GQ.co.uk/magazine

Jeremy Corbyn Is A Genius (Michael Wolff, January 2016) The 140 Characters Of Rupert Murdoch (Michael Wolff, December 2015) Mister Universe (Michael Wolff, November 2015)

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CHARLIE BURTON & STUART McGURK

Ne plus ultra: The next wave of HD TVs is the most impressive yet

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A year ago, 4K (or Ultra HD) TVs had wall-swallowing screens and bank-account clearing prices. Now they’re the new normal, GQ checks out the best

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Photographs Matthew Beedle

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John Lewis 49JL9100 It may say John Lewis on the box but you are, essentially, buying an LG TV here along with the latest version of the latter’s much-praised Smart TV webOS platform – all this, plus a five-year John Lewis warranty. The remote’s menu wheel is intuitive and the interface enables you to carry on watching Netflix while apps upload. The 4K upscaler works well, converting lowerresolution programmes to almost 4K quality, yet there is one downside: the colours are bright but the blacks come out as slightly muddy rather than inky dark. £679. johnlewis.co.uk (49in model) Win: LG TV at a cut-down price Fail: Less than perfect contrast ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

The BREAKDOWN

Size

Frames per second

OS

HDMIs

2

Samsung UE40JU7000

3

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first: the black levels on the Samsung aren’t great, at 4K the viewing angle is remarkably narrow, the menu is slow to navigate and, worst, the “sports mode” is terrible, producing a garish, overexposed picture. Saying that, the 4K upscaler works very well, and Samsung’s Smart Hub, as always, offers bountiful ways to play your own digital media. £849. samsung.com (40in model) Win: The Smart Hub is excellent, if via an underpowered menu Fail: For the price, there are better sets available ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩

Philips 6000 series 50PUT6400

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It took Philips time to join the 4K party, but the result doesn’t disappoint. The upscaling – which “converts” your HD TV signal to 4K – produced results almost as good as Netflix’s native 4K, while its 50 frames per second (fps) “natural motion” alleviates the judder some 4K suffers. The in-built Android OS gives you all the functions of Google’s Chromecast add-on, from Google Play (games and films) to Google Cast (broadcasting from your phone). £599. philips.co.uk (50in model) Win: In-built Android makes this the most seamless OS; 50fps mode means no judder Fail: Upscaling from games consoles was less impressive ★★★★★★★★★✩

Hisense K321 50ins It’s the Honda of the living room: inexpensive but seriously high-performing. The zippy 800hz refresh rate makes for a picture that’s silky-smooth, while the “HEVC support” (translation: it can play 4K video from its internal apps) means you won’t need a set-top box to decode Ultra HD content. Regular definition shows looked stagey until the settings were adjusted (after which we had no complaints), but switch to true, super-sharp 4K – through, say, Netflix – and standard 1080p will never seem quite so breathtaking again. £549. hisense.co.uk (50in model) Win: Cheapest on test Fail: Settings require some fine tuning ★★★★★★★★✩✩

John Lewis

Samsung

Philips

Hisense

49in

40in

50in

50in

24 (capable of 60 at 4K)

24 (capable of 60 at 4K)

50 (capable of 60 at 4K)

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LG Smart TV webOS

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Android (with Google Play and Google Cast)

Hisense’s own (Android-based)

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WINNER... AGAIN! Digital Men’s Magazine Of The Year 2015

Available for download NOW from iTunes and Google Play


THE LAB

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IRON CHEFS

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‘Cook processors’ prepare whole dishes from scratch with scientific precision 1

Thermomix TM5 It’s not pretty – or cheap – but Thermomix packs in a lot. Like all of these devices, it prompts you to add ingredients in stages while it chops, stirs, steams or heats as pre-set programs dictate, but it distinguishes itself with integrated scales, digitally displayed recipes plus a more powerful blending function (we tested using nutmeg). Our favourite aspect is the multipurpose blade that lets you grind, knead, slice or stir without changing the attachment. £925. thermomix.vorwerk.co.uk Win: Performs in a class of its own Fail: Brutal looks ★★★★★★★★★✩

The BREAKDOWN

Kenwood kCook

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The Kenwood is the most afordable of the group so expectations should be adjusted accordingly. While it has its virtues – the blending power is second only to the Thermomix and its footprint is by far the smallest – the functions are, unsurprisingly, more basic. Chopping speed can’t be adjusted, for instance, and chopping time can’t be manually set. It does have a recipe app, but KitchenAid’s is more sophisticated. £330. kenwoodworld.com/uk Win: Inexpensive Fail: In a risotto test, the rice was slightly undercooked ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩

Tefal Cuisine Companion

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Tefal and KitchenAid are in a similar league, but this one just has the edge. An edge that comprises the best recipe book (ofering “one million menus”), a more powerful motor and a lower price. It’s not perfect – its main disadvantage is its substantial bulk – and we wish it incorporated scales like the Thermomix, but we were seriously impressed with the overall package. £700. tefal.co.uk Win: Extensive and well-designed recipes Fail: Dominates the work surface ★★★★★★★★✩✩

KitchenAid Cook Processor This is a great-looking device: sleek and muscular. We particularly liked the design of the toggle switch on the front – used for adjusting manual settings – and the instructions were the easiest to follow. At 2.5 litres it also has a generous capacity to match the Tefal. Its let downs, however, are that it chopped food the least finely and it was annoying that the recipe app completely shut down whenever our phone went into sleep mode. £849. kitchenaid.co.uk Win: Highest max temperature Fail: Bowl is not dishwasher safe ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

KitchenAid Cook Processor

Thermomix TM5

Kenwood kCook

333 x 330 x 340

260 x 320 x 230

350 x 310 x 320

310 x 340 x 410

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3.8

7

10.1

2.2

1.5

2.5

2.5

Motor power (watts)

500

150

550

450

Max temperature (degrees Celsius)

120

100

130

140

Dimensions (w x d x h mm)

Weight (kilograms)

Photograph Matthew Beedle

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Michelin star players: Even big names such as Heston Blumenthal are taking note of this new kitchen tech

Cooking capacity (litres)

Tefal Cuisine Companion

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FACE THE FUTURE 40 FACES 36-HOUR BATTERY LIFE INTELLIGENT PERSONAL ASSISTANT

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Technology maestro Huawei is a contender to the smartwatch crown, with a tailored and personal approach for those looking to strap in to this year’s must-have piece of tech

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Adaptability is crucial for any timepiece, whether you’re suiting up for a black-tie event, after something a little more casual or on the brink of running your fastest mile yet. Usually, this would mean an arsenal of at least three pieces, but, with the Huawei Watch, it’s a different story. More than 40 different digital watch faces suit any occasion and come encased in several customisable designs – a perfect form of expression. Adapted

for Android and iOS systems, either side of the smartphone fence will have a choice of casings, straps and, of course, the Huawei Watch’s range of bespoke digital watch faces that sync your notifications and fitness stats. Whether it's the 36-hour battery life, the always-on watch face or the intelligent personal assistant, the Huawei Watch is on hand (almost literally) and ready for anything. consumer. huawei.com/uk

All watches by Huawei. huawei.com/uk


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Ruf performance: Daveed Diggs (centre) joins the multiracial ensemble on stage as Hamilton villain Thomas Jeferson

$411

Average cost of a secondary ticket for Hamilton (£275), which currently grosses $1.5m (£1m) a week.

Photograph Joan Marcus

THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF HIP HOP Hamilton – an unlikely musical mix of American history and rap – is the hottest Broadway ticket for a generation S TO RY BY

DYLAN JONES

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


DO BELIEVE THE HYPE Hamilton is breaking records and barriers on Broadway. GQ discovers how Lin-Manuel Miranda turned the face on the ten-dollar bill into red-hot musical revolution

aldo was apologetic but adamant: it was going to be difficult. Really difficult. Waldo Hernandez is the chef concierge at The Carlyle, the fairy cake Rosewood property on East 76th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and one of the most celebrated hotels in the entire city. Here, the concierge desk operates in the way that hotels and department stores were meant to operate in the old days, when you could walk into Harrods and request an elephant, and then be presented with one a short while later. My ticket request was proving to be more of an ask than a modern mastodon, apparently. “The more press this show gets, the higher the demand,” he said, before revealing the cost of a ticket for an eighth-row seat. “Here is what we can get for Wednesday night,” he said, before mentioning an amount that could have bought my first car three times over. The last time The Carlyle had done this for me was for The Book Of Mormon, and before that The History Boys, and while both were extraordinary experiences, the price of this new single ticket was more than four times the cost of both of those tickets put together. This time the show was Hamilton, and the experience turned out to be worth pretty much every American penny. For those of you who don’t get out much, Hamilton is the hottest show on Broadway right now, so hot that even the record company putting out the soundtrack couldn’t rustle up a ticket for me. It’s a hip-hop-ish musical about Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, and the man whose face adorns the ten-dollar bill. He never rose to an office higher than secretary of the treasury, but he was hugely influential in not only helping to WHO IS LIN-MANUEL win the Revolutionary War, but in establishM I R A N DA? ing the US Constitution. It is written by and Gen Y multi-hyphenate stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, and based on a creative (above and top, left) currently starring on 2004 biography of Hamilton by historian Ron Broadway in Hamilton, Chernow. In Miranda’s quicksilver mind he has for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics. equated Hamilton’s outsider status and selfdestructive nature with the hip-hop experience, even comparing him to Tupac Shakur. It’s a clever show and a big hit. In an entertainment culture that thrives on phenomena, in which hyperbole is not so much expected as demanded, it’s difficult for anyone or anything these days to get traction unless it “goes big”. Recently this has come to mean simply “going viral”, although as we as #HAM4HAM consumers are veering back towards organised Twitter call-out for the twice-weekly preevents rather than happy accidents (among performance showpieces polled 17- to 25-year-olds last year, the Royal created by Miranda and the cast to involve Academy’s Ai Weiwei exhibition was more ticketless “Faniltons” popular than Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling”, (fans of the show).

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a promo that generated more attention than usual because it was amusingly denounced by the artist James Turrell for “f***[ing]” with him), this can still mean making an awful lot of money the old-fashioned way. Hamilton, which has been running at the Richard Rodgers Theatre since August last year, has not only made a lot of money, it could turn out to be one of the biggest Broadway success stories of the past two decades. The show opened at the Off-Broadway Public Theater last February, and was sold out for the entirety of its run. When it was announced that it was moving to Broadway, it took in $30 million in advance orders before it had even opened. For the Labor Day week at the beginning of May, Hamilton was the second-highest-grossing show on Broadway, edged out only by The Lion King. The show has already won eight Drama Desk Awards and come June will no doubt be showered with Tonys (Miranda has already won two Tonys for his first original musical, In The Heights). When Miranda appeared on The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon said, “It’s exactly what should be happening right now! It sounds ridiculous, but it’s so brilliant!” However, as the New York Times said, when it first reviewed the show, “this speeding biomusical has become the most fashionable (and unobtainable) ticket in town”. The quest for tickets either ends in disappointment or the kind of financial transaction you’re not going to forget in a hurry. I know from my own experience that paying over the odds usually results in two very distinct emotions: either you talk yourself into the fact that whatever it was wasn’t worth the money or you do exactly the opposite. With Hamilton, I didn’t have to do either, as I was immediately swept away by its confidence and audacity. Miranda might be being celebrated as an industry disrupter, but perversely the constituent parts of his show are not exceptional, and in fact are actually quite prosaic. The stage has a revolving centre, on which the cast skate and swirl, giving the show a carnival feel, but the routines are not that spectacular. The set itself seems deliberately plain, too, as everything takes place under the same scaffold. But it’s the intensity of the narrative that propels Hamilton, as each song barrels along

Photographs Joan Marcus. Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda © 5000 Broadway Music (ASCAP), administered by WB Music Corp

STORY BY DYLAN JONES


We the people (from left): Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda in dress rehearsal for Hamilton, 11 July 2015

We hold these truths to be self-evident: Hamilton’s three best lyrics 1

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King George: “They say George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away.

Alexander Hamilton: “A colony that runs independently.

James Reynolds: “Uh-oh! You made the wrong sucker a cuckold, so time to pay the piper for the pants you unbuckled.

‘Zat true?

Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly. Essentially, they tax us relentlessly, then King George runs a spending spree.

I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do.”

He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free, so there will be a revolution in this century.”

And hey, you can keep seein’ my whore wife if the price is right: if not I’m telling your wife.”

‘ E V E RY T H I N G I K N OW ’

‘MY SHOT’

‘ S AY N O T O T H I S ’

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Father figures (from left): Busta Rhymes and Spike Lee at the Richard Rodgers Theatre for Hamilton’s opening night on Broadway, 6 August 2015

G FEBRUARY 2016

High tides: John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea stormed the Venice Biennale in 2015

TO A WATERY GRAVE... Film-maker John Akomfrah doubles down in London with a brace of diptychs on Greece’s crisis of liquidity and the horrors of the depths STORY BY SOPHIE HASTINGS

JOHN AKOMFRAH is sitting on the roof of his Akomfrah’s initial ideas around Moby Dick became hotel watching the Acropolis turn golden in the a film about many things: whales, the sublime, sunset. “It’s pretty awesome,” he says. In Athens to what humanity inflicts on itself and the animal make one of two new diptychs for his inaugural kingdom. “Drowning unites all sorts of people: show at London’s Lisson Gallery, Akomfrah says refugees, slaves, the Argentinian disappeared who that part of the pleasure of working in a gallery – were drugged and thrown off planes into the sea. the co-founder of Black Audio Film Collective has And, of course, whales drown after they’ve been directed 13 feature-length films and shot. Part of my task is to get people documentaries since 1987 – is that to look into the face of horror and he doesn’t know what he’ll end up see that while it’s terrifying it is also, with. “It’s a risk but it needs to be occasionally, beautiful.” Charting Akomfrah’s in order for me to keep animated: While the visual impact of the regular embarkation this film is my life for the next four film is phenomenal, it was words points with a breakdown months. I’ll eat, sleep and dream it.” that inspired him: “I was compelled of Vertigo Sea (2015). Inspired by the late Theo to make Vertigo Sea when I heard Angelopoulous, who made a series migrants referred to as cockroaches. of films about Greece, Akomfrah is What process of amnesia allows looking at the country’s precarious this? How are there beings and economic position through ‘not-beings’?” The refugee crisis Angelopoulous’ eyes, but his is also addressed in the second multilayered, kaleidoscopic style, diptych for his Lisson show, an honed through Black Audio, collating installation that layers contemporary archival footage, still photography, events with a little-known moment newsreel, sound and new material, is in 1654 when Sephardic Jews, more poetic than political. “Politics escaping the Inquisition in Catholic seeps into my work because I am Brazil, fled to the island of Barbados. engaged,” he says. “But it’s not “The only value in projects on where I start. When I was making memory is to reveal that the living Vertigo Sea, the brother of someone room in which it all takes place is dropped from a helicopter in larger and involves more people Argentina in the Seventies sent than we think. Standing in a me two photos of him. I become a 17th-century Caribbean cemetery, custodian of so many things. It’s a you comprehend the emergencies very emotional position and I must that fuel the need to run: they’ve honour the people involved.” been the same for a very long time Akomfrah’s astonishing and to forget that is like falling off three-screen film-installation the edge of a flat earth.” Vertigo Sea was the must-see at John Akomfrah is at Lisson Gallery, the Venice Biennale 2015, and is 27 & 52 Bell Street, London NW1 currently on show for the first time in from 22 January – 5 March. the UK, debuting at Bristol’s Arnolfini lissongallery.com. John Akomfrah: gallery and then touring to Turner Vertigo Sea is at Arnolfini, Contemporary, Margate, and the 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA from Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. 16 January – 10 April. arnolfini.org.uk

Vertigo Sea, dissected

Photographs John Akomfrah © Smoking Dog Films. Courtesy Lisson Gallery; Reuters

after the previous one with barely a pause for breath. Dialogue is scant, with the raps acting as rhyming exposition – there are points during the show when you feel as though Eminem is narrating a Wikipedia version of Hamilton’s life (to wit: “Madison, you’re mad as a hatter, son/Take your medicine/Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in!” or “The ten-dollar founding father without a father/Got a lot farther by working a lot harder/By being a lot smarter/By being a self-starter”). The cast is heavily multiracial, which not only gives the show a deliberately contemporary edge – here are all these young black guys playing dead old white guys – but also makes it seem quite surreal (“a predominantly black and brown cast take on America’s founding fathers and mothers – on the Great White Way, of all places,” said Billboard). Yet as Rebecca Mead has already pointed out in the New Yorker, Hamilton is not a trashy transposition of early American history to a contemporary urban environment: “Miranda’s founding fathers wear velvet frock coats and knee britches, not hoodies and jeans.” The show as a whole is less an assault on the senses and more a heavily choreographed concept album, with reams of syncopated monologue and snappy operetta-style choruses replacing the power chords and guitar solos. For while there are plenty of nods to Tupac, Biggie Smalls and the Beastie Boys in the aphoristic rat-a-tat spit bars, there are also plenty of orthodox Kander and Ebbish show tunes, full of melody, full of honky-tonk vim, as well as a smattering of traditional Sondheim-style ballads that give the show a contrary sense of good oldfashioned spit-and-sawdust showbiz. The show flaunts its eclecticism as though it were the most natural, commercially expedient option in the whole damn business of musical theatre, and because of that it soars. Hamilton is properly phenomenal, and, like I say, worth every penny, even if those pennies add up to a carpetbag full of Hamilton-adorned tendollar bills. And the next time I see it I’d like it to be on ice.


Trailblazers: Other sports can boast of gay icons such as (from left) Tom Daley, Nicola Adams, Michael Sam and Gareth Thomas – but football has no one of their stature

OPEN SEASON Football is expecting its first gay star, but is this historic moment in danger being hijacked by the marketing men?

Illustration Gluekit

STORY BY MARTIN SAMUEL

he wonderful thing about Conchita Wurst is that he knows exactly who she is. He is Thomas Neuwirth, 27, from Gmuden, Austria, an out gay man and former boy-band member. She is Conchita, winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest and the world’s most famous bearded lady. The name suggests a playful approach to gender and sexuality. “Conchita” is Spanish slang for vagina, “wurst” is German slang for penis. A conchita is a small seashell; a wurst is a sausage. Even before Conchita achieved fame with her winning song “Rise Like A Phoenix”, many were outraged. A petition in Russia called on the state broadcaster to edit out her appearance, claiming the competition had become a “hotbed of sodomy”. There was a similar protest in Belarus while an anti-Wurst Facebook page in Austria attracted 31,000 likes. Vitaly Milonov, a Russian politician who advocated the arrest of gay athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics if they promoted homosexuality to minors, referred to Conchita as “the pervert from Austria”. With this idiot as her inadvertent endorsement, how could she fail? Conchita won with 290 points, 52 clear of Holland; Great Britain received only 40 points in total. And then the strangest thing happened. Rather than choosing to become the spokesperson for her generation, Conchita shunned all attempts to be turned into a role model, a cause célèbre or any kind of example at all. As much as the LGBTI community tried to embrace her, she resisted. Conchita was happy in Tom’s skin. She didn’t want to represent anybody. “I don’t sit at home and think, who am I?” she told the Independent last year. “I’m a drag act, that’s all... People talk to me about the responsibility I must now bear... But I don’t feel any. I have never promised to anyone that I am a role model, or that I am perfect. I am simply me, one person, a human being.” Yet Conchita’s example is worth remembering if 2016 proves, as predicted, to be the year of football’s rainbow awakening. Since October, when the story appeared on the front page of the Daily Mirror, there has been talk that two Premier League footballers will come out as gay. One is said to be an England international, and the announcement will be made when the 2015-16 season is over. The respective clubs have been made aware, the Mirror reported, and the Football Association knows and is being supportive. At which point, the heart sinks, just a little. We know the

encouragement football wishes to offer. Sol Campbell experienced it when he was invited to lunch at a Chelsea brasserie by boot manufacturer Puma. “Are you gay?” his hosts asked. Campbell told them he wasn’t. “That’s a pity,” a Puma person continued. “We were hoping you were... We were keen to represent the first gay international footballer. We would sell many more boots. It would be a worldwide story.” The FA’s interest isn’t as nakedly commercial, but it is certainly hoping for a feel-good angle, the chance to demonstrate how utterly accepting, understanding and modern it can be as an organisation, even if this means heaping pressure on the shoulders of the player at the centre of it all. Football is desperate to show its coolness around gay culture. It wants its gay pioneer to be consumed by well-intended tolerance, even if all he wishes is to play football like his team-mates, without having every move scrutinised. Graeme Le Saux sits on every inclusion advisory panel going, and people only thought he was gay. Imagine what the authorities will be like when they get the real thing? Not to mention the commercial opportunists. He will barely have time to train with the fabulousness of it all. The irony being that there have been gay footballers around for years; they just happen to be women. Lianne Sanderson and Casey Stoney, both England internationals, are openly gay without fuss. Maybe the FA has the same attitude as Queen Victoria, and lesbians don’t count; or female homosexuality in sport fits in more with the stereotypes, and therefore isn’t considered news. Certainly, women’s football does not have the profile of the Premier League. Even so, it is telling that football looks upon homosexuality as a male preserve. The reason Thomas Neuwirth and Conchita are such a happy couple is that he knows what she is about, and she gets him, completely. Conchita cannot speak for a generation of gay men, drag queens or those dealing with gender issues because, for all the duality, she represents one person, alone. Football’s mistake would be to expect its first gay player to do more. Of course, he may not feel that way; he may be happy to lead campaigns, to sit on panels, to meet endless sponsors and champions, all with one eye on the pink pound; or he may just want to play his game and go home. “Expectation are dangerous,” says Conchita. “I recommend not having any.” And neither should we.

2016 is the year of football’s rainbow awakening

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FLOATING IN A MOST PECULIAR WAY The Thin White Duke is back, bold and free to experiment as only he can STORY BY DORIAN LYNSKEY

nigma is not usually a renewable resource. Once you lose it, it’s gone forever. In that respect, as in so many others, David Bowie is the exception. While it’s foolish to assume any lyric from this master of masks and bluffs is autobiographical, Bowie likes to leave the possibility open, and if there’s anything on his brilliant new album ★ (aka Blackstar) (ISO/Columbia) that feels like a direct address to the listener, it’s these lines from its final song: “This is all I ever meant/That’s the message that I sent/I can’t give everything away.” Bowie’s unusual comeback, which began one night in 2013 with the bolt-from-the-blue announcement of his album The Next Day, has been predicated on giving away as little as possible. Around the time of that album and a spectacular V&A exhibition, David Bowie Is, he became a kind of secular saint. I know people who dislike Dylan and the Beatles but I don’t know anyone who dismisses Bowie. How could you? There are so many Bowies: the psychedelic stargazer, the apocalyptic glam-rocker, the icy soul man, the tormented mystic, the honorary Berliner who invented the Eighties, the sharp-suited stadium rocker, the drum’n’bass convert... You have to like at least one of them. As he nears his 69th birthday — ★’s release date — Bowie can do whatever he likes and his choices are never predictable. He has given no interviews and played no live shows. He has snubbed Danny Boyle’s efforts to use his songs in a musical biopic while saying yes to a low-key musical stage show, Lazarus, the Sky Atlantic drama The Last Panthers and, most improbably, a show based on SpongeBob SquarePants. We thought we had him figured out. We were wrong, and hooray for that. Last year, Peter Robinson wrote an excellent article about Adele’s inability to say “no”. “‘No’ is the most powerful word in any artist’s vocabulary,” it said, “the difference between career longevity and speedy burnout.” For Bowie, longevity is a done deal. Even had he really retired in 2006, as everybody assumed, he would have been safely ensconced in the pantheon. His “no” isn’t about firewalling his career against overexposure, nor about stubbornly refusing to give people what they want. It’s more whimsical than that – more whimsical even than Kate Bush, who has returned to the stage, or Scott Walker, who pops out an album every few years. By saying “no” of late, Bowie has acquired a fresh coat of mystique, as if Labyrinth and Tin Machine never happened. In his twenties, he embodied the hunger and do-or-die velocity of youth. In his sixties, his appetites have changed. It’s as if, having exhausted his fascination with fame, he has reimagined his Scary monsters (above): A still career as a compelling hobby. If from the shoot of I were an ageing multimillionaire David Bowie’s new video, Blackstar genius, I’d probably do the same.

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Cover versions Bowie isn’t the first musician to favour more oblique album artwork. Not that it did these iconic acts much harm

1 David Bowie BLACKSTAR No image of the artist, no obvious name or title – Jonathan Barnbrook’s design recalls his past work with Bowie, but simpler and more stripped-back.

2 Led Zeppelin IV In addition to lacking a clear title, Zeppelin’s 1971 album featured no band name, as the group wished to be anonymous and avoid pigeonholing by the press.

3 Prince SYMBOL Prince’s 1992 album had an unpronounceable glyph in place of a title. According to Prince, it was a “rock soap opera”. He later complained that Warner Bros failed to promote it properly.

Bowie can do whatever he likes and his choices are never predictable

Like The Next Day, ★ was recorded in secret and delivered to a record company expecting nothing. But while the last album was a dance with his past, especially Lodger and Scary Monsters, ★ is what happens next. The retro allusions are fleeting: “Girl Loves Me” binges on Nadsat, the Clockwork Orange argot Bowie deployed on “Suffragette City”; a fiercer version of 2014’s “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)” recalls Earthling’s drum’n’bass; that’s about it. It is not half as daunting as reports suggest. Bowie’s new band is jazz-trained but a couple of brass pile-ups don’t make it Bitches Brew. These are strong songs, powerfully rendered. Each one creates its own distinct space. The title track, a new angle on Bowie’s favourite word “star”, is an artrock tour de force with hints of Scott Walker and later Radiohead. “Lazarus”, from his New York musical, is an opaque fable, by turns elegiac and throat-grabbingly intense. “’Tis A Pity She Was A Whore” and “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)” are urgent experiments in rhythm and violence. “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away” hail from a parallel-universe version of Bowie’s Eighties, with thick synth chords and rampaging sax. Bowie’s voice is constantly changing, too, from a jaded croon to a spooked warble to a strangled squawk to a muttered threat. If there’s a criticism, it’s simply that seven songs are too few but they contain more new ideas than most artists, of any age, could manage in 17. It’s likely that Bowie will neither explain nor perform this artistic coup, and that leaves its wonder intact: light from a distant star. “Lazarus” is presumably narrated by a character from the stage show but the sentiment suits perfectly this bold, liberated album from a man who has shed all extraneous obligations: “I’ll be free/Ain’t that just like me?” ★ is out on 8 January.


Photographs Jimmy King

STORY BY BILL PRINCE

TODAY WE call them “millennials”, but in post-war France they were known as the moins de trente ans (the under-thirties) – five of whom would be picked out for special attention: Françoise Sagan, author of the era-defining Bonjour Tristesse; Yves Saint Laurent; Brigitte Bardot; her ex-husband, the film director Roger Vadim; and the “eyes” of this pop-cultural phalanx, the painter Bernard Buffet. And if it took a callous observer to remark that Bardot’s moment in the spotlight would last only as long as her skin remained taut, Bernard Buffet: The Invention Of The Mega-Artist by Nick Foulkes (Random House) focuses on the rather more mysterious disappearance from French cultural life of an artist fêted in the Fifties and early Sixties, only to be largely ignored and/or forgotten in the decades thereafter. For GQ contributing editor Foulkes, it’s a consuming concern. A renowned prodigy, who was initially considered a successor to Picasso and became a darling, if not of the jet-set out-and-out, then of the no-less-pervasive demimonde of which he formed such an integral part (he sat on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival), Buffet’s early acclaim cost him dearly, falling foul of both the collectivisation of French intelligentsia, which deemed abstractionism greater than Buffet’s dour but often brilliantly realised

large-scale figurative works, and his own, inviolable work ethic. “I do not work quickly, I work a lot,” he argued of the central charge against his oeuvre, that there might simply be too much of it. Wisely avoiding outright criticism, the author – originally enamoured of an uninhabited Buffet watercolour that nevertheless thrummed with life, containing a smouldering cigarette and a handgun – aims to restore the reputation of an artist often dismissed as a mirthless mannerist. Buffet, it seems, was the victim of his own vertiginous rise: famous and wealthy at a time when “real” artists were expected to occupy lonely garrets, and happy to rebut his grim, early years growing up in a down-at-heel Paris suburb by indulging in the trappings of that fame. Today, operating in the same league, and with much the same output as, say, Damien Hirst, Buffet would be considered a rock star – a subdivision of the art world he went a long way in creating. Instead, though celebrated as far afield as Japan and Russia, and recognised all the world over for his infinitely reproduced images of clowns, he took his own life in 1999, an auspicious year for an artist who’d bestrode the dying century’s fascination with the struggling and not-so-struggling artist. Bernard Buffet: The Invention Of The Modern Mega-Artist is out on 14 January.

The sixth Baron Harlech meets David Litvinoff, the “technical advisor” on Performance, and the subject of Jumpin’ Jack Flash: David Litvinoff And The Rock’n’Roll Underground by Keiron Pim (Jonathan Cape), out on 28 January.

French artist Bernard Bufet helped define his era, so why was he forgotten?

When he first came up to live with us, he’d been on the run. According to the mob he betrayed them by making this silly film, with this garish pop star. And they knew, and he knew, what they didn’t want revealed. And this is the Krays

PAST MASTER

BIG NAMES, SMALL BEER No matter who’s involved, all-star ensemble eforts nearly always result in no-star failures STORY BY STUART McGURK

hen wondering just how good The Big Short might be, a financial thriller adapted from a work by Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side, Flash Boys), it’s worth casting our minds back to 2006, and a previous occasion a director tried to cram the roster of CAA onto the same movie poster. The film was All The King’s Men, it was based on Robert Penn Warren’s political novel, and the cast included (deep breath): Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Jude Law, James Gandolfini, Anthony Hopkins, and Mark Ruffalo (trust us, that was pretty good in 2006). They were brilliant. It couldn’t fail. It failed. The Big Short faces the same problem: ironically, too many A-list leading men and leading ladies sharing the same spotlight, each elbowing the other out of the way. It boasts Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Marisa Tomei. Amazing! Chances are it won’t be. The reasons are obvious. Everyone can’t lead. Everyone can’t look cool. Everyone can’t have the scene-stealing part. Every thrilling meal needs its less-thrilling ballast. The Counsellor, released in 2013, was another case in point. Brad Pitt! Javier Bardem! Michael Fassbender! Cameron Diaz! Penélope Cruz! A script by Cormac McCarthy! It was, by some margin, the worst film of the year. There are, of course, notable exceptions to this rule. The Oceans films thrive precisely because of their conga line of star names (reason: it’s basically Clooney’s gang, and as Hollywood’s alpha A-lister, he keeps the rest in check). And Terrence Malick managed to cram half of IMDB into 1998’s The Thin Red Line, boasting (deep breath again): Nick Nolte, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Adrien Brody and Sean Penn. Yet in the edit, he reduced most to cameos (Brody was the supposed star in the script, but the final film saw him with just five minutes screentime and two lines) and cut out others altogether (Gary Oldman, Mickey Rourke and Viggo Mortensen filmed scenes, but were nowhere to be seen). You could also argue that 2013’s American Hustle bucked the trend, starring, as it does, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner. But you’d be wrong. One: Jeremy Renner isn’t a star (sorry, Jeremy). Two: this leaves you with two leading men (equal billing), and two leading ladies (ditto). That’s the Hollywood ego tipping point. Any more, as The Big Short may well show, you come up, well, short. The Big Short is out on 22 January.

Group dynamics: Ryan Gosling (right) and co in The Big Short

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‘Collaborative’ businesses – Uber, Airbnb, Spotify – are now worth billions. Is this the start of true post-capitalism or the latest form of exploitation? STORY BY ANDREW KEEN

nce upon a time, back in the primeval soup of the pre-internet age, we all loved to buy stuff. Cars, music, movies, houses and flats; most of us were avid consumers, enthusiastic owners of new gear. It was one of the things that defined us. But then Silicon Valley’s “sharing” economy came along and rather than voraciously collecting CDs or DVDs, we now subscribe to Netflix and Spotify, and instead of buying a flashy new runaround or des res abroad, we rent our rides at Uber and Lyft or time-share with Airbnb. Today, like being fat or unfit, possessions are radically out of fashion. It’s no longer cool to own stuff. That, at least, is the argument of “sharing economy” evangelists such as Michael Cassau. The former Goldman Sachs banker turned CEO of radical new “pay-as-you-go” start-up ByeBuy concludes, “Ownership as a concept is becoming obsolete. We believe that linear consumption patterns where large corporates build, and 21st-century consumers work to buy, is outdated.” There’s no doubt that the “sharing” or “collaborative” economy is a very real “thing”. Uber alone is now valued at more than $50 billion (£33.1bn), with Airbnb worth more than $25bn (£16.5bn). In Silicon Valley, sharing start-ups are now more fashionable 110 G FEBRUARY 2016

Illustration Rod Hunt

THE SHARING ECONOMY ISN’T FOR EVERYONE

than even new dating networks. Horns of plenty: Sharing-economy As a sector, it boasts 17 “unicorns” businesses are (start-ups with valuations of more dominated by 17 ‘unicorns’ – than a billion dollars) including start-ups worth Etsy, WeWork, Instacart and more than $1bn Chegg, has given work to seven per cent of Americans, created 60,000 full time jobs and attracted $15bn in funding. No wonder everyone in San Francisco is pitching his own Uber-style start-up that will disrupt this or that industry and venerable publications such as the Harvard Business Review run regular paeans gushing about the potential of the sharing economy to “change everything”. But it’s not just quirky little start-ups that are embracing sharing and collaboration. It’s a meme that has escaped Silicon Valley and is now infiltrating larger corporations and mainstream business schools. Major record labels are investors and partners in the music-sharing network Spotify, Marriott has established a partnership with the workspace- sharing network LiquidSpace in 432 of its hotels, and the US cellular provider Sprint will allow you to “Upgrade ANYTIME” using its “iPhone Forever Revolution” payas-you-go scheme, which for $15 a month (a “limited time” offer, of course) allows you to perennially acquire the latest iPhone. Even idealists who wouldn’t normally embrace billion-dollar start-ups have been seduced. The management guru Jeremy Rifkin argues that the “Internet of Things” has triggered an economic shift


Five more to watch Sharing-economy start-ups will have to go some distance to match the humongous valuations of Uber ($50bn) or Airbnb ($25.5bn) but here are some of the chasing pack

Instacart Users: 10 million Valuation: $2bn (£1.3bn) Fast becoming the Uber of delivery services. Choose from local grocery stores online and an Instacart shopper will go to the store, buy your items, and deliver them within an hour.

WeWork Users: 20,000 Valuation: $10bn (£6.6bn) Provides Google-style shared office space to businesses, stimulating collaborative environments and entrepreneurial networking.

Chegg Users: 5.8 million Valuation: $622m (£411m) Specialises in online textbook rentals, homework help, online tutoring, scholarships and internship matching.

JustPark Users: 650,000 Valuation: £20m A mobile app that allows you to choose from thousands of parking spaces across the UK. Users sign up as either drivers or space owners.

Etsy Users: 54 million Valuation: $4bn (£2.6bn) A peer-to-peer e-commerce start-up selling handmade or vintage items. Etsy sellers can create a “shop” for free to sell their goods.

from capitalist markets to a collaborative commons, But if the precariat might not be buying much stuff – with costs close to zero, while the journalist Paul because their often sub-minimum wage doesn’t allow it Mason claims the “collaborative economy” represents – many of the one per cent, the most successful players proof of a viable post-capitalist operating system for in the digital economy, are openly embracing the ideal the 21st century. In truth, of course, sharing – at least of the sharing economy. digital sharing – isn’t caring and there’s absolutely Living without a car in hyper-expensive cities such nothing post-capitalist about this new economy. as San Francisco, London or New York is, ironically, Uber, Airbnb and all the other well-financed uninow a privilege that only the wealthy can afford. In an corns in their billion-dollar herd are what real leftists August 2015 blog post, Megan Quinn, an investment would call the “hegemonic” platforms of this unambigpartner at the blue chip venture capitalist firm Kleiner uously for-profit new economy. They don’t share their Perkins, boasted about living in San Francisco and profits or valuation with their drivers, their passengers, London and finding it cheaper not to run her own their renters, their listeners, or their viewers. Their only car. Quinn does the rough sums to prove her point – collaboration is with their venture-capitalist investors but fails to factor in the exorbitant cost of renting an and other speculators. Meanwhile, most “workers” apartment in the central area of either city, a lifestyle in the sharing economy lack the legal, medical and insuroption largely denied those on precariat incomes. ance benefits of traditional employment. They actually So ownership hasn’t really gone away. But, like represent what’s been dubbed the new being fat or unfit, its coolness is “precariat” – a class of semi-employed being turned on its head in our networkers whose dominant characterisworked 21st century. Once upon a tic is their precariousness. time, the upper classes were dis“The early hope that this sharing tinguished by their girth. Today, it’s market would foster altruism and a the underprivileged who are obese. reduction of income inequality can now Likewise, in the future, perhaps only be refuted,” confirms longtime Silicon poor people will own stuff. Valley observer Jeremiah Owyang. The rest of us will be on the “The one per cent clearly owns the ANYTIME upgrade – “paying-as-weMICHAEL CASSAU, BYEBUY sharing start-ups, which means this go” to share our music, our movies, is continued capitalism – not idealisour smartphones, our transportation tic socialism.” and our homes.

‘Ownership as a concept is becoming obsolete’

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DRAMA’S PAUSE CÉLÈBRE Brought up in Blitz-ravaged Hackney, Harold Pinter was the master of quiet cockney menace. GQ and a famous fan pay tribute for The Homecoming’s 50th anniversary STORY BY GARY KEMP

f there is one playwright of the post-war years who brought the voice of working-class London in all its clever, tripping, idiomatic scansion to the stage, it was Harold Pinter. I’ve loved his work ever since I was a boy at school, where I was first introduced to that highly stylised language of his and, of course, the now-famous pause. As an 18-year-old I was in an amateur production of one of his early plays, The Dumb Waiter. A friend and I put on the twohander in a dank Islington church hall. The production was memorable mostly for the fact that my fellow Spandau Ballet band member, Steve Norman, was on stagemanagement duties and confined tightly within the set, operating the dumb waiter itself – a food-service elevator that is key to the drama. One night, Steve snoozed off during the show and missed his cue line. I had to kick the wall as inconspicuously as I could and, after some hasty rustling, the food was delivered. At least it got a laugh. While living in LA in the early Nineties, Gary Oldman suggested that he and I do Pinter’s mid-Sixties play, The Homecoming, with him as Lenny and me as his “very sensitive” brother, Teddy. It never happened, but now I finally am Teddy and Lenny is played – stylishly and venomously – by John Simm. Pinter never fitted the archetype of the average British playwright when he appeared on the scene in the late Fifties. What theatre No man’s land: Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp as the sensitive Teddy

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was used to was the waspish, middle-class academic. Harold was different: stylishly clad in black and often in sunglasses, he was a man’s man, a proper bloke, a whiskydrinking, women-loving, sweary, jaw-jutting fella, brought up on the hard, war-bitten streets of Hackney, where people snogged in shop doorways, fought unfairly and generally lived grimy, unsophisticated lives of struggle. Harold was one of those people, and he was not afraid to let his fists fly, if need be, at any anti-Semitic comment made against him. In fact, elements of Pinter’s plays seem to have their roots in the London Blitz and the effect that terror bombing must have had on him as a teenager. Pinter recalls walking along the street during that time and hearing the noise of a V-1 flying bomb coming from the sky overhead. Let loose from some Nazi armoury along the French coast, the bomb was measured to run out of petrol somewhere over London. Pinter recalls the fearful silence that followed the engines cutting out and the awful realisation it was falling to earth, possibly somewhere towards him. It’s no coincidence that the Pinter pause, or his even more dramatic silence, is often filled with searing menace and a dramatic change in mood or story. Nothing, Pinter recalls, felt more terrifying than a city plunged into blackout, a technique that he would use extensively in his own lighting notes. The theatre of war was a large influence on the theatre of Pinter. The generation of playwrights that had fought in the war or saw it through as adults wanted answers to life, and their audiences found comfort in the moral stability of their plays. Pinter’s work was different – the chaos and absurdity of life was what he wanted to express. Maybe by making us laugh at it, we could find solace or, at the very least, a good evening’s entertainment. Nevertheless his work came like the shock of the new to its early audiences and reviewers. And in my experience, it still does. He was part of a culturally curious group of intellectually aspirational young men who grew up just before the beatnik movement and trad-jazz revival, who listened passionately to Bach, read feverishly of TS Eliot’s smoky rooms and who declaimed lines of John Webster into the streets like word bombs.

Pinter’s work was different – the chaos and absurdity of life was what he wanted to express

Of the bunch, it was Harold who was the “ladies man”. His friend Morris Wernick once suggested that if Harold were to go to a fancydress party all he needed to do was to throw his youga (Yiddish for penis) over his shoulder and go as a petrol pump. Even his wife of 30 years, Lady Antonia Fraser, commented on his unerring love of the slim female waist and obsession with a delicate stockinged leg. It’s no surprise that Harold’s early plays often turned around stories of two or more men in love with a femme fatale. The character of Ruth in The Homecoming is the greatest of these. One of his “Comedies of Menace”, The Homecoming was first performed in 1965 by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s about a dysfunctional cockney family of angry, misogynistic men headed by the widowed father, Max (played by Ron Cook). The hierarchy of


Photographs Marc Brenner; Rex

Ruling the roost: Gemma Chan holds court over Ron Cook and Gary Kemp in Pinter’s The Homecoming

the house hasn’t changed since the death of the mother years before, not until the eldest son, Teddy, now a professor of philosophy, makes a surprise visit from the US with his wife, Ruth. Previously unknown to the family, she soon becomes the centre of the story and their lives, twisting the men into desperate knots. It’s a great part for an actor and Gemma Chan nails it. The play is a battle of one-upmanship, played out through swift games of verbal tennis. People go to extraordinary lengths to save face in this toxic arena, using all the tools: humour, disguised mockery, irony and straightforward abuse. But throughout the play the characters rarely say exactly what they mean. This last point is what makes it such a challenge for actors, and during the rehearsals all of us, with the help of director Jamie Lloyd, struggled to find the right balance between playing the subtext and playing the “top spin”– the way a cockney can skilfully take the mickey out of you without you realising. It’s that lightness of delivery that makes Pinter work. You have to trust in his rhythm, allow his voice to come through you, feel that world of austerity London in all its cheap whisky, beer and fags, and enjoy the menace, where a sentence can slice you open like a butcher’s chopper. In researching the play I came across a quote by Peter Hall who directed the first production; it could also refer to James Bond: “Harold’s precision goes beyond language – the cut of a coat, the fit of a collar, the temperature of a room, the mix of a Martini are all important,” he said. “The reason is that there is an awareness of the anarchy and chaos and violence and disorder of life that are pressing in and have to be controlled.” The Homecoming is at Trafalgar Studios, London SW1, until 13 February. trafalgar-studios.co.uk

THE LONG SHOTS TAKE AIM Who will be prime minister when David Cameron steps down if not one of the ‘Big Three’? Expect the unexpected... STORY BY MATTHEW D’ANCONA

HAVING LUNCH in one of Westminster’s more agreeable canteens recently, I was asked by my guest – a savvy young Tory MP – whether I rated any of the candidates to succeed David Cameron other than the “Big Three”. I had never heard the phrase before, but it was obvious what he meant. In the race to succeed Cameron, the “Big Three” are George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. This trio has not emerged overnight, just as the incumbent’s plans have been revealed only by stages. In an interview in January 2013, the PM told me that he wanted to serve a full second term, and to do so literally – not ducking out halfway through a parliament as Blair had done after only two years of his third term. Cameron insists he was also signalling his intention to step down after two terms. If so, the code was pretty bloody opaque. Not until he told the BBC during last year’s election campaign that he would not be seeking a third term (assuming he secured a second) did the race to succeed him oicially begin. In practice, it had started decades ago when the child Boris declared his ambition to become “world king”. As an adult, the mayor waved away all talk of the top job, until finally conceding in a Michael Cockerell documentary in March 2013 that “if the ball came loose from the back of the scrum” he wouldn’t mind being prime minister. Less coquettish by far has been the home secretary’s strategy. In the same month as Boris’ mumbled admission, May set out her stall at Conservative Home’s Victory 2015 Conference,

roaming beyond the terrain of her department and essentially setting out a personal manifesto. Osborne, meanwhile, has found that his prospects are intimately linked with the health of the economy and the electoral performance of his party. The recovery, the reduction of the deficit and – above all else – the 2015 election result put the chancellor in a formidable position. The tax credits controversy, which looked capable of dashing his hopes, turned out to be a “Weeble moment”: George wobbled, but he didn’t fall down. So, to return to the Tory MP’s question: in all likelihood, Cameron’s successor will be one of the “Big Three”. But not necessarily. A few tables away from us sat Owen Paterson: environment secretary until July 2014, an implacable Eurosceptic who will surely be a prominent figure in the campaign to withdraw Britain from the EU. The Tory right will want to have a candidate that is identifiably one of its own in the leadership race, if only to demonstrate its strength in the Commons, and to secure a greater presence in future Tory cabinets. Also in the restaurant sat Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, who almost single-handedly thwarted the coalition’s plans for Lords reform. Bill Clinton regards Norman’s biography of Edmund Burke as one of the best books he has ever read, and with good reason. In Norman’s case, intellectual life is not an alternative to high political ambition, but its basis. He has

spoken openly of sitting in the bath and brooding upon “what it would be like to be running the shop”. It is a mistake not to take him seriously, or to confuse his bookishness with weakness. Even if he doesn’t stand, he’ll be immersed in the contest. To this list of runners and riders, add Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, who has declared her “hope that, in the not-too-distant future, there will be another female leader of a main Westminster political party”. Did she mean Theresa May? It would appear not, since she told the Spectator that “a lot of it will depend on family” – which is to say, her own. For an increasing number of Tory MPs, the man of the future is Sajid Javid, the business secretary, partly because of his background – he is the son of an immigrant bus driver – but principally because he has the presence of a natural leader. He is part of the 2010 intake, which encourages more cautious Conservatives to say he should wait his turn. Carpe diem, reply his admirers. Why wait? Who, in politics, believes in “turns”? There are others: Liam Fox thinks Cameron’s aides loaned a few votes to David Davis in the 2005 leadership contest, because they wanted Davis rather than Fox as Cameron’s opponent in the deciding ballot of party members. The good doctor – a former defence secretary and the Rocky Balboa of Tory politics – may be tempted to climb one last time into the ring. And never rule out the unexpected – I once tipped Jeremy Hunt as a possible leader. He has done an effective job of transforming the politics of health from a potential election-loser to its routine role as a manageable headache. Why shouldn’t he try his luck? I don’t quite predict a riot, but it will be messy. It is easy to forget how dominant a figure Cameron has been in his party for more than a decade. That will not be so for much longer. Then Conservatives must decide who is to take his place. They must pick from the “Big Three” – and, it would seem, from everyone else. FEBRUARY 2016 G


WAT C H

NAVIGATOR

Spotlight out on 29 january

Set your cultural compass to this month’s pole stars

Songs For Our Mothers by Fat White Family out on 22 january (without consent)

This London band feels genuinely countercultural: a strange gang of malcontents from the murky depths of the capital. On their second album, their seedy racket acquires a sinister glamour, with heavy hints of the Cramps, Suicide and the Horrors. DL

Pixel perfect: Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca (2009) in Vancouver

READ

STUART McGURK

And Yet... Essays by Christopher Hitchens

READ

Golden Years by Ali Eskandarian

out now (simon & schuster)

To his memoir, Hitch 22, and Arguably, a brilliant volume of his journalism, can be added this collection of Hitchens’ essays, a must-read for its laugh-out-loud consideration of Ian Fleming, alongside his thoughts on Charles Dickens, Salman Rushdie, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. How sad and dull it will be to follow the next American election without his coruscating commentary. OC

out now (faber & faber)

Murdered along with members of the band Yellow Dog by a former friend in Williamsburg in 2014, Iranian-born Ali Eskandarian has been compared with Jack Kerouac by his fans. And on the evidence of Golden Years – a Beat manuscript he described as “the great Iranian-American novel, or at least that’s what I’ll call it until someone proves me wrong” – they could well be right. OLIVIA COLE

SEE

Artist And Empire at Tate Britain, London

HEAR

Adore Life by Savages

until 10 april

What does “Empire” mean in modern Britain? Tate Britain has amassed 200 works, from paintings by George Stubbs and Anthony van Dyck to Indian miniatures and Maori D I G I TA L artefacts, to reveal how their D I S P L AY meanings have changed, while Canadian polymath contemporary artists confront Douglas Coupland is our colonial legacy. SH one of more than 70

out on 22 january (matador)

It’s the unblinking, matter-of-lifeand-death seriousness that makes Savages so gripping. Their battle cry of a second album delivers gothic intensity, shamanic charisma and, in Jehnny Beth, a frontwoman you can believe in. DORIAN LYNSKEY SEE

Blood: Uniting & Dividing at The Jewish Museum, London until 28 february

Objects and cultural ephemera are shown with film, art and literature to explore 2,000 years of Jewish history. A potent concept that divides nations or binds people together, blood fascinates and repels as a visceral reality: the stuff of life, death, sex and circumcision. SOPHIE HASTINGS JE W ISHMUSEUM.ORG.UK

READ

This Is London: Life And Death In The World City by Ben Judah out on 28 january (picador)

Foreign correspondent Ben Judah turns an investigative eye on his home city and in particular the off-grid world of London’s immigrant population. The result makes the capital seem as energised and terrifying as some of Judah’s farther-flung postings. OC

G FEBRUARY 2016

HEAR

DON’T MISS

Electronic Superhighway Whitechapel Gallery, London

artists exploring the impact of the internet at the Whitechapel Gallery this spring.

South Korean video pioneer Nam June Paik coined the exhibition title in 1974, and his works are among the highlights of a show exploring the effect of computers on artists since the Sixties. Don’t miss Paik’s “Good Morning, Mr Orwell”, broadcast on New Year’s Day 1984 to 25 million people via satellite. from 29 january – 15 may. WHITECHAPELGALLERY.ORG SEE

Allen Jones: Colour Matters at Marlborough Fine Art, London until 23 january

Jones made his name in the Sixties with a series of pneumatic, sexually charged, fibreglass sculptures depicting women as furniture. Highlights of his recent work include Perspex columns containing shoes and a sequined bikini, and a revisiting of his iconic portrait of Kate Moss, “Body Armour” (2013). New sculptures of Moss include a glass head on a wooden body and

TATE.ORG.UK

HEAR

Chairlift by Moth

out on 22 january (columbia)

Beyoncé-endorsed New York duo Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly have blossomed into a deft and idiosyncratic pop group, playing with R&B, disco and mid-Eighties signifiers. “Ch-Ching” and “Moth To The Flame” deserve to be hits. DL

a cast resin head on a polished stainless-steel body (below left). The result is art James Bond might buy. SH

WAT C H

M AR LBOROUGHLONDON.COM

out on 15 january

WAT C H

A War out on 8 january

Choosing who has to die so that others can live is the unthinkable moral quandary facing Commander Claus M Pederson (Pilou Asbæk) as he is caught in heavy crossfire in Afghanistan. The consequences of his decision will haunt him for life. Director Tobias Lindholm uses real soldiers to ground his Foreign Language Oscar contender (it’s Danish) in sobering realism – realism that continues beyond the battlefield,

The Revenant Could this be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year? If so, you can’t say he hasn’t earned it. For his role as a revengeobsessed 1820s frontiersman in The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up to the Oscarwinning Birdman – Leo shot in temperatures that dipped as low as -25C. The film is essentially an experiential one, following the brutal hardship of DiCaprio’s all-but-mute fur trapper on a 200-mile trek across a frozen wilderness to find the murderer of his son. But the Academy likes nothing more than actors who went there and did it. SM

Photograph Alamy; Allen Jones: Colour Matters, Marlborough Fine Art

A presumed Oscar frontrunner, Spotlight is a return to form for Station Agent director Tom McCarthy, the continuation of Michael Keaton’s career renaissance, and the most realistic film about journalism since All The President’s Men (it centres around the Boston Globe’s heroic investigation into paedophile priests). It’s brilliantly told, and doesn’t lag for a second, yet despite the universal praise there is a feeling it’s slightly one-note, with little depth beyond the headlong (and headline) rush.

revealing how Pederson’s family struggles with his absence back at home. ELEANOR HALLS


Welcome to the 2016 GQ Best-Dressed List The annual round-up of the most sartorially savvy men in the UK. From suits and boots to T-shirts and trainers, these brilliant Brits show how the home team scrubs up perfectly

E D I T E D BY

ROBERT JOHNSTON

D E S I G N + A R T D I R E C T I O N BY

PAUL SOLOMONS

IN ASSOCIATION WITH


Welcome to GQ’s 2016 Best-Dressed List in association with Mercedes-Benz. In our opinion, it is definitely one of the best-of-British ways to welcome in the New Year. Our judges have compiled an eclectic list that ranges from trendsetting teenagers to grand old men and everything in between. This is because being welldressed is nothing to do with age or fashion. As Keith Richards says, you don’t find a style, a style finds you. That’s not to say that trends aren’t interesting. In recent years, for example, we have seen the rise and fall of the Pitti peacocks – the self-conscious dandies that lurk around Florence during that city’s biannual menswear fair, who have been replaced with a more relaxed take on sports luxe. And trend-wise right now it seems that we are witnessing the demise of the sock, as ankles remain bare even when the mercury falls. And remember, even the most polished man won’t get it right every time. Patrick Grant – No5 in our list – was named by the Mail Online as one of the worst-dressed attendees of the British Fashion Awards in November. I felt at the time that his high-waisted dress trousers were too Alfred Hitchcock, but without the guts to experiment, how can we hope to get things right? So discover the Best-Dressed Men of 2016 – a more stylish bunch you would be hard-pressed to find.

Robert JOHNSTON

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

The

PANEL

Anna Akopyan Mehmet Ali Diane Almond Astrid Andersen JW Anderson Giorgio Armani Wouter Baartmans Jason Basmajian Adam Brown Charlie Burton Sarah Burton Elisabetta Canali Nick Carvell

Charlie Casely-Hayford Joe Casely-Hayford Dan Caten Dean Caten Roberto Cavalli Oliver Cheshire Sam Cotton Patrick Cox Lou Dalton Luke Day Domenico Dolce Frederik Dyhr

Katie Eary Alber Elbaz Jo Elvin Jean Faulkner Tom Ford Stefano Gabbana Massimiliano Giornetti Dean Gomilsek-Cole Patrick Grant Nick Grimshaw Jeremy Hackett Jonathan Heaf

Tommy Hilfiger Anya Hindmarch Andrea Incontri Warren Jackson Richard James Jonny Johansson Sir Elton John Robert Johnston Dylan Jones Kim Jones Vanessa Kingori Nicholas Kirkwood Andreas Kronthaler

James Long Pixie Lott Christian Louboutin Andreas Löwenstam Cai Lunn Sebastian Manes Cozette McCreery Stuart McGurk Agi Mdumulla Suzy Menkes Matthew Miller Piers Morgan Richard Nicoll

Averyl Oates Dermot O’Leary Mitch Payne Stefano Pilati Bill Prince Jessica Punter Christopher Raeburn John Ray Sakina Raza Gordon Richardson Martine Rose Mark Russell Jonathan Saunders

Amber Siegel Paul Smith Oliver Spencer Lara Stone Thom Sweeney John Varvatos Silvia Venturini Donatella Versace David Walker-Smith David Walliams Stephen Webster Vivienne Westwood Jason Wu

+ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DYLAN JONES + MANAGING EDITOR MARK RUSSELL + CHIEF SUB-EDITOR GEORGE CHESTERTON + PICTURE EDITOR CAI LUNN


48 Ozwald BOATENG (RE-ENTRY) “Ozwald is astonishing – it is as if he has been blessed with the ability to repel anything that is less than sartorially perfect.” Robert Johnston, Fashion Director, GQ

50 Mark STRONG (LAST YEAR NO.41) “Most people don’t realise that Mark Strong is a snappy dresser; they are too busy trying not to make eye contact and planning their exit. The fear of God he strikes in people has taken him a lifetime in character to master and he deserves the respect. Chiselled to villainous perfection, he carries a sharp suit or tuxedo with authority.” Stephen Webster, designer

(NEW ENTRY) “Sam brings a fresh take to British classicism with traditional pieces – cardigans, jeans – styled with a cool but dishevelled attitude. His look is tailored and slouchy, smart and scruffy, all at the same time.” Stuart Vevers, executive creative director, Coach GQ says: His role in the Hunger Games films has made him a huge star and he has the looks and style to stay the distance for many years to come.

47 Sam CLAFLIN Sam wears Crockett & Jones

GQ says: One of the greatest acting talents in the country today, he can carry off a look as well as he can carry off a demanding role.

Ozwald wears Ozwald Boateng

Mark wears Huntsman

Photographs Camera Press; Eyevine/Paul Stuart; OIC Images; Trunk Archive

GQ says: The slick face (and body) of modern British tailoring.

49 Alexander GILKES (NEW ENTRY) “Alexander’s style is a mix of British heritage with influences from his travels around the globe. To me, he embodies the modern well-dressed man.” Brendan Mullane, creative director, Brioni GQ says: The founder of online auction house Paddle8 looks like one of the best lots in his business. FEBRUARY 2016 G


Tinie 46 (RE-ENTRY) “I like the way he mixes different styles and references; he is like the ultimate dandy. He is definitely one of a kind, not the typical hip-hop artist. He elevates streetwear to a next level. His style is eclectic and extremely creative.” Philipp Plein, designer GQ says: The rapper, car lover and fashion entrepreneur is never afraid to take risks and loves playing with his look.

Photograph Rex

Tinie wears Richard James

TEMPAH

G FEBRUARY 2016


45 Chris ROBSHAW (NEW ENTRY) “A supporter of British menswear and an LCM regular, Chris has a genuine interest and appreciation of good tailoring. He leads by example on the pitch – as he does in the style stakes off it.” Mark Russell, Managing Editor, GQ

Cerith

WYN EVANS

(NEW ENTRY)

GQ says: As England’s rugby captain, Robshaw hasn’t had the best of years, but he stands out for his personal style in a sport that has been traditionally under-dressed.

“I love his flamboyant approach to tailoring and his idiosyncratic sense of elegance.” Stefano Pilati, creative director, Ermenegildo Zegna

Chris wears Dress2Kill

GQ says: The Welsh conceptual artist’s unique style has been feted by the likes of photographer Jürgen Teller, who cast him in a Marc Jacobs ad campaign.

4

44 Marc NEWSON (NEW ENTRY) “Marc Newson has great style. He keeps it simple, with an accent of ingenuity – much like the products he designs.” Sebastian Manes, buying director, Selfridges GQ says: Thanks to this designer, the world is just that little bit better looking in every way.

Cerith wears vintage

Photographs Camera Press; PA; Rex

Mark wears Gieves & Hawkes

3

FEBRUARY 2016 G


42 Calvin HARRIS (NEW ENTRY)

Nicholas wears Alexander McQueen

“A polished look. Calvin embraces a new smart-casual.” Suzy Menkes, International Editor, Vogue GQ says: From Glasgow to LA and Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris has reinvented himself as the perfectly polished superstar.

40 Nicholas HOULT (RE-ENTRY) “He always looks beautifully put together, with that smooth, Bond-like charm.” Daisy Lowe, model

Calvin wears Armani

GQ says: From a mutant in X-Men films to zombie love interest in Warm Bodies and a psychotic A&R man in Kill Your Friends, Hoult has played his fair share of monsters, but style-wise he is on the side of the angels.

Cillian MURPHY

GQ says: The star of Peaky Blinders and In The Heart Of The Sea – the true story behind Moby Dick – has an acutely tuned sense of style.

Photographs Bauer-Griin; Wenn

“Great presence both on and off the screen. Self-assured and confident within. With his no-nonsense, eclectic attitude towards fashion, this boy and his Irish eyes will forever inspire thee and a nation of others.” Lou Dalton, designer

Cillian wears Levi’s

(LAST YEAR NO.14)


Olly wears Dior Homme

(NEW ENTRY)

Photograph Andrew Vowles

3

9

“Olly reflects the style that my menswear collection is inspired by. He shows no fear with experimenting, mixing and matching colour and prints.” Markus Lupfer, designer GQ says: The Skins and Bright Star actor and lead vocalist for Years & Years is a natural clothes horse.

Olly

ALEXANDER FEBRUARY 2016 G


Prince Harry wears Gieves & Hawkes

Prince

HARRY “Prince Harry has his own unique style and energy – he is his own spirit, has a huge zest for life, which is infectious, and he appeals to all generations, from a five-year-old child to an 80-year-old grandmother.” Massimo Nicosia, head of design, Pringle of Scotland GQ says: His family may do elegant but Prince Harry is the one royal who can do cool, too.

G FEBRUARY 2016

Photograph Rex

(RE-ENTRY)


T H E

T O P

T E N

BEST – DRESSED M E N

IN

BUSIN ESS

Photograph Dvora; Getty Images; Rex; WireImage

To succeed in the big, bad business world, you have to be sure that you are playing to all your strengths. Here are the men who are always best-dressed for action

1 Gerry McGovern

2 Christopher Bailey

The design director at Land Rover has also succeeded in injecting some serious style credibility into his cars.

For the 44-year-old Halifax-born chief creative and chief executive oicer of Burberry, looking good is a serious business.

3 David Walker-Smith

4 Sir Philip Green

5 David Lauren

6 Andrew Bolton

The immaculately groomed MD of Fenwick Bond Street can be seen at all the best events in his perfect Prada.

The chairman of the Arcadia Group (which includes Topman) is a fashion giant – and now the purveyor of style to the world.

The executive vice-president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications at Ralph Lauren has style in his blood.

The English curator of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute knows how to put on a show.

7 David Mayer de Rothschild

8 Tom Ford

9 Axel Dumas

10 Gildo Zegna

The perfectly polished president and CEO of Tom Ford International, and respected film director, quite simply never puts a foot wrong.

As a sixth-generation member of the family that founded Hermès, its CEO lives and breathes flawless French style

The CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna looks as smooth as the vicuna and cashmere that the company is famous for.

The adventurer and eco activist has now moved into fashion with his new brand The Lost Explorer.

FEBRUARY 2016 G


Daniel wears Hugo Boss

Daniel STURRIDGE

3

7

“He may spend more time on the treatment table than the entire cast of Casualty, but that has given football’s first hipster plenty of time to refine his impeccable clothing taste.” Paul Henderson, Health & Sports Editor, GQ GQ says: In a sport known for style disasters, the Liverpool striker stands out as someone who takes his fashion very seriously.

G FEBRUARY 2016

Photograph Getty Images

(NEW ENTRY)


Stuart wears McCann Bespoke

36 Stuart BROAD

3

4

(NEW ENTRY) “Stuart Broad was England’s man of the series in the thrilling Ashes win last summer, but his fashion style was as impressively sharp, sleek and eye-catching as his fast bowling.” Piers Morgan, journalist

35 Charlie STAYT (NEW ENTRY) “Always super sharp and well presented. Probably the only man to own more suits than the entire staff of GQ.” Paul Solomons, Creative Director, GQ

Charlie wears Hugo Boss

Photographs BBC Images; Getty Images; Tony Kim

GQ says: Look and learn, Evan Davis!

Dan wears Giorgio Armani

GQ says: Towers over most of his fellow Test cricketers, both literally and figuratively.

Dan STEVENS (RE-ENTRY)

“Dan Stevens is a man with subtle charm and a personality that is friendly, yet wilful. I think he represents the perfect example of modern elegance, in being sleek without trying, simple and always personal. He wears a tailored suit in a completely natural manner, without seeming like a model – and it is for this reason that I wanted him as the face for my new made-to-measure campaign.” Giorgio Armani, designer GQ says: One of his next big roles is set to be the Beast in the live-action remake of Disney’s classic cartoon but he looks a beauty in a well-cut suit. FEBRUARY 2016 G


T H E

T O P

T E N

W O R S T

M E N

Although there is skill involved in creating a stylish wardrobe, it is a dark art to get it wrong so often. Find the strength to view this page and vow never to repeat their errors

1 Paul Hollywood

2 Josh Widdicombe

The grizzled badger of British baking has a lot more to worry about than the Bake Off’s contestants’ soggy bottoms.

The comedian and presenter seems to have developed a style that can only be described as an update on Bilbo Baggins.

3 Jake Hall

4 Alfie Deyes

5 Ian Murray

6 John Inverdale

We’re sure that when the Towie star takes the clothes from his wardrobe they look fine, but once on they lose the will to live.

The YouTuber’s attempts to dress boy-next-door-wacky would test the patience of a saint. The title of his channel says it all – pointless.

The last Labour MP in Edinburgh only has one look and still manages to get it wrong. For heaven’s sake, man, it is just a red tie!

How can anyone look bad at Wimbledon? This sport presenter has been dragged through Centre Court backwards.

7 Stevi Ritchie

8 Robbie Savage

9 Owen Jones

10 Chris Evans

If you only need one reason to ban reality TV, then this – and we hesitate to use the word – celebrity’s wardrobe says it all.

The Welsh football pundit is as well known for his extraordinary clothes sense as he is for his broadcast banter.

The Harry Potter of the radical left loves to make a sweeping statement about everything apart from fashion.

Everyone’s favourite ginger is back as Top Gear’s replacement for Jeremy Clarkson. But why has he chosen to dress like him, too?

130 G FEBRUARY 2016

Photographs Eyevine; GC Images; Mobis Photos; Rex; Wenn

D R E SS E D


Jeremy wears Givenchy

Jack wears Joshua Kane

33 Jack Photographs Filmagic; Rex

GUINNESS

32 Jeremy

IRVINE

(NEW ENTRY)

(NEW ENTRY)

“So much more than just a clothes horse, there’s a certain nobility to the way Jack presents himself. Style, for me, has to be effortless and he always looks immaculate without exerting a bead of sweat.” Dermot O’Leary, presenter

“He’s youthful and knows how to wear our suits.” Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, designers, Dolce & Gabbana

GQ says: The model and DJ is the epitome of the thoroughly modern British dandy.

GQ says: From War Horse to Stonewall, the actor has shown an incredible versatility, while in real life he exemplifies the best of British good looks.

FEBRUARY 2016 G 131


(NEW ENTRY)

“I think most celeb men can either do formal or casual chic. Dermot’s one of the rare men that look equally at ease in a sharp suit or jeans and a sweater – and, in fact, he’s also one of the rare men who can really rock a polo neck. He clearly loves clothes and knows what suits him, so he can be let off a stylist’s leash without sending us all into a panic.” Jo Elvin, editor, Glamour GQ says: The presenter is shaking off the dust of The X Factor from his heels and turning into a bona fide stylish superstar.

G FEBRUARY 2016

30 Jarvis COCKER (RE-ENTRY) “That man knows how to wear a suit with confidence and style.” Lucas Ossendrijver, designer, Lanvin GQ says: The Pulp frontman is presenter of one of the best shows on British national radio, Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service on BBC 6 Music, which is as original as his taste in clothes.

Photographs Getty Images; Trunk Archive

Dermot O’LEARY

Jarvis wears Edward Sexton

Dermot wears Thom Sweeney

31


29

Chuka wears Alexandra Wood

Jack

GUINNESS UMUNNA

29 Chuka UMUNNA

Photographs Blair Getz Mezibov; Eyevine

(NEW ENTRY) “How different the fortunes of the Labour Party could have been had the impeccably tailored Chuka Umunna not withdrawn from the leadership race. With a sleek polish that is more House Of Cards than Houses of Parliament, Umunna has brought the sartorial flair of a new generation of British men to politics. His bespoke suits are made on Savile Row – and by one of its first female tailors, Alexandra Wood.” Jess Cartner-Morley, fashion editor, the Guardian

Laurie wears Versace

Chuka

28 Laurie HARDING (NEW ENTRY) “We started working with Laurie when he was a true diamond in the rough. Now he is totally suave and achingly cool, modern but also able to give Fred Astaire a run for his money when it comes to rocking a suit. No one knows how to wear our outerwear better than Laurie – Britishbulldog attitude at its best. Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel, designers GQ says: The model and LCM stalwart is at the forefront of the new wave of British style.

GQ says: The Guardian referred to the MP for Streatham and shadow business secretary until September 2015 as the “GQ man” and we’re happy to take that as a compliment. FEBRUARY 2016 G


Wish List S-CLASS CABRIOLET The new S-Class Cabriolet embodies a distinctive design combining luxury with technology

Coat, £2,800. Rollneck, £695. Trousers, £395. Boots, £495. Scarf, £325. All by Kilgour. kilgour.com


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FUTURE IN MOTION

Few personify the UK’s contribution to global cinema better than Benedict Cumberbatch. A style standard-bearer, here he waxes lyrical with GQ about the allure of the luxurious (and hi-tech) new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet


Jacket by Burberry, £1,995. burberry.com. Shirt by Scabal, £200. scabal.com. Jeans by Belstaff, £235. belstaff.co.uk

‘ The two-door cabriolet answers Cumberbatch’s call for a classic with a firm grasp on contemporary design and technology’


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Wind back the clock 24 hours from GQ’s shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch – a man in the highest tier of British acting talent and a GQ Best Dressed regular to boot – and you would find him preparing to pace the stage of London’s Barbican Centre as Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But, for this afternoon at least, he’s back to being himself again, with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet taking the lead role. “When it comes to cars, I’m a classicist through and through,” he says, as the camera shutters begin to snap away. “But, I love the cars that combine modern technology and the aesthetic of classic designs.” The two-door Cabriolet is the latest member of the S-Class family and proudly answers Cumberbatch’s call for a classic with a firm grasp on contemporary design and technology. Laying underneath the familiar S-Class bonnet is a 4.7-litre V8 engine – or, as Cumberbatch aptly says, “a wonder of engineering”. Purring through the distinctive front grill and launching the car from 0-60mph in an impressive 4.6 seconds, it helps put the new S-Class Cabriolet

into a world of its own, especially once inside. “It’s like a leather-trimmed marquetry box, housing the most extraordinary level of luxury,” says Cumberbatch, now sitting behind the wood-and-leather steering wheel. Meanwhile, the digital dashboard sparks into life at the push of the start button and the Swarovski crystals (found in the centre console and the headlights) epitomise that crucial relationship between luxury and technology. Finally, there’s a particularly tailored feel waiting to be found by any S-Class Cabriolet driver. “The car is so responsive,” says Cumberbatch. “The seat will sculpt itself to you as you turn.” And it doesn’t end there. A choice of five fragrances are on hand, too, while air quality is continually improved through optimised filtering. For any devotee to luxury – with Cumberbatch firmly in the ranks – each feature is a welcome plus point. The perfect end note is the new S-Class Cabriolet’s Burmester 3D surround sound system. Comprising 23 speakers, it will undoubtedly sound out a suitable applause to two of 2016’s most inimitable acts.

Coat by Matthew Miller, £495. matthewmillermenswear.com. Shirt by Scabal, £220. scabal. com. Jeans by Burberry, £250. burberry.com. Boots by Margaret Howell, £275. margarethowell.co.uk CGI & Post Production Recom Farmhouse Grooming Tyler Johnston at One Represents using Kiehl’s Since 1851 and Tom Ford Stylist Joe Woolfe Stylist Assistant Nikita Andrianova Set Cloud & Horse With thanks to Park Royal Studios. parkroyalstudios.com The model shown is the new S-Class Cabriolet and is not to UK specification. For full pricing and specification please visit mercedes-benz.co.uk Oicial government fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the new Mercedes-Benz S 500 Cabriolet: urban: 23.2 (12.2) - 23.7 (11.9), extra urban: 37.7 (7.5) - 40.4 (7.0), combined 31.0 (9.1) – 32.5 (8.7). CO2 emissions: 212–204 g/km. Oicial EU-regulated test data are provided for comparison purposes and actual performance will depend on driving style, road conditions and other non-technical factors.


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THE TOP TEN B E ST - D R E S S E D M E N VOTED AT

We asked for your opinion on who mastered menswear on the red carpet over the past year – and a landslide of votes later, the results are in. Here are your top ten

1 Harry Styles

2 Jim Chapman

(NEW ENTRY) One Direction’s de facto frontman has topped his previous best (sixth in 2014) to win, with more votes than any other nominee in history.

(LAST YEAR NO.1) Last year’s winner is still the most stylish vlogger. However, you’ll also now find him in superb suits on the red carpet as well as writing for GQ.

3 Zayn Malik

4 Tom Hiddleston

5 Aidan Turner

6 Luke Evans

(LAST YEAR NO.2) The first 1D member to go solo has already made some serious style moves, most notably bagging a front-row seat at Louis Vuitton.

(LAST YEAR NO.3) After a day filming as Loki with long hair, it’s no surprise that this actor goes for sleek tailoring – few wear a deep-blue suit better.

(NEW ENTRY) He might have spent most of Poldark with his shirt off, but that hasn’t detracted from the appeal of his rugged off-screen style.

(NEW ENTRY) When we asked readers who they’d like as the next 007, Evans came top. With such a strong black-tie game, who can blame them?

7 Robert Pattinson

8 David Gandy

(LAST YEAR NO.5) Pattinson’s block-coloured suits add a blast of personality to red carpets dominated by black, black and more black.

(LAST YEAR NO.7) Britain’s top male model and an LCM ambassador: there’s nothing this man can’t do (and no occasion he can’t dress impeccably for).

9 Benedict Cumberbatch

10 Brooklyn Beckham

(LAST YEAR NO.4) Few actors have a more varied CV, but whatever role he’s playing, he’ll be looking sharp on the red carpet.

(LAST YEAR NO.8) Beating Dad and Romeo, the sole Beckham in our top ten has given his family a new style king.

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Photographs Getty Images; Rex; Splash

GQ.CO.UK


Michael wears Giorgio Armani

(LAST YEAR NO.11) “He is very sexy and he knows how to wear the simple white shirt in such a perfect way.” Cecilia Bönström, creative director, Zadig & Voltaire GQ says: The Steve Jobs star adds a little class to any environment he finds himself in.

Photograph Wenn

Michael

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Alex wears Saint Laurent

Alex

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TURNER (LAST YEAR NO.4)

“One of the best communicators for men’s fashion is music and the current leader of the pack is Alex Turner. He has a very modern rockabilly style, which he totally makes his own. Slim-fitted jackets over black jeans with an open-collar shirt. He totally rocks it.” James Sleaford, fashion editor, GQ France GQ says: The Arctic Monkey’s frontman is so cool, it is a miracle he doesn’t catch cold.

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Photograph Xposurephotos

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Lewis HAMILTON

Photograph Getty Images; Wenn

(NEW ENTRY)

“He’s a brilliant ambassador for British menswear. He isn’t afraid to experiment with new looks and in doing so helps bring awareness of new brands to his millions of fans. His overt interest and love of fashion, along with his charm and good looks, has built him an army of friends in the industry.” Caroline Rush, chief executive, British Fashion Council GQ says: The three-times world F1 champion driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team has discovered a love of fashion; the most serious driver on the circuit has revealed a flamboyant side few knew about.

Lewis wears Oliver Spencer Elton wears Burberry

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24 Sir Elton JOHN (NEW ENTRY) “He’s the godfather of rock, and what a dapper don he is.” Maverick Sabre, singer-songwriter GQ says: In his Christmas Burberry tribute to Billy Elliot, the musical legend shows he still has plenty of bounce fashion-wise. FEBRUARY 2016 G


(RE-ENTRY) “We love his style because he is willing to experiment and have fun with clothes.” Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, designers, Kenzo GQ says: From teenage heart-throb to seriously respected actor, Britain’s most bankable star has never lost his flawless sense of fashion.

Robert

Photograph Wire Image

Robert wears Dior Homme

PATTINSON

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THE TOP TEN BEST - DRESSED MEN

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IN FASHION An inward glance at the industry players reveals a slew of stylish pacesetters 1 Robert Rabensteiner

2 Christopher Raeburn

FASHION EDITOR AND STYLIST “Like all great stylists, he has a look that is both unique and identifiable. No other man alive inhabits a style that spans vintage military, American prep, English pomp and tech that sometimes verges on steampunk, and make it all look right.” Patrick Grant, designer, E Tautz

FASHION DESIGNER “The designer is not only a creative force but a gentleman and this element of true style should never be overlooked.”

Photographs Dvora; GC Images; Getty Images; Lickerish/YoungJun Koo and Phil Taylor; PA; Rex; Wireimage

6 Riccardo Tisci CREATIVE DIRECTOR, GIVENCHY “Proof that you can’t get to being the god of new-age menswear without being a style icon yourself.”

Jason Basmajian, chief creative officer, Cerruti 1881

7 Stefano Pilati HEAD OF DESIGN, ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA “Stefano Pilati manages to transcend, effortlessly, style and innovation. A very fine and diicult line to walk; he is classically modern.” Matthew Miller, designer

3 Thom Browne FASHION DESIGNER “I love his aesthetic – it’s challenging but somehow classic and, to my mind, innately cool.” Anya Hindmarch, designer

8 Karl Lagerfeld LEGEND “Karl Lagerfeld is the coolest guy on the planet. He is not only the greatest designer who ever lived but he has also created a cool, unique and inspiring look and identity that is as recognisable as the Pope. Long live Kaiser Karl!” Michael Michalsky, creative director, MCM

Che Kurrien, Editor, GQ India

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4 Fabio Zambernardi DESIGN DIRECTOR, PRADA “He wears a transparent polo with the same convincing, stylish confidence as a blue suit.” Stefano Pilati, head of design, Ermenegildo Zegna

9 Adam Brown, FOUNDER, ORLEBAR BROWN “Adam’s style is how he is as a person. Modest and unassuming but with a great sense of humour. He really is the best of British. The clothes, like the man, are old friends, cherished and cared for.”

5 Justin O’Shea BUYING DIRECTOR, MYTHERESA.COM “Nobody works a threepiece suit, sunglasses and an arm full of tattoos quite like Justin. He is the epitome of elegant, cool styling.” Abigail Hayhoe, Woolmark

10 Jason Broderick FASHION DIRECTOR FOR MENSWEAR, HARRODS “I respect Jason’s ‘tonal’ approach to styling himself. Classic colours, classic pieces edited with great panache and always a relaxed approach.” Grant Pearce, editorial director, GQ Asia Pacific

Lucinda Chambers, fashion director, Vogue

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Ralph wears Brooks Brothers

Jim wears Dunhill

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Jim

21 Ralph FIENNES

(LAST YEAR NO.17)

“His style is a mix of classic yet contemporary dressing. From suits to more casual looks he always looks on trend and perfectly proportioned.” Oliver Cheshire, model GQ says: In the vanguard of the new generation of vlogging stars, Chapman rarely puts a foot wrong in the style stakes.

Chris DERCON (NEW ENTRY) “Chris adds an iconoclastic style to the Tate’s artistic dynasty.” Carlo Brandelli, creative and design director, Kilgour GQ says: The director of the Tate Modern may be standing down next year but his looks are as cutting edge and contemporary as the works that hang on the walls of the world’s most popular modern-art gallery.

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“When I dressed Ralph for Skyfall, I discovered he has a particular style, inspired by Japanese fabrics and iconic workwear garments. We have made bespoke indigo chore jackets for Ralph at our Elder Street atelier and collaborated on his own idea of contemporising the spymaster for Spectre.” Timothy Everest, designer GQ says: The Grand Budapest Hotel revealed the actor to have a hidden talent for comedy but he’s always taken looking good very seriously.

Photograph Camera Press; Jessie Craig/Contour by Getty Images; Trunk Archive

CHAPMAN

(RE-ENTRY)


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(NEW ENTRY) “Richard Madden knows how to update classic menswear style with a twist that’s fresh, modern and polished. He wears casual pieces in a way that’s effortless and cool, while his formalwear style is refined and sophisticated.” Tommy Hilfiger, designer

Photograph Rex

Richard

MADDEN

Richard wears Dolce & Gabbana

GQ says: He has been Robb Stark, Prince Charming and now Cosimo de’Medici – so on and off screen he has always looked great.

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@aiden_shaw

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@alessandrosquarzi

@andreasweinas

THE TOP TEN BEST DRESSED MEN ON 4

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@freddie_foulkes

@jimmylaunay

@matthewzorpas

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INSTAGR AM 1

Aiden Shaw

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Alessandro Squarzi

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Andreas Weinås

Stockholm

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Freddie Foulkes

London

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Brian Chan

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Jimmy Launay

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Lucky Blue Smith

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Matthew Zorpas

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Sang Woo Kim Sergio Ines

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@imchanism

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@luckybsmith

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@whatmyboyfriendwore

Los Angeles Milan

San Francisco London Los Angeles

London

London

Cape Town

@sangwo0


David wears Burberry

17 David FURNISH (LAST YEAR NO.10) “David always dresses with incredible attention to detail and more importantly to suit the occasion – from an immaculately tailored Savile Row suit to funky Dior leather trousers and boots. He always complements his outfit with tasteful jewellery, from a stack of bracelets to a beautiful pin. He knows about fashion, dresses with confidence and is never afraid to try a new look.” Robert Tateossian, jeweller

Photographs Getty Images; Rex; Trunk Archive

Oliver

CHESHIRE (LAST YEAR NO.22) “Oliver for me is the epitome of a classic young British style icon. His tailoring looks are always so elegant, and he also does casualwear so chic.” Filippo Scuffi, creative director, Daks GQ says: Good bones, good hair and a great attitude to fashion makes this model one of London’s leading adornments.

Idris wears Superdry

Oliver wears Hardy Amies

GQ says: He’s one of the biggest supporters of British menswear and has a passion for style.

16 Idris ELBA (LAST YEAR NO.6) “Always oozes confidence in whatever he wears. He can look like Bond in a tuxedo or dress like a normal stylish lad down the pub.” Oliver Cheshire, model GQ says: His current collection for Superdry shows that one of the country’s most respected actors is a true renaissance man. FEBRUARY 2016 G


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1 Samuel L Jackson “I have been fortunate to meet Samuel L Jackson, who I found to be incredibly charismatic, charming and witty. Clothes, for him, are an obvious joy and he wears them with a light touch.”

Jeremy Hackett, designer

6 Johannes Huebl “Johannes’ look is classic, stylish and tailored. Being married to fashion doyenne Olivia Palermo only adds to his impeccable taste.”

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D R E S S E D

2

3

2 The Weeknd

3 Lionel Richie

“I like that this new artist wears relaxed fashion to great effect. He is clearly making his own rules. I like that.”

“It’s just been his year – he’s so comfortable in his own skin. I was lucky enough to see his Glastonbury set close up and any man who puts in a shift like that, and never spills a drop of rosé... well that is style.”

James Long, designer

7 Pharrell Williams “Colourful, quirky yet 100 per cent authentic. Pharrell manages to pull off looks that the rest of us can only dream of.”

Sir Elton John and David Furnish

Suzy Menkes, Vogue international editor

M E N

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Dermot O’Leary, presenter

8 Waris Ahluwalia

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4 José Mourinho

5 Ryan Gosling

“On or off the pitch, José knows the key aspects and details needed for timeless style. He always keeps it simple and sharp.”

“He is a modern Steve McQueen, always chic but effortless and laid back”

Jason Broderick, fashion director of menswear, Harrods

10 Andrew Weitz

Michael Kors, designer

“The Hollywood Reporter described Andrew as looking like a ‘GQ editor fresh off the front row’. My case rests.” Robert Johnston, Fashion Director, GQ

9 Jérémie Laheurte

“Ahluwalia’s understated cool keeps him pressed to the ever-bouncing bosom of the NY social scene. And despite having the acting skills of a piece of teak, he somehow keeps making movies (oh, and jewellery).”

“Jérémie is a very cool young man, who has an interesting personal style; he is very fashionconscious and embodies everything he’s wearing.”

Che Kurrien, editor, GQ India

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Kim Jones, designer, Louis Vuitton

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Photographs Dvora; GC Images; Lickerish/YoungJun Koo; PA; Rex; Splash; Xposurephotos

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Jamie

DORNAN (LAST YEAR NO.3)

“What I like about Jamie Dornan is more related to his attitude, rather than the actual dress code. He’s good at dressing down while dressing up… he’s effortless and masculine.” Neil Barrett, designer

Jamie wears Alex Mill

Photograph Williams & Hirakawa/Corbis

GQ says: The star of Fifty Shades Darker made his name modelling Calvin Klein underwear but now looks a lot better wearing a lot more.

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12 Prince PHILIP (RE-ENTRY)

Luke wears Gucci

Prince Philip wears John Kent

“The Duke of Edinburgh embodies duty and decorum and comes across effortlessly in the way he dresses. He is always British, masculine and appropriate for his role.” John Ray, creative director, Dunhill GQ says: If we look as good as the Queen’s consort does when reach our tenth decade we will be very happy.

11 James BAY (NEW ENTRY) “James has a great taste that only the British can pull off so well. As an Italian man I love their sense of very understated and confident cool.” Giuseppe Zanotti, designer GQ says: With his signature hat, the singer-songwriter and Brit winner embraces the theatricality of being a musician.

11

14 Luke DAY (LAST YEAR NO.11) “Luke has always had a strong sartorial voice that resonates through his work in menswear in the UK and beyond. This, along with his refined, yet strong personal style of bold and inspiring looks has made him a unique character of the London fashion scene.” Nicola Formichetti, artistic director, Diesel

13 Taron EGERTON “Taron is young and fresh. Not only does his resumé look pretty good, but he does too, thanks to a very sharp sense of style.” Dean and Dan Caten, designers, Dsquared2 GQ says: The actor from Aberystwyth is rumoured to be starting filming Kingsman 2 very soon and will no doubt prove once again that he is as comfortable in pin-sharp tailoring as he is in streetwear.

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James wears Burberry

(LAST YEAR NO.40)

Photographs Julian Broad/Contour by Getty Images; Sean Cunningham; i-Images; Rex

Taron wears Burberry

GQ says: The editor of GQ Style’s wardrobe is legendary and no one can pull off any fashion look better than Luke Day.


David wears Hardy Amies

David

10

Photograph Trunk Archive

(LAST YEAR NO.9)

GANDY

“I admire Gandy’s classic style as he knows what suits him and doesn’t bow to obvious fashion trends. He gives a new meaning to modern elegance.” Grant Pearce, fashion director, Condé Nast Asia GQ says: Whisper it, but this is the man most men would pay good money to look – and dress – like. No one can wear a waistcoat like Gandy. FEBRUARY 2016 G


Benedict

CUMBERBATCH (LAST YEAR NO.2) “He is all about classic Hollywood elegance with a totally modern edge.” Michael Kors, designer

Photograph Mario Testino/Art Partner

Benedict wears Belstaff

GQ says: The actor quite simply exudes star quality.

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6

(RE-ENTRY) “David’s second son might have a long way to go before he overtakes his father in the style stakes, but through his own modelling career he is gradually carving out his own identity. He represents a new, sneaker-obsessed generation and can add a youthful flair to a tuxedo jacket.” Tony Cook, menswear editor, farfetch.com

STYLES (RE-ENTRY)

7 SKEPTA

“For staying true to his last name he definitely has many styles – he reminds me of a young David Beckham. A trendsetter for the youth culture.” Raphael, Alex and Laurent Elicha, designers, The Kooples

(LAST YEAR NO.36)

GQ says: The grime star has been a fan of fashion since his rave days but refuses to be pigeon-holed and can pull-off anything from Supreme to Moschino.

GQ says: Rumours abound about the One Direction boy’s future plans, but there is no doubt he will be a fashion icon for years to come.

5 Patrick GRANT (RE-ENTRY) Patrick wears E Tautz

“Skepta has convinced everyone he is a very important figure in UK culture and now he continues to push, educate and grow with this generation. Best-dressed should not just be about being able to buy the most expensive suit but about influencing a culture and for understanding how to bring a strong personal point of view across.” Astrid Andersen, designer

Skepta wears Lacoste

Photograph Samuel Bradley; Capital Pictures; Jonathan David Pryce; Rex

GQ says: The youngest face of Burberry proves that some boys are lucky enough to be born with a true sense of style.

Harry

Harry wears Gucci

Romeo wears Burberry

8 Romeo BECKHAM

“Whether he wears a suit, or a pair of chinos he always makes them his own. It’s impressive how he makes classics look so current and modern.” Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, designers, Agi & Sam GQ says: Winner of the most recent GQ Vertu fashion bursary for E Tautz, Grant puts his money where his mouth is by being his own best advert. FEBRUARY 2016 G


David wears Louis Vuitton

4 David BECKHAM

“Mr Beckham is a true inspiration in modern menswear. Not many men are so diverse when it comes to style and David always manages to look equally stylish in formalwear as well as casualwear.” Andreas Löwenstam, head of menswear design, H&M GQ says: David Beckham is not just one of the greatest athletes ever, he is also a style icon who lives and breathes fashion.

Photographs Rex

(LAST YEAR NO.46)


Nick wears Paul Smith

Sam wears Alexander McQueen Photographs Mario Vivanco; Mark Hayman

Sam

SMITH

Nick

GRIMSHAW

(NEW ENTRY)

(LAST YEAR NO.5)

“Sam has honed a look that he has really made his own. It’s clean, minimal and modernist. He always looks immaculate on stage in a strongly coloured suit with his crisp white shirt and cropped trousers. Off stage, his coat game is second to none. He’s definitely making everyone take note.” Charlie Casely-Hayford, designer, Casely-Hayford

“As comfortable in a well-fitted suit as he is in skinny jeans boots and a leather jacket. Grimmy has taken the Saint Laurent look to middle England. I wish I’d had a stylish man like that on the telly when I was growing up.” Henry Holland, designer

GQ says: He has a talent for tugging hearts so it’s no surprise that fashion house Balenciaga chose the singer to be the face of its current winter collection.

GQ says: The morning DJ on Radio 1 has even turned fashion designer with a collection for Topman.


Eddie wears Alexander McQueen

Eddie

REDMAYNE “The stylish intersection where Cary  Grant’s style meets Fred Astaire’s lithe elegance.” Sir Elton John and David Furnish GQ says: The actor’s fashion potential was spotted early on when he starred in Burberry campaigns and today the Oscar-winner earns plaudits for his impeccable taste.

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Photograph Getty Images

(LAST YEAR NO.1)


Eddie Redmayne’s

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The nicest man in British cinema may also be its most terrified. Having graduated from Eton wannabe to Oscar winner, he’s back with another groundbreaking performance as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl. GQ talks privilege, Harry Potter and LA parties with an actor who has turned his almost crippling intensity into a Hollywood calling card


EDDIE REDMAYNE P H OTO G R A P H S BY

TOM MUNRO S TO RY BY

STUART McGURK S T Y L I N G BY

ELGAR JOHNSON Suit by Louis Vuitton, £2,040. louisvuitton.com. Shirt by Berluti, £490. berluti.com. Tie by Marni, £130. At matchesfashion. com. Pocket square by Louis Vuitton, £86 Opposite: Shirt by Berluti, £490. berluti.com. Tie by Marni, £130. At matchesfashion.com.

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Jacket, £2,090. Trousers, £730. Both by Tom Ford. Rollneck by Michael Kors, £290. All at Harrods. harrods.com.

‘The stakes get higher each time if you’ve been lucky enough to be successful. Or at least, they feel higher’


EDDIE REDMAYNE and she’s with Jay Z”), but he mostly huddled with his good friends Jamie Dornan, Benedict Cumberbatch and various other Brits. Finally, at around 4am, an Eddie Redmayne Oscars delegation, which included Dornan and his wife Amelia Warner, gathered at his hotel bar in the Sunset Tower, overlooking Sunset Boulevard, and so at last he could relax, could settle and, for him, be curiously calm (“It was the first time I could actually, you know...”). He watched the Los Angeles sun gently rise. At which point he got straight back on a plane, was chased by a pack of 30 waiting paps when he landed in Heathrow, all of whom followed him, jostling and shoving, to the carpark lift, only to stand, weirdly respectfully, outside the doors, taking pictures as they closed, like vampires not invited in, and even more weirdly, were somehow right there again when the doors opened on the floor above (“Yeah, that was strange”). They chased him down the motorway, back towards The Danish Girl base camp in the Tesco carpark on Cromwell Road, where Redmayne got out, talked to the director Tom Hooper for five minutes, dropped his suitcase (with an Oscar now inside) in a trailer which the art department had decorated with golden Oscar-themed balloons, got into costume, went on set, and straight into a scene where he had to be stripped naked and medically examined. “If I hadn’t known he’d won the Oscar,” Hooper tells me later, “all I would have noticed is that he’d had a Monday off.”

Here’s what Eddie Redmayne, when pressed, can remember about the night he won his Best Actor Oscar, last year, aged 33, for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. He was shooting The Danish Girl at the time – a film about the life of Twenties Danish artist Einar Wegener, later Lili Elbe, the first known person to undergo gender reassignment, which was taking place in a Tesco carpark on London’s Cromwell Road (the filming, you understand, not the reassignment) – and he left for Heathrow, pretty much directly from the set. Co-star Alicia Vikander, who plays his partner Gerda, saw him go, and has convinced herself he didn’t even take any carry-on luggage, his tuxedo presumably worn underneath, like Superman (the Daily Mail’s sidebar of record, however, has shown this to be incorrect). Regardless: it was to be a short trip. He simply took with him his Globe-Trotter travel case, and two changes of clothes – one for a dinner that night, and a navy-blue Alexander McQueen dinner jacket for the day after. Redmayne is a nervous kind of guy, forever worried about what he should be doing, then guilty that he’s able to do it – think Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) crossed with Guilt Of Fitting In (GOFI) – and, for good measure, has a “shoddy attention span”. The result means he loves flights because they are the only place he can sit down long enough to watch an entire film (“It forces me to calm down”). But not today; instead, sitting in business, he got out his script and learnt his Danish Girl lines. That night, he had a dinner at his agent’s – CAA’s Josh Lieberman, at his house in Coldwater Canyon, high in the Hollywood Hills – at which there were many drinks, but not much food, and at which he attempted not to get too drunk, despite the strong urge to do exactly that (“I was so nervous”). Finally, in a daze, the Oscars the next day. He remembers that after the second Oscar, seemingly every single award received a standing ovation, and so, as his wife Hannah was all but sewn into her dress and immobile, he had to hoist her up, Weekend At Bernie’sstyle, each time. The speech itself was a blur (“I had such a spike of adrenaline I can’t remember anything”), and then straight off stage to a press conference, where an Australian journalist asked if it was true that Karl and Susan Kennedy from Neighbours were his acting inspirations (they were). Then, Madonna’s party with every celebrity on the planet (“There’s Beyoncé, and Beyoncé’s music is playing,

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itting down for a pint with Eddie Redmayne, nestled in the back of his Bermondsey local in south London, nine months after said Oscar win, the first thing you notice is that he doesn’t know what to do with his elbows. As in, really doesn’t know what to do with them, like he’s just been given them, free. In the hour and a half we spend together, he’ll pick one spot for them – a lean forward, say, maybe the left elbow slightly in front of the right – only to decide after a while, no, that isn’t it, and then off they go again, like chopsticks. Everything else is as you’d imagine: a Walnut Whip of light-brown hair, the spreading smile of a manga character, a pebbledash of freckles, and the kind of plum, posh voice that sounds like he’s forever balancing a gobstopper on his tongue; he doesn’t so much talk as gulp his words out. We each order pints – lager for him, IPA for me, disapproving look for the waiter because we’ve booked a dinner table (Eddie: “He hates us”) – and I ask if the Oscar win has eased his rampant nerves. “Um, no,” he says. “It grows with expectation. Does that make sense? The stakes get higher each time if you’ve been lucky enough to be successful. Or at least, they feel higher. What’s complicated is... I’m having a year like this year, which is unquestionably the most extraordinary year, and I’m already accepting it’s the best it’ll ever get. But you want to keep doing good work, to see how long you can extend it.” Hence: the compulsion to instantly follow The Theory Of Everything with The Danish Girl, during which he’d take the Oscars off only as a Bank Holiday minibreak. “I think people look at it and go, urgh, you want to try and do something transformational. And it’s not true – just, if you’re lucky enough in your lifetime to get two parts that are interesting and challenging to play, then it’s a privilege really.” It’s true, however, that there are similarities. The main one being this: they’re both ludicrously hard.

His Oscar speech was a blur. ‘I had such a spike of adrenaline I can’t remember anything’

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EDDIE REDMAYNE Jacket by Berluti, £3,700. berluti.com. Trousers by Boglioli, £269. At Harrods. harrods.com. Socks by Falke, £12. falke.com. Shoes by Berluti, £1,350. Opposite: Jacket by Boglioli, £619. At Harrods. Shirt by Kilgour, £225. kilgour.com. Cufflinks by Dior Homme, £300. At Selfridges. selfridges.com. Watch by Omega, £4,785. omega watches.com

‘It’s like he said, “How can I do something more challenging than Stephen Hawking?” And he found it’ JAMES MARSH

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Coat by Michael Kors, £520. At Harrods. harrods.com. Shirt by Paul Smith, £140. paulsmith.co.uk. Trousers by Ermenegildo Zegna, from £500. At Harrods

‘At Eton you’re in starched collars and tailcoats and it feels weirdly fine. Then you’ll see a tour bus go past and people are taking pictures of you’


EDDIE REDMAYNE Just as The Theory Of Everything wasn’t simply a case of Redmayne playing a character with motor neurone disease, but playing him over the years – the cruel, slow-motion cramp of hands and wasting of neck, the way his body contorted and his spine shifted, slowly tangling until, eventually, Redmayne was acting using his eyebrows and a cheek muscle – so The Danish Girl was also about transformation. But not pre-op to post-op – that only happens at the end of the film. Far too easy. Something more subtle, and therefore difficult: charting the creeping moments of discovery; of what it felt like as a woman trapped as a man at a time when there weren’t the words for it; the notion you’re an awkward fit in your own body. Watching it, though, you realise the task is even harder than that: it’s not Einar’s transformation into Lili, but Einar learning how to act as Lili, and sometimes getting it wrong. Put another way: it’s an Oscar-winning actor acting as someone acting, first badly, all the time becoming better, until they nail the part. Pick the Method out of that. As The Theory Of Everything director James Marsh will later put it to me: “It’s like he said, ‘How can I do something more challenging and difficult than Stephen Hawking?’ And he found it.”

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veryone you speak to about Eddie Redmayne will tell you how nice he is. This is standard profile protocol. Yet with Redmayne, it virtually becomes an arms race. Some examples... James Marsh: “He’s such a courteous human being.” Jamie Dornan: “He’s probably the most giving person I know.” Alicia Vikander: “The most sweet, gentle human being ever.” Amber Heard: “Literally no one has said a bad word about him. He’s like an alien.” Tom Hooper: “He’s Hugh Jackman-level nice.” Trivia gleaned: he can go to sleep anywhere, even lying flat on a wooden floor, even for five minutes, almost instantly (Vikander); his brothers have an ongoing game of who can make the best Bloody Mary, with Eddie making the worst (Dornan); and he’s a great cook (Dornan again). In fact, the only person I speak to who has anything but angelic praise is a girl who worked with him at MyKindaPlace, his older brother Charlie’s internet start-up, in 2005, when Redmayne was doing work experience. “He was just a very benign, snotty-nosed, useless presence,” she says. Charlie was unpopular with the staff, she adds, and so: “Eddie we hated on principle.” And that’s it. Partly, you can put this simply down to Redmayne being, well, a very nice chap indeed. But also, it’s not hard to detect a through line of guilt for his privileged background, and a desire to be seen as anything but the kind of smugly superior member of the upper class, of which he is not. It wasn’t for nothing, for instance, that when he went up to collect his Oscar, the first thing he said was, “Please know this: I am fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man.” He grew up in Chelsea, the second youngest of five. Two brothers – one older, James, a banker; one younger, Thomas, a chartered surveyor – and two half-siblings; Charlie, the internet entrepreneur, now CEO of HarperCollins, and Eugenie, who works for Prudential. He was “definitely the black sheep”. His mother worked in property, his father in banking. “They all do proper jobs.” His first memory was being pushed down the Chelsea street he grew up on. “It was in the pouring rain with one of those plastic things that go over the top. I remember looking up and seeing my poor mum completely drenched, and feeling incredibly warm and smug.” He has not often felt like this since. He was born with severe red-green colour blindness, which didn’t

stop him studying the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge, but did occasionally make exams tricky (one, he remembers, was about the difference between two chalk drawings, and the difference between red and black chalk – he had no idea). He enjoyed singing, played the piano (he has a grand piano in his loft-like Bermondsey flat), loved rugby and tennis, but it was at Eton where he really discovered acting, right after appearing, aged 12, in Sam Mendes’ West End production of Oliver! (he was Workhouse Boy #40; he never met Mendes, but kept his name high on his CV). Does he understand the fascination with Eton? “I completely understand it. You’re dressed in starched collars and tailcoats and it feels weirdly fine. Then you’ll see a tour bus go past, and people are taking photos of you, and you think, what the f***?” The main advantage, he says, is the teachers: “I had an amazing teacher, that’s the interesting thing when people talk about schools doing this or that... and then maybe it’s a testament to the school.” Still, it’s a touchy topic. When I say I’d heard he still shops at New & Lingwood, the Eton tailcoat outfitter of choice, he denies it. “No! Who told you that?” A fashion PR. “No, I go to Savile Row... wait a sec, no, maybe that is true. Maybe I got my tie for my wedding there. Is there one on Jermyn Street?” Yup. “Love that research!” It was at Cambridge that the head of drama suggested him to the casting director of an all-male production of Twelfth Night that Shakespeare’s Globe was putting on. He auditioned for the Globe’s artistic director, one Mark Rylance, was cast as Viola in Rylance’s production while still at Cambridge, and then started a career that has seen him pick up an Olivier and a Tony for his theatre work in Red; play the son of both Julianne Moore (Savage Grace) and Angelina Jolie (The Good Shepherd); star in the First World War TV epic Birdsong; and do the hop, skip and IMDB scroll that went from a bit part in The Other Boleyn Girl opposite Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, to one of the leads in Hooper’s Les Misérables, the Oscar for The Theory Of Everything, the challenge of The Danish Girl, and the mega-blockbuster he’s currently filming – as Newt Scamander in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Of the last he says: “I find the sense of responsibility totally stultifying.” He is also one of few people to casually use the word stultifying. And the guilt, it seems, remains. A mention of his film education by Scarlett Johansson – she was so appalled at Redmayne’s lack of movie knowledge after he tried to pretend he’d seen The Big Lebowski (he hadn’t) that she made each member of The Other Boleyn Girl crew write their top three films down on a list, and presented it to him as homework – becomes a tale of his guilt while living at home. “When I was trying to get acting work, and my whole family were doing proper jobs, the idea of them coming home and saying, ‘Oh what did you do today?’ and me saying, ‘I watched three DVDs...’ just wasn’t an option in my mind. Whereas Scarlett told me it was part of her education.” A tale about his time as Jamie Dornan’s flatmate in LA before they were famous (they played a lot of ping-pong; they didn’t get any work) leads to a hurried mention of the car he drove (the “cheapest Nissan” while “Jamie would live the dream, this amazing hatchback”), how he spent no money (“I was super-stingy”) and, for good measure, a passing mention of his family again (“It was fiercely competitive table tennis... and all our families have proper jobs!”). The brief Eton chat, meanwhile, brings up this revelation: sometimes, he says, budding actors send him letters, and he pays their rent.

‘My osteopath said he wanted to write an essay about me. That’s the worst thing you could hear: you’re a case study’

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“The greatest privilege that I had was that my parents lived in London,” he says. “So when I was out of university and out of work for a year, working in a pub, I didn’t pay rent. And I get letters from people trying to go to drama school and needing to pay their rent. And so that’s something I occasionally do. It’s impossibly expensive to live in London.” And yet oddly, this very guilt – this clearly well-meaning, wellintentioned guilt – might also have a curious side-effect. Partly, at least, it might make him the great actor he is.

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hen Redmayne was filming The Theory Of Everything, the director, James Marsh, was worried about him. “He was very hard on himself,” he says. “Harder than I ever was on him. Sometimes I felt sorry that he was being too hard on himself. He’s a perfectionist. But to be a perfectionist in acting is a tough one, because so often the results are imperfect.” Redmayne worried about the role constantly. The day before shooting began, he was so wracked with nerves he was still awake at 4am. “I was being picked up at 5.30am, and there was a sleeping pill next to my bed, and I was like, do I take the pill, but be broken all day?” In the end he settled for a bath – and no sleep. “One of those first scenes was quite emotional, and the fact I was so tired by the evening... it probably ended up working in my favour.” (The night before The Danish Girl, however, wasn’t a problem – mainly because he was drunk: “It was the night of the Baftas, so I was basically rancidly hungover. You can see it in the shot. It’s scored across my face.”) One of the ways he deals with his anxiety is by meticulous planning. For both The Theory Of Everything and The Danish Girl, he drew up huge A3 sheets, sectioned into small squares, recording minute physical changes. For The Danish Girl, he’d later chart everything from small vocal changes to what Lili would be like when asleep, “and her subconscious is taking over”. For Theory: reams of micro notes, gleaned from studying more than 40 motor neurone patients, tracking the decline of every muscle. When filming the wheelchair scenes, tangled into position, he refused to move between takes, and so contorted his spine he ended up slightly altering its position. “Your body starts sinking into it. My osteopath said he wanted to write an essay about me. I think that’s the worst thing you could hear from your osteopath: you’re a case study. You know, I’d really rather not...” Still, as he’ll say more than once: “Anxiety drives me... and fear of screwing up.” You could be forgiven for thinking that anxiety would butt up against, say, the need to later do a full-frontal scene in The Danish Girl, in which we see Redmayne’s penis in alarming close-up before he tucks it in between his legs, but the reverse is true. It makes him do it. “I mean, it was about her soul...” he starts, before adding: “When you’re filming it, it’s not fun. It’s absolutely hideous. Someone a metre and a half away scanning down your...” He can do it, but he can’t even get out the word. Once, reading an unfavourable review about himself, he burst into tears, and later said that if that was the downside of having a thin skin, the upside was sensitivity. “I think it’s more that I read that once,” he says now. “Basically I’m trying to find a positive for the worrying side.” This same anxiety, however, does not make him the most natural of interviewees. When we get on to the subject of Caitlyn Jenner, who thrust transgender issues into the mainstream last year by appearing on

the cover of Vanity Fair, I ask him his thoughts on Germaine Greer’s comments, suggesting Jenner only became a woman to gain the attention of the female Kardashians. “Yeah, I don’t agree with that,” he starts. “I think that if you watch some of her shows... um, certainly many of the transwomen whose books I read... have been strong with... I’ve never met Caitlyn, but I suppose also Germaine Greer is a woman and has... I hadn’t read that actually... of course there’s her own opinion and...” After the interview, I get a call from his publicist, and it’s agreed that we speak on the phone so Redmayne can clarify his views. “I completely disagree with what she has to say about Caitlyn in relation to why she is making her show,” he says. “Of course, Germaine Greer is a woman with extraordinary strength and conviction, but I disagree. It’s a shame to see an instance of feminism and trans issues diminishing each other. But also, it’s quite important that this is a singular instance, and most feminists ally with the transgender. But specifically, I just disagree with her.” I can’t help but feel that Redmayne has done the equivalent of one of his charts to help himself prepare. Perhaps most remarkably, he wasn’t a nervous or anxious kid. He was confident, he says, gregarious even. It has come with his success. And the guilt and expectations that it has brought. “No confidence comes with it,” he says. “You feel you’ve had this lucky break. You’ve got this gig that people admire. And you’ve done OK. But you also know that people are like, ‘Who’s he? Who’s that dude?’ And you have to do it again.” He is, he says now, “perpetually nervous about pretty much everything, really”.

Scarlett Johansson was so appalled at Redmayne’s lack of movie knowledge she gave him homework

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hen we’re on the phone, after Redmayne has clarified his views on Greer, we talk a little more about the Oscars. We talk about the sad case that day of Vicky Thompson, the transwoman who was sent to a men’s prison against her will, and took her own life (“I absolutely believe that you should be sent to a prison of the gender you are transitioning to,” says Redmayne, again sounding prepared, “not which you are assigned at birth”). Finally, just before he has to shoot off for filming, I ask again what it’s like to be as anxious as he is. To my surprise, he gives me by far the most unguarded answer in the two hours we’ve now spoken, and perhaps, looking back, maybe the only one. Just the other day, he says, he was trying to explain exactly this to the cinematographer on Fantastic Beasts, and so mentioned a scene in the film The Beat That My Heart Skipped, which he now explains to me. In it, Romain Duris, playing a man caught between crime and being a professional musician, sits down at his piano to play an arpeggio, a broken chord of scales, using every other finger of one hand. “He’s by himself,” says Redmayne, “and there’s this extraordinary moment of performance where there’s no one else in the room, and he’s just practising this thing.” Before his hand goes down to play “you see this tension in his fingers”. And it’s only about him, this tension. “He’s not trying to impress anyone. There’s literally no one there. It’s a battle with himself. It’s somehow failing yourself.”

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The Trials Of Tatum (Stuart McGurk, August 2015) Jamie Dornan’s Path To World Domination (John Naughton, February 2015) The Many Lives Of Benedict Cumberbatch (Stuart McGurk, January 2014)


EDDIE REDMAYNE Coat by Michael Kors, £950. At Harrods. harrods.com. T-shirt by Sunspel, £65. sunspel.com. Trousers by Ermenegildo Zegna, from £500. At Harrods Production Grace Gilfeather Fashion assistant Nathan Henry Grooming Petra Nina Sellge Seamstress Deborah Tannetire

‘No confidence comes with success. You feel you’ve had this lucky break’


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Faster. Further. Higher? Endurance runners have long pushed fitness to the limit, but for one lunatic set of runners the only way is up. GQ takes the lift with the most decorated ’scraper scaler in the sport’s history and learns about his excruciating 2,000-step race to the top S TO RY BY

ALEX MOSHAKIS

Sydney Sydney Tower

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Beijing China World Summit Wing Architectural height 330m Race floors 82 Steps 2,041

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t 9am, three hours after he left home, a spruce-lined village on the western fringes of the Black Forest, Thomas Dold waltzed into the service entrance of Frankfurt’s Main Tower, the fourth largest skyscraper in Germany. Dold greeted uniformed guards warmly, offering hugs and high fives, changed quickly into a bright yellow running vest and a pair of shorts and, carrying a water bottle on which was emblazoned the mantra “Run 2 Sky”, jogged to a nearby park. Sprinklers soaked cut grass with fresh water. Homeless men lay groggy in bright sunlight. Dold bounced past them, smiling. He’d put headphones in and they’d begun to blare upbeat dance music. Dold, who is lithe, energetic and propelled by oversized quads, and at that time the world’s foremost tower runner, was in Frankfurt to get race-ready. Since Boxing Day, 2004, when a months-long period of dogged persuasion finally culminated in permission to convert the Main Tower’s five stairwells into a makeshift

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“I can do better.” When he began to walk again, half a minute later, he did so unsteadily, as if dizzy, in the direction of the lift. There he slumped to a heap and, covered in sweat, waited for his ride back down to earth. Almost as soon as he reached the ground he started running again.

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ake some,” Dold said. It was later that day and the runner was pacing through his Black Forest apartment, snacking on nuts. He’d removed a pair of custom-made compression socks and now he walked barefoot, casually offering food and drink. Brightly coloured training shoes sat in untidy rows at the door. Washed kit hung on drying racks. The mantra that adorned Dold’s water bottle, “Run 2 Sky”, here featured large-scale on a bench, on wall posters and on a six-foot-long banner fixed tightly to his balcony. Outside were pastelcoloured low-rise buildings. Beyond those, trees. Born on 10 September 1984, the runner has lived in the area – a south German tourist destination filled with picturesque hamlets, forest trails and little else – his whole life. Not entirely convenient for a man synonymous with extreme urban architecture, but still. Dold’s path to the sport he came to dominate was a literal ascent in degrees. Noticing a capacity for endurance, an elder cousin convinced Dold – then 15, a keen, clumsy, surprisingly fit footballer – to give distance running a go. He started training on Saturdays, sometimes after school. Before long he was entering races – 5km, 10km – and winning. At 16 he was running five or six times a week, often around 10km a session. He’d traipse across local paths, follow rivers, push himself into vast forests. And then he began running up hills. Mountain running, in which surprisingly slight athletes compete across vast swathes of upland country, periodically climbing and descending significant gradients, offered Dold an athletic experience more challenging than

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Stair master: Thomas Dold (right) comes top at the 35th Empire State Building Run-Up

training facility, he’d visited the city at least twice a week. In ten days he would climb the tallest building in Beijing and today was an opportunity to fine-tune technique. He wore the beginnings of a wispy beard and, before he started to warm up, a pair of thick-rimmed reading glasses. His short dark hair stood almost vertical, spiked with gel. When he laughed, which was often, he pointed boyishly at the individual who’d prompted the response. Back at the tower, three middle-aged guards watched Dold appear on a field of CCTV monitors. Following him up the stairwells is a highlight of their week. Sometimes, between ascents, they comment on his form – whether he seems quick or slow, fresh or tired. Mostly, and not without noticeable incomprehension, they say the runner looks in pain, which he invariably is. Once, when asked to pinpoint exactly where it hurt after a race, Dold waved to his calves, his thighs, his chest, his biceps and then, with a final circular flourish, pretty much every other part of his body. “You feel the stairs everywhere,” he said. Later, he mentioned that after one particularly gruelling session his eyes began to ache. A crowd had gathered in the security office. Dold had used a clearance card to enter his preferred stairwell – the building’s dimly lit spine – and he’d begun to launch himself vertically two steps at a time. The Main Tower is 200 metres tall and 56 floors high. A cleaner was mopping a landing halfway up, so Dold, who normally maintains an ascension line as close to the inner handrail as possible, lost valuable seconds careening around her. When he reached the top, he collapsed quickly to the floor, mouth agape. His chest heaved. His lungs struggled violently for air. His arms, filled with lactic acid, like the rest of his body, lay limply at his side. And his cheeks flushed pink. He looked at his watch. “Five minutes,” he said. “Dead.” Dold’s time shook out to two-thirds of a vertical metre per second. He wasn’t happy.

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Photographs Eyevine; Getty Images

Fruit of the loom: China World Summit Wing is Beijing’s highest building and the scene of another vert-run victory for Thomas Dold in 2013

flat running, of which he’d begun to tire. For a while, Dold was very good – he won bronze at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Innsbruck, Austria – but he quickly realised he was too big. Mountain runners are small, compact, reliant on deceptive amounts of power coiled tightly within lightweight frames. Dold was strong and slim, but stocky in comparison with others and he struggled to maintain pace across tricky terrain. He had noticed one positive: despite his size, he was competitive across steep upward trails, over which he’d claw back lost time. At an event in Anchorage, Alaska, he overheard two runners discussing pre-race training regimes. One mentioned using stairwells to develop uphill stamina; the other started talking about a growing tour of competitions. “Eureka!” he thought. “A profession.” Later, while sitting on his balcony, working through a bag of sliced red peppers, Dold considered the extent of his athletic transition. “I started playing soccer,” he said. “Then I got rid of the ball and ran on the flat, then up hills...” He was giggling. “And then I took the stairs.”

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ower running’s exact provenance is tricky to pinpoint. Most mark the Empire State Building’s inaugural run-up, held in 1978, as the sport’s first official race, but it garnered little further traction. The run-up remained a minority pursuit for another 30 years, before

it eventually became a minority pursuit that sometimes attracted public attention. Events now take place in most of the world’s great cities; amateurs enrol gleefully. Tower running clubs enable enthusiasts to share coveted technical tips. Facebook groups have been set up. Somebody, somehow, convinced people it could be both fun and rewarding to climb thousands of steps as quickly as humanly possible. For elite athletes, New York remains one of the sport’s most prestigious draws. Dold has triumphed in the city a record seven times, a feat unlikely to be matched. He’s also placed first in Basel, Benidorm, Berlin, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Milan, Munich, São Paulo, Singapore, Stuttgart, Sydney, Taipei and Vienna. In 2012, he was the reigning men’s champion on the Vertical World Circuit (VWC), the closest thing tower running has to a governing body, which, since 2007, has organised an annual series of between seven and ten international races. Runners compete in as many events as they can, and their best results count to a final score. In 2012, Dold totalled 494 points; the Italian runner Fabio Ruga finished a distant second. Dold won his first tower run in 2004, aged 20, in Munich, but it represented something of a false dawn – he wouldn’t win another for close to 18 months. In 2005 he placed second in New York, a race he very much thought he would win. Later, at the awards ceremony, Dold recalls the MC floating hurried congratulations in his direction before turning to

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Empire state of mind: Dold has won New York’s annual Run-Up more times than anyone else in the race’s history

the crowd and shouting, in the kind of booming voice excitable town criers reserve for special occasions, “And now we present the winner! Rudolf Reitberger!” The experience constituted a painful memory for Dold. “I finished just behind him,” he said, “but nobody remembers second place.” Dold used the loss for impetus and finished first in New York the following year. He went on to win pretty much every race there is to win on the circuit, often in course record times. And then his domination started to be called into doubt. His times began to slow; he faltered. Some began to question his motivation. One day, over a vast buffet lunch, I asked Clement Dumont, 22, a shy, soft-spoken French athlete dressed in lightweight hiking gear, if he still believed Dold was tower running’s leading man. Taken aback, he looked around, then bent his head forward. “I’m not on his level,” he said. “But there’s an Australian guy who can beat him. And a Polish runner, Piotr Lobodzinksi.” Dumont shifted in his chair, lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Dold isn’t No1 anymore,” he said. “He can be beaten.” That others believed Dold’s primacy had become surmountable was down, in the most part, to his lack of competition. In the lead up to Beijing, the fourth race since his 2012 season win, he hadn’t run competitively. He’d travelled to New York in February, keen to extend his dominance in the city to eight consecutive triumphs, but he pulled out of the event before it began, complaining of illness. Mark Bourne, 32, a former mountain runner who joined the circuit last year (and the Australian runner Dumont had referred to), eventually triumphed, as he did a couple of months later in Taipei. Aficionados agreed Bourne would claim the VWC title that year; others thought Lobodzinksi, 30, would run

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everal days later, Dold took to a temporary stage in the basement of Beijing’s tallest building. Appearing at a pre-race press conference, he wore a yellow training shirt, black shorts and, more often than not, a huge, engaging grin. In front of him a group of journalists sat stunned. The China World Summit Wing, Beijing’s largest skyscraper, is 330 metres tall. Its peak, on which sits a rarely

used helipad carpeted in bright green felt, is 2,041 steps high. Dold had just described the following day’s task as “easy”. Then he’d nonchalantly begun to explain why. Media attention was, for the most part, what drew Dold to events. (If I stop running, he once told me, you’ll stop writing articles.) He courted journalists confidently, proactively embraced photographers, unabashedly hankered for the spotlight. Winning a race was important, converting any resulting media coverage, however slight, into monetary reward, more so. Tower running doesn’t pay. Prize money rarely rises above $1,000 (£660) per event. (Taipei offers close to $7,000 [£4,600] but is an anomaly.) Some races – New York, for instance – offer no cash incentive at all and they charge all participants a $100 (£66) entrance fee. Considering the price of flights, accommodation and food, even winners return home out of pocket. In 2012, Suzy Walsham, the reigning VWC women’s champion, left the circuit in excess of $2,000 (£1,320) down. No runner makes a living directly from the circuit; all have alternative professions. Walsham, 42, once a world-class 1,500m runner, is by day an accountant. Melissa Moon, 46, a petite, sprightly, former New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year, is a community worker. Clement Dumont, who’s now based in Hong Kong, is a respected trail runner and a marine biologist. Even at the peak of his success, Dold didn’t earn his living as a tower runner. Instead, he tours as a motivational speaker, translating his experiences as an athlete – his dealings with focus, dedication and goal-orientated desire – into a business context, often for the benefit of corporate nine-to-fivers. He also took up management. He coaches German distance runners Anna and Lisa Hahner, who periodically share his apartment. (When training together, the group wear “Run 2 Sky” vests – less a mantra, it turns out, more the runner’s personal brand – and regularly post gregarious, overly enthusiastic post-work-out videos to YouTube.) Dold is apt to provide advice. At press conferences, he would say things like, “Don’t be scared”, “Focus on the next step”, and “It’s perfect for beginners”, to motivate the audience, some of whom, wide-eyed and terrified, would sign up to run the race the following day. Dold spoke with a neat composite of empathy and passion. When he finished his speech, sections of the audience responded with cheers. David Shin of the VWC credits Dold with sparking public interest in tower running events. “We love it when he comes,” he told me. The press conference had just finished and Dold was giving an interview to Chinese state television. Smiling, he adroitly bypassed problems a less media-savvy athlete might face during a bilingual interview. He was also bouncing on the spot.

Photographs Eyevine; Timmo Schreiber

him close. In either case, it would be the first time Dold hadn’t won the series in five years. Back in his apartment, Dold, who had approached his sport with monastic rigour, seemed unfazed by the prospect. Lately his motivation had waned, he said, which had been affecting his dedication. “After winning everything, why should I keep going?” he asked. “My body will be able to do this for probably another five, six or seven years. I’m still very fast, I’m not running slower...” He hesitated. “But I’ve done everything. Now I’m looking for other victories.”


“You see how he is,” Shin said. “He’s funny. People feel it. They see that charm.” Shin, a small, fit man with dark, combedback hair and a penchant for headbands, had just broken the news that Mark Bourne had decided against competing in China (as had another decent runner, the 37-year-old Belgian Omar Bekkali). Officially, Bourne had pulled out through injury, but others believed he hadn’t turned up because Dold had resurfaced on the circuit. Shin wouldn’t confirm the rumours, but neither did he deny them. I asked him if Dold, who was now speaking animatedly at an oversized video camera, sometimes pointing at it, was still good enough to put others off competing. “Yes,” he said. “Thomas is the undisputed king of stair climbing.” Later that night, Shin oversaw a tour of the stairwell, which allowed runners access to the steps they’d be climbing the following day. (Athletes have been known to measure riser heights with rulers, although the benefit is questionable.) One by one, runners turned up at the basement room in which Dold had earlier given his motivational speech. Walsham hugged Moon then began to crack jokes. Dumont detailed travel itineraries. Lobodzinksi stood alone, tall and languid, before sidling up to Dold. “Did you hear?” he asked. Dold looked confused. “No Omar,” Lobodzinksi said. “No Bourne.” Dold nodded. “Good for us.” Shin took the runners to the 62nd floor, to highlight a point in the race at which the course merged from one stairwell to another through a corridor of narrow twists and turns. Daniel Ackermann, a Swiss athlete in his fifties, took detailed notes, as if the stairwell were an equation waiting to be solved. Others stood in silence, hoping to commit the route to memory. Tower running is undeniably monotonous; stairwells rarely differ in layout or aesthetic.

German engineering: Frankfurt’s Main Tower is commandeered by Dold as his local training ‘ground’

FLOORS

TOWER RUNNING

When runners climb fast enough, for long enough, steps blend into a constant grey blur, creating a sensation not unlike rushing headlong into a concrete wall. Still, elite runners rarely crave variety, which can upset focus and puncture rhythm. When the athletes reconvened near the lift, Dold showed concern. “It changes,” he said. “A lot.” Walsham nodded. Moon looked thoughtful, then shrugged. “Keeps it interesting,” she said.

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n average, elite tower runners can maintain a quick upward pace, comfortably, for 60 seconds. Then comfort becomes discomfort. Respiration shifts. Muscles begin to convert stored glycogen into unseemly quantities of lactic acid, which ups the body’s demand for oxygen. Lungs crave air. Arms and legs fatigue. Heart rates climb dramatically, then level out dangerously at a maximum mark. “In terms of science,” Dumont had told me over lunch, “we should really collapse.” By 9.01am, a minute after the race had started, Thomas Dold’s heart rate had risen to around 190 beats per minute. He was finding it difficult to breathe and he’d begun to rely on sharp, quick, intakes of air. His blood, now lacking oxygen, had flooded with acid and his muscles began to scream. He’d also taken a wrong turn. David Shin had identified potential trouble on the 62nd floor, but he’d neglected to highlight a series of tight-angled turns on the 18th. Dold had steered left when he should have veered right and lost his way in a series of corridors. Lobodzinksi, who’d trailed Dold by just five paces, now strode ahead. But not for long. Acknowledging his unfair advantage, Lobodzinksi waved his rival through. Dold

obliged, then maintained a consistent, balletic rhythm all the way to the 82nd floor. Lobodzinksi challenged for the win until the 65th, at which point he began to tire. (“Dold was gone,” the Pole later recalled, “and I couldn’t hear anyone behind me, so I just slowed down.”) When Dold crossed the finish line, in nine minutes and 55 seconds, he threw his body dramatically to the floor but, realising only poor pictures get taken when an athlete lies prostrate, he quickly rose again to his knees and gave a series of emphatic thumbs-up. At one point, a cameraman, late to the roof, asked Dold to re-enact the moment he finished the race, which he did without question. As other runners reached the summit, Dold grasped a medal and looked out over Beijing. Seeing the world’s great cities from usually inaccessible vantage points is part of tower running’s appeal, he’d once told me, and now was the time to appreciate what lay before him. Soon he would be asked to take part in an interview, and then another, and still one more. He would be charming, he would smile, he would respond to questions he’d been asked two or three times before. His career depended on it, after all – today was payday. He would take part in one more tower running race – the 72-floor, 1,914-stair Hanoi Vertical Run in Vietnam – and then would never race again. He was done. But that was the future. For the moment, all he wanted to do was look.

MORE FROM GQ

For these related stories, visit GQ.co.uk/magazine

Running With Marathon Man Geoffrey Mutai (Ed Caesar, August 2015) Running An Ultramarathon Is The Best Kind Of Torture (Lee Stobbs, March 2015) Five Of The Best British Trail Runs (Mark Russell, April 2014)

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Bella

P H OTO G R A P H E D BY

WILL DAVIDSON

Stepping out of the same god-given gene pool that brought the world Gigi, the second achingly hot – and unspeakably talented – member of the Hadid sisterhood is doing it for herself

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he problem with being compared to your older sibling, apart from the fact said older sibling has been in Sports Illustrated, made the cover of Vogue, starred in a Calvin Harris music video, walked the catwalk for everyone from Marc Jacobs to Jean Paul Gaultier, dated a former member of One Direction and starred as the captain of her varsity volleyball team, is that, well, it’s a hard billing to live up to. The problem for Bella Hadid, however, is even worse. As well as being compared to her famous reality-TV-star-turned-model-turned-everything elder sister, Gigi, she’s compared to someone else too: a certain Jennifer Lawrence, whom she looks like and who won her first Oscar when she was... well, you get the idea. Yet all that looks set to change, with 19-year-old Bella – 5ft 10in just like her sister, same dewy eyes, same full lips – now striking out on her own. Evidence: bagging her first Chanel runway stroll, being chosen as the face of Topshop, landing the all-important pop-star boyfriend (Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd) and, later this year, rather improbably, competing for the United States in equestrianism at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Bag the gold and suddenly it’s “Gigi who?” Stuart McGurk


FASHION

Top by Alexander Wang, £175. alexanderwang. com. Bikini bottoms by Mara Hoffman, £69. marahoffman.com

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Roaring success: Since its beginnings as the Safari Club of Los Angeles in 1971, the Safari Club International has grown into a huge annual trade show and bazaar, taking over the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas

ANIMAL


BIG GAME HUNTING

Welcome to the surreal world of Stetsons, firearms and extreme taxidermy at Safari Club International. GQ hits Las Vegas on the trail of the world’s biggest big-game hunting convention – and challenges British perceptions of American ‘gun culture’ S TO RY BY

NICK FOULKES

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ut in the end, even this counterintuitive way of selling a hunting holiday (“Buy a rifle, travel to Africa... and get savaged by an extremely pissed-off big cat”) paled into a wan shadow of mundanity when compared to the most extreme taxidermy diorama it has ever been my pleasure to gaze upon. It was as if Jeff Koons, Ernest Hemingway and David LaChapelle had co-curated a natural-history exhibition, a sort of heightened realism that sees nature in terms of a nonstop action movie, depicting a bear standing triumphant

over the prostrate corpse of a large walrus, being circled by wolves while an eagle perches on a nearby branch, the mise en scène artfully supplied by a photograph of a quasi-artistic, quasi-arctic seascape at sunset and a good supply of carefully arranged shingle and driftwood. Somebody had clearly spent a great deal of time and effort in getting hold of a walrus, a bear, a few wolves and an eagle to recreate this scene of everyday life on the Alaskan littoral. Had they been handing out awards for best in show, then this would have been a strong contender for the top prize – the show in question being the Safari Club

Fair game: Safari Club International’s 100,000 sq m big-game hunting convention in Las Vegas attracts thousands of exhibitors every year

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International (SCI), the annual big-game hunting convention in Las Vegas. SCI are three letters that encompass an entire way of life, a whole commercial and cultural ecosystem built around a single product: the gun and the outdoor life that comes with it. And, each February, this world comes to life at the annual convention, sprawling over 100,000 sq m of exhibition space at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort on the airport end of the Las Vegas Strip, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. The feel is part major sporting event, a cup final (albeit without the cup); part trade show; part giant bazaar; and part school reunion. There is that collective sense of emotion that comes when tens of thousands of human beings who share a passion (whether for a music festival, a football match, or, in this case, the outdoor life) come together. You can sense it. The air crackles with it. It is hard to resist. After a while, this becomes your reality and instead it is the world beyond this heterogeneous marketplace for guns, knives, scopes, safaris, shooting trips, Stetsons, scrimshaw, saddles, fur coats, furniture, taxidermy and curios of all kinds that seems strange. This Glastonbury of the gun had rather small beginnings. Back in April 1971, 47 likeminded individuals formed the Safari Club of Los Angeles. In March the following year, it united with the Safari Club of Chicago, changed its name to Safari Club International, one thing led to another and eventually it ended up taking over the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort. As to what the poor boy from Shepherd’s Bush was doing here in his natty tweed suits and dainty shoes – well, I was researching my book about Beretta, the 500-year-old firearms dynasty and the world’s oldest industrial concern still in the hands of its founding family. In America, it is a brand that inspires the same sort of loyalty that you usually find in serial Hermès handbag-owning women.

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t was the day before the opening of the convention and the main exhibition space sprawled beneath me as I surveyed the fevered preparation from the upper storey of the Beretta booth. I got the sense of looking out over a giant nomadic city with temporary structures almost as far as the eye could see, ranging from the citadel-meets-safari-lodge solidity of the Beretta stand, to the simple table with a few laminated photo albums and photocopied order forms that characterised the more humble operations, which offered the chance to go and shoot some recondite mountain goat in some obscure part of Eastern Europe, or some antlered animal in remotest New Zealand. I was ensconced in a leather armchair, sitting with Franco Beretta in an area walled by rack after rack of engraved SO10 shotguns (the Ferrari of firearms), and yet it was as if this small arsenal (worth, at a conservative

Photographs Safari Club International

Maybe it was the giraffe without a torso, just its neck and tiny head left lying on the floor, its features set, seemingly unaware of the absence of body or legs, into a seraphic smile. Then again, it might have been the promotional video loop for a safari company that showed a party of hunters in some nameless expanse of African bush shooting at (but missing) a leopard, which – understandably irritated at having its afternoon disturbed – charged at its assailants and succeeded in clamping its jaws around the trousers of one of the hunting party. At this range, even they could not miss, and the leopard was no more.


BIG GAME HUNTING Tall order: Hunter Bob Vitro’s True-Life Taxidermy stand proudly displays the stuffed neck and head of a giraffe

The saddler left his pliers and revolver on the table. He had no anxiety – there was more chance of his pliers going missing than his gun


estimate, £3.3 million) was just wallpaper. And that was just a small section of one booth. All across the giant room, and on another floor above, firearms were left... well, lying about, and they might as well have been sanitary fittings or bathroom taps at a trade show for all the interest that was being paid to them, as stand constructors and forklift operators, cleaners and carpenters, truck drivers and electricians went about their business. One image summed it up for me. I walked around and was drawn to the stand of a saddler specialising in the sort of heavily tooled and decorated leatherwork that you could never mistake for Hermès. He had clearly just popped out for a cigarette or to obey the call of nature, but you could tell he was coming back as he had left his pliers, his crocodile-skin holster and his revolver (with matching crocodile-covered butt, of course) lying on the table. He clearly had no anxiety about it not being there when he got back – after all, there were guns everywhere, so why should he worry that someone would nick his? There was probably more chance of his pliers going missing as the work to erect the stands intensified. In many ways, the guns were the least remarkable objects on display, there were so many other claims on one’s attention. I was hypnotised by a dining table featuring a relief woodcarving depicting mass migration of wildebeest, and everywhere I turned there was a piece of extreme taxidermy. Stuffed lions were two a penny – well, not quite a penny, but you get my drift. And why on earth should you settle for an elephant’s-foot umbrella stand when at the SCI there was an entire stuffed elephant to look at? As the taupe blouson draped over one of its tusks demonstrated, it made the perfect coatstand. There were any number of giraffes (if 5 Hertford Street ever runs out of them, they can come and resupply here). A synthetic rockery crawling with mountain lions bore the signage of Prairie Mountain Wildlife Studios: company mission statement “Designing & Building World Class Trophy Rooms” (and yes, people really do have these things put in their houses). Coming a close second to the bear and walrus combo, there was a cape buffalo being brought down by a pair of lions. In fact, pretty much anything with fur or feathers that could be shot had been shot, stuffed and put on display. My experience of trade shows has, on the whole, been a less Laurens van der Post or Wilbur Smith business of attending the annual Basel and Geneva watch fairs. But rewind a couple of years or so to February 2013, and I was having dinner in the West End of London with Franco Beretta. I tend to forget that Franco is a Get stuffed: large-scale manufacturer of fireAn elephant stars in arms. He is such a nice bloke and a ‘dangerous game trophies’ scene – so easygoing that it is easy for another example of the million or so guns that his extreme taxidermy at the Las Vegas show eponymous company makes 182 G FEBRUARY 2016


BIG GAME HUNTING

Photographs Safari Club International

There are many Americans for whom their country is not so far removed from the frontier nation celebrated in endless Westerns


do not really get Las Vegas. I really wish that most of what happened in Vegas really did actually stay there. But instead this neon city in the desert is celebrated and mythologised in literature (granted, Fear And Loathing is not Turgenev, but it is amusing and required reading in one’s late teens). And maybe it is the proximity to Los Angeles, but American cinema seems to be under some kind of legal obligation to make a certain quota of films every year either about, or including, plenty of scenes of desert debauchery amid the slot machines. And it has received the ultimate 21st-century accolade that sine qua non of modern city status – its very own police procedural show, the original CSI. Still, at least the name Las Vegas (literally “the meadows” in Spanish) shows that the American sense of humour is a welldeveloped one, as a less bucolic place than Las Vegas it is hard to imagine. So while we in England dutifully hold the Game Fair, that Woodstock of the countryside – actually in

emperor. I fondly imagined myself spending many happy days in the company’s archives and museum, interspersed with the occasional trip to Venice to consult some highly important documents (among which I would count the menu at Harry’s Bar). Somehow I did not envisage my research taking me to the check-in queue of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on a February afternoon after a lengthy flight from London. But as well as being Italian, Beretta is also a big American company. When Beretta won the tender to supply the United States Army with its sidearm back in the Eighties, there was some bitching from the losers. It is not as if the US does not have some perfectly good gunmakers of its own: Colt, Winchester and Browning among them, so to lose out to an Italian firm was, to say the least, embarrassing. But, in addition to making the better gun, Beretta also had a manufacturing facility in Maryland, so even if the name on the gun was not American, the workers who made them would be.

The aim and the Woodstock at Blenheim Palace in see, and then I looked up to see game: From firearms Oxfordshire, in the gently undua giant poster depicting Wayne and taxidermy to furs lating parkland of the Duke of LaPierre of the NRA beaming a and trophies, the SCI convention is a Marlborough’s residence – in welcome smile directly at me. marketplace for all America, the most important It was then that the reality hit: things hunting-related namely that I was attending one convention dedicated to the American love of the outdoors of those sinister-sounding gun is actually held in a place where fairs that one reads about periodithere is no natural light and where, for the cally where guns are sold with unfettered ease entirety of my four-day stay, I ventured out to children barely out of pushchairs. into the bracing Nevada air only once upon Should the stereotypical Guardian reader my arrival and once again on my departure actually exist, then I imagine his or her attendfrom the Mandalay Bay. ance at the SCI would be like a vegetarian being Las Vegas is as much a giant convention taken on a tour of an abattoir. centre as it is an adult playground. From the The firearms tragedies that punctuate life in unexpected (the Roller Skating Association’s the US are exactly that – tragedies. It is imposAnnual Convention & Trade Show); to the sible to see them as anything else. However, it quotidian (the National Association of is very easy to demonise the gun lobby, seeing Pizzeria Operators’ Annual International in every American gun owner a massacre in Pizza Expo), to the globally significant (the waiting. And, of course, arguments along the annual CES innovation technology show), lines that it is not guns that kill but people, the giant ballrooms and exhibition halls of run the risk, at best, of trivialising genuine the neon city in the desert host a bewildercalamities. The thing was, had I questioned ing panoply of trade shows. any of the people around me about it, I expect

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The city’s iron grip on the cultural consciousness of not merely America but the entire world means that, for many, to visit Las Vegas – with its golf courses, its restaurants, its shows, its Brobdingnagian resorts and, of course, its gambling – is to live the dream. However it was a rather larger dream that I was looking for in Las Vegas: the American Dream. Seeing the throngs of cheerful firearms enthusiasts ambling along the motorway-wide walkways past the food courts, beverage vendors, slot machines and roulette tables, and surging underneath the banner welcoming them to the Safari Club International annual convention, brings to mind a more orderly and betterbehaved rerun of the first day of the January sales: there is the same expectant enthusiasm, just without the sharp elbows. Indeed, so good-natured was the atmosphere that it was only on the second day of the convention that it struck me. I surveyed a trestle table presenting a vista of firearms that stretched off into the distance as far as the lens of the camera on my iPhone could

Photographs Safari Club International

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each year to slip the mind. But, technically speaking, I suppose you would call him an armaments baron, if only for supplying the likes of James Bond with his handgun and that band of brothers known as the United States Army with theirs. However, it is making sporting shotguns and rifles that is the core of Beretta’s activity and, over dinner, Franco asked if I would be interested in writing a book about his family’s firm. I have shot (or perhaps, more accurately, missed) clay targets for a number of years. I came to game shooting rather late in life, and have found to my surprise that I rather like it. Moreover, as I have written one or two history books, I found it rather appealing that Beretta can trace its roots back to at least 1526, since when it has remained in the hands of the founding family. A fine old northern Italian firm from Gardone, a town in the Italian preAlps indissolubly associated with the manufacture of firearms, Beretta had once supplied the Venetian republic with arquebus barrels to fight off the invading forces of the Ottoman


BIG GAME HUNTING sense why a gun might be considered a natural part of life – without the concrete beneath one’s feet and the background hum of sleepless human activity that characterises city life, it’s easy to feel vulnerable. I spoke to a wellknown American musician who had moved to Montana and he talked about how people there grew up with guns and learned to respect them from an early age. At this show, offering everything from extreme taxidermy to rifle scopes that did everything but pull the trigger for you, I learned just how embedded the gun is into the American psyche. We bandy the term “gun culture” without actually beginning to think what that means. Shooting, or hunting as it is known in the US, is not an elite sport like it is in the UK. If you tell an American that a 500bird day on a good shoot in Britain will cost you about £50 a bird before you have factored in cartridges, accommodation and tips for butlers, loaders, keepers and so on, they will look at you in disbelief. For many of them, the idea of driving three

In the rural US, a fair bit of which I have seen in the course of researching my book, a firearm is viewed much as a washing machine, or a piece of agricultural machinery. For some it is a tool, for others it is an instrument of enjoyment, and for many it is a part of their identity. Firearms ownership is a strong component of who many Americans think they are, much in the way that the legally enshrined right to drive at lunatic speeds along certain stretches of the autobahn is the cherished birthright of those who live in the otherwise logical, clean, on the whole safe and at times really rather predictable country of Germany. In the end, I decided against trying to smuggle back a giraffe head into the UK, and nor did I think that I would have had much luck bringing back a semi-automatic shotgun in my luggage. A couple of weeks after I got back to London I had another rather less agreeable encounter with a gun. I woke one morning to find a bullet hole in my car and spent shell cases lying around the street. The

Bear arms: If it has they would have agreed that these hours cross country to spend a fur or feathers and were indeed terrible events. Often day at a Bass Pro shop (Bass Pro you can shoot it and it is people not that different to is a hunting, fishing and outstuff it, you will find it on display at the annual those attending this event whose doors outfitter that is also a sort SCI convention – ‘the lives are touched by shootings in of themed experience, with resGlastonbury of the gun’ towns that you and I have never taurant, coffee shop and plenty of heard of. stuffed animals scampering over Sitting in the Village or the synthetic rocks) is the very definiUpper West Side or, for that matter, in Notting tion of quality family time. To take away their Hill, it is easy to solve the problem: simply firearms would be to rob many of them of a restrict the supply of guns. However once strong part of their identity. outside metropolitan areas, the American relaI explained to normal rational, educated tionship with the gun becomes rather more and successful professional people I met in difficult to disentangle from the essence of the course of my travels around the US how what it is to be American. in the UK there are checks on mental health, It may sound strange and slightly corny and how a police officer will visit a potento those of us on this side of the Atlantic, tial shotgun owner in his home, interview but there are many Americans for whom him, examine carefully the cabinet in which the country in which they live is not so far a gun is stored and make sure that only the removed from the notion of the frontier certificate holder, rather than any unlicensed nation celebrated and mythologised in endless member of the family, has access to the keys Westerns. And, travelling from overcrowded – precautions that you and I might regard as south-east England to the large and sparsely sensible, but that they regard as an intolerapopulated wilds of America, it is possible to ble infringement of personal liberty.

bullet had entered the car near the petrol tank shattering the fuel cap of my relatively new Fiat 500 Abarth, causing the sort of damage that is likely to lead to a hefty increase in my insurance premium. It is not the first time that I have found a bullet in my car. The last time was a few years ago when local entrepreneurs seemed to be attempting to settle a disagreement with exchanges of gunfire – ludicrous when, given the runaway house-price inflation in London, I live in a street where I would be unable to afford to buy the house I now inhabit. Strange to think that I felt safer surrounded by countless firearms in Las Vegas than I do on the streets of London.

To take away their firearms would be to rob many Americans of a strong part of their identity

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here’s a lot to like about the Instagram account of Victoria’s Secret model, philanthropist and all-round perfect human Alessandra Ambrosio. You will see, for instance, pictures of her on the cover of magazines (flame emoji), pictures of her walking the catwalk at Thanksgiving with large feathers protruding from her posterior (chicken emoji) and a picture of her nude, lying on a bed, smiling (an emoji hasn’t been invented for this yet). But it was one of her more standard selfies (lipstick emoji) that recently got the model into trouble. In it, the 34-year-old may have claimed there was no filter (via a hashtag, #nofilter), but she didn’t mention the extra lighting – two professional-grade lighting strips, providing only slightly less illumination than most Premier League stadium floodlights, either side of the phone, a setup that could clearly be seen in the reflection of the mirror behind her. Busted. The Daily Mail exploded with rage: “Victoria’s Secret’s Alessandra Ambrosio seen with flattering LIGHTS.” Which was a bit like saying she was seen with a face. She’s a Victoria’s Secret model – did we really expect her to look anything but her best? And we’re about to see a lot more of that perfect face, as the catwalk model – the eighth highest earning in the world according to a recent Forbes poll – is about to take the plunge into film, starring in the knockabout comedy Daddy’s Home alongside Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Details of her part are being kept strictly under wraps, but we’re guessing that it won’t be a huge shock. We’re calling it: The Hot One. Stuart McGurk

Alessandra P H OTO G R A P H E D BY

LIZ COLLINS

GQ has fallen hard for this Victoria’s Secret angel and all-round do-gooder. Now Alessandra Ambrosio is set to star in Will Ferrell’s Daddy’s Home, she’s on a roll...


Photograph Trunk Archive

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ANNA SCHIFFEL Shorts by American Apparel, £56. store.americanapparel.co.uk. Boots. Sunglasses. Gloves. All stylist’s own. Socks by Falke, £16. falke.com

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THE RAT AND THE SINKING SHIP In 2012, the Costa Concordia performed an ostentatious manoeuvre that took it perilously close to the Tuscan coast. Six hours later it was the largest cruise wreck in history and 32 passengers had lost their lives. While the operator continues to fight compensation claims from survivors, only one man, Francesco Schettino, faces jail time and the unrelenting contempt of his countrymen. But does the infamous ‘Captain Coward’ – speaking exclusively to GQ – deserve to be a global laughing stock and the most hated man in Italy? S TO RY BY

ROBERT CHALMERS

‘Listen, Schettino. There are people trapped on board... Get back on the boat and tell me what can be done!’ G FEBRUARY 2016

P H OTO G R A P H BY

MASSIMO SESTINI


Photograph Eyevine

COSTA CONCORDIA

Surface tension: Navy divers emerge from the stricken Costa Concordia two days after the sinking of the liner off the Tuscan coast, 15 January 2012


To walk a mile in them? “No,” the captain replied. “To spend one minute in them. A minute would be enough. Then you would understand.” Francesco Schettino is hardly the first man to experience the agonies of international humiliation. But few, if any, have achieved the status of global pariah so rapidly and on so comprehensive a geographical scale as the former captain of the Costa Concordia. “When people hear my name,” he said, “they think Osama bin Laden.” The grainy night-vision footage that accompanied his conversation with a coastguard officer, Gregorio De Falco, after the captain had left his wrecked ship became popular viewing around the world within days of the tragedy in January 2012. Thirty-two people died in the disaster. There were at least 300 passengers still on board when the captain, as he explained at the time, “tripped and fell” into a lifeboat. Thanks to the ubiquity of satellite television, images of Schettino’s last voyage were viewed within days of the tragedy by far more people than watched live footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing, even though the Italian’s expedition was the source of less awe and national pride. One of the unfortunate truths about being a

sea captain, in life or in fiction, is that should you acquire a reputation for trouble (Bligh, Hook and Ahab come to mind) your name becomes at least as immortalised as that of your ship. There are jokes and cartoons about Francesco Schettino in Arabic, Danish and Mandarin. In Russia, where his name unfortunately rhymes with the word for “scumbag”, there’s a well-known comic poem celebrating his disgrace. To his compatriots, Schettino has become a symbol of national shame, a living embodiment of the harsh but not uncommon perception of Italians as a people with an exceptional talent for running away. You still see T-shirts bearing the instruction barked at Schettino by De Falco after the captain had left the Concordia in a lifeboat. Namely: “Get the f*** back on board!” “My biggest mistake,” said Schettino, “was not to die.” Although he added, “In a kind of way, my life did end that day.” You might be forgiven for imagining that, four years on, the repercussions of the Costa Concordia disaster would have ceased to be a source of anger and controversy. Under international maritime law, the captain is responsible for the safe navigation of his ship and for the wellbeing of his passengers. In Italy, the tradition by which the master is the last to leave the vessel is enshrined in a statute that makes abandonment

of passengers punishable by a year in prison. At Grosseto, in February 2015, Schettino received a sentence of 16 years: ten for mass manslaughter, five for causing the wreck and one for deserting his passengers. If you haven’t been following the case, you might assume that Schettino is currently pacing an Italian prison cell, probably in the same austere block that houses former colleagues who were also convicted of multiple manslaughter. The passengers, you might reasonably expect, will by now be spending their generous compensation settlements at a speed that reflects the trauma they endured that night. In the case of the Costa Concordia, it hasn’t worked out quite like that. Schettino, who is in the middle of one appeal and, if required, has another to go, remains at liberty in his home near Meta di Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. (Prosecutors are pursuing their own appeal, arguing that his current sentence is too lenient.) The worst punishment the captain has suffered so far is to have served a few months under house arrest. The ship’s owners, Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of US giant Carnival Corporation, which also owns P&O, paid the court a ¤1 million (£700,000) fine to settle. Magistrates accepted plea bargains from five other individuals: crew members or land-based Costa employees. Where the survivors are concerned, some have grudgingly accepted the compensation – maximum ¤11,000 (£7,700) – offered by the company. The company disputes the modest figures alleged in the media and points to a settlement rate of 85 per cent. Others remain extremely angry and their civil claims against Costa represent just some of the numerous court cases pending as a result of this disaster.

Ship to shore: The Sunday Times charts the Concordia’s final voyage; (above) its captain, Francesco Schettino, defends himself to the press, 27 February 2014

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Photographs Reuters; Rex; Massimo Sestini/Eyevine; The Sunday Times/News Syndication

“When you sit down to write this story,” Captain Schettino told me, “I’d ask you one thing. Please imagine what it feels like to be in my shoes.”


COSTA CONCORDIA

Wreck and ruin: At a cost of £800m, the salvage operation rolled the ship off the seabed near Giglio and onto underwater platforms, 26 August 2013

‘When people hear my name, they think Osama bin Laden’


Breach of trust (from top): The Costa Concordia – on which Schettino had been captain since the maiden trip – was in service for six years; terrifying footage captures the disaster unfolding, 13 January 2012; passengers gather on the side of the capsized vessel in the early hours of the following morning, 14 January 2012

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he Costa Concordia, which came to grief after striking rocks close to the small island of Giglio in the Tuscan archipelago, was the largest passenger ship ever to be wrecked. As superstitiously minded voyagers have noted, the vessel foundered on the evening of Friday 13 January 2012, the centenary year of the sinking of the Titanic. Both ships were “unbaptised”, meaning that the inaugural champagne failed to shatter against the bow on the occasion of their first launch, which occurred, in the case of the Concordia, at a ceremony in Genoa in September 2005. On the night of the tragedy, the £390m ship

was carrying 4,229 people, 1,023 of whom were staff or naval crew. Weighing 114,500 tons, the Concordia was 17 decks high and 951 feet long. The liner boasted 1,500 cabins, a Turkish bath and solarium, five restaurants, 13 bars (including one solely devoted to brandy) and four swimming pools. The liner operated a circular route, beginning at Civitavecchia near Rome and docking at ports including Palermo, Marseille and Barcelona. Francesco Schettino, who grew up in a seafaring family on the Bay of Naples, had joined Costa in 2002 and became a captain four years later. Our first email exchanges reflected his interest in historical wrecks, including that of the Laconia, whose sinking in 1942 was the subject of a 2010 film by Alan Bleasdale, the British tanker San Delfino (also 1942) and – a disaster that seemed to have a special resonance for Schettino – the Lusitania, torpedoed in 1915. “I’d always been fascinated by innovations in passenger safety,” Schettino said. “And [by other tragedies, such as] the Herald Of Free Enterprise, the Achille Lauro and so on. I became interested in the way a crew responded to an emergency.” On 13 January 2012, he had a unique opportunity to observe the psychology of catastrophe at first hand. Before the Concordia began its journey up the Tuscan coast, heading for Savona 250 miles to the northwest, Schettino had agreed to perform an inchino (literally a “bow”) or sail-past, a tradition which involves taking the ship much closer than usual to land: in this case the small, picturesque island of Giglio. Quite who the captain, now 55, was seeking to impress has been a matter of some debate. Prosecutors claimed he was showing off to his then girlfriend, Moldovan dancer Domnica Cemortan, now 29, who was on the bridge at the time of the collision. For months after the tragedy, Cemortan, who was neither on the passenger list nor in possession of a ticket, insisted she was a platonic friend of the captain, who had been considerate enough to store her clothes in his own cabin. Testifying at his trial, she admitted they were lovers. Her presence on the bridge is not believed to have been a significant factor in the disaster. The captain had announced the planned inchino to his head waiter, Antonello Tievolo, whose family were on Giglio, and to his mentor, a retired captain, Mario Palombo. Palombo (from Giglio, but not on the island that night) took a call from Schettino, who announced his intention. “He was too exuberant,” the older man said, “a daredevil. More than once I had to put him in his place.” There were numerous precedents for the inchino. Costa had sanctioned a sail-past close to Giglio in 2011. Where Schettino’s manoeuvre was concerned, the then CEO of Costa, Pier Luigi Foschi, announced shortly after the wreck that the captain had made an “unauthorised deviation” from the agreed route. According to the captain, “The inchino was a

Photographs Barcroft Media; Reuters; Rex

he sinking of the Concordia has inspired a bookshelf full of memoirs. Most of the works are by passengers: the best, Abandoned Ship (2013), is a well-written and perceptive book by Benji Smith, a young American who had been on honeymoon with his wife, Emily. In July 2015, Italians were introduced to the work of another literary debutant: Schettino himself, who launched a 600-page book entitled Le Verita Sommerse (The Submerged Truth). His ghostwriter, Vittoriana Abate, is an investigative journalist from RAI, the national television network. The work is as yet untranslated, although his publisher is keen to produce an English version. The book generated considerable interest in the Italian media, who reported that Abate and Schettino (who is now divorced) had developed a relationship far closer than that traditionally enjoyed by co-authors. Although I had never expected Schettino would contribute to this story, he eventually responded after considerable hesitation: first by email, then by text message, then telephone. Two or three times he agreed to meet for dinner near his home then thought better of it. His tone was that of a man desperate to contribute, but understandably nervous of the possible consequences. In his questions, words such as “ethics” and “trust” would recur. “In ancient Rome,” Schettino said, “we used to have the gladiators fighting against the lions. People enjoyed that. We still have that desire to see people sent to die and torn to pieces. It’s still there in our nature.” He is, as he puts it, “a man condemned as a monster on the strength of information that betrayed no knowledge of seafaring. They needed a scapegoat.” This view of Captain Schettino as a hapless victim is not, as yet, widely shared in Italy. While researching this story I was in a café in Rome, with my mobile phone on the counter, when the barman glanced down to see that a text message had arrived prominently displaying the name of the sender, who is still described in headlines as “The most hated man in Italy”. “Captain Schettino?” he asked. “Yes. What kind of welcome would he get here?” My host responded with a cut-throat gesture.


COSTA CONCORDIA long-established practice. Everybody knew and nobody knew.” The Submerged Truth doesn’t stint on passages celebrating its author’s maritime skill. One of the few areas of consensus in this story is that Schettino’s last sail-by was not one of his better manoeuvres. This was quickly apparent to Ian Donoff, a Londoner on his honeymoon, when at 9.42pm the ship side-swiped a granite outcrop known as Le Scole, tearing a 70 metre gash in the hull, flooding engines and causing a brief blackout, after which emergency lighting kicked in. “My wife, Janice, and I had eaten dinner,” Donoff told me, when we met at his favourite café in land-locked Edgware. “We were watching the magic show. Then the conjuror disappeared.” The magician’s swift exit, initially assumed to be part of his act, was explained by the fact that, “He was at a lower level than we were, so he could see things that we couldn’t.” Such as? “Plates flying off the mezzanine. The Tannoy announced, ‘The captain has reported a generator fault. We ask you not to panic.’ I thought, ‘Well, why would you get that scraping noise?’” The newlyweds were seated at the table next to the captain’s at dinner on the night of the collision. Schettino’s manner, Donoff recalled, was animated, but he didn’t appear to be drunk, as others have alleged. Giglio locals say that the Concordia’s speed as it performed the inchino – 15 to 16 knots, around 18mph – was faster than they considered prudent, an opinion echoed by investigators. The ship’s proximity to the coast – around 300 metres – might appear reckless, but water depth at that distance was adequate. Quite how the liner managed to strike rocks that are marked on charts and should have been easily detectable on radar still seems difficult to understand. Schettino, who denies turning off the ship’s automatic collision-warning system before the manoeuvre, says he was the first to notice the imminent danger, betrayed by “luminescent foam in the water”. He complains that, “No other officer on the bridge, even though they were watching the radar, mentioned that we were heading for the rocks.” Anticipating the response (“Well, tough. It’s your ship. If you’re on the bridge, you’re in charge”) he notes that, “You have to warn your captain in such circumstances.” Passengers, as Ian Donoff recalled, were reassured that there was nothing to be concerned about, even though water was cascading into the hull from the moment of impact and, as the ship began to list, people were already starting to panic. The alarm was first raised at 9.45pm by phone calls from passengers. Those who made for the lifeboats filmed four crew members ordering them to return to their cabins. At 10.06pm, the coastguard called the bridge, asking what was happening, and was informed that the Concordia had suffered an electrical failure. Water rapidly flooded the ship’s engines and

generators. The lower decks were divided into compartments. Should four flood, the vessel would sink. Five had been breached. Reports prepared for the court demonstrated systemic malfunctions: faulty watertight doors, blocked lifts and the failure of emergency power supplies. At 9.57pm, the captain called Roberto Ferrarini, who ran Costa’s crisis centre. Ferrarini would later agree a plea bargain that earned him a sentence of two years and ten months for his part in the delayed reporting of the scale of the disaster. The men had several further conversations between 10pm and 10.30pm. No immediate action was taken. An hour and 16 minutes passed between the moment of impact and Schettino’s announcement of the order to abandon ship. In this time, the ship listed first to port and then, far more severely, to starboard, as it drifted towards Giglio. The captain has stated repeatedly that this delay was deliberately intended to avoid panic and to allow him, with “expert manoeuvring”, to guide the ship closer to the island, where disembarkation could be conducted more safely.

‘If I’d died, would that have been better? The ship was falling on us!’ “I left the ship in shallow water,” Schettino told me. “Had we been in deep water [and not beached on rocks] it would have sunk in another ten minutes. I prolonged the survivability of the ship.” The view of most disinterested analysts is that the captain, having lost all power, did indeed execute an audacious equivalent of a handbrake turn to ground the ship, but also that the success of his initiative owed as much to favourable currents as to his expert seamanship. That panic was already in full swing is confirmed by numerous videos shot by passengers. Costa had broken no maritime law by failing to conduct a lifeboat drill before the Concordia left Civitavecchia: the exercise was scheduled for the next day. But the result was that many passengers had little clue as to where their lifeboat muster stations were. His mood after the collision, Schettino maintains, was one of calm professionalism. Footage from the bridge, some posted on YouTube, indicates an atmosphere more akin to bewildered anarchy. At one point an officer told the captain that “the passengers are getting into the lifeboats by themselves”, to which Schettino replied,

“Vabbuò,” a Neapolitan phrase which translates roughly as “Whatever.”

chettino recommended that I read Dead Wake, Erik Larson’s 2015 account of the sinking of the Lusitania. “Captain Turner,” he explained, “like me, waited for the ship to be stationary so that lifeboats could safely be launched.” In all, 1,198 people died in the sinking of the Lusitania, even though the torpedoed ship, which sank in 18 minutes, was only ten miles from the Irish coast. The evacuation of the Concordia – the largest in maritime history – with the loss of only 32 lives, tragic a statistic as that is, can be regarded as little short of a miracle. The ship came to rest starboard-side down, leaving the port decks elevated out of the water, preventing most lifeboats from that side from being lowered into the sea. Starboard lifeboats also became difficult or impossible to reach as the ship inclined more steeply towards the surface. Passengers on that side had the choice of jumping into boats, leaping into the sea or clinging to decks that increasingly resembled vertical walls. Passengers I spoke to varied widely both in the way they dealt with the trauma and in their attitude towards the captain. Some, like Ian Donoff and Benji Smith, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, have attained a degree of what is commonly termed closure. Others still struggle. “Most people can imagine themselves in an air crash,” one Italian survivor told me. “Most of us probably do that every time we board a flight. A plane crash,” she added, “horrendous as it must be, is generally fairly quick. Thinking you’re about to die in a shipwreck is different. You’re comparing being electrocuted to being waterboarded to death. It really was that terrible.” Rose Metcalf, a dancer from Dorset, then 22, was drinking coffee in the bar when the collision occurred. It would be almost six hours before she was on dry land. “People went to the mortuary and were chucking coffins out and using them to float because life jackets were locked in trunks,” Metcalf, who declined to be interviewed for this article, told a reporter at the time, although her claim has not been established and Costa has stated its procedure and equipment complied with the law. The performer posted a message online that read: “My name is Rose. It’s Friday 13th and I’m one of the last survivors still on board the sinking cruise liner off the coast of Italy. Pray for us.” Some of the harshest suffering was endured by those on the elevated port side, who had to use rope ladders or lengths of cable to edge down the hull to the water, an experience they describe as similar to climbing down a skyscraper while cold, wet and in the dark. Donoff and his wife had to descend sevenand-a-half storeys using a rope ladder. “There was no question of ‘women and children first’,” he told me. “My wife had her toes crushed by a man who pushed in front of her. She’d lost her shoes. It was absolute torture.” FEBRUARY 2016 G 193


Also clinging to the port side were Benji Smith and his new wife, Emily. The Smiths survived by using ropes they had knotted to provide improvised hand-grips. On the elevated side of the wreck, Smith told me, he “had no way of knowing we were so close [300 metres] to shore. I sang to Emily. We cried a little. We said goodbye to each other.” Any anger towards the captain? Smith said he understood that other senior officers were supported by Costa in their legal defence, whereas the captain wasn’t, although the company say it declined to do so after an internal disciplinary hearing revealed Schettino’s gross negligence. “That,” Smith told me, “made him the scapegoat for what some suspect may have been wider problems in their organisation.” “Can you bring yourself to feel any sympathy for Schettino?” “Yes. He got 16 years. His life is ruined. It doesn’t give me any joy to reflect on that.” Donoff also mentioned that, “There were other people arrested. They all did a plea bargain. What the hell is that all about? The whole thing,” he added, “is just ghastly.” The notion of being left to take sole responsibility for a catastrophe helps to explain Schettino’s particular fascination with the Lusitania. One of the most shocking aspects of that disaster was the determination of authorities to lay all blame with the master, Captain Turner, even though a court found he had done all he could to avert impact with a torpedo loaded with 350lb of TNT. Hundreds more lives could have been saved had the Admiralty not recalled the high-speed cruiser Juno, initially despatched to rescue survivors. “The cause of the disaster was obvious – an act of war,” Erik Larson wrote in Dead Wake, the book Schettino recommended to me, but “the Admiralty moved at once to place the blame on Captain Turner.” Then First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, wrote Larson, “despite possessing clear evidence to the contrary”, persisted in seeking to scapegoat Turner. The captain, friends said, never fully recovered. His quality of life dwindled to the point that, by the end, he was keeping bees in Liverpool.

here are, it must be said, one or two rather important differences between the cases of Francesco Schettino and William Turner. The captain of the Lusitania remained on the bridge until the vessel went down. The only concession Turner made to preserving his own life was to put on the life jacket that saved him. Schettino, by contrast, left the bridge well before midnight and descended to deck four on the starboard side. There he discovered that the last serviceable lifeboat had become jammed, endangering its occupants. The Concordia had tilted to the point that people struggled to cling to the deck rails. Some, including First Officer Ambrosio, fell from deck four into the sea. (Ambrosio was not charged with abandoning ship.) Schettino now says that his initial recollection 194 G FEBRUARY 2016

of having tripped and landed in a lifeboat was mistaken. He was seeking to help the passengers trapped in the lifeboat, he insists, but in order to free it had to climb aboard with them. His account, as he reminded me, has witnesses, including Raluca Soare, a Romanian nurse. Soare insisted that, “Schettino was the one who managed to pull the lifeboat free and take us to safety.” He left the Concordia at 12.07am. Is it just a myth that the captain goes down with the ship? “If I’d died,” Schettino asked me, “instead of saving the lives of people on that last lifeboat, would that have been better? To choose death and let all the others die with me?” The ship, he added, “was falling on us”. Had he made a different choice, he said, he would have lost “a lifeboat, together with the nurse, staff engineer and other passengers. Around 50 more bodies. But people like to believe that what they learn from the media is the truth. People don’t want to be disappointed. If a man makes a mistake, he has to pay. But that [penalty] has to be [based on] truth.”

‘There was no question of women and children first. It was absolute torture’ He insisted that, “People got off the boat because of the shuttle service [of lifeboats] that I organised.” If we take Schettino at his word on the circumstances of his involuntary evacuation, then his subsequent decision to remain on the lifeboat, disembark on nearby rocks, then cross to the main port of Giglio seems, to put it kindly, to have been a significant miscalculation. It’s hard to believe that Schettino, given his time again, might not have considered a different course of action – one more consistent with the notion of bravery as the term is usually understood. However you view his conduct, it’s undeniable that, as the Italian points out, it was the release of the recording of his exchanges with De Falco, 62 miles away in the control centre in Livorno, that made his disgrace irredeemable. The conversation bears revisiting. Alan Bleasdale couldn’t have scripted it more compellingly. De Falco: “Listen, Schettino. There are people trapped on board. Now you go with your boat under the prow on the starboard side. There is a pilot ladder. You will climb that ladder and go on board. You go on board and then you will tell

me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Commander Schettino... Tell me if there are children, women or people in need of assistance. And tell me the exact number of each... Is that clear? Listen, Schettino. Perhaps you saved yourself from the sea... but I am going to make you pay for this. Get back on board, for f***’s sake!” “Commander, please...” “No please. You get up and go on board. They are telling me that on board there are still...” “I am here with the rescue boats. I am here. I am not going anywhere, I am here...” “What are you doing, Commander?” “I am here to co-ordinate the rescue...” “There are already bodies, Schettino.” “How many bodies are there?” “I don’t know. I have heard of one. You are the one who has to tell me how many there are. Christ!” “But do you realise it is dark and we can’t see anything?” “And so what? You want to go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get back on the boat, using the pilot ladder, and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now!” The critic Aldo Grasso, in a famous article for the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, noted that Schettino’s conversation with the coastguard “exemplifies the twin souls of Italy”. One flees to save his skin, the other “immediately understands the dimensions of the tragedy and tries to call the coward to fulfil his obligations”. John Hooper, southern Europe editor for the Guardian, whose short book Fatal Voyage is the finest report on the sinking in any language, has expanded on this notion of two stock characters in Italian society. They are defined, Hooper explains, as the furbo – a jumper of queues, tax evader and seducer of married women – and the fesso, who waits in line, pays the revenue and is cuckolded by the furbo, whose behaviour, selfish as it is, makes him the object of furtive respect. How, I asked Schettino’s ghostwriter, Vittoriana Abate, who met me at her Rome apartment, had this recording entered the public domain? One copy, she said, was delivered on a memory stick by persons unknown to a reporter in Florence. (Other journalists told me the leaking of the recording was much more widespread.) “Somebody wanted one person to take the blame and to create this hero-and-villain scenario,” Abate explained. “We can but guess,” she added, not without sarcasm, “at who might have wanted to do that.” Did Schettino, I asked Abate in passing, abandon his wife for her? “No,” she said, while admitting that their relationship was an intimate one. The separation, she believes, had “more to do with the dancer”. Abate told me Schettino had tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade a launch to carry him from the rocks directly back to the ship. But witnesses who saw him standing on the outcrop before he was ferried to port and then, eventually,


COSTA CONCORDIA

Photographs John Frost Newspapers

travelled by taxi to the Hotel Bahamas, describe the captain as appearing to have gone into shock, to the point that he seemed, in the literal sense of the word, petrified. In more straightforward football parlance, his head had gone. Giglio resident Lisa Cameron Smith was one of the first on the scene. “We started taking people out of the water,” she said. “They were in panic.” The captain “was surrounded by his group of men. He and his group were dry. Everybody else was wet – kids, old people.” Schettino appeared to be, in her words, “out of his mind” and exhibiting “the kind of calm that is not a good sign”. Father Raffaele Malene, the ship’s chaplain, met Schettino on the harbour at 2.30am. “He embraced me,” the priest said, “and cried like a baby.” Failure to launch: As the captain struggled Media coverage to find a craft to return of Schettino has him to the ship, others had been unanimously scathing, casting more luck. Hotel manager the captain as an Mario Pellegrini, deputy easily distracted mayor of Giglio, had been exhibitionist

watching television when he heard of the wreck. He went to the port and jumped on a lifeboat heading for the Concordia, which he boarded using rope ladders. He worked for six hours, helping passengers to safety. Pellegrini (one of many that night who displayed the sort of courage Italians have exhibited in saving shipwrecked refugees while more affluent nations look on) wasn’t back on land until after 5am. “Is there anything,” I asked Schettino, “that you feel you did wrong on that night?” “I am appealing my sentence,” he said. “I can’t answer that question. Not yet.” Benji Smith’s book, Abandoned Ship, exposes horrible shortcomings at almost every possible level. Attending what he said had been billed as a “safety presentation” he said that he and his wife were instead given “full details for the various spa packages”. (Costa Cruises, in keeping with industry requirements introduced after the disaster, now conducts drills before a ship has put to sea.) Smith is one of the passengers who rejected the ¤11,000 settlement and has a civil suit against Costa. (In Britain, many of the survivors have sought the help of lawyer Philip Banks of Irwin Mitchell to challenge that settlement.) “The Concordia,” said Smith, “was insured for $513m [£337m]. I believe the lost lives and the suffering of passengers are worth at least as much as the liner. I believe that passengers and non-nautical crew deserve a communal sum of around $500m: roughly $120,000 [£79,000] each. The families of people who died deserve more.” Another survivor noted that Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa at the time of the accident, left its parent company, Carnival, in January 2014 and trousered a $1.7m (£1.1m) bonus, while the majority of passengers remained uncompensated. The Costa Concordia was righted in 2013 at a cost of $1.2bn (£800m) and the life of one salvage diver. While the vessel was awaiting demolition in Genoa, in July the following year, Schettino had the misfortune to be photographed in party mood, surrounded by women on the island of Ischia, close to Giglio. He was attending an annual event hosted by Pietro Graus, who published his book, but he might have been wiser to have stayed in and worked on his manuscript.

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hile writing this article I heard Schettino described as “cowardly”, “imbecilic” and “clown-like”. In my dealings with him, he exhibited none of these qualities. More useful adjectives might be “desperate”, “anguished” and “broken”. Whatever judicial penalty you feel he should face, there is something extremely ugly about footage of the scenes in Giglio in February 2014, when the captain returned to the wreck in connection with his trial, and was greeted by an aggressive pack of journalists and scornful sightseers who almost forced him off the dock and into the water.

It’s a fate, his fiercer critics would say, that was no more than he deserved. It’s not easy, though, to quell every instinct of forgiveness and empathy when Schettino talks about letters he has written to the relatives of the dead or tells you how worried he is about the effect his disgrace might have on his daughter, who is still in full-time education. To say anything in mitigation of his case, though, certainly in Italy, is a bit like going on Question Time and asserting that Pol Pot was a fundamentally decent guy who had his flaws. Is it possible, I asked Pino Nicotri, one of Italy’s most distinguished reporters, to imagine that somebody can have done something terribly wrong and still have been unfairly singled out for punishment? “My own feeling,” he said, “is that I’d have been extremely interested to hear Costa executives testify about the reported technical failures and to hear from them how familiar they were with the tradition of the sail-by. That said, my personal opinion of a captain who abandons his passengers is that he deserves to be shot in the back.” In a 2010 interview with Czech newspaper DNES, Schettino was quoted as saying, “Luckily, people quickly forget tragedies.” It’s a view that the Costa Concordia affair may have caused him to adjust. I messaged one British survivor, who had been eloquently articulate in the immediate aftermath, to ask if she would talk to me. “Why would I want to do that?” she replied. And then, later, “The nightmares have come back again, and it’s all because of you.” In the autumn of 2014, Gregorio De Falco, having experienced a period as a national hero, was demoted and returned to desk duties. This indignity, he told La Repubblica, was directly linked to the fact that he had used such robust language in his famous call to the captain. Schettino, meanwhile, survives, as he told me, “with the help of my family.” He is at his calmest, he said, “when fishing”. “I just saw anchovies chased by small tuna,” he texted me, “tuna chased by dolphins, in deep blue water tinged with signs of pollution.” The scene, he said, “looked like divine powers battling demonic attack. One day, I found myself in the middle of that battle.” And for now – pending what threatens to be his next public damnation at the hands of Italian justice – that’s where you’re most likely to find Francesco Schettino: staring into the waters of the Amalfi coast, dreaming of a less humiliating immortality.

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FASHION Rollneck by Uniqlo, £12.90. uniqlo.com. Salopettes by Canada Goose, £500. At matches fashion.com. Watch by Victorinox, £359. victorinox.com. Gloves by Hestra, £85. At Ellis Brigham. ellisbrigham.com. Helmet by Cébé, £148.99. At Surfdome. surfdome.com. Skis by Volant, from £1,100. volantski.com Opposite: Jacket by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, £2,865. ralphlauren.co.uk

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Gilet by Dsquared2, £520. Rollneck by Alexander McQueen, £805. Both at Harvey Nichols. harveynichols. com. Salopettes by Moncler, £480. At Harrods. harrods.com. Sunglasses by Dior, £370. dior.com. Watch by Gucci, £620. gucci.com. Helmet by Stefano Ricci, £599. At Harrods. Skis by Völkl, from £625. At Ellis Brigham. ellisbrigham.com


FASHION Jacket by Christian Lacroix, £900. At matchesfashion. com. Rollneck by John Smedley, £139. johnsmedley.com. Goggles by Uvex, £74.95. At Surfdome. surfdome.com. Gloves by Hestra, £85. At Ellis Brigham. ellis-brigham.com. Skis by Jimmy Choo, to order from £1,000. jimmychoo.com

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Boots by Fischer, £280. At Ellis Brigham. ellis-brigham.com Opposite: Jacket, £1,950. Salopettes, £835. Both by Fendi. At matchesfashion.com. Sunglasses by Taylor Morris, £210. taylor morriseyewear.com. Scarf by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, £345. ralphlauren.co.uk. Watch by G-Shock, £75. casio.com. Gloves by Volcom, £54.99. volcom.co.uk. Poles by Faction, £49.99. At Surfdome. surfdome.com


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Jacket by Lanvin, £2,005. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols. com. Rollneck by Stefano Ricci, £1,075. Salopettes by Moncler, £480. Both at Harrods. harrods.com. Outdoor eyewear by Adidas, £175. adidas.com. Headphones by Aëdle, £250. At Selfridges. selfridges.com. Rucksack by Fendi, £1,750. fendi.com. Gloves by Hestra, £85. At Ellis Brigham. ellis-brigham.com. Flask by S’well, £28. swellbottle.com


FASHION

Jacket by Canada Goose, £975. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols.com. Rollneck by Uniqlo, £12.90. uniqlo.com. Hat by Canada Goose, £250. At Harvey Nichols. Goggles by Oakley, £50. At Harrods. harrods.com Model Ryan Barrett at Models 1 Grooming Oliver Woods at One Represents using Kiehl’s

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Photograph by Sophie Pycroft, Art Direction Owain Proctor CNC Diploma Graduate, Model Josh Rowley at Models One

WANT TO GET


DOLCE & GABBANA + GRENSON + DAVID PRESTON + STYLE SHRINK + CROCKETT & JONES

1 Cufflinks in 18k gold with rubies, £3,450. 2 Pendant in 18k gold and silver with rubies, £2,150. 3 Skull cufflinks in 18k yellow gold with diamonds and rubies, £3,950. 4 Ring in 18k yellow gold with tiger’s eye, £2,150. 5 Coin ring in 18k yellow gold, £2,550. 6 Ring in 18k yellow gold with red jasper, £2,150. 7 Ring pendant in 18k yellow gold with rubies, £2,450. 8 Crucifix in 18k yellow gold, £1,300 All by Dolce & Gabbana Fine Jewellery. dolcegabbana.com

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The new golden age From the very beginning, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have taken inspiration from the former’s Sicilian roots. No wonder their new men’s fine jewellery collection is a reimagining of that island’s rich history, with pieces that represent a melting pot of the sacred and the profane.

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is no longer necessary. It is your day and you can wear whatever you like, though I would avoid any novelty Star Wars-type themes, say, with flower girls dressed up as tiny Stormtroopers. Follow Style Shrink on Instagram @roberttjohnston

Glasses by Oliver Peoples, £396. oliver peoples.com

LETTER of the MONTH I’ve worn glasses for a few years now, but I still have no idea what style of frame suits me. I have a long, narrow face, a light complexion and fair hair. At the moment I am lumbered with a heavy black pair that I don’t feel suits me. Jamie, via email

Always take a trusted friend along when you choose frames, because they will tend to have a better idea what suits you than you do when you look in the mirror (and when you pull that ridiculous pouting selfie face like we all do – admit it). Trust me, when it comes to our faces we are often the worst judge. I once saw a contact sheet (back when dinosaurs roamed the land, obviously) of un-retouched portraits of a certain ultra-famous raunchy singer on which she had personally marked her favourites. Believe you me, she didn’t pick the best ones. But as a general rule of thumb, avoid small or narrow frames, as these tend to emphasise angular features and make the face look longer (and you don’t want to resemble someone who could eat an apple through a letterbox). Wider square frames will balance up this face shape, as do frames with a strong top line, so I would advise Jamie tries some aviator styles, such as those by Ray-Ban. These might be more common as sunglasses, but they have a certain early Roger Moore smoothness to them that works well. And for a light complexion, I would recommend a tortoiseshell or a shade of taupe – black, as Jamie has discovered, is too draining. Another good style to check out is the semi-rimless Executive I by Oliver Peoples. I suspect the Matte Sycamore/Antique Gold option might prove flattering.

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At our upcoming wedding, my fiancée and I have decided to have a colour theme of cream and gold; so the bridesmaids will wear cream/beige dresses and I had my eye on a beige suit. My parents have said, however, that it would be stupid to wear anything other than a tuxedo. What is your position? Chris, County Galway Once upon a time, men just did what they were told when it came to weddings. Turn up, wear what had been decided by the woman in charge (or their tailor), say the vows and the job was done. Today, however, us blokes like to have a bit more say. But just as the most career-minded of glassceiling-crashing women still like to be offered a seat on a train, so they like to call the

shots on the big day. And fair enough. It is always better when someone is actually in charge. However, while I am all for a theme on the bride’s side of the gathering, I am a little more chary about it being obligatory for the groom, too. There is a danger that the wedding party will end up looking like the chorus line of a West End musical. Having said that, I think for a summer wedding a cream or beige suit can look great. I suspect Chris’s parents are referring to morning dress – a tailcoat and waistcoat – rather than a tuxedo. I hope so, as I think wearing a DJ to a wedding is a little too Las Vegas croupier. And while I think a wedding should be seen as a good excuse to get dressed up, unless it is a full church do for hundreds, morning dress Blazer, £275. Shirt, £95. Tie, £45. All by Reiss. reiss.com

Cap by Lock & Co, £129. lockhatters.co.uk

I’d really welcome some advice for my one-man campaign to kick-start a hat culture. Specifically, will current trends permit the wearing of a Homburg, usually black, navy or grey, with casual clothing or even tweeds? Hugh, via email This feels a little like receiving an email from Bertie Wooster, but then I can think of few people I’d rather hear from. And I find myself in agreement. I’m a big fan of the hat, although I have an enormous head (relatively speaking – it’s not like I’m ET or anything), which makes wearing things on it tricky as most hats don’t come in large enough sizes. The secret to pulling off a hat is to wear it as if it is the most natural thing in the world rather than like you are making a point. If you do the latter, you are likely to come off looking like, well, Bertie Wooster, which would have been all well and good in Twenties Mayfair but is more likely to get you beaten up in the modern day. Try integrating a hat into your everyday look slowly. For example, at this time of year, start off with a cap. I favour an eight-piece (or “newsboy”) cap, which boasts eight panels of tweed meeting under a central button. One of the best places to find these is the venerable Bates on London’s Jermyn Street (bates-hats.com), which may well have been frequented by Bertie back in the day. In summer the easiest hat to carry off is a classic Panama,

Photographs Full Stop Photography; fameflynet.uk.com

Specs symbol: Tom Hardy, in Legend, wears frames with a strong top line


which actually hails from Ecuador. This is woven from the leaves of the local toquilla palm. It is claimed that the very finest Panama hats can be rolled so that they will pass through a wedding ring. For these, try Lock & Co (lockhatters.co.uk). You will notice that both hats I have mentioned are casual styles. A Homburg, in contrast, is distinctly formal. Indeed, on the smart scale, it ranks just below a top hat, which might give you pause for thought. The style is named after Bad Homburg, a spa town near Frankfurt, and was popularised by Edward VII who brought one back as a souvenir. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower daringly broke with tradition and wore one for his inauguration as US president rather than a top hat. It is a very handsome style, but just as I doubt you would stroll the streets in full topper, then perhaps think twice about the Homburg. Here’s an interesting hat fact. Two famous styles of men’s headgear are actually named after female characters from the 19th-century stage. The trilby was so-called as it was sported by the eponymous heroine in the play based on George du Maurier’s novel (which also introduced the character Svengali), while the fedora was so-called after Princess Fédora, a part written for Sarah Bernhardt, the Eddie Izzard of her day. England cap: David Beckham sports an eight-piece

Submit your questions to our style guru: styleshrink@condenast.co.uk

The author of our Letter Of The Month will receive a stylish black and rhodium Townsend fountain pen worth £190 from Cross. Cross is the maker of quality writing instruments and has a range of distinctive lifestyle accessories. cross.com

Shoes by Crockett & Jones, £405. crockett andjones.com No ordinary cobblers: Trimming the welt, sole levelling and antiquing in Crockett & Jones’ Northampton factory

Brogue agent Crockett & Jones is the beating heart of British manufacturing, says Nick Foulkes. And if its high-quality Goodyear welted shoes are good enough for James Bond... I don’t know if you got a chance to look at Daniel Craig’s feet in the latest James Bond outing, but if you did, and you know your shoes, then you would have glimpsed some of Northampton’s finest, viz a capsule collection of Crockett & Jones shoes. Among them a very handsome wholecut dress shoe and a toecapped Derby; but it seems that at the moment Bond is into boots, as the Spectre collection at C&J includes a double-monk-style boot, an elegant lace-up boot with a toecap called Northcote, and Radnor, a stouter model for those moments when a dry Martini and a dry wit are not enough and 007 is forced... well, to stick the boot in. Given that Bond is a British creation, it is a delight to see Her Majesty’s most famous secret agent doing his bit to boost British manufacturing and the words “Made in Northampton” carry a certain reassurance when you see them in ready-to-wear shoes. Northampton’s links with the shoe trade go back to the Middle Ages when it was a major leather-tanning centre, the nearby oak forests providing plenty of oak bark, which was the best tanning agent at that time, and oak-bark-tanned leather continues to be used for Crockett’s prestige Hand Grade range. Of course, where there was leather there were shoemakers; by the 19th-century shoemaking was becoming mechanised and there was a chance for shoemakers to start small factories. Among those entrepreneurial craftsmen, Charles Jones and his brother-in-law James Crockett received £100 each from a charity with the appropriately lofty Victorian mission “to encourage young men of good character in the towns of Northampton and Coventry to set up business on their own”.

The invention of Charles Goodyear’s eponymous welt, and the machinery to make it, enabled the mass production of quality shoes that could be repaired many times over. Business boomed. By 1911, Crockett & Jones had added a five-storey wing to its factory – the first all-steel-framed structure in Northampton. It became a listed building in 2004. Ernest Shackleton wore Crockett & Jones on his polar jaunts, and by the mid-Twenties the factory was turning out 15,000 pairs of shoes a week, and more than a million pairs of shoes and boots for the armed forces during the Second World War. In 1977, it decided to concentrate on making only high-quality Goodyear welted shoes. As well as all the standard classic styles from chukka to co-respondent and the Spectre and Skyfall (slightly more pointed) collections, there is the top-of-the-range Hand Grade with a channelled sole, slightly younger calf leather, the oak-barktanned soles and little details such as the notch taken off the inside corner of the heel. If you have exceptionally narrow feet or require a different size for each foot or just want something a little different and are prepared to wait eight weeks or so, you can have a pair made at a modest surcharge. And there are shoe-care accessories, too, including a quite brilliant cabinet with drawers of shoe-cleaning kit: brushes, polishes, creams, buffing mittens and much more besides. In fact, it looks like the sort of thing Q department used to come up with before 007 went all “realistic” on us. Maybe Eon productions can be prevailed upon to slip this box into the 25th Bond film. crockettandjones.com

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High road (below): Jim Chapman is signing up for the London marathon Clockwise from top: T-Shirt, £240. Bag, £270. Jacket, £780. Shorts, £820. All by Dsquared2. dsquared2.com

Trainers by Grenson, £300. grenson.co.uk

New year, new me (again) From wardrobes to timekeeping to abs: Jim Chapman wants to do everything right

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Sneakers, pimped IT’S a collaboration we have been hearing whispers about for months and finally it has been revealed. The New Balance trainer has been reimagined by one of the world’s coolest traditional shoemakers, Grenson. It is a tribute to the skills of both brands and you could call it the “Airbus” of trainers made, as it is, in diferent locations – Grenson’s factory in Northampton, as well as New Balance’s facility in Cumbria. It is a true collaboration rather than a simple re-ticketing Grenson sends its finest Italian calfskin leather to New Balance, which forms it into the pattern before shipping it back to Northampton for the broguing and burnishing, before being assembled back in Cumbria. And we think it is well worth all that efort. RJ Grenson x New Balance 576GRB, £300. Available at grenson.co.uk and selected retailers from 9 January.

Photographs Charlie Surbey; Getty Images; Full Stop Photography

THIS is a tough month. The festive season (and my birthday) is over, it seems there is next to nothing to look forward to and work has started again. I have just turned 28 and realise that for the past six New Years I’ve made the same resolution. So for 2016 I’m taking things more seriously. I admit that I have also made this same statement for five of the past six repeats. But this time round I’m a little older, marginally wiser and much more realistic. Call it “New Year, New(ish) Me”. Not only do I mean business, I’m also adding two more resolutions to my list for 2016 to help make me a more efficient human being. My first goal is to get in the best shape possible that my lifestyle will allow. This resolution has evolved somewhat from 2013 when I was saying, “I want to look like Brad Pitt circa Fight Club.” This is mainly because I realised this requires working out for three hours a day. My slightly more realistic approach – a massive challenge, nonetheless – is to keep on the straight and narrow plus signing up for the London Marathon. Training for something means that I’m not only doing it to

look good; I’m also doing it so I don’t die on the day or get overtaken by a guy dressed as a pair of testicles. My next resolution concerns timekeeping. This has never been my strong point and I usually blame traffic, but to be completely honest if I left ten minutes earlier, I wouldn’t consistently be ten minutes late. Ironically, the thing that I’m usually latest for is the gym. If I can manage my time, more efficiently and turn up to sessions when I’m supposed to, logic follows that I should have great abs in minutes. My final resolution is to sort out my wardrobe. It’s very tidy, but I have got to the point in my life where I am buying clothes less often but spending more money. Purchasing for investment rather than seasonal wears means that I’m bringing out the same favourite pieces year after year. It will be a challenge, but I’m going to make a charity pile and add anything to it that has gone a whole season without being worn. I’m also planning on implementing some sort of capsule system where summer clothes are stored elsewhere during winter and will be swapped in as the weather changes. That way I know that everything I’m looking at will suit the season and it frees up more space for future investments. This is going to be a good year. I’ll be on time for everything and I’m looking forward to buying in new items that will look incredible on my muscles. Watch Jim Chapman’s everyday grooming routine at youtube.com/ gqrecommends


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CO LU first met Cozette MN when they worked for Bella Freud. Thus Sid and !

The best of British by Luke Leitch Each month, GQ’s new fashion columnist will be examining the most talented names in British menswear. This month: Sibling

RATTLING the cage of conventional masculine dressing? Startling the straight-laced? Generating mockery from the mid-market tabloids? It’s all meat and drink to Sibling. And should you say something disobliging about them on social media – perhaps their butt-baring American football pants or pink pom-pom balaclavas strike you as laughably de trop – well, get ready: often enough they’ll favourite and re-post you, then maybe get in touch for a chat. “We learned that early,” says Sibling ringleader Cozette McCreery. “The whole social-media thing has given everybody a voice – and often, most of the time, it is a negative voice. Fair enough! We might not be to a lot of people’s tastes but we have people who understand what we are trying to do, too: people who get it.” Even these seasoned controversialists were taken aback by two recent reactions to their work. First, after a womenswear show, the Daily Mail’s website published a paean of unusually literate praise. “I nearly fell over,” says McCreery. Then, following their Spring/Summer 2016 collection at London Collections Men, a senior executive at the British Fashion Council confessed that after the first Tight knit: Sibling’s Cozette McCreery, Joe Bates and Sid Bryan at London Collections Men SS15, 17 June 2014

two looks she’d had to check her invitation to make sure she’d not somehow stumbled into the wrong show. “She was shocked, because they were suits,” says McCreery, “a collaboration with Edward Sexton done through Woolmark.” You can see why that exec was nonplussed. Tailoring, however wonderfully done, is inextricably associated with conservatism: that’s why “suit” is a synonym for establishment. And Sibling was established to be everything except conservative. To understand why, rewind. In the summer of 2007, Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery took their regular holiday in Ibiza. While chilling in their finca they looked at the latest menswear shows and got thinking. Bryan says: “We just saw this sea of grey. It was all very formulaic. It was all so boring. Even the collections by people we admire. So we thought, why don’t we do something about it? It wasn’t supposed to be a commercial venture at first, we just thought let’s do something we love instead of focusing on what we don’t.” Bates, Bryan and McCreery all went way back. Joe and Cozette had first met clubbing, during the last-gasp of the Eighties (she worked the door for Fat Tony at The Wag, while he left Leicester for London aged 16, started his own line, and Björk bought it). Sid, who is a little younger and came from Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, to study at the Royal College of Art,

Joe met too – and later became a couple. But back to Ibiza. As an experiment, they put together a collection. Bryan, a knitwear expert who bought his first Dubied industrial knitting machine while at college, oversaw the production while Bates and McCreery between them sketched the mood. They threw a party in May 2008 to show the results – blown-up ram’s-head jumpers, sequinned sweaters and leopard-spot twin sets. Nothing was for sale. No matter that a team of Japanese retail buyers slapped down their chequebook and demanded the right to buy. Sibling was born, and ever since has presented increasingly inventive variations on a core formula of colour-drenched, mostly knitted riffs on masculine subcultures that subvert the literalness of some men’s codes while simultaneously relishing them, too. My favourite Sibling-watch menswear moments (they introduced womenswear in 2012) have included their London-riot toile de jouy prints from SS13, the all-pink, teddy bear-heavy “Harry Potter styled by Liberace” AW15 collection and the mash-up of tattoos, Hackney pub signs and comically sinister panda masks from three years ago. But watching is one thing: who wears this stuff? “It’s not a camp, carefree eccentric,” says Bryan: “Most of our customers are normal blokes. Within the range there are always sweatshirts, and jogging bottoms, and motifs.” McCreery interjects: “Quite a few of our guys are in film production, graphic design, the music industry... they often come from a bit of a creative angle.” David Beckham, she mentions later, has some Sibling. The butt-flash pants or the teddy bear sweater, I wonder? They both laugh, and tantalisingly say nothing. The elephant in the room is that, awfully, Joe Bates no longer is. He died in August 2015, seven years after being diagnosed with cancer. “Sibling has been built by three minds,” says Bryan. “Joe was my husband, we had been together for 13 years: and I know what his aesthetic was and understand it very well. He was very, very funny. I know how he thought. And he will always be there.” Sibling is a family. And family carries on. FEBRUARY 2016 G


Gandy steps up With the launch of his shoe label David Preston, the supermodel gives us a lesson in how to become a fashion entrepreneur Boots by David Preston, £480. At coccodrillo.be

Body and sole: Supermodel David Gandy bought a stake in cult east London shoe brand David Preston in 2015

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avid Gandy is probably the first male model to become a household name – and we have Richard and Judy to thank. Born in Billericay, he originally studied marketing at university but, before he graduated, his flatmate secretly entered him in a competition on ITV’s This Morning to discover a new underwear model back in 2001. It was called, of course, The Complete Package, and he won. Marketing was put on hold and a stellar career was launched. With his unusual – for a model back then – muscular physique, he soon caught the eye of Dolce & Gabbana and became a fixture in its catwalk shows and campaigns. This culminated in him appearing as the face of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue in 2007 and, thanks to a skimpy pair of white swimming trunks, he became one of the most recognisable men on the planet. The shoot by Mario Testino had more than eleven million hits and a 50ft poster of Gandy glowered over Times Square. Light Blue became one of the biggest-selling fragrances in the world, proving the power of brand Gandy. Having spent the past 15 years growing older annoyingly well, Gandy has now become a brand in his own right, with perhaps only David Beckham doing anything remotely similar in the world of men’s style. He has become the perfect personification of the socialmedia age. Indeed, he was the only man to walk the Union Jack catwalk at the close of the 2012 London Olympics. But he is far more than a pretty face, and where once he was most famous for his body, now it is his wardrobe that garners the appreciative stares. He is rapidly reinventing himself as an entrepreneur in the world of fashion and beyond. After years on the Milan catwalk, it was actually good old Marks & Spencer that inspired the transformation – as well as giving the retailer a boost. He launched the David Gandy For Autograph underwear range, which became a runaway success. Gandy consulted on

the range and, indeed, came up with many of the ideas, giving him a taste for business. The culmination of this was the announcement last year that he was taking a controlling stake in a small London-based shoe company called David Preston. The idea of investing in fashion came from his connection with the London Collections Men when he became one of its first official ambassadors in 2012. “The British Fashion Council was telling me how the industry needed help,” he recalls. “It needed advisors but, most importantly it needed investment. The British needed to be more like Americans, who seem much more willing to back great ideas.” Like all good ideas, the specific David Preston connection came about in a fairly prosaic fashion. “I wanted to buy a new pair of Chelsea boots but didn’t want to spend a fortune,” he says. “Basically, I wanted a quality shoe with the design flair of Tom Ford at an attainable price. So a friend who worked for Paul Smith told me he knew a guy that made these great Cuban heels and Chelsea boots. His name was David Preston, he lived over in east London and I got in contact.” Gandy loved his shoes. In fact, he loved the shoes so much he offered to buy the company. “He had this tiny cult following. He is very passionate but he didn’t have time for the business side because he was also working as a nurse five days a week. But I liked the fact we are complete opposites. He is all creative east London while I’m west. He’s rock’n’roll. But somewhere in the middle of London – in the region of Savile Row, perhaps – the Chelsea

Fleet of foot: David Gandy fronts the David Preston campaign; just a sample of the 15 styles in the new range

boot brought us together. We wear them in a very different way, but that’s because it is such a versatile piece of footwear.” The new David Preston range was launched as 15 pieces including brogues, Oxfords and monk straps – as well as, of course, Chelsea boots. The philosophy of the company is simple, says Gandy: “We want to rival the best at an attainable price.” Apart from shoes, his other love is cars – specifically his 1960 Mercedes 190 SL. He didn’t so much buy it as get interviewed to ascertain if he was a suitable owner. “It was the first one brought over by the guy who started the MercedesBenz Club. The family was, rightly, precious about who was going to carry on with it.” Normally, however, he eschews extravagances. “I’ve been brought up to respect money. Everything I buy has to be good value. Half the contents of my house were bought on eBay and Gumtree. I’ll be honest and say that the more I’ve had, the more I’ve treated myself. When I first earned a bit of money, it was the Omega Speedmaster and it’s still my favourite watch in the world. My father would never forgive me if I wasted money. Indeed, I’ve actually turned into him and do things like making sure all the lights are turned off before I leave the house.”RJ davidprestonshoes.com

Clockwise from top: Shoes, £420. Boots, £480. Shoes, £420. All by David Preston. At coccodrillo.be

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Hit the deck: Views of the Sicilian countryside complement the clutch of relaxing treatments at the Verdura resort

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Three days of sun, sea and smiling staff will return you to normality with Sicilian flair.

(palermo, sicily)

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Rocco Forte Verdura

The luxury Verdura resort may have five stars but there is nothing grandiose about it. The resort has the feel of a private island, spanning almost 570 acres and including more than a mile of private Mediterranean coastline with beautifully clear waters and warm weather all year round. Unlike some resorts, where eyes seem to follow your every move, here you can escape on a bicycle across the endless expanse of green fields and lose yourself amid the rolling olive groves and sea views. Spas are a big focus for the Rocco Forte group. At the Verdura, the spa is the hub of the resort – and still an oasis of calm. Set over several large pavilions grouped around an open-air courtyard, the 4,000 sq m wellness centre has extensive features, including eleven treatment rooms, infrared and Finnish saunas, a fitness centre, steam room, indoor pools and four thalassotherapy pools with varying temperatures and salt densities. The spa offers five different medically controlled wellness programmes, including the popular “Slim” and “Detox”, which feature speciality treatments using local Sicilian and bio-organic products, such as the deep-tissue Sicilian aroma massage and the healing foot reflexology. The Verdura also offers retreats with

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Finding it hard to hit your reset button? Whether you have two hours, two days or two weeks, Europe’s leading spas are on hand for travellers in search of improved health (rather than destroyed livers and expanding waistlines). Engage your off switch with GQ’s annual wind-down roundup

good for A mindfulness retreat.

bad for Vegetarians. The menu is meat and fish heavy.

don’t forget “Terrence the Teacher”, a hypnotherapist and mindfulness coach, to help you break any bad habits with the help of neuro-linguistic programming. Eleanor Halls Three-day, full-board Detox package, £850 per person. Three-day, full-board Slim package, £1,020 per person. SS 115, Km 131, 92019 AG, Italy. +39 0925 998001, roccofortehotels.com

Your Italian phrase book – the staff are happy to help you practice.

don’t leave without Local olive oil.


GROOMING

If you can embrace the 30-hour mid-stay fast, Espace Henri Chenot is a biannual necessity.

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Bar none: Como converted this once-hectic hot spot into a haven of inner-city tranquillity

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When Henri Chenot opened his wellness retreat in the cavernous Palace Merano on the edge of this pretty Alto Adige town in 1994, guests were required to set aside nine days for the full “cure” (involving the total avoidance of caffeine, sugar, animal protein, and alcohol, and instead having daily hydrotherapy treatments, phyto-mud sessions, deep-tissue massage and something called cellular resonance treatment). Today, the recently extended facilities (there’s now an entire floor dedicated to medical and nutritional services) can achieve the same results after just six days. Is this a necessary compromise given the faster pace of modern life? Not a bit of it. Firstly, many of the guests here don’t appear to be too troubled by the “day job” (Russian and Middle Eastern customers are in the ascendant). And secondly, Mr Chenot and his team have perfected the art of assisted abstention (what remains of your calorific intake is across-the-board delicious) while maximising the eicacy of the various therapies. Bill Prince Seven-night, full-board six-day detox programme, from £3,700 per person. Via Camillo Cavour 2, 39012 BZ, Italy. +39 0473 271000, palace.it

On the tiles: A mosaic of relaxation aids are on offer at Espace Henri Chenot

(merano, italy)

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Espace Henri Chenot

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Metropolitan by Como (london, uk)

In the late Nineties, the Met Bar pulled in the shiniest stars, only for them to be papped tumbling out. Since then, Park Lane’s boutique hotel dropped off our radar in favour of flashier newcomers. Today, it has a very different feel – and appeal. The Metropolitan by Como is an urban spa from Christina Ong, established hotelier and early pioneer of holistic healing, and outpost of the famous Como Shambhala wellness retreats, which encourage clients to continue their detox on return from Bali, the Maldives and so on. Como caters to stressed travellers and overworked

Londoners alike: the clientele don’t come for the pool (there isn’t one), they come for the expert therapists, such as Illy. He will create a very personal treatment tailored around any aches, pains or niggles. On the menu today: the Como Shambhala signature massage followed by the Indian head massage – in other words, two hours and 15 minutes of pure bliss that will leave you purring like a cat. JP Como Shambhala signature massage, £115. Indian head massage, £99. 19 Old Park Lane, London W1. 020 7447 1000, comohotels.com/ metropolitanlondon

A pill-free headache cure, the Signature massage will help restore mobility to tight muscles.

good for Routine maintenance – Como will add length to your tether.

Six Senses Douro Valley (lamego, portugal)

Portugal is climbing the ranks of the spa-goers’ list. The Douro Valley is well known to discerning oenophiles, and the Unesco World Heritage site will soon resonate with wellness seekers. Tucked away in the valley – 60 miles from Porto – is a renovated 19th-century manor house, now the site of a new Six Senses spa. Arguably the only luxury residence in the region, it will attract educated wine tourists and spa fiends in equal measure. The steep steps of the valley, resplendent in lush greens, are lined with vines for as far Any intention of immersing yourself as the eye can see, and it has retained the in a rehabilitative quiet, secretive air of a high-end members’ fitness regime club. The peaceful stillness only occasionally will probably be interrupted by a petrol-head tearing through swiftly derailed by the sharp switchbacks that comprise the a bottle or two of vintage port. N-222 from Peso de Regua to Pinhão (now voted the world’s best road). good for Six Senses may have built its lauded Relaxation. reputation on “alternative” therapies and bad for holistic living but the offering here is Detoxing. considerably more accessible than other don’t forget spas in the chain – although there is aerial Aspirin. yoga for those wanting to step outside their don’t leave comfort zone. Ahmed Zambarakji without Seven nights, from £1,335 per person. Quinta A kayak trip on the stunning Douro. Vale de Abrão, 5100-758, Lamego, Portugal. 01244 897505, elegantresorts.co.uk Pool resources: The verdant Douro valley surrounds the Six Senses spa

bad for Hydrotherapy fans.

don’t forget The small private steam room.

Our friends in the Nord

don’t leave without

Buddy up with a friend and re-create a home spa experience with Ron Dorff’s Swedish massage oil (£23) and sauna candle (£39). Note: the wax can also be used as warm body oil due to its low melting point. rondorff.com

One of the seven essential oils used during your treatment.

FEBRUARY 2016 G


GROOMING

Little wonder Nanotechnology could revolutionise the power of skincare products. But these tiny particles may pose a big risk... ALICE HART-DAVIS

IMAGINE A MOLECULE so impossibly small that it can slip through the tiny gaps between densely packed skin cells. Imagine that molecule to be an active skincare ingredient, capable of rejuvenating the skin. Doesn’t that sound like an exciting possibility? That, in a nutshell, is the hope for the application of nanotechnology – the study and application of very, very small pieces of matter – when it comes to face cream. Five years ago, nanotechnology was the big new buzzword in skincare. All the big-budget cosmetics companies were pursuing it. L’Oréal was rumoured to have taken out more nanotech patents than IBM. Since then... it has all gone quiet. What has happened? Is nanotech still the new frontier in skincare and, if so, why is it taking so long to reach? “With nanotechnology, you are possibly looking at the holy grail of cosmetics,” says Tariq Karim, an independent cosmetic skincare expert at the Santi Labs in London. “It will be transformative for the cosmetics industry, but [there also] might be unforeseen consequences.” A nanometre is a billionth of a metre – the distance your fingernail grows in one second. Things on the nano-scale are unimaginably small; a human hair is 80,000nm wide. “Once ingredients are nano-sized, product efficacy will be manifold,” says Karim. “The smaller particles are more readily absorbed by the skin. Because [products with] smaller particles have a bigger surface area, their potency is increased.” Smaller particles of an ingredient can also give a better-looking finish to a cosmetics product. Titanium dioxide is a popular ingredient in sunscreen as it sits on the surface of the skin and blocks the sun’s rays, but it can give the skin a chalky look. Shrink the molecules of that ingredient, and it becomes almost see-through, but remains effective. Yet substances behave differently on the nano-scale. While this is leading manufacturers in industries such as textiles to great leaps forward with, for example, waterproof fabrics, it is proving problematic in cosmetics. As well as particles becoming more potent, their electrical or optical or chemical activity can change – so nano-sizing a product’s active ingredient means the whole formula needs to be reassessed for safety and efficacy. “There was a lot of hype about nanotech,” says Dr Sam Yurdakul, “but turning that into tangible reality isn’t as straightforward as companies anticipated.” He is product development director for Pro Bono Bio, a British-Russian biotechnology venture specialising in healthcare using nanophysics. For its skincare products, it has created the Sequessome, a nano-sized “vesicle” (or “delivery vehicle”) which can squash itself into a pencil shape to pass through the skin and deliver its cargo of ingredients into its deeper layers. The technology has been in development since the Nineties, but the products have only recently gone on sale. “For years, people didn’t see the potential,” says Dr Yurdakul, “but now that potential is very clear.” If you’re not a scientist, the very word “nano” may raise prickles of alarm. It’s 12 years since Prince Charles hypothesised that swarms of nano-sized robots might overrun the planet, turning everything into “grey goo”, but the idea of “nano” as “possibly dangerous” remains. Of greater immediate concern

Skin deep? Face creams using nano-sized ingredients may penetrate further into the epidermal layers

for the cosmetics sector is what might happen if a nano-sized ingredient is absorbed into the bloodstream, particularly after a 2009 study showed that nano-particles of titanium dioxide caused DNA mutations in mice. The particles had been fed to mice in their drinking water and although sunscreen is not designed to be drunk, it’s still a red flag. Many skincare formulators, such as Raffaella Gregoris, won’t touch nano-particles. Her brand, Bakel, uses hi-tech ingredients, but nano is a step too far. “For Bakel, I seek 100 per cent active ingredients whose efficacy and safety are scientifically proven,” she says. “We still know very little about nanoparticles. Research has raised questions over their safety [and] our customers’ health and safety come first.” There is also the problem for manufacturers that new formulas with nano-ingredients need additional safety testing. This may explain why so few nano-tech cosmetics products have emerged (L’Oréal, even with all those patents up its sleeve, declined to comment on its progress). Meanwhile, a few grooming products with nano ingredients have edged onto the shelves. Jill Zander, who runs an eponymous MediSpa in Surrey, uses SCBI Stem Cell Facial Mask on her clients. “The mask has a ‘nano’ delivery system,” she says. “These are much smaller than the liposomes that have always been used and seem better at directing the active ingredients to where they will do their work.” Proskins, a company specialising in serious sports-recovery compression garments, has incorporated nano-sized gold particles into some leggings and sleeping masks and can brandish research to show the antiageing effect that this brings. Most exciting so far is the range of “dermo-cosmetics” from Pro Bono Bio containing those flexible Sequessome vesicles, designed to treat itchiness, redness and ageing. These have performed well in clinical trials and have robust safety data, too. Even though Sequessomes are nano-sized, they are not the sort of solid nano-particles that worry the regulators, explains Dr Yurdakul. “They’re a loose assembly of phospholipids, a kind of fatty structure found in every cell wall in the body. If you introduce a solid nano-particle into the body, it would struggle to deal with it, but these vesicles are not a problem.” If you want to avoid nano-particles in skincare, look on the labels – since 2013, EU legislation requires them to be mentioned on the ingredients list. And if you want to have them, you’ll have to wait a bit more. Nano may be the future of the skincare industry, but for now, that future remains tantalisingly just out of reach.

L’Oréal was rumoured to have taken out more nanotech patents than IBM

G FEBRUARY 2016

Photographs John Akehurst/Trunk Archive

S TO RY BY


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FA S H I O N

E XC L U S I V E

E V E N T S

G R O O M I N G

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CO M P E T I T I O N S

Layer up

Back to basics South Korean luxury accessories brand MCM is world-renowned for its signature tan-and-black motif print, but this season it has stripped things back a little with this classic black leather rucksack with stud detailing. Wear with denim and sneakers for casual days, or with grey tailoring and a quilted jacket for a contemporary work look. £1,095. mcmworldwide.com

Early spring dressing is all about layering. February is always chilly with a chance of showers, snow, hail, wind or indeed a heatwave. We have to face the fact that our weather has always been unpredictable and it is only getting more so. This, however, is no bad thing for menswear as the jacket on top of a sweater with an overcoat on top is bang on trend and Woolrich has mastered the look with its double jacket and jeans combo. Polo shirt, £69. Grey jacket, £115. Navy jacket, £245. Jeans, £105. Baseball cap, £45. woolrich.eu

4

Fancy that

Ready to ride Giuseppe Zanotti may be better known for its footwear, but more recently the Italian brand has moved into men's ready-to-wear and if this classic black-leather biker jacket is anything to go by, then they are certainly on to a winner. £2,150. giuseppezanottidesign.com

G FEBRUARY 2016

If you’re a fan of an embellished accessory, then Italian fashion brand Philipp Plein ought to be your next port of call. Including rucksacks, wallets and trainers, the latest collection takes stud detailing to a new level. £770. plein.com

WAT C H E S


PORTFOLIO

5

Wardrobe essential

Cut in a lightweight cotton with belt detailing, this khakigreen, double-breasted trench coat by Sand is a perfect investment. The all-time classic can be teamed with just about anything – jeans, sweaters and sneakers on the weekend, tailoring and smart shoes for work, and even thrown over a tracksuit en route to the gym. £345. At cruisefashion.com

In the frame With the spring should come the sunshine – and a new pair of sunglasses should definitely follow. This season, the trend is focused on bold, bright colours with an emphasis on clean, simple frames crafted in lightweight materials. For citrus shades, try Polaroid and Hugo Boss, and for a classic blue with a modern metallic twist, give Carrera a go. From top: £60. polaroidsunglasses. co.uk. £245. hugoboss.com. £115. carreraworld.com

6

Just juice

There is nothing more frustrating than your phone battery dying, but for iPhone 6 users, your troubles are over. Mophie has the answer with its superlightweight battery-charging case. Just pop your phone in the Juice Pack Air, flip a switch and get more than 100 per cent extra battery. £89.95. uk.mophie.com

Smart time With bluetooth connectivity, wireless headphones, voice-commandcontrolled music and a heart-rate monitor, the latest timepiece from Huawei puts the smart into smartwatch. £329. At selfridges.com

Carry it off While The British Belt Company has an excellent selection of men’s leather and fabric belts, it is also a dab hand at bag design. Including rucksacks, briefcases and weekend bags, this collection is definitely worth checking out. £195. thebritishbeltcompany.co.uk

Love is in the air

You may think it’s cheesy and unnecessary, but a little Valentine’s Day romance never did anyone any harm. If, however, you're not keen on the flowers or underwear route, keep it classic and invest in a nice bottle of fizz. Purchase a cute card, pop a bow on a bottle of Louis Roederer and you will have guaranteed smiles all round. £40. harrods.com FEBRUARY 2016 G


S W E N DE I . W ES, NDON N I D L G MAGARZT OF LO R O LEADINHE HEA W T D’S P IN T L S R A THE WOONE SHO N OF ROM É 0 3 1 D OVERTO BUY F N CO AILABLE AV

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MANAGEMENT OF BODY & SOUL

E D I T E D BY

PAUL HENDERSON

SINK OR SWIM!

Photograph Ben Riggot

This year, take the plunge and do something extraordinary for yourself. Get fit, boost your career, face your fear, or just have an adventure. Your journey starts here…

Lift of: We unveil a new series of sport-specific work-outs –this month, swimming

FEBRUARY 2016 G


PERSONAL TRAINER: #1 SWIMMING

Hit your high water mark Jonathan Goodair gives you a competitive edge with a new series of sport-specific work-outs. This month: pool perfection

G FEBRUARY 2016

The theory

Buy this! Garmin Swim The Garmin tracks distance and stroke count. Besides recording (and uploading) data, it gauges eiciency to improve technique. £129.99. garmin.com

The key to being a good swimmer is economy of movement, the ability to be streamlined and stable, and moving through the water with minimal drag at maximum speed. If your core is weak you will not be able to deliver power efficiently to your arms and legs for propulsion forward. Freestyle, backstroke and butterfly require good rotation in the shoulders, not massive pecs. As swimming is primarily a pulling sport, building power into the pulling muscles of the upper body will give a more efficient action. The dive at the beginning of a sprint

race and the turn at the end of each lap are two places where strength training can make all the diference. Wholebody strength training exercises which involve the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints working together, and where the core is the vital link between the upper and lower body, will increase distance covered and shorten the time to hitting the water.

Photograph Ben Riggot Model Aitor Manuel Alonso at W Athletic Grooming Alice Howlett using YSL Beauté

IT’S true of any sport: you only get out of it what you put into it. Enhancing your performance and enjoyment of a particular activity comes from understanding the physical and physiological demands of that sport, and then preparing your body to meet these requirements. Over the course of a year, we’ll take a look at 12 very different disciplines, picking out the specific needs of each one, and the training you must to do to meet these needs while enhancing your performance and enjoyment. The exercises will be a combination of the following: strength, power, endurance, flexibility, mobility and agility. The amount each of these attributes contributes to the sport in question, compared to a participant’s particular strengths and weaknesses, determines the amount of time that should be spent working on trying to improve it. Obviously, the best sport-specific training you can do is to actually play the sport itself: practice makes perfect. But any sport can be broken down into its component parts and each of the component parts can be analysed and trained for. In sports science this is known as the SAID principle: Specific Adaption to Imposed Demand. This not only applies to developing muscular strength and aerobic fitness, but can be applied to motor skills because, by using functional training, a movement can be isolated and enhanced for optimal performance and injury prevention. jonathangoodair.com, homehouse.co.uk


LIFE

The plan Add these bespoke training exercises to your regime to optimise your performance in the pool

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Two-handed kettle bell swing

Dumbbell one-arm row

Medicine ball slam catch

Standing, feet shoulderdistance apart, turned out aligned with thighs. Overhand two-handed grip on kettlebell. Maintain straight back and half squat, bending forward from the hips and pulling forearms to inner thighs. Drive up through knees, hips and core simultaneously to swing kettlebell forward and up to shoulder height. Then repeat.

Right knee and hand on bench, right knee under right hip and hand under shoulder with elbow slightly bent. Left foot is wide and slightly bent providing stable support. Left arm hangs straight down under left shoulder. Pull dumbbell to side of ribcage until elbow is above horizontal, keep shoulders wide and drawn back. Slowly lower dumbbell to start position, do not pause, go straight into the next repetition.

Standing, feet shoulderdistance apart, knees and hips slightly flexed, abdominals drawn in. Reach the medicine ball overhead. Draw in your abdominals to stabilise your torso and slam the ball into the floor, staying in control of posture. Focus on lats and shoulders to power the medicine ball into the floor, using core and legs to stabilise the torso. Catch the medicine ball as it bounces ready for the next repetition. The key is to work as quickly as possible while maintaining good posture, so you’ll always be in the same position each time you catch the ball at the bottom of the movement.

Perform 4 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds recovery between.

Perform 4 sets of 8 reps each arm with 60 seconds recovery between sets.

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds recovery between sets.

The diet Swimming requires sufficient high-quality calorie intake for up to two high-energy work-outs per day, consumed in such a way so as to avoid gastrointestinal distress. Meal plan for one morning swim and one evening swim. 1 Pre-swim breakfast (1-2 hours pre-work-out) One or two pieces of low glycemic index (GI) fruit such as apples, peaches, pears, plums or berries, with a pot of natural – ideally, Greek – yogurt. Hydrate with 500ml water or

good-quality isotonic sports drink. 2 Post-swim breakfast (eaten within 1 hour of finishing training) Porridge made with amaranth water and almond milk topped with mixed seeds and berries.

4 Lunch Warm quinoa salad of roasted peppers and parsley (both rich in iron for oxygen transport) with grilled halloumi, whole grain pitta bread and hummus or smashed avocado.

3 Mid-morning snack Two oatcakes with hummus or smashed avocado dip.

5 Mid-afternoon snack Two pieces of fruit and a small pot of Greek yogurt.

6 Post-swim dinner (eaten within 1 hour of finishing training) Brown rice, grilled chicken, Greek salad with kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Shorts, £38. Cap, £5. Goggles, £20. All by Speedo. speedostore.co.uk


NEW YEAR, NEW PATH

Take the road less travelled

WE’RE PLAYING BLACKJACK. YOU’VE BEEN DEALT 16. ARE YOU HITTING OR STANDING?

L

Free. virginmediabusiness.co.uk

STAND

SIGNAL | NOISE

TA

I N F O G R A P H I C BY

Get your notepad out. Get thinking. This is Dragons’ Den, but with one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson. Oh, and there’s a £1 million prize fund.

HIT

Whether walking in space or learning to fly, push yourself to the limits in 2016, with this do-or-die challenge chart

PITCH TO RICH 2016

N

DO YOU WANT MENTAL OR PHYSICAL STIMULATION?

ME

VE

RY

PH

MEH

YS IC AL

HOW FOCUSED ARE YOU ON YOUR CAREER?

SURPRISE ME!

Test myself ON A SCALE OF TAME TO TOUGH, HOW PHYSICAL DO YOU WANT THIS TO BE?

Would you like to conquer a fear or test yourself?

Conquer a fear

TO U

GH

?

SURPRISE ME!

M TA

HY

DROP AND GIVE US TEN!

E

W

ER, NO!

PHYSICAL

MENTAL

WHAT SCARES YOU MORE: HEIGHTS OR CHANGE?

G FEBRUARY 2016

ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

ES

IS IT A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL PHOBIA?

Y

NO


LIFE

FLYING LESSONS

MATT ROBERTS FITNESS RETREAT AT THE LIMEWOOD HOTEL

DANS LE NOIR The brainchild of Edouard de Broglie, Dans Le Noir serves French cuisine – or is it? – with the lights switched off. This is dining in the dark. If you can’t eat beautiful food with the lights off, you’ll never turn that night light out.

Don’t want to jump out of a plane? Hell, you’re going to fly the damn thing, then! Take a 30-minute light aircraft lesson with a CAA-licensed instructor. 

Don’t let the gym bros win. Kick-start your confidence with a barbell by training for two days in five-star surroundings with PT to the stars Matt Roberts.

From £54 per person. danslenoir.com

£129. virginexperiencedays.co.uk

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From £995. limewoodhotel.co.uk

CAR

IS THIS ABOUT YOU OR YOUR CAREER?

SPACE ADVENTURES

The physical act of handing in your notice can be a frightening move to make, but a weekend of career counselling with professional life coach Mark Pearce can help you make a master plan for your future.

The closest you’ve been to space is watching George Clooney in 4K. Not any more, when you sign up for a space walk. It costs the earth, but the views are priceless.

G ET ON A PLANE

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GRAVITY EVEREST

POWERCUTS

EVEREST OR GRAVITY?

YOU

A LIFE AT WORK

EE

£23 million. spaceadventures. com

£849. alifeatwork.co.uk

JUM

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ARE WE TALKING A POWERCUT OR DEATH? THE POWER OF NOW

JUNGLE ULTRA

£2,000. beyondtheultimate.co.uk

£9.99. amazon.co.uk

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IS THIS ABOUT YOU OR YOUR CAREER?

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£308. goskydive.com

DUOLINGO LANGUAGE APP Learning a new language has always been about having the time and the money. Now you just need a smartphone and an internet connection. With 70 million users, Duolingo offers a range of free courses to follow. Qu’est-ce que tu attends?

HEIGHTS

TED2016: DREAM

ALPINE ASCENTS INTERNATIONAL

Free. duolingo.com

The only way is up. This is your challenge for 2016. Kilimanjaro? Mont Blanc? Or the volcanoes of Ecuador? You’ve got a mountain to climb, literally.

The world’s greatest thinkers, artists and storytellers assemble to inspire your big ideas. Failure is nothing but a noun once you’ve left the TED lecture hall.

From £3,400. alpineascents.com

£5,600. conferences.ted.com

N

THERE ARE GOING TO BE OBSTACLES. SO, WHAT’S IT TO BE: BARBED WIRE OR BLACK CAIMAN?

LIS T

E

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WANT TO HEAD NORTH OR SOUTH?

CAPITAL TO COAST BIKE RIDE Starting from the London Eye, you’ll be cycling a 60-, 80- or 100-mile route – depending on which you choose – to the beach at Brighton. And no, you can’t use stabilisers. £20. capitaltocoast.org.uk

PUBLIC SPEAKING ACADEMY World-class coaches. Groundbreaking methods. This course will Jordan Belfort you in one day. Simple. Lee Stobbs From £45. publicspeakingacademy.co.uk

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And you thought your Rainbow swimming badges would never come in... Slip on your Speedos, you’re doing 5km at Europe’s biggest open-water event.

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Don’t want to fly a plane? Hell, you’re going to fall 5,000m out of one, then! Don’t worry too much, though, you’re in good hands. GoSkydive instructor Mark Scobie has jumped 6,500 times (and counting).

Barbed wire is the least of your worries. You’ll be trekking 20 miles through “stink trenches” and mud baths. Sounds like fun, but really isn’t. You asked for this. From £139. ratrace.com

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Anxiety about your own mortality can be torturous to the mind. Forgo that fear and read Eckhart Tolle’s best-selling book, which will guide you to spiritual enlightenment and teach you to make the most of right now.

CAIMAN

Imagine running 143 miles over five days through the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. No need, you’re signing up. Just avoid the jaguars – and we don’t mean F-Types.

£55. greatrun.org/great-swim

FEBRUARY 2016 G


SEX

A whisper to a roar Ever sensed that tingle on your scalp or neck? Check out the web’s hottest trend IT’S hot in my apartment. Nica Noelle, until 45 minutes ago a perfect stranger, has my big toe in her mouth. Between kisses and sucks, she whispers breathily about how cute my feet are, and presses her thumbs deep into my arches. Noelle is a porn director and actress, and she has driven seven hours to my place in Queens, New York, from her home in Massachusetts, to give me this very special foot rub. She unbuttons her shirt, freeing her breasts, pink nipples erect in spite of the August heat, and wields my foot across her exposed skin. Her adoration of my “little toes” feels so earnest that, for the moment anyway, I’m willing to believe that maybe they are less unloveable than I’d always thought. Except, really, Noelle isn’t talking to me. She’s talking to you. Naughty but niche: Find a coterie of sweet-talking ASMRtists on YouTube, including (clockwise from top left): Fairy Char ASMR, Olivia’s Kissper ASMR, Hungry Lips (also left), WhispersRed ASMR and The One Lilium

As of this month, Noelle – who, at least by her own account, turns every porn studio she lays hands on to platinum (and she’s laid hands on quite a few) – is bringing her Midas touch to a new world of internet videos: the quickly expanding erotic subgenre of autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR. And right now, we’re filming one together. A quick review. ASMR describes the experience of tingling on the scalp and the back of the neck caused by triggers ranging from whispering to fingernail tapping to hairbrushing. It became a phenomenon several years ago, when people who have the capacity to feel ASMR started discovering, via the internet, that they weren’t the only ones, and a crop of videos feeding the fixation materialised on sites such as YouTube. A standard ASMR video consists of one person, usually a woman, looking straight to camera and whispering inanities or role-playing a nurse or a doctor or a massage therapist. While most insist that the resulting sensation is utterly nonsexual, you’ll nevertheless find a handful of commenters leaving such nuanced reviews as “I just came”. That is to say, they are doubling their pleasure, masturbating as they experience the tingles. Can you blame them? It’s been dubbed “whisper porn” (that elicits a “brain orgasm”) for a reason. ASMRtists, as they’re called, are usually young, attractive women sporting make-up and manicures. “Watching an ASMR video can be a very intimate experience,” says Paige Towers, a writer and ASMR enthusiast currently writing a book on the topic. “Lots of the ASMRtists who don’t consider their videos erotic have that element nonetheless. Take the ASMRtist Sweet Seductive ASMR, who’s been making supposedly non-erotic videos for years. All she’s doing is sitting there crinkling plastic bags. But she’s really beautiful; she talks very

sweet. I think the line is thin. You can’t say there’s no sexuality there.” Personally, try as I might, I don’t get much of that specific shuddery brain-tingle ASMR reaction to these videos. But there’s something about watching a woman tease the camera with a feather, or a make-up brush, or just her lipglossed mouth, that arouses me in a straightup sexual way, regardless of whether the video was meant to be erotic or not. So I am not surprised to find that same feeling spreading down my body as Noelle, who has long, tangled blonde hair and an innocent face that looks far younger than her 45 years, whispers coquettishly to the camera. The community’s tussled-over distinction between “non-erotic” and “erotic”, then, is perhaps a red herring. Whatever the nature of your response, ASMR appears to be a biological hack, a direct line to the release of the brain’s most potent drug. “Endorphins are probably the primary cause of the tingles and slight euphoria of ASMR,” says Dr Craig Richard, professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at Virginia’s Shenandoah University. “This immediate release of endorphins also occurs between other closely bonded


LIFE

PREMIERE SERVICE

Photographs Full Stop Photography

Give her the big picture

individuals like family members and romantic partners, as well as during grooming behaviours of other animals. The brain is receiving stimuli that it perceives as safe and trustworthy, like the soft voice of a clinician or the grooming touches of a hairdresser – and that causes the release of endorphins.” This might, in fact, explain why ASMRtists rail so aggressively against any depiction of what they do as erotic. Many associate ASMR sensations with feelings of comfort from childhood or being cared for by a parent or a sibling – and they’re uncomfortable with the idea that someone might get a sexual kick out of that. But erotic content hooked on the crossed wires of familial intimacy and sex is nothing new; see the wild popularity of such porn-site search terms as “stepmom”, “mom” and “stepsister” (according to porn site PornHub, they are the top third, sixth and seventh searches among millennial users, respectively). ASMR fans may just have to get used to it: PornHub reports a 640 per cent increase in searches for ASMR content in the past year. To capitalise on the trend, Noelle has commissioned erotic ASMR videos from five porn actresses – Annabelle Lee, Dana Vespoli, Jelena Jensen, Alyssa Reece and Elexis Monroe. Along with Noelle’s own erotic ASMR shoots, they’ll be available to view on milehighmedia.com this month. “It seems to be a growing part of the community,” says Maria (known as GentleWhispering on YouTube), ASMR’s biggest net celebrity, who was speaking about this sexual subgenre a few years ago. “I think it goes much deeper than just arousal, but people try to introduce arousal with this type of intimacy. If it works for them, then great.” Kathryn Alexander

Want to do something that little bit special? Perhaps to mark a certain romantic date? To celebrate the strength and joy of your relationship? Or, damn it… simply to revel in the pure cinematic quality of your mutual kink? Well consider this, from purveyors of elegant mischief, Box Of Grey. The BXG concierge team is teaming up with Everyman cinemas to arrange private viewings. That’s right, an entire cinema at your disposal, every row, your choice of movie – and you’ll have a specially curated Box Of Tricks to enhance your viewing experience. How does it work? You pick your

film. You choose the mood. They will do the rest. So… Secretary? Perhaps a box with light restraint, the odd spanking tool, a spreader bar. Eyes Wide Shut? Your mask, cloak and choice of fantastic lingerie: we recommend bespoke corsetry by Sian Hofman, French chantilly lace by Something Wicked, or made-to-measure retro suspender corselettes by luxury brand Murmur. BXG will also arrange champagne on ice. Or, indeed, a feast to complement the movie: a je ne sais quoi from Nobu, a dish of native oysters or the whole 9½ Weeks. Rebecca Newman From £4,500. boxofgrey.com

GEAR

Cut out repetitive-strain injury, improve sound in the home and on foot, and upgrade your fitness kit: 2016 is off to a flying start Beolit 15 speaker by Bang & Olufsen Wherever you are in the house, this small but astonishing Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth streaming speaker delivers a massive sound. £399. beoplay.com

Mouse R3 by Penclic Offer a pain-free wave goodbye to RSI. This Swedishdesigned penstyle mouse suits orthodox and southpaws, and will leave your wrist in peace. From £50. At posturite.co.uk

ROC by Monster Cristiano Ronaldo has hooked up with Monster to release a collection of wireless headphones. And they are very good. From £200. At harrods.com

Climaheat Hoodie by Adidas Like a Thermos flask for the torso, the Climaheat hoodie keeps you warm in the cold, keeps you cool when you are too hot and keeps you dry when it rains. £75. adidas.co.uk Trainers by Asics Three years in the making, Asics’ new, long distancespecific running shoe MetaRun is worth the wait. Packed with new technology such as FlyteFoam, a midsole material that’s half as light as the average shoe’s, and the Exoskeleton external heel that remembers your fit, it’s a giant step forward for your PB. £200. asics.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2016 G


Complete the following sequence of exercises. Work on each one for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds between…

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pull-ups, overhand grip

Push-ups, right leg elevated high

How to be lean Looking for a get-ripped-quick scheme that really works? Do it right – and often – with these hard and fast rules BEAR GRYLLS: #9 TRAINING YOU may have read the interview I did for this magazine with Alastair Campbell last February. What I remember most about it is that at the end of our conversation he switched off the tape and said, “That was all great, but what I really want to know is this – how come you look like this at the age of 41 [he showed me some photos that had just been taken] whereas in your twenties you looked like this [he pulled out some photos of me looking far from my best]?” This is what I told him. It’s true. I am fitter, stronger and leaner now than I was when I left the army at the age of 24. When I was a soldier, we were encouraged to eat as much of whatever we wanted, and as long as we had the stamina to carry heavy packs and a ton of ammo up and over the mountains

at a quick pace, that was pretty much all that mattered. I was good at that, but I never managed to look very fit. Now, I know it sounds a bit vain but I had always wanted to have a body that “looked” fit as well as just being fit. Finally, I feel I have got there. But the reason I now look much more the part is that at 38 I totally changed the way I train and completely altered the way I eat. Training and nutrition are two sides of the same coin. To get proper results you need to train right and you need to eat right. People used to think staying in shape was 80 per cent training and 20 per cent nutrition. Now, however, we’re beginning to understand that it’s more like the other way round. I’ve taken the time to educate myself about proper nutrition. Those

‘I am fitter, stronger and leaner than I was when I left the army’

G FEBRUARY 2016

Pull-ups, narrowhand grip

Push-ups, left leg elevated high

Burpee to tuck jump

Narrow push-ups

Leg raises from a bar

Bicycle sit-ups

of you who read last month’s column will know that I’ve written a book about it called Fuel For Life that gives the lowdown on everything I’ve learnt, but here I want to discuss the training side. Effective training is all about doing it right and doing it regularly. You need to find something that you enjoy, that you can make a regular part of your life. However, I’m also here to tell you that you don’t have to go to the gym for an hour a day to see dynamic results. You’re much better off doing shorter, higher-intensity training for 20-30 minutes, than long, slow sessions that take hours of your life in mindless reps or slog-like runs. My job is an athletic one, for which I need to be strong and fit. But I train no more than four times a week, for only half an hour, plus one yoga session a week. When I first started training this way, I wondered if I really could get lean, ripped, flexible and strong from just 30 minutes a few times a week. But the answer is 100 per cent yes. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) means that you don’t have to split your training between cardio and weights. You do it all at the same time. And it is hard. I divide my half hour into six four-minute blocks, with a minute’s rest between them. Each four-minute block comprises 20 seconds of high-intensity training, followed by ten seconds’ rest, times eight. You work hard, you work fast, then you get out of there. This method of high-intensity training is tough but it is short – and trust me, it works. Looking back now, I actually see so many similarities to how the Royal Marine Commandos train their young recruits. I have compiled a full range of training exercises, along with my trainer Natalie Summer, into a book called Your Life: Train For It, but to show you how straightforward the regime is, here’s one of the four-minute blocks from the body-weight training section of what I call the “hero work-out”. My life has changed dramatically since I embarked on this revolutionary style of training. I train harder and shorter, but with more purpose and more effectively. And I eat better, more delicious food than ever before. But more to the point, I look and feel the way I wished I did when I was 21. Maximum results in minimum time. What’s not to like? If you prefer to get muddy under the open sky, why not try one of our Survival Races? beargryllssurvivalrace.com. Your Life: Train For It (Bantam Press, 14.99) is out now.

Photographs Alamy

The hero work-out


LIFE

FOOD

Stealth hazards Today’s superfood can be tomorrow’s poison. Treat these ‘healthy’ options like the booby traps they are “I did everything they told me. I drank the cream, ate the butter,” moaned Mad Men’s Roger Sterling from his cardiology ward. “Then I get hit with a coronary!” Here are some nutritional villains that are worth swerving like Pete Campbell’s handshake.

Smoked salmon

Sports drinks

Fat-free yoghurt

Pre-washed salad

Swordfish

Diet drinks

This posh sarnie stalwart is a salty grenade, with 50g containing more than half the recommended daily amount (RDA) and increasing your risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

If you’re a midfielder putting in 90 minutes against Bayern Munich, you have our blessing. But if you’ve just tackled a Saturday morning 5km, the 4.5 teaspoons of sugar will merely help your spare tyre outrun your trainers.

The label “low-fat” or “fatfree” is the great weightloss scam of our time – the vacuum is invariably filled by either salt or sugar. Here, it’s the latter, with a modest 150g pot packing five teaspoons.

You might think you’re buying a bag of green goodness, but those leaves have been through a chemical wash vainly intended to kill bugs impervious to all but industrial-strength detergents and heat. Cryptosporidium, listeria and salmonella may be among them.

Low in fat, high in protein and other nutrients, swordfish unfortunately also tops the chart for mercury content. Once inside the body this acts as a neurotoxin, and can also adversely affect blood pressure and fertility.

This is a dreadful misnomer. A recent US study found that consumers of diet drinks gained triple the amount of abdominal fat over nine years compared to those who never touch the stuff.

Your substitute: Eat the fresh stuf. It’s practically salt-free and higher in life-extending omega 3 fats than its orangetanned brother.

Your substitute: Cofee. Moderate cafeine consumption improves your performance in endurance events.

Your substitute: Full-fat yoghurt. A recent study found that people eating a small pot a day were 19 per cent less likely to be obese.

Your substitute: Wilt some spinach.

Your substitute: Trout, which has similarly high levels of vitamin D and omega 3s, without the toxic metals.

Your substitute: Grapefruit juice. Tests show it helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, aiding weight loss and protecting against diabetes.

Rice Cakes Depressingly ubiquitous: low in calories… and vitamins, minerals, fibre and anything of value. Your substitute: Try some food, dear boy. Mike Shallcross

FEBRUARY 2016 G


ESSEX ON THE BRAIN This maligned county is not merely a home to barrow boys and good-time girls, but a creative powerhouse with a rich history and the most important location in British politics. Reem... ANDY COULSON

FEBRUARY 2016 G XX

Continued from page 32

In any event, Ewag could do worse than turn to another – much bigger as it happens – TV show to make its case. The programme which better represents the real spirit of the modern Essex girl? Downton Abbey. That’s right; Julian Fellowes anchored his monster international hit around two Essex girls born just a few miles away from each other. Dame Maggie Smith who plays Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, was born in Ilford, while Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary hails from Romford – the daughter of a van driver who became a surveyor. Of course, they’re not the first Essex girls to make it big. The Queen – otherwise known as Dame Helen Mirren – grew up in WestcliffOn-Sea and attended the Catholic St Bernard’s High School For Girls. Her Majesty is Essex and proud. “My poshed-over voice was all learnt. My Essex girl side does come out very often – I do things for money,” she’s said, not that helpfully. And there are plenty more female showbiz names with Essex antecedents. Jamie Lee Curtis is Baroness Haden-Guest of Saling near Braintree as a result of her marriage to Christopher Guest (of Spinal Tap fame) and there’s Sandie Shaw (Dagenham), Alison Moyet (Billericay), Denise Van Outen (Basildon), Martine McCutcheon (Brentwood), Kara Tointon (Southend), Sade (Clacton), Sarah Miles (Ingatestone), Carry On’s Joan Sims (Laindon), Juliet Stevenson (Kelvedon) and Kathy Kirby – in the mid-Sixties the highestpaid woman on British TV – was born in Ilford. Essex is also littered with brilliant female writers and poets: Ruth Rendell, Martina Cole, Ruth Pitter, Ursula Bloom (once the most prolific novelist in the world), Dorothy L Sayers, Jilly Cooper and Dodie Smith (who wrote The Hundred And One Dalmatians) were all born or lived in the county. Elizabeth Fry, the 19th-century prison and social reformer, is the only Essex woman to feature on a banknote and Anne Knight from Chelmsford was a leading campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade – Knightsville in Jamaica is named after her. Essex is also packed with great and good men. The greatest Briton of all, Sir Winston Churchill, represented Epping for 21 years, then Woodford for another 19 and loved the

place; Francis Bacon lived in Wivenhoe; Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet laureate, was for a time based at High Beach; TE Lawrence lived on his return from Arabia in Chingford; Joseph Lister (who invented antiseptic) was born in Upton; Chelmsford boy John Strutt won the Nobel Peace Prize after discovering the chemical element argon; and Captain Oates would have returned to Gestingthorpe had he survived Scott’s South Pole expedition. Basildon – and “Basildon Man” to be specific – carries with it a political clout unmatched by any other town in the country. And once again it’s the Sun that can take some responsibility. Margaret Thatcher recognised the value of Basildon Man in the 1983 general election and the paper seized on it. Designated a New Town in 1948, Basildon came, during the Thatcher years, to represent all that was good about the hard-working, aspirational, salt-of-the-earth Brit. And it was a barometer of national public opinion, the constituency results broadly matching those of general elections since 1974. The political importance of the Essex vote has never really faded since that day. When, during the 2010 election, Labour announced that the Miliband brothers would be launching their new poster campaign in Basildon, I bounced around the Conservative campaign war room in a self-righteous fury. I may even have uttered the words, “But that’s our manor.” Of course – as was typical in that campaign – Labour completely ballsed it up. The poster pictured David Cameron as Ashes To Ashes character Gene Hunt, sitting on his Audi Quattro with the slogan, “Don’t let him take Britain back to the 1980s.” If Labour understood anything about Essex they would have known Basildon is a town that breeds wannabe Gene Hunts – they would make Philip Glenister the mayor if they could. It was a small – but important – sign of just how out of touch Labour had become. We turned our own version of the poster around within an hour – exactly the same but with the slogan, “Fire up the Quattro – it’s time for change.” A small disclaimer read, “Idea kindly donated by the Labour party.” The Labour poster was launched by the Miliband brothers who posed up alongside it like a pair of really terrible Kray Twins impersonators. That one Miliband went on to stab the other in the back was yet more proof of their lack of an Essex understanding. No bone-fide Basildon man would ever stoop that low. After the Second World War, working-class families in London were encouraged to leave the bomb-ravaged slums and move to newly built council-owned properties in the suburbs and new towns of Basildon and Harlow. My grandparents were among the first to pack up and head to Basildon’s sunlit uplands – my father’s family coming from Deptford and mother’s from Kilburn. The majority of those who moved were instinctively Labour supporting. It was

Margaret Thatcher’s policies of lower taxation, control of inflation and her right-to-buy scheme that persuaded so many to defect to the Conservatives in the elections of 1979, 1983 and 1987. Essex man continues to be the most used example of a median British vote, although at the last election the Conservative team were rightly and equally concerned about Essex woman. Without her support a Conservative majority would not have happened. A fair amount of policy energy (and money) was directed towards the hearts and minds of Essex woman. Fiscally conservative, morally moderate, family orientated and optimistic – patriotic and supportive of the military, but deeply suspicious (even more so post Blair) of adventures abroad – Essex woman wants her politicians to be straight-talking and fair. She’s not to be messed with and when it comes to winning her vote, a nice suit and a smile will get you nowhere. She’s been there, done that and got the D:Ream CD. The Labour Party currently doesn’t have a single Essex seat. In fact all Essex constituencies, save for Ukip-held Clacton, are Conservative blue. New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would do well to take note and look to Ilford rather than Islington for his political inspiration. For if these naturally entrepreneurial, optimistic and hard-working people aren’t responding to his ideas, it’s a fair bet that he won’t get close to, let alone over, the line to Number Ten. My suspicion is that he hasn’t yet said or done anything to properly tickle the fancy of Essex man or woman. Our politicians recently called for schoolchildren to learn more of our island story and rightly so. But I’d go further. If we are to embrace our government’s belief in localism surely we should get more local with our history teaching too? Wouldn’t we want to get more involved in our community if we knew more of its story, its heroes and heroines, its quirks and its place in the political world? Difficult though not impossible to formally examine, I still maintain that a little local knowledge would help students go a long way – and I know just the man to put together the Essex curriculum – Jamie Oliver (Clavering). For the loud, proud, brilliant people of Essex, such a campaign may leave those from the more boring counties feeling justifiably “well jel”. As they say, “You’ve got to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.” Even if it is only to the tanning salon.

MORE FROM GQ

For these related stories, visit GQ.co.uk/magazine

Will David Cameron Leave A Legacy (Andy Coulson, October 2015) Blue Thunder! (Andy Coulson, May 2015) And You Thought A Week Was A Long Time In Politics... (Andy Coulson, December 2013)

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Stockists February 2016

A

JD Sports jdsports.co.uk

Adidas adidas.com

Jimmy Choo jimmychoo.com

AG Jeans agjeans.com

John Smedley johnsmedley.com

Alexander McQueen alexandermcqueen.com

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Berluti berluti.com Bottega Veneta bottegaveneta.com Boss hugoboss.com Burberry Prorsum burberry.com

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Calvin Klein Collection calvinklein.com Canali canali.com

Grenson 40 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London W1. 020 3689 2970 Emporio Armani armani.com

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Gap gap.co.uk Gant gant.co.uk Gieves & Hawkes gievesandhawkes.com Giorgio Armani armani.com

Church’s church-footwear.com

Giuseppe Zanotti giuseppezanottidesign. com

Corneliani corneliani.com Crockett & Jones crockettandjones.com

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Daks daks.com

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Kenzo kenzo.com Kilgour kilgour.com

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Lanvin lanvin.com Loake loake.co.uk Louis Vuitton louisvuitton.co.uk

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Marks & Spencer marksandspencer.com

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Oliver Peoples oliverpeoples.com Oliver Spencer oliverspencer.co.uk Omega omegawatches.com Orlebar Brown orlebarbrown.co.uk

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Paul Smith paulsmith.co.uk Persol persol.com

Tag Heuer tagheuer.com Tateossian tateossian.com Taylor Morris taylormorriseyewear.com The British Belt Company thebritishbeltcompany. co.uk

Prada prada.com

Tiger Of Sweden tigerofsweden.com

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Tod’s tods.com

Ralph Lauren ralphlauren.com Ray-Ban ray-ban.com

Grenson grenson.co.uk

MCM mcmworldwide.com

Raymond Weil raymond-weil.com

Gucci gucci.com

Moncler moncler.com

Richard James richardjames.co.uk

Mophie mophie.com

Russell & Bromley russellandbromley.co.uk

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H&M hm.com

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Philipp Plein philipp-plein.com

matchesfashion.com

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Omega 260 Regent Street, London W1. 020 7734 4994

Tom Ford tomford.co.uk Tommy Hilfiger tommy.com Topman topman.com Turnbull & Asser turnbullandasser.co.uk

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Ugg uggaustralia.co.uk

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Ellis Brigham ellis-brigham.com

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Next next.co.uk

Sunspel sunspel.com

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J Crew jcrew.com Jaeger jaeger.co.uk

S’well swellbottle.com

Superdry superdry.com Giuseppe Zanotti 49 Sloane Street, London SW1. 020 7838 9455

Surfdome surfdome.com

Uniqlo uniqlo.com

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Vertu vertu.com

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Wolsey wolsey.com Woolrich woolrich.eu


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A once in a lifetime opportunity

THE STAR AND GARTER

NOW OVER 60% SOLD The meticulous refurbishment of this Grade II Listed landmark provides a stunning range of luxuriously specified 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments. It has a magnificent setting, with the iconic view of the river Thames, famously painted by Turner and other artists, visible from the restored gardens. These are unique residences, restored and specified to the highest standards. Private facilities, including a leisure suite with a pool, spa and treatment room, Harrods concierge, and town car ensure an incomparable lifestyle for residents.

Last one bedroom apartment priced at £1.3 million Two bedroom apartments from £1.75 million Three bedroom apartments from £2.45 million

The Sales Suite and Show Apartment are now open daily Viewing by appointment only, please call 0333 666 0102 to confirm.

Selling agents

www.thestarandgarter.london Computer generated image depicts The Star and Garter and is indicative only. Photography depicts Show Home. Details and prices correct at time of going to press.


Magniicent brand new Regency-style home CHEAM, SURREY

Cheam Station: 1.5 miles (London Bridge from 44 minutes), Wimbledon: 6.7 miles, Heathrow Airport: 32.5 miles 3 reception rooms, orangery, games room, master bedroom suite with dressing room, 6 further bedrooms, first floor laundry room, landscaped garden, 693 sq m (7,462 sq ft), EPC = A. Show home open Saturdays & Sundays 10am - 4pm

Trevor Kearney Savills London Office

020 3417 8414 tkearney@savills.com Jo Judge Savills Guildford

01483 346085 Guide ÂŁ3.899 million

jjudge@savills.com

savills.co.uk


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The Six Senses Residences Courchevel is the ямБrst residential spa development in the famous ski resort

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condenastjohansens.com El Fenn, Morocco


HOMES FOR SALE OUTSTANDING CHALET IN LE LAVANCHER, CHAMONIX Exceptional new mountain retreat overlooking the majestic mountains of the Chamonix valley. OUTSTANDING CHALET IN CHAMONIX – FREEHOLD €6,300,000 – 6 bedrooms

The chalet has 6 bedrooms, open plan living and dining room, fully equipped kitchen, spa with sauna and steam room, gym, TV room, covered heated swimming pool, garage, ski and boot room. Cross country ski paths run below the chalet. Built from the best quality natural materials using stone, wood, metal and glass. Exceptionally high specification including Miele kitchen, marble bathrooms, and designer finishes. Home automation system, alarm and video surveillance. Located in the hamlet of Le Lavancher, between Chamonix town and Les Grands Montets ski station. ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

530 sq m chalet 2,136 sq m plot All furniture included Rents for up to €60,000 per week

+44 (0) 20 7647 7243 joanna.leverett@cluttons.com

cluttons.com


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ward-winning Fulham Reach by St George is the regeneration of a former distillery on the north bank of the River hames. his thriving new development capitalises on an exceptional riverside location, with views over the famous Harrods Furniture Depository and towards the historic Hammersmith Bridge. he two latest development phases at Fulham Reach feature 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and 3 bedroom penthouses in Faulkner House, complimented by elegant interiors, generous private terraces and views towards the River hames. All residents at this popular development beneďŹ t from a wide range of on-site facilities. Alongside a state-of-the-art gymnasium and spa, residents have access to the very latest Computer generated images are indicative only. *Price correct at time of going to press.


ADVERTISING FEATURE

golf simulator offering the opportunity to play on the finest courses in the world. Residents can also enjoy a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar to store, preserve and enjoy their personal collections, as well as a luxury private screening room to watch everything from Hollywood releases to major sporting events. Fulham Reach also features the Fulham Reach Boat Club and a blend of cafés and restaurants, including the new Fuller’s bar and restaurant, he Blue Boat, and the award-winning Harris and Hoole Coffee Shop.

For further information or to register your interest:

Fulham Reach Riverside Sales and Marketing Suite, Distillery Road, London W6 9RU

+44 (0) 020 3773 6851 enquiries@fulhamreach.co.uk www.fulhamreach.co.uk

Prices from £1,229,950* Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies


PROPERTY

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VIEWING AVAILABLE BY AP P O I NT ME NT O NLY b o o k to d a y

Superbly and sympathetically designed, each of the nine bespoke 4 and 5 bedroom detached lakeside homes at Elements have been created to work effortlessly and in complete harmony with the surroundings. These are amongst the only lakeside homes in the area to offer 365 day occupation. Prices from ÂŁ2,800,000, with each property individually priced.

Visit: redrow.co.uk/elements

Elements The Mallards, South Cerney, Gloucestershire GL7 5TQ | Register your interest | Call: 01285 238556 CGIs for illustrative purposes only.


PROPERTY

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Home Builders Federation Customer Survey

BENTLEY PLACE | WOLVERTON GARDENS | HAMMERSMITH | W6 7DY

LONDON LIVING AT I T S B E S T

A meticulously finished collection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom high specification apartments and one unique penthouse set in an enviable location, just a few minutes away from the banks of the River Thames and all this vibrant area has to ofer. Set within the Brook Green conservation area 5 minute walk from Hammersmith tube Underfloor heating Video door entry Gated underground parking available Private gardens and terraces to some homes Communal roof terrace and courtyards Prices starting from ÂŁ624,995. Demand for these superbly appointed apartments is already high. Avoid disappointment by contacting us now to register your interest.

Email: nlondon-sales@bellway.co.uk Call: 0333 577 8682 Click: www.bellway.co.uk Prices correct at time of going to press. Travel times and distances are approximate only and taken from Google Maps.


#OTL JONATHAN HEAF IS...

...with DAISY LOWE GQ’s Features Director explores a fantasia of romance, high art and outrageously rich fare at Mayfair’s Sexy Fish

R  

estaurant critics across the land seem to be getting all snooty about Sexy Fish, the new (ish) banker’s canteen on Berkley Square, Mayfair. “Such a silly name!” they tut. “The doormen are so rude!” they stammer. “The décor,” – with its Frank Gehry light sculptures and Damien Hirst cobalt-blue mermaids – “is just too bonkers!” they weep into their icechilled spoons of Oscietra caviar and exquisitely cut maki rolls. Perhaps that is why the owner, Richard Caring – all big white emoji grin and hair so voluminous it probably has its own private jet – is there on the day I dine, standing at the back, taking in the lunch rush surreptitiously. Caring (or rather, his accountants) needn’t worry. Not one jot. They will come – the inquisitive, the super rich and those gurning notables, the sort you see cluttering up the party pages of ES Magazine. You know, people like Dynamo, Bradford’s answer to David Blaine, Rita Ora and hedgie playboy Arpad Busson. Or Kate Moss with her new posh squeeze, Nikolai von Bismarck, both of whom were at the glitzy launch pretending not to leave together. Who needs cantankerous, unglamorous, naysayers who don’t know their liposuctioned arses from their private aquariums when you’ve got the support of Kate Moss at the bar? (Or the bar supporting Kate Moss, for that matter.) Sexy Fish is escapism. It’s a pure fantasy. It is supposed to be a bit bonkers. There’s a Pret next door if you fancy a quinoa pot with a splodge of gluten-free reality. Fantasies should not be polite. Speaking of which, Daisy Lowe walks in, gives me a smile that could power the Calais “Jungle” for over a year and glides over to my table like Dalston’s answer to Jessica Rabbit. Cool. Sexy. Really, really tall. Rather pleasingly the entire room stares as she sits down, orders a Bloody Maria – “It’s with tequila; vodka gives me a headache” – and proudly tells me she is single. I pinch myself, momentarily fearing this is some sort of setup by the hackers behind the Madison Ashley leak. “Erm, why?” I ask.

“I need to figure men out. I’ve been seeing men that either remind me of my mother or remind me of my father. I either end up caretaking or being abandoned so I’ve had enough of my romantic instincts. I need to date away from type.” Daisy may be unsure about dating, but she knows her way around a menu. Her appetite is as bold as the 13ft black Formica and silicone crocodile that looms over the 190-seat dining room. We order sashimi yellowtail tuna (£14) and beef Tataki with truffle (£14.50), followed by octopus carpaccio (£12.50), crispy soft shell crab (£12.75) and beef and foie gras gyoza (£14.50). The food is as divine as it is dear, and it is only the gyozas that we take issue with – too oily, too dense, too rich, even for us. We follow this with miso-glazed Chilean sea bass and, because it’s a day for fantasies, three puddings: matcha & ginger marble cake (£8.50), cinnamon doughnuts (£8.50) and a warm rice pudding (£9). Daisy’s verdict? “Bangin’.” We order tumblers of amaretto on the rocks. I ask Daisy if she’s tried any dating apps. “There’s this one called Raya that is Tinder for celebrities.” she says. “You have to do corny things like put a song to photos of yourself: ‘Daisy likes pubs! Horse riding! Looks good in a bikini!’ It’s all so mortifying. My male friend got matched with Courtney Love and if ever there’s a reason not to be on those things surely that’s it.” You know what your problem is, Daisy? You worry about the truth too much. Give in to fantasy. Why live in reality, with its terrorism and bad sandwiches, when you can live, well, here: like a couple of limpets suckling at the gilded, Hirst-moulded teet of Mayfair’s otherworldliness. The truth might set you free, but it won’t get you laid. Sexiest body part: “My hands.” Sexiest place to have sex? “Outside. In a London park. No details!” Least sexy outfit a man can wear: “Boot-cut jeans.” Sexiest car: “Mercedes SLS Gullwing.” Least sexy thing a man can do during sex: “Shout out the name of an STD. ‘Chlamydia!’” Sexy Fish, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W1. 0203 764 2000, sexyfish.com

VERDICT Sexiness ★★★★★ Fishiness ★★★✩✩ Celeb-count ★★★✩✩ Décor ★★★★★★ Potential to max out the AmEx ★★★★✩ Overall ★★★★

Illustration Zohar Lazar

‘I’ve had enough of instincts. I need to date away from type’


NUTRIENT

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