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British GQ - 03.2019

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POLITICS
ARCHITECTUR E
Billionaires’
Row
Sky
mansions
of the
ultra rich
MARCH 2019
EXCLUSIVE
ST YLE
How to
ghost
your
own
shirt
24-Hour
Pyjama
People
Story by Jonathan Heaf Photographed by Eric Ray Davidson
‘The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection’ – T H O M A S PA I N E
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dior.com – 020 7172 0172
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Horizon
The Spirit of Travel.
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147
House Rules
47
Editor’s Letter
57
148
Dior’s jewel-action bracelets; it’s
time for “box-fresh” to go back
on the shelf; handbags 4 life;
branded soaps that raise the
bar; green grooming with
GQ’s Test Pilot; how to ghost
your shirt; it’s worth getting
up for all-day pyjamas;
Style Shrink in session.
Foreword
On Brexit, the Second World War
informs myths both sides
tell themselves.
By George Chesterton
71
165
Taste
A backstreet pub with bite; the bar at
China Tang is an art deco jewel in The
Dorchester’s crown; Another Place, another
outstanding Lake District destination;
Albert Adrià’s Cakes & Bubbles.
83
69
Details
104
GQ Preview
Mahalia is R&B’s new stream queen;
Ed Skrein’s woke awakening; sea and
be seen – three luxury dive watches;
T-minus 60 years of Nasa; London’s
CBD diners give new meaning to eat
your greens; fragrances with flavour;
the GQ Navigator guides you through
this month’s cultural touchpoints.
151
This month’s events
and products.
109
The GQ Drop
Trash talk in
boxing should
throw in the
towel; email is
broken (and we
still can’t fix it);
artist Elizabeth
Eade wins the
HIX Award;
Mr Trump goes
to Tinseltown;
why orchestral
re-records need
fine-tuning;
New York’s highperformance
architecture; why
the Democrats
must do better
than Biden 2020.
86
147
170
GQ Food & Drink Awards 2019
We asked, you answered: presenting the culinary
tastemakers on this year’s shortlist and the experts
who’ll pick the cream of the crop.
112
165
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CONTENT S
Daps, Yxng Bane and
Tinie Tempah
97
London Fashion Week Men’s is still the menswear calendar event of the year. With runway roundups,
party pap shots and the names in the know, we look behind the curtains of AW19.
Photographs by James Kelly, Simon Lesley, James Mason, Beccy Nuthall and Ashley Verse
MARCH 2019 GQ .CO.UK 33
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CONTENT S
172
123
172
260
Armie Hammer
Vodka (lots), selfies (none), privilege (his) and nudity
(ours). What happened when we joined Armie Hammer
at an LA Martini bar? He wouldn’t tell. But we would...
By Jonathan Heaf
Features & fashion
186
123
The 2019 GQ
Car Awards
From “The
All-Red Rideable
Missile” to
“Where We’re
Going We Won’t
Need Roads” –
14 gongs for
racers with
wheels, wings
and, in one very
special case, legs...
Where the hell is
David Cameron?
Since the Brexit referendum, one voice has
been entirely silent. Should the man who
called it on have tried to call it off?
By Alastair Campbell
196
Super-skinny skyscrapers
Of spires and aspiration: New York’s skyline
has seen a spike in ultra-slender architecture.
By Charlie Burton
206
233
Life
Lunch-break workouts
from GQ’s new PT;
advice from outer space
(no, not astrology);
face facts – you need
these moisturisers.
260
Out To Lunch
At The Ivy Chelsea
Garden Rosamund Pike
reveals the mental and
physical demands of
embodying murdered
journalist Marie Colvin
for A Private War.
The boy from Brazil
Trump of South America or anti-corruption
champion? President Jair Bolsonaro has a
dark history and, it’s feared, a darker future.
By Matt Sandy
216
The GQ collections SS19
From Gucci to Gabbana and Berluti to
Burberry, our edit of the best of the season is
required reading for friends and frow alike.
206
Armie Hammer wears jacket by Dolce & Gabbana, £725. dolcegabbana.com.
Sunglasses by Salvatore Ferragamo, £185. ferragamo.com
216
196
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 35
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK KNIGHT
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Editor
DYLAN JONES
PA TO THE EDITOR Sophie Hamblett
DEPUTY EDITOR Bill Prince
MANAGING EDITOR George Chesterton
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Paul Solomons
FASHION DIRECTOR Luke Day
ASSOCIATE EDITORS Paul Henderson, Stuart McGurk
GQ.CO.UK EDITOR Anna Conrad
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PHOTOGRAPHIC DIRECTOR Robin Key
ENGAGEMENT MANAGER Robert Leedham
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FEATURES DIRECTOR Jonathan Heaf
STYLE AND GROOMING DIRECTOR Teo van den Broeke
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ONLINE PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Eleanor Davies
SOCIAL CONTENT EDITOR Kathleen Johnston
JUNIOR STYLE EDITOR Zak Maoui
JUNIOR DIGITAL EDITOR Faye Fearon
ASSOCIATE PICTURE EDITOR Alfie Baldwin
SENIOR FASHION ASSISTANT Angelo Mitakos
CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Nick Carvell, Elgar Johnson, Lou Stoppard, Tom Stubbs
CONTRIBUTING WOMEN’S EDITOR Katie Grand
POLITICAL EDITOR Matthew d’Ancona
JUNIOR VIDEO PRODUCER Mateo Notsuke
CONTRIBUTING STYLE EDITOR Michael Hennegan
CONTRIBUTING ART EDITOR Adam Clayton
LUXURY EDITOR Nick Foulkes
LITERARY EDITOR Olivia Cole
Contributing Editors
Mel Agace, Andrew Anthony, Chris Ayres, Jason Barlow, Stephen Bayley, Tara Bernerd, Heston Blumenthal, Debra Bourne, Jennifer Bradly, Charlie Brooks, Ed Caesar, Alastair Campbell,
Robert Chalmers, Jim Chapman, Nik Cohn, Giles Coren, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Andy Coulson, Alan Edwards, Robert Elms, Tracey Emin (feng shui), David Furnish, Tanya Gold, Bear Grylls, Sophie Hastings,
Mark Hix, Julia Hobsbawm, Boris Johnson, John Kampfner, Simon Kelner, Luke Leitch, Rod Liddle, Sascha Lilic, Frank Luntz, Dorian Lynskey, Piers Morgan, James Mullinger (comedy), John Naughton,
Rebecca Newman, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Dermot O’Leary, Tom Parker Bowles, Tony Parsons, Oliver Peyton, David Rosen, Martin Samuel, Darius Sanai, Kenny Schachter, Simon Schama, Celia Walden,
Danny Wallace, Michael Wolff, Peter York
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, Steven Klein, David LaChapelle, Brigitte Lacombe, Joshua Lawrence, Sun Lee, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Neaves, Zed Nelson, Mitch Payne,
Vincent Peters, Rankin, Mick Rock, Mark Seliger, Søren Solkær, Mario Sorrenti, Ellen von Unwerth, Mariano Vivanco, Matthias Vriens-McGrath, Nick Wilson, Richard Young
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EDITOR’S LETTER
Since the EU referendum, David Cameron has remained in the shadows. This month, Alastair Campbell calls on him to re-emerge from his garden shed
Photograph Getty Images
T
here are so many reasons why
a considerable proportion of the
British public feel so angry towards
David Cameron. One of the most
galling, obviously, is his seemingly
premeditated decision to step down when
the referendum vote went against him
in the summer of 2016. This, for many, was a
shining example of what was always considered to be his rather relaxed attitude towards
governing or, in other words, a complete dereliction of duty. In an act of supreme petulance
perhaps worthy of José Mourinho, Cameron
decided to walk off the pitch, never to return,
having thrown his tracksuit and his team
sheets behind him. That was another problem,
at least in the eyes of those who criticised his
bungled attempts to convince the British public
to vote Remain: he repeatedly mistook tactics
for strategy, offering a Brexit vote that was
almost infantile in its simplicity and naivety.
As Richard Dawkins said so eloquently in
his Brexit video commissioned by the BBC’s
Newsnight, constitutional amendments are,
or should be, hard to achieve – in the US, it
takes a two-thirds majority in both houses of
Congress. “It’s easy to see why the bar is set
so high,” he said. “Unlike ordinary lawmaking,
constitutional changes are for keeps. Voters are
fickle. Opinions change. We have no right to
condemn future generations to abide, irrevocably, by the transient whims of the present.”
Some obviously felt that Dawkins was too strident and patronising in his broadside, but for
Remainers, he managed to encapsulate their
anger. “If ever a decision needed at least a twothirds majority, it was Brexit.” The beef of his
argument echoes what many said about the
inexpert way in which Cameron presented his
big idea to the public: not offering a two-thirds
majority cut-off, not suggesting a second vote
after a cooling-off period and not producing a
granular cross-party examination of the pros
and cons. Those speaking in Cameron’s defence
say that the “European question” was never
going to go away and that it just happened to
fall on his watch, which is a trite excuse for a
vote that was only organised to appease those
voters who were drifting to the right and, more
precisely, to Ukip.
Since Cameron walked off set, temporarily
disappearing from public life (in order not to
interfere with or be seen to contradict Theresa
May’s negotiations, pronunciations, etc, etc),
he has been almost invisible. It’s almost as
though he wasn’t there in the first place, as not
Cameron offered
a Brexit vote that
was infantile in
its simplicity
only has the Tory party rediscovered its midNineties toxicity, but an entire generation of
politicians on both left and right have disappeared into the private sector. Remarkably, he
has also managed to avoid too much interference from the press, which has seemed content
to let him wallow in whatever hubristic bubble
(or shed) he has been hiding in. Another reason
Cameron has been in hiding is because of his
autobiography, which is largely finished, and
just waiting for the final Brexit negotiations to
be ratified before he adds his coda.
I
n this issue, Alastair Campbell investigates the Cameron conundrum. Campbell
has been an extremely public and vocal
Remainer and his views on the subject
made him the perfect person to take on
this mission. As expected, his piece is not a
rant, but a nuanced, brilliantly espoused examination not just of the bungled process of the
referendum, but also of Cameron himself. They
knew each other well before the referendum
and have had quite a lot of contact since, not
least for this article, written after they met at a
Christmas carol service at the end of last year.
“[Cameron] seems to take the view that his is
the last voice anyone wants to hear on Brexit,”
writes Campbell. “But is it universally shared?
Would people listen if he spoke, said what he
really thought, offered leadership advice to a
country in dire need of it? Some would not. >>
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 47
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EDITOR’S LETTER
>> But many would. So why doesn’t he? Why
the silence and self-imposed obscurity?
“Partly, he sees parallels with Tony Blair,
thinks that all PMs need a cooling-off period,
especially when associated with a controversy
as big as Iraq or Brexit. He knows that whenever he does put his head back above the parapet,
there will be plenty of people waiting to fire at
him. He is confident he can get his reputation
to a better place, that there is a difficult pain
barrier to go through with press and public,
but now, mid-turmoil, is not the time. Also,
he does not want to make life any more difficult for May. Does that
mean he likes her? No.
He found her frustrating to deal with, cold,
stubborn and that
she rather enjoyed
being a ‘bloody difficult woman’, long
before Ken Clarke
provided the label.
Cameron often managed to find a reason to
send Nick Clegg in his stead for the regular
prime minister-home secretary bilaterals and he
rightly assumes her brutal dismissal of George
Osborne when she became prime minister was
in large part a dig at him for allowing the DaveGeorge chumocracy to run things so tightly.
“There was something odd, however, about
her flat-out denial in the Commons of media
reports that he had been advising her on Brexit.
She said the last time they had spoken was after
reaching the withdrawal agreement with the
EU, when she made a courtesy call to him. Yet
– back to the Christmas carols – Cameron had
told a group in the church a story about how his
daughter Nancy had wanted to revisit Number
Ten, where she had grown up, and May had
shown them around. I find it hard to believe
the B-word wasn’t mentioned, nor advice I
know he had given her previously, which went
unheeded, to ‘keep her options open’.”
GQ has history with David Cameron. We were
the first major publication to put him on the
cover and were one of the first media outlets
to publicly pronounce that we thought he was
going to be prime minister. Cameron might have
famously wanted to be the “heir to Blair”, but
it soon became quite
obvious that this was
more than mere rhetoric. I even wrote a
book with him, as
I was keen to spend
time with someone
who I knew was going
to end up having a big
effect on the country;
however, like everyone else, I had no idea that
his legacy might involve the mess we find ourselves in right now. I liked him immediately. I
thought he’d be the right antidote to Gordon
Brown and for most of his tenure I thought he
was. But Brexit remains a conundrum that will
take years to fathom, a conundrum Cameron is
currently unable to engage with.
What the future holds for Cameron
depends as much on the success of his public
re-engagement as it does on the eventual
manifestations of the referendum, but
Campbell’s piece offers a fascinating insight
into a tale unfinished. G
GQ was the first
major publication
to put Cameron
on the cover
What to wear to a job interview
Top style tips on how to dress to impress.
Get suited and booted or choose a more
understated look – our experts are here to help.
Style Shrink Live
GQ Style And
Grooming Director
Teo van den Broeke
answers your
burning questions
on Instagram Stories,
offering advice on
the top trends, key
seasonal pieces and
timeless tailoring.
Hype-o-Scopes
Your weekly style horoscope is here. Leo, are
you committing to a Gucci bumbag? All will
be revealed...
Cover and subscribers’
cover photographed
by Eric Ray Davidson
Follow us
@britishgq
@dylanjonesgq
48 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
In bed with Armie Hammer
Dylan Jones, Editor
Pillow talk behind the scenes with the star of
Call Me By Your Name and On The Basis Of Sex.
Illustrations Joe McKendry; Mario Wagner
On the subscribers’
cover: Armie Hammer
wears jacket, £1,160.
Trousers, £670.
Both by Gucci. At
matchesfashion.com.
T-shirt by Sunspel,
£70. sunspel.com.
Trainers by Adidas,
£75. At Schuh.
schuh.co.uk
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TOMFORD.COM
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CONTRIBUTORS
Eric Ray
DAVIDSON
Photographs Getty Images; Patrik Giardino
This month’s cover star
is 6’5”, 220 pounds and
there are two of him.
At least, there were
in his breakout role,
playing both Winklevoss
twins in Facebook drama
The Social Network.
Eric Ray Davidson shot
Armie Hammer in the
Hollywood Hills and the
two hit it off instantly.
“Hammer smells better
than you could ever
imagine,” says Davidson
of the experience. Eric,
we don’t doubt it.
Kathleen
JOHNSTON
Bobby
PALMER
For the Details
section, GQ’s Social
Content Editor,
Kathleen Johnston,
interviewed the risingstar singer Mahalia. “Her
music offers welcome
respite from the
homogenous pop, dance
and rap that dominates
the radio,” says Johnston.
“Mahalia has found that
elusive sweet spot
between familiarity and
freshness in a way that
harks back to the golden
era of R&B.”
You might not have
heard of Nick Woodman,
but you’ve heard of his
company: GoPro. Under
his stewardship, the
action-cam startup has
become a billion dollar
brand. For “The
Entrepreneur” in
Details, Bobby Palmer
interviewed him
about how he did it.
The most important
lesson: “Nick Woodman
is Nick Woodman’s
own target market,”
says Palmer.
Matt
SANDY
Raven
SMITH
In January, a populist
president was sworn
in after a campaign in
which he threatened
to throw his political
opponents in jail,
denigrated women
and promised trade
would take precedence
over the environment.
Sound familiar? This
isn’t Trump, but
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.
“Bolosonaro is a man for
whom ‘far right’ seems
an understatment,” says
writer Matt Sandy.
London-based writer
Raven Smith isn’t a man
who takes anything
lightly, even all-day
pyjama-wearing. Smith,
who makes his House
Rules debut this month,
writes about how
getting a little more
casual, lethargic even,
will give your 2019
wardrobe the sheen
it deserves. “Wearing
pyjamas adds a touch
of drama to an
otherwise athleisurely
day,” he explains.
Brooklyn
BECKHAM
For the 2019 GQ
Car Awards, we
asked photographer
and petrolhead
Brooklyn Beckham
to shoot one of our
winners, the new
BMW Z4, in Palm
Springs. “I studied the
work of people who
photographed cars and
I wanted it to be a bit
different,” says Beckham.
“The light was changing
so it was difficult at first,
but I’m really happy with
the results.” G
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 55
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Edited by
Charlie Burton
Bags of style p.78 Scent good enough to eat p.86 CBD cuisine hits the restaurant scene p.90
Mahalia
Music’s NBT? Your
computer said yes
She might be only 20 years
old, but the R&B singer
from Leicestershire is
already a music industry
veteran, signing to a major
label at 13. But right now
she’s in the limelight like
never before: the live
version of her song “Sober”
has 23.4 million views, she’s
a Brits Critics’ Choice 2019
nominee and she topped
YouTube’s inaugural “Ones
To Watch” list, compiled by
crunching viewer data. In
other words, she’s the most
likely breakout act of the
year – according to science.
We asked about her
formative firsts...
The first time you got
stage fright... “Not long
after I signed. Ed Sheeran
was doing two nights at
Hammersmith Apollo and
I supported him there at
the age of 14.”
Styling Jessica Swanson Hair Stefan Bertin Make-up Gigi Hammond
The first time you got your
heart broken... “I was 13
and he was my first love.
I remember being older
and people saying to me,
‘Oh, you can’t have been
in love,’ but even now I
can say I’ve never been
hurt like that. We got
back together and then we
broke up [again] this year.”
The first time you threw
a punch and meant it...
“My boyfriend, and that
was two nights ago. Did
I mean it? Half and half,
kind of.”
The first time a politician
made you angry... “I
Photograph by Vicky Grout
got into politics when
I was in sixth form. I
remember seeing this
clip of Nigel Farage and
thinking, ‘I really hate
you.’” Kathleen Johnston
VISIT GQ’S VERO CHANNEL FOR
MORE EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
FROM MAHALIA. VERO.CO
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 69
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Edited by Bill Prince
Photograph by Sun Lee
Audemars,
deciphered
Who was it first said time is a circle? History
is repeating at the manufacture that reshaped
horology thanks to the new Code 11.59
When Audemars Piguet launched the Royal
Oak in 1972, it rocked the world of fine
watchmaking by creating the first ever
luxury sports watch in – whisper it – stainless steel. It shocked, inspired and then sold,
latterly in such large numbers that it repositioned AP from renowned atelier of haute
horology to a full-blown luxury goods phenomenon. Its fortunes sealed, it’s therefore
doubly satisfying to report that 47 years on
the brand has announced an entirely new
collection – Code 11.59 – which, as the name
suggests, might be just as disruptive as the
mighty Oak, but in the opposite direction.
“Everyone is abandoning the world of
classical [watchmaking], so we’ve done the
exact opposite. We went to a world where
nobody is expecting us,” says CEO FrançoisHenry Bennahmias.
Starting with the name (which doesn’t, in
fact, appear on the dial), the six-strong
collection (from a three-hand automatic
with date to the quarter of a million pounds
minute repeater) exhibits the brand’s
patrimony as well as its spirit of derring-do.
The collection comes in white or rose gold
only and all but the skeletonised flying
tourbillon feature painstakingly lacquered
dials, with a logo in galvanically grown
raised gold lettering – a technique currently
unique in the industry. The technological
achievements are harnessed to a special
moment in AP’s recent history: the unveiling
of two brand new movements, one of them
the long-awaited integrated automatic
chronograph, after which many AP
aficionados hankered. And in another step
change, the entire range has been made
available simultaneously.
“No one asked us to produce a round
watch. We did it to challenge ourselves,”
says Bennahmias of the industry’s first truly
contemporary new design in years. “We
wanted to show people we could push all the
details a lot further than anyone has done
before.” Remind you of anything? BP
Right: Audemars Piguet Code 11.59,
from £25,000. audemarspiguet.com
70 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
12
In a nod to its past, the
Arabic numerals used
on the new Code 11.59
collection were inspired
by a minute repeater
AP created
in 1951.
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DETAILS
DETAILS
THE
ACTOR
T O WAT C H
Ed Skrein
Race, privilege and sacrifice – the
British Beale Street star speaks out
It’s not the usual
chain of events.
When actors are
condemned for
“whitewashing”
roles, they tend to
weather the storm
and take the money.
So when Ed Skrein
walked away from
a part in the Hellboy
reboot so that an
Asian actor could
be cast appropriately,
he was entering
uncharted territory.
“I was ready for a
negative backlash,”
Skrein says in the
Camden drawl he
applied to rap before
he turned to acting.
“But I was at peace
with my decision,
because I knew it
was the right one
for me and
everyone involved.”
As it happens,
the reaction
was anything but
negative and leaving
Hellboy was just one
of a string of good
decisions that have
set Skrein apart. The
former Deadpool
villain can be seen
blowing things up
alongside Christoph
Waltz in Alita: Battle
Angel (out now). But
we’re most excited
about his role in If
Beale Street Could
Talk, a James
Baldwin adaptation
by Moonlight’s Barry
Jenkins, which
tackles America’s
race problem in a
very timely fashion.
“Moonlight was
such a big part of
my creative growth,”
says Skrein, who
went to see it four
times in the cinema.
“This last couple of
years, I really have
understood what
privileges our
whiteness buys us.”
Hence his recent
reading diet, which
has focused on
writers such as
Nikesh Shukla and
Reni Eddo-Lodge.
“The fact that I now
have a seat at the
table in this industry
means that I have
to do whatever I
can. I just won’t
be singing and
dancing about it.”
Bobby Palmer
Photograph by José Tió
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK IS OUT NOW.
Photographs Getty Images; Netflix
T Augment
Forget
Jesse Lingard
Track
Phil Foden
The Champions League is back this month for the
knockout games, with all four English sides still in
it. But while the focus is often on mega-salaried
foreign stars, this time it’s about English prodigies
breaking through. Most excitingly, Manchester City’s
18-year-old Phil Foden, about whom Pep Guardiola
said, “It’s a long time since I saw something like this.
For us he’s a gift.” The Champions League round
of 16 starts on 12 February.
your life Three substitutions to make this month
Pause
Pod Save
America
Download
On Topic With
Renato Mariotti
The “Obama bros” of Pod Save America have been
required listening during Trump’s first two years
in office. But as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s
investigation nears the endgame, they’ve become
less essential: it’s not their area of expertise. For
that, On Topic With Renato Mariotti has swiftly
become vital. A former federal prosecutor, Mariotti
dissects every development and makes clear how
much legal jeopardy Trump is actually in.
Switch off
every Netflix
Marvel series
Switch on
Netflix’s The
Umbrella Academy
Remember when Jessica Jones arrived and it was
good? And then all the other Marvel series followed
on Netflix and they were not good. The Umbrella
Academy, however, looks set to make up for past
sins. Adapted from the titular comic, it’s set in a world
where JFK wasn’t assassinated and children born
with amazing abilities are adopted by a billionaire
industrialist. Look, it’s complicated, but think X-Men
meets Watchmen, OK? Stuart McGurk
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 71
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43563 TELA PLACCATA
COTTON TELA IMPREGNATED WITH SPECIAL PIGMENTED RESINS. THANKS TO THE FINISHED
GARMENT OVER DYE PROCEDURE, THE OUTER FACE OF THE GARMENT TAKES ON A CHALKY/
MÉLANGE APPEARANCE WHILE THE INTERIOR AND TEXTILE ACCESSORIES ARE FULLY COLOURED BY THE DYE RECIPE. ON THE FRONT, TWO APPLIED PANELS CREATE THE SIDE ENTRY
POCKETS AND CARRY 3 BELLOWS POCKETS ON EACH SIDE WITH FLAP AND SNAP, AND TWO
BELLOWS POCKETS ON THE CHEST, ALSO WITH FLAP AND SNAP. ELASTIC CUFFS WITH SNAP.
BACK YOKE. DRAWSTRING ON BOTTOM HEM. BUTTON FASTENING.
WWW.STONEISLAND.CO.UK
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44549 DAVID-TC
FIELD JACKET IN DAVID-TC. BEGINNING WITH A STAR-SHAPED POLYESTER / POLYAMIDE
SUBSTRATE, GARMENTS IN DAVID-TC ARE SEWN AND THEN SIMULTANEOUSLY GARMENT DYED
AND TREATED WITH AN ANTI-DROP AGENT. DURING THE DYE PROCESS, UNDER PRESSURE AT
130°C, THE FABRIC UNDERGOES HEAT-INDUCED COMPRESSION, RADICALLY TRANSFORMING
ITS HAND AND BODY. STAND-UP COLLAR CONCEALS A FOLDAWAY POLYESTER HOOD BENEATH A
FLAP HELD BY SNAPS. HAND POCKETS WITH FLAP AND BUTTON FASTENING. BELLOWS POCKETS
ON CHEST WITH FLAP AND BUTTON FASTENING. DRAWSTRING AT WAIST. ADJUSTABLE SNAPS
AT CUFFS. BACK SHOULDER GUSSET. HIDDEN DOUBLE SLIDER ZIP AND BUTTONS FASTENING,
WITH VERTICAL APPLIQUÉ IN THE SAME FABRIC.
FLAGSHIP STORE:
79 BREWER STREET_LONDON_W1F 9ZN
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London
j o h nv a r v a t o s . c o m
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G a r y C l a rk Jr.
Au st i n , T X 2018
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DETAILS
THE
MUSIC
BREAKTHROUGH
Freya
Ridings
The Brit School
alumna on loneliness,
loss and a song for
eight million sorrows
Crackdown 3: run + gun = fun
No work and all play, the third instalment of the city-shooter sticks to its roots
T
he great con of
nearly all video
games is how they
rebrand work as play. The
scheme is clearest in those
titles in which you inhabit
a professional role. In
SimCity you work as an
urban planner, responsible
for laying sewerage pipes
and electricity lines to
enable the smooth
running of a city. Crazy
Taxi puts you behind the
wheel of a low-slung cab,
streaking to deliver
passengers to their
implausibly urgent
appointments at Pizza Hut
and Tower Records. Even
Grand Theft Auto, a series
in which you role-play as
the ultimate work-shirking
criminals, is filled with
micro-errands.
Released in 2007,
Crackdown, designed by
Grand Theft Auto cocreator
Dave Jones, sought to take
all the tiresome labour out
of video games and restore
the feeling of games as
76 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
jungle gyms. Sure, as a
government agent charged
with freeing Pacific City
from the tyranny of their
gangland bosses, you had
a job in Crackdown. But
all the friction and rough
edges to the work were
removed. You skidded
through the world,
gobbling up hundreds
of orbs that had been
scattered around in order
to improve your respective
fighting, climbing, running
and driving abilities. And
with each trinket you
found, your digital to-do
list felt less like work
and more like a road map
to joy.
Crackdown’s success
meant that, suddenly,
every open-world game
was scattered with
thousands of tiny
collectibles for players
to seek out. These
developers missed the
fact that Crackdown’s
genius wasn’t in providing
an almost endless number
of arcane things to find,
but in the reward for
finding them – namely,
wonder-giving abilities.
The plague of collectibles
has, in recent years, had
a wearying effect: never
have video games felt
more like work.
It’s poetically fitting,
then, that a new
Crackdown should promise
the antidote. After a long
hiatus, Crackdown 3 has
been built in its forebear’s
mould. Once again you
play as an agent tasked
with thinning out the
crime families that control
various districts of the
neon city in which you
work, before going in to
take down the kingpin.
And once again your
super-heroic character is
a joy to control. Rather
than mindlessly hunting
meaningless artefacts
across a haystack city,
each orb you find allows
you to grow in power and
capacity. In this way, the
collectible is restored to its
rightful role: rocket fuel
to transport you from the
realm of work to that of
play. Simon Parkin
OUT ON 15 FEBRUARY FOR
XBOX ONE AND PC.
When singer-songwriter
Freya Ridings was little,
she drew a violin on a
piece of card, cut it out
and pretended to play it
every day. Her parents (one
of whom is the actor and
musician Richard Ridings)
got the hint and organised
some music lessons. The
problem was that Ridings
suffered from severe
dyslexia and, unable to
read music, was dropped
by five music teachers in
a row. So Ridings wrote
her own songs instead.
Now 24 years old, the
singer – who went on to
study at the Brit School,
alma mater of Adele
and Amy Winehouse – is
finishing up a European
tour with a series of UK
shows. Ridings says her
breakout single, “Lost
Without You”, with its
searingly sad melody,
symbolises her intense
loneliness growing up
without a single friend. It
has since amassed more
than eight million plays on
YouTube and, according to
the comments, it has been
used at countless funerals.
At shows, fans come up to
Ridings crying, her music
having helped them grieve.
“It’s completely surreal to
imprint on people’s lives that
strongly,” says Ridings. “To
get me through dark times,
my mother always said that
I would eventually forget the
names of those who bullied
me. I never believed her. But
then recently, I suddenly
realised I can’t name a single
one...” Eleanor Halls
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The weekend
diva tote bag
The nascent creative
director of Bottega
Veneta, Daniel Lee,
recently unveiled his first
bag for the luxury Italian
brand. An oversized take
on Bottega’s traditional
intrecciato woven-leather
Cabat tote, it’s just the
thing if the plan is the
pub, but you want to
inject some glamour.
Bag, £6,925. Shirt, £2,005.
Trousers, £450. All by
Bottega Veneta.
bottegaveneta.com
1
THE
STYLE
PAG E S
What a carry-on
This spring and summer, embrace
a bold new approach to your
day-to-day luggage. From actual
handbags for men (they’re a thing)
to super-flash totes and up-closeand-personal cross-bodies, now
is the age to boldly carry what
no man has carried before...
Edited by Teo van den Broeke
Photographs by Florian Renner
Styling by Tony Cook
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DETAILS
2
The actual
manbag
You can rely on Prada
to set the seasonal
trends, and for SS19
Miuccia has decreed that
it’s all about ultra-short
shorts, oversized nylon
deerstalkers (yup) and
these neat little shoulder
bags for men. Somewhere
between last season’s
camera bags and actual
handbags, they’re
as practical as they
are elegant.
Bag, £1,540. Jacket,
£1,670. Rollneck, £545.
Shorts, £675. All by
Prada. prada.com
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 79
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The poppy
cross-body
The cross-body bag
has reached its highfashion zenith with
Dolce & Gabbana’s pop
art-inspired take on the
trend. Go the whole hog
and pair this Lichtensteinby-way-of-Milano piece
with an eye-catching shirt.
Bag, £975. Shirt, £625.
Vest, £115. Jeans, £1,400.
Belt, £745. All by
Dolce & Gabbana.
dolcegabbana.com
3
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DETAILS
4
Model Chester Chambers at Next
The
scoutmaster
rucksack
There was a strong
“hard-wearing” theme
at the SS19 shows in
London, Paris and
Milan. A high-function
conflation of oversized
ripstop windcheaters,
heavy-duty hiking
sandals and outdoorsready cargo shorts, the
trend was manifested
most clearly in durable
high-fashion camping
rucksacks, a bit like this
beasty from Gucci. TvdB
Bag, £1,770. Jumper, £875.
Trousers, £795. All by
Gucci. gucci.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 81
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THE
STYLE
PAG E S
Deep and
meaningful
This spring’s biggest watch
trend is high-function divers
that are also dripping in style
Story by Teo van den Broeke
Photograph by Joana Gauer
Although these days most men won’t
buy a diving watch to actually go
scuba diving with (most modern
submersible timepieces have long
been superseded by more reliable
dive computers), diving watches are
still highly sought-after, with the
world’s major marques releasing ever
chunkier takes year after year.
Defined by an oversized rubber strap
(in order to stretch over bulky wet
suits), a rotating bezel, a screw-in
crown and caseback and, in some
cases, a helium escape valve, diving
watches are also, by definition,
required to survive below 100 metres
(the equivalent of around ten
atmospheres of pressure). In 2019,
diving watches have never been more
numerous and the pieces to choose
from never more desirable. From
Longines’ ultra-slick Skin Diver,
inspired by a style the brand first
released in 1959, to Breitling’s classic
Superocean Héritage II B20 Automatic
42 and TAG Heuer’s super-accessible
Aquaracer, there’s something for
everyone, whether you’re a diver
or not.
From top: Longines Skin Diver,
£1,910. longines.co.uk. TAG Heuer
Aquaracer Carbon, £3,300.
tagheuer.com. Breitling Superocean
Héritage II B20 Automatic 42,
£4,690. breitling.com
Rolling in the deep
Introducing the most stylish divers, oceanographers and maritime explorers ever to fathom the depths
100 metres
William Beebe,
American marine
biologist and explorer
Beebe was most famous
for his deep dives in
the Bathysphere and
his series of brilliantly
elegant slouchy suits.
500 metres
Jacques Piccard,
Swiss oceanographer
20,000 leagues
Jacques Cousteau,
French explorer
Piccard was a
world-famous
submarine
developer and
he had perfectly
preppy style too.
Red beanie, chambray
shirt and aviator specs
– all great style moves.
Costeau’s way with
colour was second only
to William Eggleston’s.
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 83
TIGEROFSWEDEN.COM
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S t J a m e s ' s 2 1 0 P i c c a d i l ly, L o n d o n
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Nick Woodman
The Californian surfer turned
CEO and founder of GoPro, the
billion-dollar mounted camera
brand that revolutionised the
extreme sports industry, reveals
what he has learned...
Age 43
Based Menlo Park, California
1986-1997
2004
1999-2002
A GoPro booth at CES
in Las Vegas, Nevada
Nick Woodman with
an early prototype
Menlo School in Atherton, California
1986-1993 Menlo School, California
1999 Founds Funbug, a short-lived
internet gaming site
Ignore your friends
“In high school, I quit varsity football
to sell surf T-shirts at the games.
My friends were like, ‘You can’t do
this!’ That was the first time I really
took a different path from my peers.”
1993-1997 University Of California, San Diego
2004 First big sale of 100 GoPro units at
a sports trade show
There’s a litmus test for a good idea
Accept that your idea will change
“I wanted to be an ‘inventor’. When
I launched Funbug, I was trying to find
a business to launch. It wasn’t my passion,
it was work. GoPro never felt like work.”
“The original GoPro was pretty
humble – a low-cost, lowish-quality
camera on the wrist for surfers.
Odds are your initial idea is not
going to be what’s most successful.”
2002 Founds GoPro, having come up with the
idea on a surf trip in Australia
2018
2012
2009
GoPro’s Hero 7 in action
Text Bobby Palmer
GoPro’s 14,700 square metre
headquarters in San Mateo, California
Woodman captures his surfing form
2018 The company’s Hero 7 range is released
and sales of GoPro HD cameras hit 30 million
2012 Foxconn buys a $200 million stake in
GoPro, valuing the company at $2.25 billion
2009 GoPro launches its first high-definition
camera, the Hero
Stick to what you’re best at
Solve people’s problems
“People buy solutions. When I was
racing, I strapped my GoPro to the car.
It looked like it was supposed to be there.
The other drivers asked where I’d bought
it and I was like, ‘Dude, I made that!’”
Savour the big moments
“I took our first HD camera out surfing,
then went home and plugged it into my
TV. I stood back and I started to tear up.
I got chills. I just thought, ‘This is going
to change everything.’”
“Along the way we made a couple of
miscalculations – building a media business,
or our entry into the drone business.
It’s not what our customers wanted from
us; they just want the most capable GoPro.”
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 85
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THE
GROOMING
RULES
Eat, spray, love
The latest big trend in men’s fragrance? Edible notes that titillate
your taste buds (legal disclaimer: don’t actually drink them)
Edited by Teo van den Broeke Photographs by Baker & Evans
Some fragrances are
designed to make the
wearer smell sophisticated
– Acqua Di Parma’s Colonia
Leather, for instance, or
Creed’s Royal Oud. Others
are created as esoteric
fancies, conjured to both
seduce and intimidate
passers-by – fragrances
in this camp include
Frederic Malle’s Carnal
Flower and Molecule 01
by Escentric Molecules:
tricky yet enticing. Then
there are scents designed
to make their wearers smell
good enough to eat, laced
with edible notes such as
cocoa, mandarin, cardamom
and vanilla and it’s the
fragrances in this camp –
bold, smooth, delicious
– that we celebrate here.
From the delectable new
cocoa-laced Private Accord
from Hugo Boss to Prada’s
peppery new Velvet Edition,
you’ll be half tempted to
down the bottles in one
(but we’d advise that
you don’t). TvdB
Chocolate
A cocoa absolute and roasted tonka bean base means the chocolatey overtones
of this fragrance are far less sweet than you’d imagine. Combined with ginger and
maninka fruit (an aphrodisiac), this is a sexy, animalic scent sure to get you going.
Boss The Scent Private Accord For Him by Hugo Boss, £70 for 100ml. At Boots. boots.com
86 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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Prop design Imogen Frost
DETAILS
Black pepper
Fig
A note found in many fragrances, the addition of black pepper to
Prada’s new L’Homme Velvet Edition helps lift the woody base of
the scent. The equally edible carrot seed helps things along too.
The inclusion of wild fig to this moody new fragrance from Byredo
helps soften things up a little. Other edible notes include Sichuan
pepper, bergamot and, rather excellently, rum.
L’Homme Velvet Edition by Prada, £295 for 100ml. At Harrods. harrods.com
Eleventh Hour by Byredo, £160 for 100ml. At Selfridges. selfridges.com
Orange
Pineapple
Not an unusual note to find in modern male fragrances, the addition
of orange to Acqua Di Parma’s new offering adds a zingy touch to this
creamy, sandalwood-laced banger. Dish delish.
Judging by the success of the tropical fruit in this scent, we’re not sure
why pineapple isn’t used more by perfumers. Fruity and fresh, Coach’s
Platinum is designed to “take you on a road trip across America”.
Colonia Sandalo by Acqua Di Parma, £179 for 100ml. acquadiparma.com
Platinum by Coach, £67 for 100ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 87
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DETAILS
THE
ART
BOOK
From small steps to giant leaps
A new book from Taschen documents, in stunning photographic detail, how
Nasa conquered gravity and pursued the final chapter in human exploration
C
onsider this: for Nasa to get a rocket off the ground
and into orbit, it needs to build an engine capable
of accelerating to 18,000mph – ten times faster than
a speeding bullet. And that’s the easy part. As Piers
Bizony puts it in the introduction to Taschen’s new
XL-format book, The NASA Archives: 60 Years In Space,
“Exceptionally volatile and dangerous chemical potencies of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen have to be
unleashed with exacting care in order to achieve this.
Mistakes can cause explosions equivalent to small
nuclear warhead detonations.” To enter that perilous
game way back in 1958 required a spirit of adventure
that has pervaded the agency’s existence, as Taschen’s
book sets out in 400 historic photographs and rare
concept renderings. More than the technology, this is a
story about something more profound – mankind making
its first attempts to answer the ultimate questions. How
did we get onto this rock and what else is out there?
By Ross Kempsell
THE NASA ARCHIVES: 60 YEARS IN SPACE (TASCHEN, £100) IS OUT
ON 20 FEBRUARY.
Confined to sci-fi no longer X
The Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator
(HIAD) is a hybrid of parachute and balloon technology.
A new generation of flexible heat shield materials
could enable a huge shield to be deployed from a
small storage canister just before a spacecraft hits the
atmosphere of its target planet. In July 2012 a HIAD
survived a trip through earth’s atmosphere at 7,600mph.
W Before the thunder
Lightning strikes the
launchpad of Challenger
on 30 August 1983 prior to
STS-8, the first pre-dawn
launch of the space shuttle
programme. Launchpads are
surrounded by tall lightning
towers that create a giant
“Faraday cage”, diverting the
electric charge of the strike
away from the spacecraft.
A window to the
great void X
Apollo 9 command
module pilot David
Scott emerges from the
hatch, testing some of
the spacesuit systems
that would be used
for lunar operations.
The photo was taken
from the docked lunar
module in March 1969.
Experiments with high-fliers T
Mothership “Balls Three” overflies an X-15 in 1961. Three
operational X-15s were constructed and flown for a total
of 199 test flights, as they pushed at the “envelopes” of
speed and altitude, and reached the very edges of space.
The Tory hard Brexit
European Research
Group turned on itself
as its coup to remove
Theresa May faltered. An
inner group of ERG MPs
became convinced the
government whips’ office
had advanced notice
of their tactics and an
internal mole hunt was
launched. Dozens of ERG
MPs were purged from its
WhatsApp group, having
to face interrogation from
supremo Steve Baker
before being allowed
back in.
Tensions between
Jeremy Corbyn’s and
John McDonnell’s offices
stepped up a notch as
the shadow chancellor
repeatedly refused
to rule out a second
referendum. Both teams
share a tiny kitchenette in
parliament but routinely
ignore each other while
making coffee. Awkward.
Vince Cable headed off
an effort to oust him
last year by rushing out
a vague announcement
that he would step
down “when Brexit is
resolved”. Party insiders
expect him to quit on
30 March. Layla Moran
is the insiders’ tip for
leadership, though some
snipe that she has only
been an MP for two years.
88 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Photographs Courtesy of Nasa
Sources say US activist
Charlie Kirk wants to set
up a British branch of
Turning Point, a megawealthy pro-Trump, rightwing movement. Senior
figures in Turning Point
are visiting the UK on a
regular basis for private
meetings with British
politicians, including
Nigel Farage.
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OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER
TISSOT chrono xl.
A 45MM CASE.
.
TISSOT BOUTIQUE, OXFORD ST 373 - LONDON W1C 2JR
TI S S OT WATC H E S . C O M
TISSOT, INNOVATORS BY TRADITION
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DETAILS
Cannabidiol-infused cocktails,
coffee and ‘High Tea’ (yes,
there will be puns)
Where
to learn
your
CBDs
Cannabis’ nonpsychoactive
compound – said
to soothe without
getting you stoned
– has been riding
high in everything
from skincare to
sweets and now
it’s on menus
around town too
Illustration by Jaya Nicely
Maison Bab
4 Mercer Walk, WC2.
maisonbab.com
Best for: Gourmet junk.
The lowdown: Fans of
Le Bab – the original
upmarket kebab joint
in Kingly Court – are
flocking to this newly
opened sister site tucked
away from the tourist traps
of Covent Garden in the
Mercer Walk development.
The highlight: The Gin &
Chronic does what it says
on the tin by combining
all the ingredients of a
classic gin sour – Bombay
Sapphire, lemon, egg
white, syrup – with a
couple of drops of CBD oil.
That should do the trick.
The munchies: This time
round, Bab boys Stephen
Tozer and Ed Brunet are
serving pimped-up takes
on faves such as shish and
shawarma, together with
pickles, breads and dips
to accompany.
90 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Genesis
Behind This Wall
144 Commercial Street, E1.
eatgenesis.com
411 Mare Street, E8.
behindthiswall.com
Best for: A low-key dinner.
Best for: A late-night
comedown.
The lowdown: Genesis
is the brainchild of the
Santoro brothers, who
rebelled against the family
meat business to launch
their own spin on a vegan
restaurant. You’ll find
it spread across two
storeys in the heart of
Shoreditch, naturally.
The highlight: The
Turmeric CBD Bomb Latte,
bright yellow in colour and
comprising “Crystal Energy
Water” (go figure), maple
syrup, coconut milk and
turmeric-infused CBD oil.
The munchies: This is
health food (one of only a
handful of London eateries
to be officially certified by
the Soil Association) but
not as you know it. Glutenfree nachos, fried avocado
tacos and bánh mì hot
dogs bring the comfort.
Farmacy
74 Westbourne Grove,
W2. farmacylondon.com
Best for: Your health kick.
The lowdown: A temple
to clean eating, Farmacy,
based in Notting Hill,
specialises in completely
plant-based food that’s
free from dairy, refined
sugar – the lot. Its owner,
Camilla Al Fayed –
daughter of Mohamed –
has paired the deliciously
forward-thinking menu
with seriously stylish decor.
The highlight: Recently
added to the menu is the
High Tea, which comes
with a CBD-infused
cocktail, a pot of hempleaf tea, plus three tiers
of sweet and savoury
creations, including
CBD-infused tahini.
The munchies: It’s healthy
but it’s also hearty. Try
the generous “earth”
bowls, laden with quality
organic ingredients.
The lowdown: Secreted
away down a flight of
stairs behind a curtain
in Hackney, this dimly lit
bar comes courtesy of
owner Alex Harris and
stays open late (until
3am for special events).
The highlight: Harris’ CBD
syrup goes into two drinks
on the menu: the Fo’sizzle
Dizzle Swizzle – a boozy
concoction of spiced rum,
sake, lime juice, bitters,
Birds Weissbrand and a
kenaf leaf – as well as the
nonalcoholic Ginger Gear.
The munchies: Weird and
wonderful bar snacks are
made from surplus drinks
ingredients – =cured
egg yolk and anchovies,
toasted rum-infused
pecans with CBD honey...
Nicky Rampley-Clarke
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AT E N T
ITA L IA N P
MASSIMILIANO NERI
42 YEARS OLD
ENTREPRENEUR
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DETAILS
Wish list
MY
STYLE
Jackson Boxer
The London-based chef shares
his recipe for out-of-hours style
Photograph by Leigh Keily
Watch by Hublot
“Let’s face it, I’m
never going to be
able to afford a
really fancy watch.
But I’d love a
complex piece of
engineering on my
wrist that I could
stare at for ages.”
£122,000. hublot.com
Jacket by Julius
“I’ve had it for ten years, It’s completely
falling apart. When I got it, it was much
lighter in colour and it’s slowly aged.”
£1,650. At farfetch.com
Merino wool rollneck
Wish list
Helmet by Hedon
“I got this in a charity shop. I have
lots like this one, because my house
has a terrible moth problem so
I don’t buy fancy rollnecks.”
“These are the sexiest helmets
ever. They’re made with calfskin.”
£309. hedon.com
Jacket by Balenciaga
“This red waxed jacket was
given to me by my wife,
Melissa, from her time
working at Balenciaga
when she was very young.”
£1,400. balenciaga.com
Wish list
Sunglasses by Gucci
“I used to have
a pair of these, but
I lose everything
that isn’t attached
to my body,
including sunglasses.”
£350. gucci.com
Wish list
Text Zak Maoui Styling Jake Pummintr Grooming Michael Gray
Jacket by Belstaff
“I tear through
Belstaff jackets.
I don’t take
particularly good
care of myself
so they tend to
rip quite often,
but they are
really good.”
£1,295. belstaff.co.uk
Boots by Maurizio Amadei
“I prefer to spend money on boots that last
forever, which is lucky because I haven’t
been able to find any others by this Italian
designer who used to be at Carpe Diem.”
Jeans by Uniqlo
“I always buy cheap jeans, wear
them for six months and then throw
them out. I work in them, cook in
them, bike in them, everything.”
£35. uniqlo.com
Wish list
C by The Perfumer’s
Story By Azzi
“Years ago, I designed
a fragrance for a small
perfumery. This is as
close as you can get
to it today. The idea of
crafting a fragrance, like
a meal, is very exciting.”
£95. At mrporter.com
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 93
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DETAILS
X Book
now
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet, the UK tour
If you think dance isn’t your thing, you’ve clearly never seen a Matthew Bourne production. His new take on
the Shakespeare standby has serious buzz. FROM 13 MAY - 12 OCTOBER.
T For
T Listen
the nightstand
to
War Doctor
Remind Me Tomorrow
by David Nott
by Sharon Van Etten
Throughout his medical career,
Nott has taken unpaid leave to
work in warzones, from Sarajevo
to Aleppo. This is his story, in
honest, unflinching detail.
OUT ON 21 FEBRUARY.
The New York singer-songwriter
finds a thrilling, synth-powered
new direction with St Vincent
producer John Congleton. The
first great album of 2019.
OUT NOW.
Brilliant, Brilliant,
Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant
Diarise these!
From books to theatre via your next television
binge, get ahead of the water-cooler chat and set
your cultural compass to this month’s pole stars...
by Joel Golby
T Watch
Golby is a young journalist and
essayist with a standout talent
for understated humour (his
pieces have become viral hits
online). This book about his life
does not disappoint.
OUT ON 21 FEBRUARY.
it
Flack
Anna Paquin plays a Londonbased celebrity publicist in this
six-episode comedy drama
series. Will she be able to
keep her clients’ lives together
while her own is in disarray?
ON W FROM 21 FEBRUARY.
T In
cinemas
Ladytron
by Ladytron
The original synth-pop revivalists
mark their 20th anniversary by
breaking a long hiatus. Formidable
machine music, full of urgency
and menace.
OUT ON 15 FEBRUARY.
On The Basis Of Sex
GQ cover star Armie Hammer
plays opposite Felicity Jones
in this biopic of Supreme Court
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
OUT NOW.
Why Hasn’t Everything
Already Disappeared?
by Deerhunter
The Atlanta band’s breeziest music
to date collides with lyrics of doom
on their lean and bracing eighth
album, coproduced by Cate Le Bon.
OUT NOW.
The Rhythm Section
by Mark Galeotti
The pre-eminent Russia watcher
draws on “explosive” unpublished
accounts to shed light on the
man in charge of this increasingly
bellicose regime.
OUT ON 21 FEBRUARY.
by The Specials
Political crises suit The Specials.
Angry and surprisingly moving, their
first proper album since 1980 bites
deeper than nostalgia. Dorian Lynskey
OUT NOW.
Sometimes Always Never
Bill Nighy has won major plaudits
for his performance as a Scrabble
grandmaster in this clever dramedy
about a father looking for his son.
OUT ON 22 FEBRUARY.
Digital Minimalism
by Cal Newport
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mindfulness meets technology in
this manual for purging our worst
online habits and living better with
the tech that clutters our lives
and brains.
OUT NOW.
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins
is behind this tale of an AfricanAmerican woman seeking to clear
her wrongly charged husband’s
name before the birth of their child.
OUT NOW.
T Art
Tracey Emin
at White Cube Bermondsey
A don’t-miss solo show from
one of British art’s most vital
forces. It comprises new
paintings, photography, film,
large-scale bronze sculptures
– and is sure to make a splash.
UNTIL 7 APRIL.
94 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Encore
T On stage
Betrayal
at Harold Pinter Theatre
This late-Seventies Pinter play, telling the tale of a relationship in reverse, stars
Tom Hiddleston and marks the end of the acclaimed Pinter At The Pinter season.
FROM 5 MARCH.
Photographs Allstar Picture Library/Universal Pictures;
©Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2019; Charlie Gray
We Need To Talk
About Putin
Sometimes, a little mindless fun goes
a long way. This spy thriller, courtesy
of Jude Law and Bond producer
Barbara Broccoli, is here to oblige.
OUT ON 22 FEBRUARY.
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AMERICAN SOUL SINCE 1830
678'(176$71<87,6&+6&+22/2)7+($576
:22/5,&+&(/(%5$7(67+(&5($7,9,7<2)1(:<25.81,9(56,7<
:22/5,&+&20
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DETAILS
The Old Truman Brewery
Dylan Jones, Victoria Beckham
and David Beckham
The Qasimi show
Isaac Carew, Jodie Harsh
and David Furnish
THE
PARTY
PAG E S
The Nicholas Daley show
The Bobby Abley show
Something special happened in
the capital this January, during
London Fashion Week Men’s.
Sure, the UK’s premier menswear
extravaganza may have started
on the 5th, when the crackling
of New Year’s fireworks was still
ringing in our ears and attendant
menswear editors and buyers
may still have been carrying a
little extra Christmas weight (not
the best feeling when faced with
sylphlike models), but the energy
at the 13th LFWM was the best
it’s been yet. The reason? The
change of venue, for one thing.
For AW19, London’s fashion pack
decamped to East London’s ultrahip Old Truman Brewery to take
in all the offerings from the UK’s
most bright and brilliant design
talent. And then there were the
shows, and with them the clothes.
From the beautifully unapologetic
punk tailoring at Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy to the souped-up
neo-sports gear from Qasimi
and the hype-worthy streetwear
at A-Cold-Wall*, it felt like many
of the featured brands truly hit
their stride during this January’s
shows. And then there were
the parties, the dinners and the
many, many cocktail soirées, from
Art School’s bonkers all-night
rave to our personal highlight of
the weekend (forgive us, we’re
biased), Dylan Jones and David
Beckham’s closing dinner at the
chi-chi new offering from Caprice
Holdings, Brasserie Of Light (the
one with the giant crystal flying
horse by Damien Hirst soaring
above the dining room). LFWM
has never looked more fabulous.
Tune in this June for more... TvdB
The John Lawrence Sullivan show
Photographs by James Kelly, Simon Lesley, James Mason,
Beccy Nuthall and Ashley Verse
S E E M O R E P I C T U R E S AT G Q . U K / L F W M _ D I N N E R
Tinie Tempah and
Yxng Bane
Olly Murs and Gordon Ramsay
The Private Policy show
Photographs Getty Images
London Fashion Week Men’s
Autumn/Winter 2019
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 97
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
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Brasserie Of Light
The Iceberg show
The Xander Zhou show
Tom Hughes
Oliver Spencer
The E Tautz show
The Liam Hodges show
The Oliver Spencer show
The Craig Green show
Jake Isaac
98 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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DETAILS
The Oliver Spencer show
The Belstaff
presentation
James Long, Cozette McCreery, Christopher Raeburn,
Matthew Miller and Lou Dalton
Samuel Ross
The Edward Crutchley show
The Xander Zhou show
The A-Cold-Wall* show
The Lou Dalton show
Photographs Getty Images
Jez Pereira
The Kiko Kostadinov show
Grant Pearce
The Oliver Spencer show
The Craig Green show
Maya Jama
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 99
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The Chalayan show
The Liam Hodges show
The John Lawrence Sullivan show
The Xander Zhou show
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
Richard Biedul, Paul Sculfor
and Oliver Proudlock
The Per Götesson show
The Band Of
Outsiders show
The Kent & Curwen show
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
The Iceberg show
Clara Amfo and
Jack Guinness
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
100 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Joe Cole
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DETAILS
The Daniel W Fletcher show
Brasserie Of Light
The Wood Wood show
Photographs Getty Images
The Fashion East show
The Astrid Andersen show
The Nicholas Daley show
The Private Policy show
The Danshan show
The Chalayan show
Daniel Kearns
Patrick Grant
David Gardner, Laura Bailey and Fat Tony
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 101
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The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
The Liam Hodges show
Tom Stubbs
Nick Rhodes and Nefer Suvio
David Beckham, Victoria Beckham and Kim Jones
Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Pam Hogg
The Bobby Abley show
The Liam Hodges show
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
Caroline Rush and
Jane Boardman
The Astrid Andersen show
102 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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The Edward Crutchley show
DETAILS
The John Lawrence Sullivan show
The Charles Jeffrey
Loverboy show
The Craig Green show
The Bobby Abley show
The Band Of Outsiders show
Daps and Damson Idris
The Chalayan show
Eric Underwood
Santino Le Saint, David
Dabieh, Aaron Unknown
and Stefan-Pierre Tomlin
Photographs Getty Images
The Wood Wood show
The Xander Zhou show
Antony Price
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 103
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The GQ Preview
Bringing you the very latest in fashion, grooming, watches, news and exclusive events
1
2
3
5
4
6
7
8
9
1 Fiber grooming foam by American Crew, £12.90. americancrew.com 2 Grey zip through hoddie by The Kooples Sport, £198. thekooples.co.uk
3 Masterpiece Gravity Limited Edition watch by Maurice Lacroix, £10,990. mauricelacroix.com 4 Blue ‘Traveller Seamless’ jacket by Loro Piana, £2160. loropiana.com
5 Camo jacket by Nobis, £945. nobis.com 6 LEJ02 Engineered Jeans by Levi’s, £120. levi.com 7 Bag by Calvin Klein Jeans, £79. calvinklein.co.uk
8 Trainers by Emporio Armani, £230. armani.com 9 Track pants by Plein Sport, £315. pleinsport.com
104 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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PREVIEW
Trainers
by Prada
Photograph Sun Lee
It’s happened: we are fully
settled into the new year.
The hibernation period
is over and it’s time to
get back into the swing
of things. No excuses.
But if you do need some
encouragement (you’re
only human after all) these
Prada trainers are sure to
put a spring back in your
step. Crafted from nylon
and suede with a rubber
sole, they give a nod to the
Seventies vintage running
trainer. So, this season you
can forget the ugly trainer
trend and step foot into
these super lightweight
sneakers. The only problem
is what colour to choose.
Available in a rainbow of
shades these trainers will
complement any wardrobe
(or fancy gym kit).
MLV70 suede and nylon
trainers with logo by
Prada, £515. prada.com
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Cuvée Rosé, chosen by the best.
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
The Royal Albert Hall
MAISON FAMILIALE INDÉPENDANTE
laurentperrierrose
Photo credit: Iris Velghe / Illustration credit: Quentin Blake
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PREVIEW
What
to wear
…and what to buy
Harrington jacket
by Fred Perry, £200.
fredperry.com
Camo brook gilet
by Lavenham, £175.
lavenhamjackets.com
Coals Drop Yard
Where to shop, eat, explore and
everything in-between
Add a bit of history to your next shopping trip and head to Coal Drops Yard
Indigo denim worker
jean by MHL, £235.
margarethowell.co.uk
Canvas holdall
by Paul Smith,
£425. paulsmith.com
Trainers by Superga,
£80. superga.co.uk
It’s 2019, life is busy and when
we commit to something, we’re all
looking for that little bit extra – we
always want more. Our watches don’t just tell
the time, they control sound systems and militantly notify us when we’re not keeping up
with our daily step count. Our moisturisers
aren’t just for hydrating our skin, they are
also sun protectors and anti-aging wizardry.
The same logic applies when it comes to shopping. If we’re leaving the house in search
for something new rather than using the
modern convenience of shopping online, then
it needs to be a worthwhile experience, right?
Enter Coal Drops Yard. Designed by Thomas
Heatherwick, it is the new shopping district in the heart of King’s Cross. With over
50 stores, restaurants and plans for workshops, pop-ups, and festivals, this is an innovative shopping experience all housed in
state-of-the-art architecture. Each store
The Fred Perry shop
and the courtyard at
Coal Drops Yard
offers its own unique experience and
one-off concept using the heritage of
Coal Drops Yard. In 1850, handling
around eight million tonnes of coal per
year, this area was originally responsible for powering Victorian London.
All of this history, the surviving structures, streets and ironwork is weaved
throughout the area’s grand reinvention.
It’s a community of like-minded
brands, restaurants and cafés that
encourage visitors to shop, discover and
explore the destination while soaking
up part of London’s famous industrial
and cultural past. With a mixture of
both established and emerging designers
and restaurants such as The Coal Office,
Barrafina and Hicce, Coal Drops Yard is
definitely worth leaving the house for.
COALDROPSYARD.COM
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 107
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Photograph Getty Images
Tony Parsons weighs in on verbal sparring p.110 Charlie Burton asks who will troubleshoot email
p.112 David Levesley meets the HIX Award-winning artist Elizabeth Eade p.114 Stuart McGurk
reveals Trump’s star turn in this year’s Best Picture bets p.116 Dorian Lynskey on the orchestral
remixes that hit all the wrong notes p.118 Edwin Heathcote explores NYC’s performance-art
architecture p.120 Matthew d’Ancona counts the ballots and finds Joe Biden short for 2020 p.121
Who will rid the American people of their troublesome president? The potential Democratic challengers: (clockwise from left) Elizabeth Warren,
Kamala Harris, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 109
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UFC
‘I slaughter your pets and wear them as coats’
Once a tongue-in-cheek way to sell tickets, the prefight slanging match now makes more noise than
the main event. As MMA descends from top rope to gutter, isn’t it time to let the fists do the talking?
Story by
Tony Parsons
After the weigh-in theatrics before McGregor vs Nurmagomedov, the fight itself fell flat, Las Vegas, 5 October 2018
T
rash talk sells. Bad blood means big
box office. Poison gets those cash registers ringing. Conor McGregor – the
grand master of bad mouthing his opponents
– calls Khabib Nurmagomedov “a smelly
Dagestani rat” and the world reaches for
that pay-per-view button. At least that’s the
theory. But after McGregor’s toxic prefight
trash talk about Nurmagomedov withered
away to nothing in the harsh reality of the
octagon at UFC 229 on 7 October 2018, it
feels like we may have reached its outer
limits. Let’s hope so.
McGregor vs Nurmagomedov was billed
as the greatest event in Ultimate Fighting
Championship history. But UFC 229’s headline
act turned out to be about as one-sided as a
good hiding can ever be. The Russian gave the
Irishman an emphatic beating. McGregor’s best
shots were reserved for the poisonous prefight marketing. When “the greatest event in
UFC history” is remembered, it will be for the
months of McGregor insults that were used to
flog the fight and for the mass brawl that followed it when the victorious Nurmagomedov
leapt from the cage to continue the conversation with McGregor’s training camp. It was
110 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
all as squalid as can be. Apart from the fight
– that was just dull. And yet there was a grim
inevitably about the whole wretched fiasco. It
felt like all of McGregor’s puerile trash-talking
poison was reaching a perfectly logical conclusion. Earlier this year, McGregor had hurled a
metal dolly at a bus in which Nurmagomedov
and other UFC fighters were travelling. In the
build-up to their fight, McGregor’s mouth was
relentless – calling Nurmagomedov, who is a
devout Muslim, “a backwards c***” because
the Russian turned down a drink of whiskey
at a press conference. McGregor insulted
Nurmagomedov’s family, manager and faith.
No blow was too low.
Did the trash talk promote the fight –
that boring, one-sided scrap? You bet.
But would you be so desperate to watch
McGregor back up his savage soundbites
next time? Unlikely.
McGregor is the reason why countless
mainstream sports fans finally started taking
an interest in the UFC and mixed martial arts.
His swagger, his humour and those spectacular knockouts were impossible to resist. But
the clash with Nurmagomedov is the second
fight in a row where McGregor’s trash talk has
descended to the sewer. In McGregor’s 2017
boxing match against Floyd Mayweather
Jr the trash talk was spiced up with what
sounded horribly like overt racism. Even
when the prefight promotion is reaching
boiling point you should never tell a black
athlete, “Dance for me, boy!” But McGregor
did this, and much more, before meekly
losing to Mayweather in the ring. Yes, vast
sums of PPV money were generated. And,
yes, the racist undertones made the curious
sports fan wonder what would happen when
that first bell went. But when the malignant
marketing is infinitely more interesting than
the actual fighting, then the public are being
treated like mugs.
T
here is no great fight,” Joyce Carol Oates
wrote in her masterpiece On Boxing, “without
two great boxers.” And here’s the fundamental stupidity of all trash talk – if your
opponent is such a worthless bum, then why
should anyone bother to watch your fight? Yet
demeaning an opponent has long been part
of the blighted landscape of combat sports.
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“Nobody will pay good pay-per-view
money to see two good guys shaking hands
and saying how good the other one is,”
Tony Bellew said before his first fight with
David Haye, after Haye had promised Bellew
that he was going to inflict serious physical damage (Haye lost after injuring his leg).
“It’s not a good thing, though,” Bellew continued. “It’s a bad thing. But it sells and it
works. Boxing should not be about all the talk
beforehand, but that’s what gets people going.
People want to see two men who really don’t
like each other, who have a bit of bad blood
and history.”
All true. But in combat sports there has to
be underlying respect. There has to be human
decency. And, crucially, the bad blood must
be purged by that final bell. When the trash
talk is revved up with nasty cracks about a
man’s religion or race or family, then the fight
is not merely being sold – it is being soiled,
spoiled and shamed. And it hardly feels like
sport at all.
U
nimaginable” gasped Mike Tyson on
Twitter after the McGregor vs Nurmagomedov
fight descended into a near riot. And when
you are outraging Mike Tyson’s sense of social
decorum – a man who was once disqualified
for chomping off a sizeable chunk of Evander
Holyfield’s ear – the trash talking has possibly gone too far.
“In the person of Conor McGregor, those
who run UFC happened upon the ideal figurehead for their enticing cocktail of skill
and danger,” wrote Jim White in the Daily
Telegraph. “A brilliant athlete, but publicly
unhinged, he has become the master of the art
of trash talking. It might have been borrowed
from boxing, but his bragging and blarney
have reached new levels of ugly provocation.”
It would be comforting for boxing fans to
think that UFC has perverted a grand old
pugilistic tradition. In truth, boxing needs
no lessons from UFC on trash talking. Tyson
sunk his teeth into Lennox Lewis’ leg during
a prefight press conference at the Hudson
Theatre in New York in January 2002, sparking a mass brawl that looked identical to the
one in which Nurmagomedov jumped out of
the cage after beating McGregor. For an
encore, Tyson screamed homophobic abuse
at a journalist who had suggested, “Put him
in a straitjacket.” Boxing has a long and dishonourable tradition of trash talking.
The big difference between traditional
boxing trash talk and McGregor’s modern
bad mouthing is that in boxing the bad blood
is almost invariably purged by the final bell.
When Tyson finally fought Lewis, five months
after biting his leg, Lewis totally dominated
him, knocking him out in the eighth round.
And even excitable Iron Mike was capable of
saying that the best man had won.
“I’ve known Lennox for 15, 16 years and
we’ve always been friends,” Tyson said in the
ring after the fight. “The best man has to win.
I’m happy for him to give me a fight. The pay
day was wonderful, I really appreciate it. He
[Lewis] was splendid, a masterful boxer and
I take my hand [sic] off to you. Everything I
said was to promote the fight. I love and
respect him too much to do anything disrespectful to him.”
And then Tyson reached up and tenderly
wiped Lewis’ left cheekbone. This mood
swing seems bizarre but it is also typical of
boxing, where the trash talk is put aside when
the fighting is done.
“He was saying that he’s going to leave me
in hospital and I’m going to leave the ring on
a stretcher,” Bellew told BBC Sport before
his first fight with Haye. “I thought that was
absolutely disgusting.” Yet, after Bellew beat
Haye twice, neither man bore a grudge.
“Once the fight was over, our beef was over,”
Haye says. “There is no animosity and I wish
him nothing but luck. I will help him if he ever
needs any advice. He’s fighting a lad from
the Ukraine [Oleksandr Usyk] and I want the
Brit to win.” Haye is typical of boxing’s ability
to forgive and forget almost anything. He
brawled with another rival, Dereck Chisora,
at a press conference in 2012. Now Haye is
promoting Chisora’s career. In boxing, there
is almost always humility in victory and grace
in defeat. But not at UFC 229.
“We lost the match but won the battle,”
McGregor sneered on Twitter. What battle
was that then, Conor? It looked like you got
a bloody good hiding.
Here is what should have happened in a
perfect universe where sportsmanship always
prevails and even the most vicious conflicts
are concluded with a handshake and a hug
and the mutual respect of two proud warriors.
When McGregor tapped out from the
wrong end of a neck crank late in the fourth
round, Nurmagomedov should have released
him instantly and helped his battered opponent to his feet. Then the triumphant
Russian and the beaten Irishman should
have embraced. McGregor should have been
gracious in defeat, mumbling some heartfelt
stuff about the best man winning and how he
now regretted all the brutal insults before the
fight, and Nurmagomedov would have been
forgiving in victory, citing McGregor’s status
as the most iconic mixed martial artist of all
time. There would have been mutual respect.
There would have been sportsmanship. And,
after all the malicious marketing leading up
to UFC 229, there would have been human
decency. But none of that happened.
T
hat’s the fight business, that’s sports,”
sighed UFC president Dana White at the postfight press conference when asked if trash
talk had gone too far. “There is trash talking
in every sport. They do it in the NBA and
the NFL. It is part of the game. That is never
going to change here. We are never going to
tell anyone what they can or can’t say.”
But here is what might change – mainstream
sports fans could finally understand that virulent trash talk very often results in a pitifully
meagre product tragically lacking in thrills.
On the evidence of McGregor’s fights
against Mayweather Jr and Nurmagomedov,
the nastier the trash talk, the more feeble the
fight. And it doesn’t have to be this way.
Two men who are preparing to pound each
other to the edge of consciousness are under
no obligation to mock the other’s race, family
or skill set. When Anthony Joshua fought
Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April 2017,
there was no pantomime poison before the
fight, no spitting and shoving at press conferences. And yet it was the most exciting fight
on British soil in a generation.
Of course, the greatest boxer of all time was
also the greatest trash talker. And although
Muhammad Ali lightened his words with a
twinkle in his eye and a smile on his mouth,
calling Joe Frazier a “gorilla” and “an Uncle
Tom” casts a shadow over the finest career
in the sport. But here is the difference
between Ali and McGregor. Ali’s fights
– against Frazier, against George Foreman,
against men he mocked mercilessly – were
unforgettable. And although Ali’s remarks
inflicted wounds on Frazier that Smokin’ Joe
carried to the grave, when he lost their first
fight Ali said simply, “I’m not going to cry. A
lot of great fighters get whipped. I know I lost
to a great champion.”
Humble in victory, gracious in defeat.
Because what else can a man be?
Sometimes bad blood is inevitable. Anthony
Joshua’s future opponents have not spent
10,000 hours training as public speakers.
They are trained to turn someone’s lights out.
Adrenaline, aggression and fear come together
in a potent cocktail, encouraged by the ritual
circus of the stare-down at the press conference and weigh-in. But let’s wake up to
the fact that trash talk invariably promises
far more than it delivers and leaves the true
sports fan feeling grubby, cheap and cheated.
Bad blood still sells. No doubt. But in
future, perhaps only the mugs are buying.
As for Conor McGregor, it was fun while it
lasted. But lately there has been far too much
ugly, nasty, racist trash talk and nowhere
near enough action. And, personally, I am
tapping out.
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 111
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Technology
You’ve got mail... lots and lots of mail
Email is the central nervous system of our digital lives, and yet it has also become a living
nightmare. In a world of space tourism, VR and self-driving cars, surely someone can fix it?
Story by
Charlie Burton
Illustration by
Rob Dobi
F
T
here are some technologies that
we take as given, as much a fact of
everyday life as the air we breathe,
but which future generations will look
back on and go: wait, what? The motorcar is one. We think nothing of driving a
two-ton lump of metal at 70mph down busy
roads. In years to come, when autonomous
vehicles are the norm, it will seem insane
that the most popular way of getting from
A to B once involved a significant risk of
death mitigated only by the fallible, sluggish
human brain.
Email is another such technology. I get
around 40 emails every hour at work.
Sometimes when I’m sifting through them I
recall an article that I once read in the tech
journal Fast Company that did a fine job of
capturing the absurdity of the situation.
Email’s user-experience design, it argued,
was taken from the paper fax. “But what if
you were expected to use a fax like a telephone – waiting by the machine, scrawling
out replies by hand, like Al Pacino and Russell
Crowe in The Insider? The messages would
quickly pile up, of course. You’d be doing
nothing but faxing, all day, every day. The
few important documents or memoranda
that did come through would be buried in the
blizzard, and if you did surface them, you’d
be too stressed out managing the relentless
volume to respond meaningfully.” For most
of us, that is the horror that is email.
It causes a host of wider problems. Your
most productive work is done when you are
in what neuroscientists call a “flow state”
– a period of intense concentration during
which we temporarily mute our prefrontal cortex and become completely absorbed
by the task at hand. The science journalist
Steven Kotler, who has written widely on
the topic, describes this as “an optimal state
of consciousness where we feel our best
and we perform our best” – more popularly,
it’s called “being in the zone”. To maximise
“flow” you need 90 to 120 minutes of uninterrupted work. When was the last time you
achieved that in the office? Emails are a major
112 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
interrupter, even with spam filters. And yet
you can’t simply switch them off, as you’re
expected to reply immediately.
Which leads us to the second fundamental drawback of the technology. It makes it
very easy for other people to dictate how you
spend your day (as if you didn’t have enough
of your own stuff to be getting on with). If
that person is your boss, then fine. But if it’s
someone junior or external, well, why should
they be able to interrupt your workflow and
demand that you divert your attention to
their problem? If they could only reach you
via phone, there are plenty of occasions when
they wouldn’t have thought it important
enough to call. But with email the barrier is
perceived as much lower.
And yet email not only persists, but is
growing in popularity. When Facebook
launched Messenger in 2011, it did so because
it thought millennials would be averse to
email. “We don’t think that a modern messaging system is going to be email,” pronounced
Mark Zuckerberg. But millennials are, in fact,
power users. A 2016 survey by the UK-based
marketing firm Adestra showed that around
75 per cent of 14- to 24-year-olds have
an email address because “it’s a part of
everyday life”.
acebook wasn’t the first company to try
to kill email. It is actually something of a rite
of passage for tech companies. AOL Instant
Messenger and MySpace tried and failed –
and who remembers Google Wave? These
days, Google is now trying to fix the problem
without throwing the baby out with the bathwater: Gmail offers an instant messenger for
quicker communication and organises emails
into conversation-like threads. Other companies too have taken the view that rather
than try to replace email altogether, a better
strategy is to develop around it. There are
plenty of apps that try to better it for specific
use cases, for instance. Dropbox has positioned itself as a superior option for sending
file attachments. Slack – which organises chats
into searchable channels for different projects
or topics – wants to be your go-to means of
collaborating at work and indeed eight million
people are using the service daily. WhatsApp
and its ilk are now the default for conversations among friends. A few apps have become
email alternatives by accident. I have a number
of colleagues who say that some of their most
important conversations now happen over
Instagram’s direct messenger. Yet ask any of
the users of those services whether they also
use an email address and, crucially, the answer
will almost certainly be yes.
So why hasn’t there been an all-out email
killer? Mainly, it’s a function of ubiquity. The
value of a communication tool is proportional
to its number of users and nothing rivals email
for reach. It’s estimated that more than 3.8
billion people use the system (Facebook, for
contrast, has 2.27bn users). Any new competitor would naturally begin with the smallest
fraction of that user base, making it a struggle from the outset. And, in any case, what
would the “new email” look like?
Surely, a future tech wunderkind will
eventually come up with an answer to that
question. When they do, it will not only
change the world but make these digital days
seem like the dark ages.
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Facebook failed and WhatsApp welched. Can anyone stem the tide of the internet’s most ancient – and enduring – technology?
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Art
Artists should not ‘pay to exhibit’
Borders and barriers come into relief, as Elizabeth Eade’s curation of harrowing refugee
stories wins the 2018 HIX Award, designed to help young talent break through
Story by
David Levesley
A
t ten metres long, Elizabeth Eade’s
“Die Liste” is a colossal work of art. So
colossal she has had to knock through
walls just to showcase it. Its size is astonishing and when you take a look at its contents
you begin to realise its length is a tragedy: the
scroll is covered in handwritten biographies
of 33,305 refugees who died trying to claim
asylum in Europe.
It’s a lot to take in and understand in
one sitting and Eade herself thinks you’d
probably go mad reading every story. “I
think there is a level at which we as humans
switch off. When a problem is so vast it is
easier to ignore it than try to tackle it,” she
says. “That was the reason I made this. It has
a seductive minimalism.”
It’s a powerful ocean of text, and it helped
Eade clinch the 2018 HIX Award, which recognises one art student or recent graduate
and gives them – among other prizes – a solo
exhibition and £10,000.
Eade, who is still studying for an MA in
Brighton, experienced a significant sea-change
in how she made art when she read philosophy as part of the degree. She read Nietzsche
and Foucault and became fascinated by “the
idea of ‘now’ and its impossibility”, which
Gilbert & George explored so well in the
Eighties. “When trying to tackle subjects that
have timely relevance, making things quickly
is important, but not just making them –
getting them out to be seen.” “Die Liste” is
part of her move away from painting and into
installation, a move that has brought the artist
and her perfect medium together.
Eade’s studio is down past the kitchen in
her Brighton home and filled with old paintings. Now there are also tools, contraptions
and a workbench with a seat low enough to
put her face-to-face with the maquettes she’s
currently sculpting. “I am making 225 figures
for an installation, so my studio looks like
the excavation site of the terracotta soldiers.”
Eade works with a different material depending on what question she wants to explore
with each installation: liquid glass and gunpowder are both on the horizon. A piece at
the Cambridge University Festival Of Ideas,
“Net Realisable Value (NRV)”, features
copper figures “corrupted with sea water,
mutating them with startling green crystals”
114 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
From left: Judges Sophie Harriott and Stephen
Webster, with winner Elizabeth Eade and Mark Hix
– a critique of the treatment of foreign
nationals as if they were something to be
traded across oceans.
“I want to make people feel with my work.
It is tough and deliberately so,” explains
Eade. “I think beauty is important, almost a
honey trap. It entices you in and then the
work can deliver something else.” This
is certainly true of “Die Liste”, which
presents the stories, collated by Dutch
NGO United For Intercultural Action, in a
haunting way. “From a distance the piece
looks almost minimal,” says Eade. “There is a
deliberate evenness to the handwritten
surface and it is only on closer inspection that
you realise how complex and difficult the
words are.”
E
ade hadn’t considered hanging
the piece from the ceiling until the exhibition
of HIX Award finalists. It had an astonishing
effect on viewers. “I saw a man looking up
and reading it above his head and falling
over,” recalls Eade. “As an artist who wants
to have not just a mental but a physical effect
on people this was wonderful.”
That being said, she’s aware that her
interest in grand humanitarian crises is
not palatable to everyone. ”It really seemed
to upset some people,” Eade says. She
even received hate mail. “[It was] badly
spelt, threatening and abusive. It is not
necessarily water off a duck’s back, but it certainly makes me more determined to shout a
little louder.”
The HIX Award appealed to Eade because it
is a rare chance not to have to pay to enter a
show. “There is a huge culture in this country
that artists should ‘pay to exhibit’. It really
does corrode the quality of what is exhibited
and over a long period of time changes the
general perception of what is great art.”
Last year’s winner, Sam Bailey – whose
show, Shadow Archive, is now on at the HIX
Art gallery in East London – thinks the award
is “unique. It supports students and graduates.
I don’t know of any award that is that specific.”
For Bailey, the money allowed him to spend
more time on his art and less time working to
pay off his art school debts. Now, on the back
of his winning piece, “Smoker 3”, he has a
whole show, which explores protest in the age
before modern technology. ”Now I’ve got a
body of work based on my exhibition,” says
Bailey, “and that’s opened doors for me.”
“The HIX Award is an opportunity that is
genuinely supportive,” Eade agrees, “both
through the funding and the opportunities
offered by them and their sponsors.”
One such sponsor is Coutts, which has a
very long history as a patron of the arts and
has worked to increase the value of the
prize over the years. The £10,000 award is
“almost half The Turner Prize”, points out
Simon Hopes, head of Coutts’ sports and
entertainment division.
The finalists will be exhibited in and around
the bank’s base on the Strand in London – “Die
Liste” will appear in the window, which has
previously shown artwork from the likes of
Damien Hirst – and clients will have the
opportunity to buy any of the pieces they see.
Support for emerging artists is a crucial part
of Hopes’ work: “If we just waited for someone
to get rich from whichever creative industry
they’re in, I argue that’s too late. You have to
show interest and support emerging talent in
that sector and that’s why we’re involved. You
have to be investing in the grass roots.”
Eade’s MA show takes place in June, after
which she’ll follow Bailey to HIX Art at the
end of 2019. “There are various other irons
in the fire, including a short film about my
work. I am busy,” she says joyfully, “and
humbled and most of all excited to be in the
studio making work and pushing myself and
my practice.”
Photographs Getty Images; Calum McCarron
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Elizabeth Eade won the HIX Award for ‘Die Liste’, which was suspended from the ceiling of London’s HIX Art gallery during the finalists’ exhibition
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 115
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Donnie goes to Hollywood
A Trumpian world demands Trumpian cinema, and one detects his
orange fingerprints in (almost) all of this year’s Oscar hopefuls
Story by
O
Stuart McGurk
n TV and on podcasts and in books,
there’s a story that’s been dominating
pop culture this year. Slate’s podcast
Slow Burn dedicated an eight-episode investigative series to it, interviewing all the key players.
A glossy TV show used the public record as a
shooting script and asked actors to re-create key
scenes. Even the journalists reporting it have
become celebrities in their own right. That’s
right... we’re talking Watergate.
It shouldn’t be surprising: for all the podcasts that have popped up to tackle Trump
head-on, what we see in Watergate – in the
battle between a corrupt president and
the institutions that surround him – is how a
remarkably similar story ended up. We know
the ending.
Hollywood is the same. Don’t tackle the
Trump era head-on: it doesn’t have an ending
yet. Instead, follow the fallout. And this
year’s Oscar contender films have certainly
been doing that.
If last year contained one of the advance
guard – Steven Spielberg’s hastily filmed
The Post, which he put together in a matter
of months from start to finish – now we get
the cavalry. And whisper it: the cavalry is
much better.
Take Vice, about the life of former vice
president Dick Cheney, which must count
as one of the most unconventional Oscar
frontrunners in recent years. At one point,
116 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
war crimes are read by a waiter from a menu
for Cheney and co to pick from (“We’ll have
them all please!”). At another point, the film
has a fake ending, complete with rolling
credits listing the real actors. News anchors
occasionally break the fourth wall to provide
narration. Cheney and his wife (played by
Amy Adams) suddenly start speaking in mock
Shakespearean dialogue and at one stage
there’s a song and dance number.
But they all heighten one thing: this isn’t a
by-the-numbers Academy-smoothed biopic
of a man’s life, but an urgent call to arms
about the grab for unchecked White House
power and the human cost of it (we’re also
not spared graphic archive footage of torture
and prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib).
As director Adam McKay (who directed
The Big Short, which saw Margot Robbie
explain the subprime mortgage crisis from
a bubble bath) put it to the New York
Times, “We’re discovering new styles and
forms, because this era we’re in demands
it. The world has gotten so cartoonishly
exaggerated and over the top. Why be
subtle any more?”
Or, as he later put it to me, “It would be as
if the world suddenly became infested with
lemurs – lemurs everywhere, in rooms, climbing on buildings – and then I made a movie
without any lemurs in it. It’d be like, what?
The entire world is infested with lemurs!”
F
undamentally, this year’s Oscar contenders get to the heart of the matter much more
than a film such as The Post ever did. Sure,
there were surface parallels with the Trump
era – look, it’s the state versus freedom of the
press! – but it was like examining the sinking
of the Titanic by making a film about seafaring.
The real issue – race – is now the one many
Oscar films are tackling head-on.
There’s Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, set
in the Seventies, which tells the remarkable
true story of an African-American detective
in Colorado Springs who sets out to infiltrate
the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (Lee:
“When I saw the horrific act of homegrown
terrorism [in Charlottesville], I knew right
away I wanted to do this”).
There’s If Beale Street Could Talk, an adaptation by Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning
director of Moonlight, of the novel set in
Seventies Harlem, about a couple who find
their lives torn apart when Fonny (Stephan
James) is falsely accused of rape. We see how,
as a young black man in America, the justice
system is stacked against him (Jenkins: “Beale
Street was published in 1974 – today it’s even
more egregious because the system is for profit.
It’s supply and demand: these young men have
to be supplied for the system to operate”).
And, finally, there’s Black Panther, which
wasn’t designed to be about Trump at all (the
script was written before he came to power)
and yet manages to be about him anyway, as
it centres around the fictional African country
of Wakanda going from nationalism and isolationism to take part in the global community
(“The wise build bridges,” says Chadwick
Boseman’s leader in one of the film’s final
scenes. “The foolish build walls”).
Even a straight-down-the-line Oscar-bait
film such as First Man, which saw Ryan Gosling
play Neil Armstrong, managed to slyly send an
anti-Trump message after it omitted the planting of the American flag on the moon. Gosling
explained that the feat “transcended countries
and borders”, adding, “I think this was widely
regarded in the end as a human achievement.”
Cue, naturally, right-wing outrage.
All of which, however, could even work
against them. Vice’s main competitor for all
the major awards, Bradley Cooper’s A Star
Is Born – starring himself as a washed-up
rock star and Lady Gaga as a singing starlet
on the rise – says nothing about Trump or
the political situation now whatsoever. Don’t
be surprised to see all the important, urgent
films being nominated for everything and for
A Star Is Born to do a clean sweep. We all
need a break from reality once in a while.
THE OSCARS TAKE PLACE ON 25 FEBRUARY.
Illustration Ramsés Morales Izquierdo
Film
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Music
Classics never die (but they do get remixed)
Orchestral rerecords have the potential to drag pop and rock tracks out of the pit, but
too many fall flat. Labels must either conduct more risk-taking or pull the strings entirely
Story by
T
en years ago, a friend of mine began a
running joke based on Blackout Crew’s
gonzo rave hit “Put A Donk On It”. He
adopted the persona of a demented A&R man
who believed that any record would be better
as a dance floor banger. New Radiohead single
sounding too glum? Put a donk on it. New
Björk album too austere? Put a donk on it.
Literally any record that is currently donkless?
Put a banging donk on it. The joke wasn’t that
far from what actually happened during the
remix-crazed Nineties, but the music industry’s current mantra, from Joy Division to Nas
to A-ha, seems to be: put an orchestra on it.
The current vogue for symphonic remakes
began with veteran A&R man Don Reedman,
who first souped up the likes of “Bohemian
Rhapsody” and “Whole Lotta Love” on the
1978 K-Tel collection Classic Rock before
launching the bestselling Hooked On
Classics series. In 2015, after decades at the
lucratively unfashionable end of the music
business, Reedman struck again with If I Can
Dream, submitting the hits of Elvis Presley to
the ministrations of the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra. Reedman has estimated the budget
at £150-200,000 – around twice that of the
average rock album – but the investment paid
off: If I Can Dream was outsold that year only
by Adele, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
Reedman had hit upon a new way to juice
legends’ back catalogues now that greatesthits collections were no longer delivering
blockbuster sales. He and the RPO have since
given the same treatment to the songbooks
of Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys and Roy
Orbison. In 2016, Haçienda Classiçal and Pete
Tong’s Classic House applied orchestras to club
anthems such as “Voodoo Ray” and “Where
Love Lives”: different demographic, same
tactic. Now everybody’s at it. Last year, in a
PBS concert film recorded four years prior, Nas
performed his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, with
the National Symphony Orchestra. This July,
Peter Hook and the Manchester Camerata
will bring Joy Division Orchestrated to the
Royal Albert Hall. And the symphonic-rave
118 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Dorian Lynskey
Illustration by
Carol del Angel
bandwagon rolls on with Tong’s Ibiza Classics
and Ministry Of Sound’s The Annual Classical.
Fans of the go-go decade, meanwhile, can
choose from 80s Symphonic or Trevor Horn
Reimagines The Eighties. Financially speaking, these projects are an excellent idea: the
orchestras, record labels and artists (or their
estates) all get paid. On a musical level, they
are almost entirely dreck.
The partial exception is Horn’s album,
which consists of fresh recordings with a
hit-and-miss selection of vocalists. There’s
no pressing need to hear, say, X Factor
winner Matt Cardle cover Frankie Goes To
Hollywood’s already immense “The Power
Of Love”, but Horn, the king of Eighties
mega-production, and his arranger, Julian
Hinton, at least know how to exploit the full
breadth of an orchestra. The likes of Classic
House and 80s Symphonic, meanwhile, simply
overdub strings onto the original recordings,
as if trying to do as little damage as possible,
giving you neither the records you love nor
bold reimaginings, but half-hearted kitsch.
S
uch versions are often thoughtlessly
antithetical to the spirit of the original material. The charm of Derrick May’s
Detroit techno landmark “Strings Of Life”,
for example, largely derives from the fact
that the strings were synthesised by a cashstrapped bedroom producer in 1987, so
replacing them with the real thing can only
detract from his DIY ingenuity. Likewise, the
original production on Illmatic was as lean,
impactful and close to the streets as Nas’
lyrics. Grafting an orchestra onto records born
of underdog aspiration tends to make them
sound blandly, nonsensically decadent, while
reducing classical music to elegant decoration,
as generic as a rented tuxedo.
When an artist is no longer with us, orchestral versions can feel even more dubious.
Nile Rodgers claimed that he set about his
arrangement of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”
for 80s Symphonic with a desire “to protect
David’s artistic vision and integrity... I’m
certain David would approve from above.”
Loath though I am to quibble with the
beloved producer who worked with Bowie
on the original, it’s hard to picture the man
who bowed out with the audacious art-rock
maelstrom of smiling down on a politely
reupholstered version of his biggest hit. Still,
it could be worse: Roy Orbison Jr recently
floated the dystopian prospect of having
his late father headline Hyde Park “with
the hologram and the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra”. Frankly, putting a donk on “Only
The Lonely” would be classier than that.
What’s especially aggravating is the
knowledge that orchestral remakes can be
spectacular, whether it’s the autumnal melancholy of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now
or the estranging magic of Philip Glass’
Bowie symphonies. I’ve seen Elbow, John
Grant and Spiritualized use orchestras to
stirring effect and been dazzled by Peter
Gabriel’s tour with the New Blood Orchestra.
Following his muse rather than the money,
Gabriel deployed the orchestra to radically
defamiliarise old songs by rebuilding them
from the ground up. Trevor Horn displays
similar auto-irreverence by transforming
Grace Jones’ “Slave To The Rhythm”, one of
his most baroque productions, into a beatless
ballad tenderly sung by Rumer. Whether or
not you think they work, these are genuinely
risk-taking reinventions.
Even versions that were made for cynical
reasons can prove transformative. In 1965,
canny Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog
Oldham hired the superb arranger David
Whitaker to orchestrate an album called The
Rolling Stones Songbook. Whitaker’s take on
“The Last Time”, a third-tier Stones song,
was so sublime that 32 years later The Verve
famously (and expensively) wrote “Bitter
Sweet Symphony” around it. The chances
of some enterprising young band in 2050
finding similar inspiration in a deep cut from
80s Symphonic are slim.
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Put a donk on it? No. Find
a string, percussion, brass
and woodwind section and
then we can talk
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Architecture
Perform and function
Like its neighbour, Thomas Heatherwick’s perma-installation, Vessel,
New York cultural coverall The Shed is both platform and player
Story by
Edwin Heathcote
other hand, you might equally argue that
what is being billed as “public” becomes exclusionary once the roof covers it – effectively
privatising it for the duration of any events,
installations or exhibitions and making this
huge plaza accessible by ticket only.
Nevertheless, the canopy itself is an undeniably awesome thing. Still under construction
when I visited, it had the feel of the kind of
hangar engineered for airship construction
or UFO examination, a kind of high-tech
alien steam punk. The steel lattice is not a
grid, but a more complex, insectoid form,
reminiscent of a fly’s wing, and each lozengeshaped gap is filled with polymer pillows filled
with air to maximise insulation and minimise
weight. The heavy engineering of the wheels
echoes the railways that run below the site
and, apparently, the power needed to move
the canopy in and out is about the same as a
Prius engine. Its heavy-engineering aesthetic
was accentuated by the machinery of construction, as if this was always meant to be a
work in process – like theatre itself.
Still under construction in September 2018, The Shed takes shape in Hudson Yards, New York
W
hen is a building not a building?
Maybe when you can simply slide
it under a skyscraper like a drawer
under a bed. But that does not mean that The
Shed, New York’s most ambitious new piece
of cultural infrastructure, is not architecture,
far from it. It might be one of the most fascinating, strange and memorable things to come
out of the city’s architecture scene in decades.
The Shed is a work of architectural theatre
and a rare piece of real public space. But it is
also a curious hybrid, a thing that exists somewhere in the cracks between engineering,
architecture, culture, infrastructure and space.
The strange structure is sited on the last
substantial chunk of Manhattan’s (formerly)
undeveloped Downtown, above the endless
array of tracks at Hudson Yards on the
far west side of the island. The incredible
and unexpected success of The High Line
in drawing both crowds and investment to
Chelsea and beyond has already catalysed
the transformation of a haunting, rusting
post-industrial cityscape into an asset class
of gleaming starchitect-designed condos. The
converted elevated railway line is now flanked
by look-at-me blocks, the walkway becoming
an architectural catwalk. It radically changed
the neighbourhood and its architects, Diller,
Scofidio + Renfro, are also, alongside Rockwell
Group, the designers behind The Shed.
120 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
The brief was to provide a shelter for a
multifunctional cultural venue, a place that
could accommodate anything from concerts
and dance to big art installations. The solution was not to build a traditional landmark
cultural centre in the vein of The Barbican or
The Lincoln Center, but to create a canopy that
is flexible enough to contain anything and to
adapt to a world in which culture is constantly
changing and media are still evolving. The
result was this huge canopy, a steel structure rolling on railway-type wheels, which is
capable of sliding in and out of the skyscraper
beneath which it sits. Not willing to cede
control of the frame, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
also took over the design of the skyscraper
itself, an elegant glass-clad tower with streamlined corners that morphs into four cylinders
at its crown like the turrets of a sandcastle.
The backstage and back-of-house areas are
all stuffed into the lower floors of the tower so
that the performance space is left completely
clear, a free platform for artists to inhabit or
transform. In a way, the cleverest thing about
the project is that the canopy preserves the
space beneath it for the public, making it difficult to coopt by private interests, developers
or commercial operators. It is an architecture
of integrity, in some ways similar to The High
Line itself, which appropriates an empty corridor between buildings for culture. On the
he Shed is not the only big architectural
attraction here. Next door is British designer
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel, a 16-storey
structure made entirely of stairs. You can’t
help but see the two as opposite conceptions
of the future of public architecture. While The
Shed is deliberately open in its ideas about
what might happen inside, Vessel is itself the
attraction. It’s the difference between a Crystal
Palace and an Eiffel Tower, one an architecture about content, the other an architecture
in which the idea is the content, the multidimensional versus the stolidly one-dimensional.
It’s also interesting to see how The Shed
aspires to accessibility, using its canopy to
protect a public function in an unpredictable
future in which we are unable to foresee what
changes may be wrought on civic activity by
technological change, while Vessel is oddly
deterministic. It is a building about stairs and
therefore inherently inaccessible. There may
be a glass lift but that experience is inimical
to the product. It is something different. What
about buggies and suitcases? The elderly and
infirm? Are they to be given an inferior route?
Of course, the real success of The Shed
will be determined by its programming, a
broiling or freezing, wet or windswept public
plaza on its own is only a space. Edinburghborn artistic director Alex Poots will need to
fill the volume – not just at stage level but
all the way up to its retractable roof. The Shed
is, in a way, a realisation of radical Sixties
ideas about architecture both as performance
and a site for unpredictable technologies. It
is taking us back to the future.
Photographs Getty Images; Timothy Schenck
T
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Politics
The slugger and the billionaire
Political street fighter Joe Biden is thought to be just the man to take down Trump
in the next battle for the White House. So why does his candidacy give us déjà vu?
Story by
Matthew d’Ancona
B
etween now and the Democratic
National Convention in July 2020, the
party – and huge numbers of American
voters – will be exercised by one issue above all
others: whether Joe Biden can prevent Donald
Trump winning a second presidential term.
Whatever Biden says and does, and whatever
course the Democratic primaries take, there
will be many within and beyond his party who
continue to argue that he is the only contender
with a prayer of beating the incumbent.
This matters hugely to the millions of
Americans who believe Trump is a psychopathic
menace to the constitution and their country’s
spirit of decency. And let us be frank: this
sense of alarm is scarcely confined to the US.
The case for Biden is respectable. As a former
senator for Delaware (1973-2009) and Barack
Obama’s vice president for two terms, he has
profound experience of government, the legislature and the inner workings of Capitol Hill.
As a son of Scranton, Pennsylvania, he
knows about blue-collar America and has
experienced adversity in many forms, not
least in his family life: in 1972, his first wife,
Neilia, and his 13-month-old daughter, Naomi,
were killed in a car crash. And in 2015, his son
Beau, previously regarded as a strong candidate for the governorship of Delaware, died of
brain cancer, aged only 46. The impact of this
tragedy upon Biden, his emotions and his ideas
is movingly described in his book Promise Me,
Dad: A Year Of Hope, Hardship, And Purpose.
Humanised already by the warmth of his
working relationship with Obama – a political bromance that the two men paraded with
wit and genuine affection – he secured the trust
and respect of many Americans who respected
both the dignity and depth of his grief.
Though Biden’s previous bids for the
presidency – in 1988 and 2008 – were undistinguished, the lie of the land will be very
different in 2019-20. For a start, his streetfighting style is appealing to those who believe
that this president can only be defeated in a
toe-to-toe, no-holds-barred slugging match.
When candidate Trump was embarrassed
by the infamous Access Hollywood “pussygrabbing tape”, Biden said, “I wish I were in
high school. I could take him behind the gym.
Then vice president Joe Biden at the Democratic
National Convention in Philadelphia, 27 July 2016
That’s what I wish.” The former vice president
is no soy boy. He would take on Trump as an
unapologetic alpha male, looking for a knockout blow, not a points victory.
This muscular style and Biden’s appeal to
the working-class voters who deserted Hillary
Clinton in 2016 make him attractive to many
Democratic strategists who believe that this
will not be an election for the faint-hearted.
In this respect, he is seen as more robust than
Elizabeth Warren, senator for Massachusetts,
who declared her candidacy with audacious
speed. They also regard him as more seasoned
than Julián Castro, the former housing and
urban development secretary, who entered
the race on 12 January, or Tulsi Gabbard,
Democratic congresswoman for Hawaii, who
signalled her intention to do so the day before.
T
hose Democrats who fear an untested
candidate are right about the likely brutality
of the 2020 campaign – Trump knows no other
way and will be feral in his determination. It is
true, too, that, broadly speaking, the opinion
polls suggest that Biden would beat the incumbent (one survey in March 2018 had Trump
trailing him by 56 per cent to 39 per cent).
Indeed, some Republicans are candid about
the threat they see in Biden’s prospective candidacy. In December 2018, Congressman Adam
Kinzinger of Illinois said that the former vice
president could win “because he’s kind of run
as a centrist. I think he can attract the kind of
people that are voting for Donald Trump, the
middle class, the blue-collar workers. I think
he’s the one that can take that away.”
Biden may well end up on the ticket in
November 2020. But I am not at all convinced
he can beat Trump, for reasons that are contextual rather than personal. For a start, governing
credentials, sadly, are no longer a priority for
voters. Few presidential candidates in history
have been as qualified as Hillary Clinton and
yet the weight of her experience probably
ended up as liability, branding her a Beltway
insider who could not comprehend – as Trump
claimed to – the grievances of the “left-behind”.
Related to this is the problem that all elections in advanced democracies are now about
“change”. There was a time when this was
only true intermittently: often, the incumbent
would demand to “finish the job”or urge the
electorate to stick with the steady hand. But
voters now operate at a different tempo and
expect governments that keep pace with the
transformative forces bearing down on them.
Again, this is what Clinton missed in
2016: she allowed Trump to be the “change”
candidate, just as Obama had been in
2008 and her husband in 1992. Battered,
bruised and undermined as he may be, Trump
will still claim to head an angry insurgency in
2020. How will Biden avoid being caricatured
as a restorationist candidate, intent on resuming the agenda of the Obama years?
Were Biden to win, he would be 78 when he
was sworn in – older than Ronald Reagan was
when he stood down. But it is not age that is
his real problem: it is the perception that he
is a figure from the past, a time traveller from
20 years ago rather than an architect of the
future. For that, the Democrats must choose
a candidate such as Kamala Harris, senator
for California, Kirsten Gillibrand, senator for
New York and strong proponent of the Me
Too campaign, or Beto O’Rourke, the meteoric Texas congressman. The real question is:
are they bold enough to do that? G
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 121
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performance meets art
Turn heads with the style of Premium Touch velour sidewall detailing.
Available on larger MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4S fitments (21” and above).
michelin.co.uk
#Ps4s
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Compiled by
Jason Barlow, Paul Henderson and Rich Taylor Photographs by Christoffer Rudquist and Brooklyn Beckham
The 2019
In association with
Welcome to the 2019 GQ Car Awards, in association with Michelin – our pick of the world’s best vehicular
inspiration in all its rubber-burning, gravity-defying, Dakar Rally-destroying, 007-worthy glory. And for our
eleventh annual automotive celebration, we thought we’d make the world’s coolest car awards even better
by recruiting a young, up-and-coming petrolhead photographer to shoot one of the winners and presenting
a motorsport legend with our inaugural Lifetime Achievement honour. Let’s get this show on the road...
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 123
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Editor’s Special Award
PORSCHE 919 HYBRID
(and Timo Bernhard)
(The Lap Of The Gods Award)
d In the iconography of motorsport, Porsche
reigns supreme. When it returned to frontline
endurance racing in 2014, the 919 showcased
the latest brain-frying hybrid tech and duly
won Le Mans 24 Hours three times on the
bounce and nailed back-to-back WEC titles
between 2015 and 2017. Although powered by
a 2.0-litre V4 engine boosted by two energy
recovery systems, restrictive regulations never
allowed Porsche to unleash the car’s full
potential. Cue the unusual spectacle of an
Evo version of a retired racing car setting a
new lap record at Spa-Francorchamps and
the notorious Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The
footage on YouTube of Porsche driver Timo
Bernhard posting a lap time of 5:19:55 is as
hypnotic as it is terrifying. porsche.com
By increasing the
919’s fuel-flow rate
and fully exploiting
its energy recovery
system, the Evo’s
overall power output
rose to 1,160bhp.
Best Thing On Two Wheels
DUCATI PANIGALE V4 R
(The All-Red Rideable Missile Award)
The V4 R is so race-oriented that it comes with a
Pit Limiter button so the rider can restrict the bike
to a speed of 25-50mph.
124 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
e Ducati is synonymous with the L-twin engine and therefore
made a huge bet switching to V4 engines in its top superbikes.
Thankfully, it paid off and Ducati’s latest offering – the Panigale
V4 R – is the most powerful and beautiful yet. Despite being a
racing homologation special, it keeps the lines and appeal of its
more road-oriented siblings. It weighs just 165.5kg, produces
234hp at 15,500rpm and runs advanced electronic rider aids.
The aerodynamic package is what sets it apart, though, and
it comes straight from MotoGP; the front fairing’s “winglets”
produce 30kg of downforce at 170mph. £34,995. ducati.com
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Best Hypercar
McLAREN SENNA
(The Do Believe The Hype Award)
The Senna is as much about
eye-popping braking ability
as it is ultra-high performance:
from 124mph, it will come to a
complete halt in 100 metres.
Best Automotive Icon
e The F1 hero this car honours had movieidol looks to go with his great speed and
racer’s guile. The McLaren Senna, however,
is not remotely pretty, at least not on the
outside. The ultimate road-legal track car,
this thing doesn’t quite bend physics but
it certainly challenges them. Consider
the numbers: 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds,
0-124mph in 6.8, 0-186mph in 17.5 and
a top speed of 211mph. Its 4.0-litre
twin-turbo V8 makes 789bhp and it
weighs just 1,198kg dry. Only 500 are
being made and they’ve all been sold.
But you need to factor in a circuit too,
because the Senna is all about maximising
aerodynamics, primarily downforce, hence
why the Senna looks the way it does: mad,
bad and dangerous to know, up to and
including that giant pivoting rear wing.
From £750,000. cars.mclaren.com
PORSCHE 911 REIMAGINED BY SINGER (DLS)
Rob Dickinson’s Singer pitch?
“What would a classic Porsche
911 look like if we touched it with
an F1 team?” Here’s the answer...
(The Even Better Than The Real Thing Award)
f Singer Vehicle Design has come a long way since former rocker Rob Dickinson realised there was a market in meticulously restored Porsche
911s. What was originally a SoCal automotive subculture has conquered the world and the DLS turns the idea up to eleven and cranks up
the performance. As evinced by previous Singer restorations or commissions, Dickinson is a detail fanatic and with the DLS, codeveloped
by Williams Advanced Engineering and of which 75 are being restored, his obsessiveness isn’t just evident in the gearbox structure or the
body’s carbon-fibre construction, it’s in the car’s thrillingly nuanced character. The 4.0-litre air-cooled engine now produces 500bhp –
bang-on in a car that weighs barely a tonne. A great idea has reached its zenith. £1.4 million. singervehicledesign.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 125
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Best Family Car
MERCEDES-AMG GT
FOUR-DOOR COUPÉ
(The Phwoar Door Award)
d “He’s a lovely bunch of guys,” Richards once noted of
Jagger. And while the GT four-door is just as complex,
it’s the 630bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that takes
centre stage. There’s air suspension, adaptive
damping, dynamic engine mounts and fully variable
all-wheel drive, all networked to stunning effect.
The nine-speed dual shift gearbox is ultra-fast,
while steering, suspension, engine and transmission
parameters are overseen by six-mode drive system
Dynamic Select. Moreover, engage “Race”, disable the
ESP and it’ll also serve up epic drifts. What can’t it do?
From £121,350. mercedes-amg.com
AMG has
developed its
own fragrance,
which it describes
as an “appealing,
sporty scent”.
Best Classic Car
ASTON MARTIN DB5
(The Do Be Careful With It 007 Award)
f Last year, when Aston Martin announced
it was partnering with Eon Productions to
produce 25 new Aston Martin DB5s, we
couldn’t believe our luck. Not because we
had a spare £3.3m burning a hole in our
pocket, but because it was all the excuse
we needed to give an award to the most
famous car in movie history. Having
appeared in seven James Bond films, the
new DB5s will use a 4.0-litre straight six
engine, go from 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds
and have a top speed of 142mph. They
will also come with various 007 gadgets
including revolving number plates but
excluding ejector seats. But who cares?
Just look at it... £3.3m. astonmartin.com
The definitively British DB5 was designed by Italian
coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The
name could have been Bond, Giacomo Bond.
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 127
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GQ CAR AWARDS
THE INTERVIEW...
You are fairly young to be getting a
lifetime achievement award. Has your
racing career felt like a long time to you?
“It does, because I have been doing
the same job since I was eight years
old, which, when you think about it,
means I have been in the same career
for 30 years.”
Photographs Robert Wilson from Jenson Button:
Life To The Limit (Blink Publishing); Getty Images
Looking back to your childhood,
was there one moment when you
decided: “I am going to be a
racing driver”?
“Yeah, it was when I started racing in
Europe. For the first time other people
were paying for it and suddenly there
was pressure there. Before that it had
just been about fun: racing, winning
and travelling with the old boy
[Button’s father]. I would have been
14 and that’s when I thought, ‘It just
got real.’”
When you got to F1 you were the
youngest British racing driver to start a
race. Was it everything you hoped for?
“What I remember most was that it wasn’t
the glamorous life that people think it is.
Monaco is very glamorous, but most of the
other tracks aren’t. You do get looked after,
though. They schedule everything and all
you have to think about are the team’s
requirements: doing interviews, talking to
engineers and driving the car. It is a lovely
life, though, and you are spoiled. Now I
have to wash my own underwear.”
What was the best thing about
competing in F1?
“For me, there were two things. Firstly, it
was the competition. You will never find
another sport as competitive as F1. And
secondly, driving an F1 car is utterly brilliant. You are behind the wheel of a 900bhp
monster and your job is to push it to the
limit. And when you have got absolutely
everything out of a car, that is one of the
best feelings you can ever have.”
Button leads the grid in Imola after
his first F1 pole position in 2004
Above: Button raced for SMP in the FIA World Endurance Championship
at Silverstone, 2018; (left) on the podium for McLaren in Belgium, 2011
Champagne
moments:
The two fondest
memories from
the winner of GQ’s
Lifetime Achievement
z
“The one that sticks
out is in 1999 when
Frank Williams called
me into his office 30
minutes before the
team announced
the two drivers who
would be racing
that season and said
the words: “Jenson,
we’ve decided to go
with you.” That was
a special moment. I
walked out and the
old boy was waiting;
he didn’t have a clue.
I burst into tears and
so did he. I won’t
forget that.”
z
“One of the best
laps of my career
was Imola 2004.
It was my first pole
position in F1. I went
out and blitzed it,
ending up twoand-a-half tenths
ahead of Michael
Schumacher. He
was a guy who I
had watched since
he started racing
and I had outpaced
him for pole. That
was amazing and
a turning point in
my career.”
It took you a long time to land that first win in F1 (113 races).
How do you stay motivated when you aren’t in a car that
can win?
“If you haven’t ever won a race, it’s fine. The problem is when you
start winning races and then you go back to not winning races...
That really hurts. In 2013 we didn’t win a race, didn’t even get on
the podium. That was probably the most difficult year for me.”
Did you stay in F1 too long?
“Probably six months too long, yes. I realised at the start of 2016
that my heart wasn’t in it. It was tough because my old man passed
away in 2014 and he had always been there. When he wasn’t, the
sport wasn’t the same.”
What was the overriding emotion when you did win
the championship in 2009?
“It’s funny, because winning races is very much a living-in-themoment experience – it’s awesome. But winning the championship
was more of a relief, because of the pressure I had put on myself.”
But you still thrive on that pressure, don’t you?
“Yeah, I suppose I do. This year racing in Super GT, the championship
came down to the last race of the season and I felt sick. That pressure
is agonising, but the euphoria when you finally cross the line is just
incredible. You can finally breathe again. But I totally love it.”
Any regrets in your career (so far)? Please don’t say the yacht.
(Button owned a 20-metre Princess yacht in Monte Carlo
when he was 21.)
“That boat cost me an absolute fortune. But, you know, I was
getting paid well and on my off days I wanted to relax and that
boat was the best place to do that. So mistakes, yes. Regrets, no.”
You have just turned 39... do you have any ambitions left in
motorsport?
“There is just so much I still want to do. I’d love to do Le Mans again
and ultimately win that race. I would like to do rallycross.”
No plans to settle down and take up gardening then?
“Well, I have settled down, I suppose. I am living in a house in LA
now and I’m getting married this year. But in terms of four wheels,
I will always be racing. I’m a big fan of Stirling Moss and he was still
racing competitively into his eighties. That will definitely be me.” PH
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 129
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Best Brand Extension
HONDA HA-420 HONDAJET
(The Leaving On A Private Jet Plane Award)
d Michimasa Fujino, CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, began daydreaming about a Honda
for the skies in the mid-Eighties. Luckily for him, he’s a lifer at the only car manufacturer
brave – and idiosyncratic – enough to do it and so, three decades and an estimated
£1.3 billion investment later, the company’s very light jet (VLJ) got fully airborne. It’s clever
too. The engines are mounted on pylons that extend up from the wings rather than being
mounted underneath or on the fuselage. Honda calls this the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount
(catchy) and it increases the available space inside the cabin (because there’s no intrusive
supporting structure) and improves aerodynamic efficiency, which in turn reduces fuel
consumption and allows a higher maximum cruising velocity (a ground speed of 485mph).
Single-pilot certified (clearly aimed at wealthy owner-operators), the HondaJet has a
43,000-feet (FL430) maximum cruising altitude and the rate of climb is 3,990 feet per
minute. With four people on board, its range is 1,400 miles. The flight control system
is done via a yoke and rudder pedal through control cables, push- and pullrods and
mechanical linkages, and weight and balance calculations are also straightforward, but the
HondaJet’s high degree of automation runs to a sophisticated preflight check. The parent
company’s founder, Soichiro Honda, was famously pictured trying out a prototype jetpack:
if anyone’s going to do it, it’ll be these guys. Approximately £3.5m. hondajet.com
The charter firm
Private aviation moves as fast as the
planes, and while it’s rare for a major
new player to enter the sector, Honda is
already proving popular in Europe. As Adam
Twidell, CEO of global private jet booking
network PrivateFly, which counts 7,000 jets on
its booking sheets, confirms, “Availability of
HondaJets in the European private charter
market has increased recently. The overwing
engines free up cabin space and it’s quieter
than its rivals, which is why a growing
number of clients choose them.”
A HondaJet from Luton to
Nice costs £7,500.
privatefly.com
The cockpit
The cockpit is configured around
a bespoke Garmin G3000 avionics
setup, whose three 14.1-inch,
all-glass hi-res screens gather flight
instrumentation, navigation, comms,
terrain, weather, aircraft systems’
status and alerts and various
checklists into an ergonomically
astute layout even a
non-pilot can
comprehend.
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Best Concept Car
ITALDESIGN POPUP NEXT
d The flying car is the sci-fi vision that might actually become reality. Audi, Airbus and
Italdesign have joined forces to create a modular smart mobility system that those
involved reckon could be operating in our cities within the next decade. In essence, it
consists of an autonomous battery-electric chassis that holds a detachable pod. The
Airbus-designed drone quadcopter “flight module” lands above the pod, whereupon the
chassis raises it into position and the drone takes off with the pod. The chassis zips off
for another rendezvous, while the flight module and occupants head to their destination.
They say the chassis has a range of 31 miles on terra firma, while the quadcopter can fly
81 miles. Audi is currently testing an on-demand service with helicopters and existing
road cars in South America with Airbus subsidiary Voom. But with industry legends
Italdesign on board, the PopUp Next’s proof of concept is well-advanced. italdesign.it
Italdesign was co-formed
in 1968 by the legendary
Giorgetto Giugiaro. In parallel
to the PopUp Next, it has also
just started manufacturing its
own supercar, the Zerouno.
132 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Digital technician Nick Pearce Lighting technician Rhys Gray Photography assistant Mark Townsend
(The Where We’re Going We Won’t Need Roads Award)
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Left and main:
Beckham tackled
changing light, wind
and temperature at
the Thermal Club
track and produced
two self-portraits
taken with a film-fed
Hasselblad camera
Best Sports Car
BMW Z4
(The Sideways Is Best Award)
Photographs by Brooklyn Beckham
Photographer Brooklyn Beckham
captured the two-seater speedster
on film (yes, actual film) after
taking it for a test drift in the
California desert
We blame the parents. One of them in particular. Commissioned by BMW and GQ to
photograph our sports car of the year, the
sharp-dressed and equally sharp-handling new
Z4, 19-year-old Brooklyn Beckham has just
spent an afternoon at the purpose-built racetrack at The Thermal Club near Palm Springs.
Not just on the circuit, but also on a special
low-friction surface that promotes full-on
sideways activity. This is expert stuff, but
having put down his camera Beckham professes to be unfazed.
“I’ve done a bit of track drifting before, so I
got into it pretty quickly,” he says. “There’s a
slippery area, which was difficult at first but
I got the hang of it.”
He doesn’t sound precocious so
much as matter-of-fact. Unless
you’re born to it, it can take years
to master the art of provoking a car
into a slide and making it dance to
your tune. It turns out to be a bit
of both in Beckham’s case.
“Me and my dad are proper car
guys... proper. I’ve been in go-karts
since I was a little kid. Am I a handy
driver? I think I’m all right. My
friends think I am.”
Beckham, of course, is the scion
of a family that scarcely needs any
introduction. With 11.5 million followers on Instagram, there’s quite
an audience out there observing as
the eldest of David and Victoria’s
four children forges his own identity. Cars and fashion have provided
the coordinates for many a young
134 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Additional behind-the-scenes
photographs by Patrik Giardino
Beckham visited
BMW’s design
HQ in Munich
during the Z4’s
development.
BMW’s designers
still render new
cars as full-size
clay models in
order to hone
the shape.
man through the ages; Beckham stirs a keen
interest in the visual arts into the mix. He
recently completed a year studying photography at New York’s Parsons School Of Design
and an internship with Nick Knight.
“I got into photography properly four or
five years ago, when my dad bought me my
first camera,” he says. “Pictures taken on a
smartphone can be pretty amazing. These
days, everyone’s a photographer, but that’s
why I shoot on film. I love it. I shot the BMW
on a Hasselblad. If you get the lighting wrong,
you’re screwed.”
He cites the likes of Mert And Marcus and
Alasdair McLellan as influences, along with
Knight. “But shooting the Z4 was a different
thing for me. Giving myself a task like that
was cool. The light in the desert was changing every five minutes, but I’m really happy
with how it went.
“The Z4 is probably the meanest car I’ve
ever seen. And it’s so quick. I went to Munich
a few months ago and met the guys who
designed it. They took me through the whole
process, from start to finish.”
Generation Zs aren’t meant to like cars, I tell
him, something he instantly rebuts. “I’m old
school. I was always into classic cars. The shape
is important, but how it drives matters to me.
I’ve never felt more at home in anything than
a BMW. I love the M3 and the old 5 Series that
starred in the latest Mission: Impossible film.”
Cars count, but clothes maketh the man.
Did he ever consider, as all young men are
obliged to do, rebelling against his parents
on this one? “I think my mum would cry a
bit if I didn’t care about what I wore, but I’ve
always been into it,” he says, laughing. “In
the past few years I’ve been developing my
own thing, which is a kind of skateboarder/
Peaky Blinders look. If I had a question about
clothes she was always there to help and so
was my dad.” JB
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Hell-raising actor Oliver Reed once
owned a Suzuki jeep. It was so robust (it
probably needed to be) that he dubbed
it the “battle wagon”.
The new Evoque is fitted with a mild
hybrid electric engine, but by 2020
JLR will offer a full plug-in variant.
Best Fun 4x4
SUZUKI JIMNY
(The Hip To Be Square Award)
Best Compact SUV
RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
(The Welcome To The Urban Jungle Award)
c The second generation of the sector-defining Evoque has been a long time
coming, but it was definitely worth the wait. Taking styling tips from last year’s
award-winning Velar, the baby Range Rover still retains its coupé-style silhouette,
rakish roof line and hunky high waist, but it now feels chunkier thanks to its
pronounced shoulders and pumped wheel arches. The huge 21-inch wheels add
to the muscular stance, but the overall look is clean, smooth, sculpted and hugely
desirable. It is also a modernist technological marvel with world-first front and rear
cameras that can make the bonnet and back-seat passengers disappear. Quite
simply, the Evoque is a luxury city car with unimpeachable off-road credentials
that sets a new standard for compact SUVs. From £31,600. landrover.co.uk
136 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
c Suzuki has been building Jimnys since
1970. The first generation was a
quirky, compact four-wheel-drive
corrugated box that was cheap,
cheerful and charming. And it has
been pretty much the same story for
nearly 50 years. Then something
incredible happened: Suzuki decided
that for the fourth-generation Jimny, it
would turn it into a retro-looking Land
Rover Defender-style off road-ready
mini SUV. It is chunky and puts the fun
in funky while still retaining its
utilitarian interior and industrial
exterior packaging. It has its faults, of
course (it is still a Suzuki Jimny, after
all), but this crossover mash-up of a
Mercedes G-Wagen and Postman
Pat’s van is just fantastic.
From £15,499. suzuki.co.uk
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GQ CAR AWARDS
The Urus uses an active rear axle to
provide seven degrees of movement
to “virtually” adjust its wheelbase
for improved agility.
Best Luxury SUV
LAMBORGHINI URUS
(The Raging Bull Award)
c Historically the creator of the most wilfully extreme supercars, Lamborghini’s
entry into the SUV market is the sort of thing purists get very antsy about.
But then you remember that Lamborghini’s quasi-military Eighties LM002
was the progenitor of the entire genre and, besides, as the company has long
been under the aegis of Audi (itself within the mighty Volkswagen Group) and
lately Porsche, it can call on the same technologies as those used by their
(and Bentley’s) giant off-roaders. But there’s another factor: the Urus is actually
really freakishly good. Its complex design polarised opinion at first, but when
you see one in the wild it doesn’t half grab your attention. As does its 641bhp,
4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, which gives the Urus devastating universal pace (there are
three on-road modes and three off-road ones) up to its outrageous 189mph top
speed. The Urus needed to fully assert its Lamborghini-ness to work, but it also
adds an unexpected layer of civility. From £157,800. lamborghini.com
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GQ CAR AWARDS
Best Off-Road Race Team
KAMAZ-MASTER
(The Absolutely Trucking Incredible Award)
d Last year, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Kamaz-Master Team unveiled its newest race truck:
the imaginatively titled “Kamaz”. However, what Kamaz-Master lacks in nomenclature creativity,
it makes up for in automotive ingenuity and its latest truck looks certain to add to its incredible
racing record. Having made its competitive debut in 1988, the Russian team has competed in the
gruelling Dakar Rally 27 times, winning it on 15 separate occasions. The new Kamaz truck has a
six-cylinder, 13-litre engine, an automatic gearbox and features a more aggressive design (well, as
aggressive as any truck can be). In other words, it is an almost indestructible beast. G kamaz.ru
The Kamaz-Master Team
is led by 49-year-old rally
driver Vladimir Chagin, who
has won the Dakar on seven
occasions. This achievement
earned him the nickname
“The Tsar Of Dakar”.
138 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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performance meets art
Turn heads with the style of Premium Touch velour sidewall detailing.
Available on larger MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4S fitments (21” and above).
michelin.co.uk
#Ps4s
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The Drive
MASTERS OF THE ROAD
Even the all-new Porsche 911 needs a perfect partner for the streets so, as the GT2 RS revs up, what
could be better for the world’s definitive sports car than Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres?
Story by Jason Barlow Photographs by Charlie Surbey
You want a culinary metaphor? Porsche and Michelin are
like fish and chips; they might not categorically belong
together, but life is somehow better when they are.
Except that these two big guns are rather more sophisticated, as
you’d expect of a GQ car award contender, engaged on another
delicious adventure with our hosts Nicki Shields and MICHELINStarred chef Tom Kerridge.
Besides, the GT2 RS isn’t just any Porsche, while the
latest MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2s represent the pinnacle of this
amazing range of tyres, the culmination of the know-how Michelin
has developed over the years that you can sense in every one of
its products in terms of safety, sensation and durability. The 911 is
pretty much the default sports car, the one most people would nominate if you asked them to
name one. Few cars have followed such a unique evolution. Porsche has stubbornly adhered
to a format that slings the engine out over the rear axle, a flawed template in terms of balance
or weight distribution. Yet the geniuses at Porsche have worked it over the years to deliver
the current GT2 RS, the most powerful 911 ever, and the one that holds the production car lap
record round the fearsome Nürburgring circuit – 6mins 47.25 seconds.
Above: Outside the
two MICHELINStarred Core by
Clare Smyth in
Notting Hill. Left:
Nicki and Tom set
off in the Porsche
GT2 RS. Below: The
Michelin Pilot Sport
Cup 2 tyres.
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G Partnership
For an exclusive video
about Nicki and Tom’s
trip to Core by Clare
Smyth visit GQ.co.uk
The Restaurant
CORE
For 93 years, the Michelin Star
has signified culinary distinction
and identified destination
restaurants. Here’s London’s latest…
The grip the MICHELIN
Pilot Sport Cup tyres
generate has to be
seen to be believed
Unfortunately for Nicki and Tom, emulating
that feat is a prospect for another day, and
GQ’s GT2 RS remains hemmed in by the limits
of London. “It sounds like there’s an angry
man in a box back there,” Kerridge laughs.
“You’re a fan of 911s, right?” Nicki asks. “I’m
lucky to own one,” Tom replies. “It’s balanced,
controlled, and good fun. But this one is the
stuff of fantasy.”
Or possibly different gravy (more food
analogies). The latest GT2 RS is powered by
3.8-litre, twin-turbo at six – that layout is
a Porsche signature – but its power output
is now a monumental 691bhp, thanks to
bigger turbos, increased boost pressure, and
a host of changes developed by Porsche’s GT
department. Weight-saving is part of the RS
mantra: this car has a carbon fibre roof and
anti-roll bars, magnesium wheels, as well as
a race-spec titanium exhaust system. All 911s
GQ Car Awards 2019
sound good, but this one is next-level for
sonic drama. As is its performance: 0-62mph
in 2.7 seconds is rocket-ship stuff, and the top
speed is actually limited to 211mph.
More than most cars, the GT2 RS isn’t just
about how fast it goes – it’s how it feels. Part
of the 911’s appeal is the way it handles,
corners, and the traction it generates because
of its rear-engined layout. But there’s another
reason: its mighty MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup
2 tyres. These boots were developed specially
for the GT2 RS, with a unique compound and
construction, and as hyperbolic as it might
sound, the amount of grip they generate –
for a road tyre – has to be experienced to
be believed. In terms of precision, feedback,
and ultimate control, this is the Michelin and
Porsche partnership at its zenith. Needless
to say, Michelin’s input to the GT2 RS’s ’Ring
lap record, and to the car itself, was integral.
The GQ Car Awards enters its 10th year and for 2019
we are proud to have Michelin as our headline partner
again. Read all about the winners in a special section
inside this issue and keep an eye out for further
exclusive GQ Car Awards content on GQ.co.uk
In association with
It would take a
restaurant of some
distinction to persuade
us to swap the driving seat of
a Porsche for a more sedate
one at a dining table, but Core
by Clare Smyth, in London’s
Notting Hill, is impossible to
resist. Formerly the only
female three-MICHELIN Star
chef in the UK (when she ran
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay,
having previously worked for
Alain Ducasse in Monaco),
Smyth has already bagged two
– in the first year Core was
eligible. “Two Stars means it’s
worth a detour,” Kerridge says,
musing on the indispensability
of the MICHELIN Guide. “Three
makes it the purpose of the
journey.” Smyth’s upbringing in
rural County Antrim informs
her no-nonsense appreciation
of the humble spud – and
dulse (seaweed) – and a
commitment to move grain
and vegetables centre stage.
Another highlight is the lamb
carrot, with slow-cooked
braised lamb atop a single
carrot in sheep’s milk and jus.
Brilliant, imaginative, delicious.
COREBYCLARESMYTH.COM
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From left: George
wears shirt, £59.95.
Trousers, £74.95. Paul
wears shirt, £59.95.
Trousers, £74.95. Sam
wears shirt, £59.95.
Trousers, £84.95.
All by Barbour.
barbour.com
Barbour’s new season shirt collection of plain soft shades is the
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G Partnership
perfect fit for enjoying the sunshine in the urban jungle or a rural retreat
РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS
G Partnership
A
s the first rays of sun start peeking
through the clouds to announce
the end of winter, Barbour’s Shirt
Department is celebrating with a brand new
range of lightweight styles designed with the
changing seasons in mind. There are lightweight poplins, washed stretch Oxfords and
Seersuckers all jostling for a place in your
springtime wardrobe.
Among our favourites is the Oxford Tailored
Shirt, available in a range of plain soft spring
shades including red, white and blue. These
each feature a subtle shield motif, derived
from the original Barbour family coat of arms.
Other collection highlights include the
Barbour Madras Tailored Shirt, which has a
bold colour scheme which lends a youthful
edge to a timeless design, and the Barbour
Gingham Tailored Shirt, which keeps things
casual in summery red, lemon and soft pink.
All the rich shades of the British countryside in bloom are woven into these smart,
confident shirt styles. Whether you’re looking
for a new formal option with chinos or a more
relaxed look untucked over jeans, a Barbour
shirt is this year’s summer essential.
Sam wears shirt,
£64.95. Below: Holdall,
£149. Shirts, £69.95 .
All by Barbour.
barbour.com
All the shades of the British countryside in bloom
are woven into these smart shirt styles
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Attack the week
With a new cover
interview on GQ.co.uk
every Monday at 7am,
GQ Hype is your
weekly rolling feast of
fashion, video, politics,
sport, entertainment,
food, travel, grooming
and wellbeing. Get
Hype and get hyped.
Investigative stories, Thursdays at 6am:
including, how a controversial scene in
Red Dead Redemption 2 divided players.
Things can get heated
here at GQ HQ. From 2018
word of the year “Toxic”
to Netflix’s Fyre Festival
documentary, what’s got
tempers flaring this week?
Managing Editor George Chesterton’s
deep dive into the dustbin of history.
Features Director Jonathan Heaf
trials a bold new look for a day.
Worried about baldness?
Eating too much red
meat? The GQ Doctor is
in the house and ready
to answer your calls.
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ARM CANDY
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Guys, be your own
(Clue: it’s all in the WRIST)
Story by
Jonathan Heaf
Way back in the early
noughties it was heavy
silver identity bracelets. (You
know you had one, very probably from Ted Baker.) And then
bracelets turned into bangles,
which turned into “mangles” a
few years ago. (And it wasn’t
just the portmanteau that was
offensive.) Although the trend
for lurid chunky or beaded bracelets for men may have been given
an altruistic push through our
fondness for those rubber charity
cuffs – “Look at my wrist! I am
a decent person!” – our sense of
do-gooding seemed to mess with
our style barometer somewhat.
Soon enough, you couldn’t go
out for a bottle of acai-flavoured
Vitaminwater without coming
across a man whose wrists were
weighed down by all manner
of ancient fertility trinkets,
handcrafted, burnished silver
bracelets and endless threaded,
pseudo-tribal, dangly thingies.
We roamed earth like herds of
rare-breed cattle, our friends
hearing our approach through the
jingly, jangly sound of armfuls of
kaleidoscopic man jewellery. Still,
once we realised how much we
resembled one of those tragic
festival attendees who keep their
grubby hospitality wristbands on
for months after returning from
Glastonbury, we soon cut the
objectionable things off.
Now, thanks to Kim Jones,
artistic director of menswear
at Dior, and his appointment
of Yoon Ahn from Ambush as
Bracelets by Dior, £910
each. dior.com
Thanks to
Dior, it’s safe
to reconsider
sparkles for
our wrists
148 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
the label’s jewellery designer, it’s
safe to reconsider applying something sparkly to our wrists. This
time around, however, the vibe
is sleek, light and refined, something Ahn’s awesome Dior tennis
bracelets, new for Spring 2019,
have in spades. Think they look a
little too dainty? Wrong mindset,
bro. It’s all about subtle winks of
class and sophistication – something the urbane mercantile class
of Japan in the 17th century
used to refer to as iki. Peeking
out from under the sleeve of
a black cashmere sweater or a
brilliant white statement shirt,
nothing could look more modern.
Strap ’em on before everyone else does. Game, set,
match again, Miss
Ahn and Mr
Jones.
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Three ways
to wear...
leather
gloves
Story by Jonathan Heaf
Illustrations by Kasiq Jungwoo
UNTUCK
YOURSELF!*
G House Rules
Unless your box-fresh
look is ‘Jeff Goldblum’,
you definitely shouldn’t
1. The knuckle-dusting trad
Yes, I know gloves make it
impossible to scan through your
social feeds but, trust us, the
’gram will wait until you reach
your destiny. For glove-wearing
tough-guy style tips just watch
Ryan Gosling in Drive again.
*You’re not a virgin so
stop dressing like one
Story by Tom Stubbs
No one loves a box-fresh pair of
shoes more than me. OK, maybe
Daniel Day-Lewis, but no one
else. But I’ve developed a niggly
hang-up about the head-to-toe,
squeaky-keen, box-fresh,
tucked-in naffness we’re seeing
on certain folk these days. And by
“certain folk” I mean celebrities.
Oh, and those pseudo-limelight
ghouls (AKA the influencers).
I’m talking about their pristine,
straight-out-the-lookbook looks.
It’s a symptom of being
“entouraged” to the gills. I’m not
criticising. Much. I’m simply
concerned about their failing
aesthetics. It’s all merch and no
taste. And it’s not jealousy.
Granted, it would be lovely to
peruse endless new clothes and
have them delivered fresh out of
a brand’s showroom, but if this
costs a man his style edge, it’s a
derailment, a coolness seizure.
The aim of a “look” is to hide in
plain sight, keeping your guiding
hand strictly invisible. A wellcurated outfit is supposed to
amplify style, not lobotomise.
With the celeb-fluencer, however,
there’s a lack of panache. Boxfresh overkill handicaps authentic
style and the wearer risks looking
like they’ve had an outfit generated
by some sort of style algorithm.
Some say this cosseted aesthetic
vibe is harmlessly aspirational.
Wrong. It’s naff. Especially in
regard to so-called “streetwear”.
Wearing only new clobber makes
one’s outfit sterile, or impotent
– one that ziplocks away any
real character. It makes for onedimensional blandness. Enough
of this creaselessness! Enough of
this inhumanity!
2. The top-pocket peacock
I think it was in Florence when
House Rules first witnessed a
man wear his leather gloves like
a pocket square. It was pure
art. If you’ve got the cojones
for it, you can do the same.
Genuine peacocks only.
3. The back-pocket playa
Time was, in some circles, gloves
in your back pocket indicated a
man’s sexual persuasion. Well,
isn’t that what dating apps are for
nowadays? You may feel more like
a ranch hand than a banker, but it
looks turbo-louche – something
we can all get behind, surely?
It’s not a MANBAG.
It’s a HANDBAG!
Story by Teo van den Broeke
First there were manbags, then there were murses, now
there are little old lady handbags. For men. You heard
Here at GQ, we’ve long held the opinion that men’s luggage options should be
more like women’s. Personally, I have oft craved the boho ease of a bucket bag,
carried limply over my shoulder, or the lo-fi elegance of a baguette, snuggled
neatly in my hand. Fortunately for me – and for men like me (I know you’re out there: I
can smell your bespoke Ex Nihilo scents a mile off) – the big brands have started selling
smart little handbags (the kind favoured by the Queen) designed expressly for men.
At the SS19 Prada show in Milan, Mrs P sent her army of boys out in oversized nylon
deerstalkers and tiny knitted short shorts – so far so Prada. The most notable thing,
however, was that each model carried a square leather handbag over one shoulder. The
look was chi-chi and smart, elegant and somehow modern: less snotty bloke on the tube
digging around for tissues, more ultra-stylish grandma fishing for sweets after church.
The trend continued at Fendi and Gucci, with a particular favourite coming at Dior in the
form of a chic crocodile-skin saddlebag, designed to be clutched rather than carried.
A natural progression of this past year’s cross-body bag trend – which paved the way
for a far more practical and fluid approach to men’s luggage – we sincerely hope that this
year’s little old lady bag trend is here to stay, particularly given how useful said bags are
in the fight against muggers and naughty boys. If you do plan on trying one, our advice
would be to opt for a bag free from embellishment, one as simple in style as it is neutral
in hue. What’s more, wear the strap of your bag ultra-long and carry it across the front
of your body, which will make the whole affair look more functional than fancy.
For more on how to wear the trend, see p78 for our guide to this season’s best bags.
From top: Bag
by Dior, £2,050.
dior.com. Bag
by Burberry, £690.
uk.burberry.com.
Bag by Fendi,
£650. fendi.com
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The winner of
73
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 brand to beat
2018
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2016
2016
2016
Comment Awards Popular Columnist Of The Year
BSME Editor Of The Year
Lovie Best Website For Lifestyle
Digiday Publishing Awards Europe
Best Use Of Facebook Live
Digiday Publishing Awards Europe
Best Branded Content Program
PPA Writer Of The Year
AOP Audience Development Team Of The Year
CNI Best Brand Financial Performance In
Native Advertising
CNI Best Native Campaign Of The Year
BSME Editor Of The Year
Digiday Awards Europe Video Team Of The Year
Shots Awards Brand Entertainment
Of The Year - Series
2016
Ciclope Festival Finalist, Best Direction
2016
Lovie Long Form Or Series Video First Place
2016
Lovie Long Form Or Series Video People’s Choice
2015
DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year
2015
FMJA Stylist Of The Year (GQ Style)
2014
BSME Digital Art Director Of The Year
2014
DMA Designer Of The Year
2014
TCADP Media Award
2014
FPA Feature Of The Year
2014
2014
2014
2014
2013
2013
2013
2013
FPA Journalist Of The Year
Amnesty International Media Award
PPA Editor Of The Year
FMJA Online Fashion Journalist Of The Year
EICA Media Commentator Of The Year
DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year
BSME Editor Of The Year
FMJA Outstanding Contribution To
London Collections Men
PPA Magazine Writer Of The Year
Mark Boxer Award
BSME Editor Of The Year
DMA Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year
Help For Heroes Outstanding Contribution
Px3 Prix De La Photographie Paris Gold Medal
Foreign Press Association Media Awards, Sports
2013
2012
2012
2012
2012
2012
2011
2011
2010
2010
2010
2010
2009
2008
2007
2007
2007
2007
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
2005
2005
2004
2004
2003
2002
2002
2001
2001
2001
2000
2000
1999
1999
1999
1995
1995
1995
1994
1991
Amnesty International Media Award
Amnesty International Media Award
One World Media Press Award
The Maggies Magazine Cover Of The Year
P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style)
PPA Writer Of The Year
BSME Editor Of The Year
BSME Magazine Of The Year
BSME Brand Building Initiative Of The Year
MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Best Cover
P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style)
P&G Awards Best Grooming Editor (GQ Style)
P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style)
MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards
Interviewer Of The Year
MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards
Best Designed Consumer Magazine
MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards
Subbing Team Of The Year
PPA Writer Of The Year
PPA Writer Of The Year
Magazine Design Awards Best Cover
Association Of Online Publishers Awards
Best Website
BSME Magazine Of The Year
PPA Writer Of The Year
BSME Magazine Of The Year
PPA Writer Of The Year
BSME Magazine Of The Year
PPA Designer Of The Year
Printing World Award
Total Design Award
Jasmine Award Winner
Printing World Award
Jasmine Award Winner
PPA Designer Of The Year
Ace Press Award Circulation
Ace Press Award Promotion
PPA Columnist Of The Year
PPA Publisher Of The Year
British Press Circulation Award
Best Promotion Of A Consumer Magazine
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G House Rules
The one where Ross
meets the Style Shrink
Style Shrink
Illustration Joe McKendry
By
Teo van den Broeke
I’ve recently found myself lusting after
a sweater vest. It’s a stirring I’ve not felt
since the late Nineties, when Ross from
Friends first piqued my interest in the
style. Since then they’ve a) become
extraordinarily difficult to find in the
shops and b) felt strangely out of step
with the times. However, I’ve recently
been feeling like the tide is turning
on sweater vests and that they’re
acceptable to wear again. Am I wrong?
Any advice or sweater vest etiquette
would be most gratefully received.
Robert, Hampstead
Dear Robert,
First things first, I think we need to define
what it is you mean by “sweater vest”.
To me, what you’re talking about is a tank
top: a knitted garment defined by a V-neck
and a lack of sleeves, commonly worn over
shirts or tees on days when it’s too warm
for a proper jumper. If you are talking
about a tank top then I’m totally with you:
they’re back and they’re more wearable
than ever. If you do plan on wearing one
this season, then treat it as a layer within
your outfit, something to provide colour
and texture rather than as a standalone
garment. The flash of muted pattern in
the form of a Ralph Lauren tank worn
beneath a navy blazer and over a brushed
cotton granddad shirt, for instance, or a
block-colour John Smedley tank worn
over a white T-shirt and beneath a heavy
shawl-collar cardigan. What you could also
be talking about, Robert, is a jerkin-style
sweater vest, finished with a buttoned
front. If this is the item you mean, then be
sure to opt for something dark and knitted
(British brand Peregrine is a good place
to start) and to wear it over an oversized
check shirt and a cellular vest, à la Ross
from Friends. Just be sure to avoid hair gel
and an overly perky turn of phrase.
I’ve been told I should wear more colour.
Where do I begin? My entire wardrobe
consists of greys, navies and blacks and
I’ve never worn red in my adult life, let
alone yellow. Can you advise me, from
one chromophobe to another?
Aberforth, Penrith
Dear Aberforth,
With a name like that I’d have expected you
to be a master of mauve, a whizz with pink
and a god among those who wear green.
The reality is, however, that most men I
come across feel the same way you do,
Aberforth – both scared of embracing colour
for fear of looking silly and crippled by the
concern that any colourful items they do
add to their wardrobes won’t work with the
stuff they already own. The solution? Focus
on one item and make that the vehicle by
which you inject colour into your look. A
yolk-hued sock from Pantherella peeking
between your tennis shoe and the cuff of
your trouser, for instance, or the flash of
a vermilion Uniqlo T-shirt beneath a navy
chore jacket and charcoal cardigan. The
other thing to note, particularly if your
wardrobe is made up of neutrals, is that
to start with you should focus on injecting
primary hues into your wardrobe. A flash of
cobalt or scarlet will work wonders against
a palette of charcoals, taupe and navy and
instantly lift a look, whereas softer, more
mercurial tones of lavender and sage have
the tendency to be treacherous. Steer clear
until you’ve practised a bit.
I often see people such as Jude Law
wearing a light scarf in summer and
I think it looks really cool. Is it
something I should try myself? I
really don’t want to get it wrong.
Archie, Herefordshire
Dear Archie,
Ah, the summer scarf: the most oxymoronic
of warm-weather affectations, a scarf
traditionally being something designed to
keep your neck warm when it’s cold and
summer traditionally being a time when
it’s far too hot to wear scarves. But the
reality is that Britain is a country not often
blessed with sweltering springs or long,
hot summers and, on those days when the
weather is unseasonably cool, a light silk or
cotton scarf can quickly add a sense of flair
to an outfit. My advice? If the temperature
is below 23C, you’ll probably be OK wearing
a summer scarf. If you do plan on wearing
the trend, be sure to make like Law and
wear one in a tonal shade beneath the lapel
of your jacket. This will add a sense of
depth and texture. Oh, and avoid anything
jazzy like the plague. But that’s a rule for
life, not just for scarves.
SEND YOUR MENSWEAR-RELATED STYLE QUESTIONS
TO STYLESHRINK@CONDENAST.CO.UK
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 151
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John Galliano’s decadent
bathroom paradise. Not
a rubber duck in sight...
GRANDMOTHER’S
There’s joy to be found in cultivating a Miss Havisham-style water closet
Story by Teo van den Broeke
I recently bought a flat
in South London. When I
moved in I promised myself that
I wouldn’t cover every surface,
stuff every nook and jam every
cranny of my (quite small) new
home with all the things I’d
hoarded over the years; that I
would treat it like a beautifully
minimal white cube and apply
the KonMari method to my surroundings – only keeping things
that “spark joy”.
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t
happen. Since moving in, I’ve
turned my flat into a re-creation
of that storage unit from The
Silence Of The Lambs (the one
in which Jodie Foster finds the
floating head). So bad has the situation become that I’ve started
storing shoes in my recycling bin
and unworn clothes in the TV
cabinet. It’s an ugly, embarrassing
152 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
(though entirely predictable) state
of affairs and one of which I am
not proud.
One surface I’m fine with
being completely covered in
tat, however, is the large marble
sideboard in my bathroom. The
reason? A few years ago I saw an
Annie Leibovitz photograph of
legendary designer John Galliano
lounging in his roll-top bath at
home, surrounded by antique
bottles of fragrance, and I realised
that was exactly how I wanted
my own bathroom to look: a
womb-like escape, full to bursting with trinkets and chintz that
inspire comfort in me and intrigue
in others. Some people hang
family photos in their bathroom;
I hang art. There’s an original
Christopher Le Brun above the
loo, a series of hand-painted
scenes of Rio de Janeiro tiled
above the sink and there’s an
antique Ganesh head, found in
India, over the bath.
Where other people store away
their products in neat rattan
boxes, I leave everything out
for the world to see. I’ve started
collecting oversized bottles of
expensive fragrance and in the
space of three short years I’ve
transformed the once plain
and clinical bathroom of my
South London new build into
delicious-smelling nature morte,
full to bursting with stuff, and I
I want my
bathroom to
be bursting
with trinkets
and chintz
couldn’t happier about it. We
spend a great deal of time in our
bathrooms, after all (if the stats
are to be believed, 92 days of
our lives), which begs the question, why would anyone want to
spend 13 weeks in a cold, clinical
washroom when they could be
hanging out in Miss Havisham’s
boudoir, like me?
When it comes to building your
own mad granny bathroom there
are three key steps to consider.
The first is that you should only
ever invest in grooming products
that will look good on display
– think attractive glass fragrance
bottles and stuff from chic millennial brands such as Aesop,
Byredo and Baxter Of California.
The second is to paint the walls of
the room in a warm, rich shade. I
went for Brinjal (Farrow & Ball’s
take on aubergine) and it made
the room feel safe and enveloping, rather than small and dark.
The third is to invest in good
towels and an attractive bathmat.
Look to Yves Delorme or Hermès
(if you’re feeling flush) for the
most attractive soft bathroom
furnishings around.
Finally, always remember that
when it comes to your bathroom,
more is more, because if John
Galliano can have a chandelier
above his bath and a 16th-century
oil painting above his sink, then
you can too.
Photographs Joana Gauer; Fred Jagueneau; Annie Leibovitz
A man’s
bathroom
should
be more
like his...
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G House Rules
UP
Richie Merritt
Star of White Boy Rick; landed his
first acting role opposite Matthew
McConaughey. Well, all right!
Clockwise from top: Soap by
Drunk Elephant, £24. At Space NK.
spacenk.com. Soap by Creed,
£35. creedfragrances.co.uk. Soap
by Erno Laszlo, £33. At Harrods.
harrods.com. Soap by Tom Ford,
£27. tomford.co.uk
Timothée Chalamet’s
future-proof fashion sense
The boy’s got style game.
John Travolta’s
tough-guy baldness
At last he’s ditched those
roadkill hairpieces.
Cora Pearl’s
ham-and-cheese toastie
If you eat one thing on earth...
Ice-white drapey jackets
Because who doesn’t want to look
like Pacino channelling Phil Spector?
The buzz to defuzz
Head, face, chest, everywhere... hair
is getting shorter (although not
neater) for spring 2019.
BAROMETER
Town & Country
mag coverlines
“Mommy, are we rich?” (From their
February 2019 issue.) So wrong
it’s right?
Screen-time anxiety
Do you peek at Apple’s new tool?
Time to set a cap? (Answer: yes.)
The wild-eyed CBD
oil evangelists
The millennial version of
snake oil salesmen.
Liquid face wash
Find me a guy who actually uses this
separately from their usual shower
gel. I dare you.
Your scruffy gym kitbag
Bro, it’s been a beat. Time to invest.
‘Fashion is the second most
polluting industry, just
behind oil’
Actually, turns out, completely untrue.
DOWN
LOYALTY
BARS!
(Or why real
men wash
with soap,
water and
nothing else)
Story by Alfred Tong
Remember when Imperial Leather soap – “Luxury you can afford every day” – was as high-end as taking
your creative director to NYC on Concord for lunch at the Four Seasons Grill? Not a comparison that has
aged well. More recently, bars of soap have gone the way of cash or Christianity: something that you
only find in hotel top drawers or down the back of your mother-in-law’s sofa covered in hair and lint. Nowadays,
men are more likely to coo over Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser or Molton Brown’s “Re-Charge” Black
Pepper Body Wash. Such lotions – iridescent and luminous – have made our bathrooms feel like one of Ian
Schrager’s hotel rooms: sumptuous, luxe, expensive. They also made our bodies and hands feel pampered,
loved and well fed. Lovers leaned in close and breathed in deep. The fresh and fragrant scent of these liquid
potions worked their subtle magic on us (and them) again and again. Yet solid soap can be sexy too, you know.
Ten years ago Tom Ford (who else?) showed us how with his Cleansing Bar. First of all, it was embossed with
the Tom Ford logo. This meant you were able to, quite literally, rub Tom Ford all over your body. Not only that
but the tightly bound black rope attached to the terracotta bar made it wonderfully fetishistic. Dirty, but still
clean. For all these reasons it looked great hung up on your shower and left you feeling moisturised, manly
and clean to the point of squeakiness. Come 2019 and bars of soap are having something of a comeback for
the fashion gang. Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar is the same black bar that Annie Hall uses in the
1977 film. Drunk Elephant’s Juju Bar is a three-in-one cleanser that exfoliates without leaving your skin dry.
While all the trad Jermyn Street grooming brands – Geo F Trumper, Floris Of London, Creed and DR Harris & Co
– offer a soap version of their fragrances. Even Tom Ford is back in the soap game – his “Oud Wood” Soap Bar
is available in both gunmetal grey and a slightly discombobulating midnight black.
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 153
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1,001
With
Nick Foulkes
manssentials
(Because who doesn’t need, well, everything?)
When it comes to gracious
living, I am hoping that one
day someone will compile a book
of the sayings of the late Mark
Birley, founder of Annabel’s,
Mark’s Club and Harry’s Bar. My
favourite Birley apophthegm was
not actually spoken by the man
himself: given his Olympic-level
mastery of the art of languor, he
had someone else say it for him. I
once called and asked his housekeeper whether I could talk to
him: she trotted away, trotted
back and voiced the deathless
words, “I am afraid Mr Birley
cannot come to phone right now.
He is busy relaxing.”
Birley died over a decade ago,
but I still often face style conundra by asking what he would do
in a given situation and there are
few places where his guidance
from beyond the grave comes in
handier than when bespeaking
clothes. He once told me that he
did not like having trousers made,
because he found fittings for them
rather tiring. I know that he suffered the ordeal nevertheless. But
he had a point: taking off a pair
of trousers, putting another on,
having them pinned and pulled
about, removing them and then
reassuming the first pair (or, quelle
horreur, being fitted for multiple
pairs) is a physical drain.
And because he was Mark Birley
everyone thought that he had
everything made bespoke. I once
heard that someone asked him
where he had his socks made – to
which he answered, in a kindly
manner, that he thought having
socks made was going a bit far.
I have extrapolated this advice
to signify that there are certain
things that are simply not meant
to be made bespoke. Exercise
clothing is certainly one area that
156 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
We can’t all look like John Travolta circa
1978, but custom-made clothing
can help us get a little closer
This is denim
for grown-ups
– jeans that
actually fit
how you want
I believed should not encompass the world of sur mesure. I
do not go jogging and I do my best
not to sweat, but even if I did,
I have always tended to think
that exercise clothing should fit
but should not be bespoke. It
somehow seems wrong, a little
like having tailor-made overalls.
Then a couple of years ago I
happened to be poking around
in Huntsman when I came across
what looked like a pair of tweed
boiler suits ready for a fitting...
One of my great design heroes
Marc Newson, and his wife,
Charlotte Stockdale (proprietress
of Chaos fashion), had commissioned some overalls in which
to drive a vintage car during the
Mille Miglia, the great rally that
takes place in Italy early in the
summer. Like religious people who
have “doubts” and experience
crises of faith, I felt one of the
foundations of my life start to
crumble: after all, if a design deity
and the modern incarnation of
Diana Vreeland (albeit far better
looking and sans sandpaper voice)
wear bespoke overalls maybe I
should moderate my views.
Similar to bespoke overalls,
bespoke jeans were another
Rubicon that should remain
uncrossed... or so I thought until
about six months ago when I ventured onto the top floor of the
Ermenegildo Zegna building and
came face to face with the bespoke
jeans department. In the old days
I would have resisted the temptation with words to the effect
of “Get thee behind me, Satan”
and commissioned a pair of the
unashamedly excellent Gaziano &
Girling for Zegna bespoke shoes to
steady my resolve.
But obviously the sight of
those tweed driving overalls
had changed something quite
profoundly, as I started flicking through the swatchbook of
denims, idly at first, but then
before I knew how I got there I
was standing on a podium being
measured by the tailor Antonio for
a pair of jeans, being asked what
buttons I fancied, what colour
stitching I preferred and what
colour I wanted the leather patch
to be at the back of the waistband.
I slid off feeling slightly guilty,
but not guilty enough to stop me
picking them up a few weeks later.
Of course I was delighted with
the result – who wouldn’t be?
These were jeans that actually
fitted how I wanted them to,
rather than how the design
department at Levi Strauss &
Co felt they should fit or how
some fiendishly fashionable concept shop proprietor in
Daikanyama dictated.
Naturally I ordered another pair
in white denim – I know, I know,
the red trousers of the urban
middle class – and was again
delighted. This is denim for grownups, Mayfair denim, the sort I
wear today rather than was worn
by “Marlboro Men” and midcentury Marlon Brando-inspired
motorcycle riders. After all, I
would look pretty daft turning
up at 5 Hertford Street astride a
horse or a Harley-Davidson.
What began as a nibble at
forbidden fruit has become a
ravenous appetite. I have noticed
that Zegna also does bespoke
jogging pants and sweatshirts
and once I have exhausted the
possibilities of denim, I hope I will
be courageous enough (if only in
the name of journalistic research)
to be measured for what I believe
is called a “tracksuit”.
Photographs Getty Images; Nigel Parry; Rex
This month: Bespoke Zegna jeans
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G House Rules
Pyjama pioneers
Marlon Brando and
Julian Schnabel (right)
prove that PJs are
the cat’s pyjamas
tigers ever ready to spring into action.
Pyjamas are the antidote to this, promising
pure rest and relaxation. Smarter than Love
Island athleisurewear and more adult than
your Ninja Turtles twin-set, traditional
PJs conceal their sublime comfort with
debonair flourishes – pearly buttons,
rounded cuffs and floppy lapels.
Squint and you’re still wearing a suit.
Pyjamas are unquestionably
nostalgic. They evoke the Christmas
mornings of youth, when all presents
were made of wood, predating the
tiresome modernity of Tinder dates
and skinny lattes. Computers are fine, but in
pyjamas you’re Churchill at midnight in the
war cabinet, stroking your ink pen across
monogrammed stationary.
Although inherently domicile, pyjamas
always suggest worldliness and nothing is
as frivolous as an EasyJet carry-on stuffed
with a cotton couplet you have no intention
of wearing outside your hotel room. The
pyjama-clad gang are dashing, daring and
essentially suave. Men in pyjamas don’t
tweet. Or get dumped. They don’t wear
slippers; they just buy more Persian rugs.
They glide through life, ready to catnap at
the drop of a hat. The unfettered lounging
makes them a little paunchy, sure, but
pyjamas offer striped or checked stomach
coverage after a winter working on one’s
spare tyre.
PJs conceal
sublime
comfort with
debonair
flourishes
Pyjamarama!
Go louche or go back to bed...
Smart yet relaxed, commanding yet informal, snug yet forgiving,
the pros of pyjamas stretch well beyond the bedroom...
Story by Raven Smith
Pyjamas nestle at that joyous juncture
of comfort and style. The simulated
jacket ’n’ trousers combo has the sharpness
of a traditional suit, executed in butter-soft,
hibernation-friendly fabric. Daywear can be
punishing: too much zipping up, tucking in
and pulling over. Nocturnal dressing needn’t
be reserved for the dark – spend all day in
your night-time two-piece and swap the
leather belt around denim strides for a soft
cotton drawstring.
The modern world primed us all for fight
or flight, making us poised, caffeine-powered
Go Bananas In...
Pyjamas by Derek Rose,
£600. At mrporter.com
The Dude Abides
Robe by Versace, £355.
At mrporter.com
Licence To Kill
Pyjamas by Zimmerli, £400.
At mrporter.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 157
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G House Rules
N
scent. When used regularly, the bulbine frutescens aid in the maintenance of collagen
fibres, leaving the skin firmer and plumper,
while agave defends against the effects of
the sun’s UV rays and samphire smooths your
complexion. Just like other moisturisers, yes,
only this one has significantly less downsides
for our planet.
The Eye Gel, formulated for the delicate
skin around your eyes, has a feather-light
texture and is incredibly soothing. Its cocktail of natural ingredients include aloe vera,
rose, cistus flower, sugar beet and samphire,
which all work towards moisturising while
reducing puffiness and dark circles.
For me, Dr Jackson’s (drjackson.
co.uk) tops the list of responsible
goodies. Aesthetically, it’s pleasing,
with apothecary-style glass jars, but
there’s as much substance as style.
The 03 Everyday Oil is a blend of
natural oils that clarifies and conditions anything you apply it to, be it
hair, body or face. It’s lightweight,
doesn’t leave a residue and, contrary to popular belief, oils like this
one won’t clog your pores or attract
grime. It penetrates quickly and
actually has anti-inflammatory
and antimicrobial properties that
reduce imperfections and breakouts.
All we are saying... is give
It can even alleviate conditions such
environmentally aware
creams, gels, oils, balms
as eczema and psoriasis.
and serums a chance
As any gym bunny will inform
you, your body heals best during
sleep, which is why Dr Jackson’s
has also made an impressive, ultrarich, mega-regenerative night
cream that aids in your skin’s
midnight repairing duties. Once
applied, the concoction is active
for up to eight hours and aids
your skin in fixing the daytime
onslaught it receives from the sun,
dehydration, pollution and stress.
In 2019, you don’t need to live
in a tree and wash your face with
moss to reduce your impact on
Watch Jim Chapman’s video reviews at gq.co.uk/profile/jim-chapman
the environment.
ot to be a downer, but our planet
isn’t doing so great at the moment.
We have a clump of discarded plastic
twice size of France floating somewhere
between the US and Australia, we’re heading
for a vicious cycle of global warming known as
“Hothouse Earth” and our bees are dying out.
Basically, it’s bad news all round, which is why
in January I made the resolution to be better
to the planet. I changed my energy supplier to
one that sources renewable gas and electricity,
I drive an EV and I’ve committed to carrying a
metal bottle with me forever. It occurs to me,
however, that while Trump still believes climate
change isn’t a thing, we will have to
try even harder to pick up his slack,
which is why I’ve also been trying
eco-friendly grooming products.
Haeckels (haeckels.co.uk) is a brand
whose products are 100 per cent
natural and made in Margate in
Kent. There are no parabens, no SLS
and no palm oils. If you’re a morning
shower kind of guy, I would recommend its Exfoliating Seaweed Block.
While coriander seeds and peppercorns scrub away grime, dead skin
and soften hard chunks, the tea tree
is invigorating and will wake you up.
All this while aloe vera hydrates and
seaweed provides anti-oxidisation. It
also comes in cardboard packaging,
which you can recycle, meaning you
can wash smug in the knowledge of
your tiny impact on the planet.
The Lost Explorer (thelostexplorer.
com) focuses on responsibly sourced
raw materials and respecting the
welfare of those who source them.
It doesn’t add anything it doesn’t
need to and so everything packs a
punch, both in terms of fragrance
and quality. Two items to consider
are the Everyday Face Moisturiser
and Eye Gel. The moisturiser is rich
without feeling heavy or greasy and
is bursting with a fresh, botanical
Jim Chapman is the GQ
Test Pilot
2019’s biggest suiting trend: ghost your shirt
Donald Glover is doing it; Kim Jones has built his whole inaugural collection for Dior around it; and anyone who’s
anyone looks good doing it. Wearing your suit with nothing underneath, it turns out, has never been cooler.
First seen on the runways of London, Paris and Milan back in June, the SS19 shows saw designers showing
tailored suits worn with nothing but a bare chest beneath. “Is this a micro-trend?” wondered fashion editors when Dries
Van Noten and Ermenegildo Zegna sent out two-pieces worn over naught but the models’ sternums. It wasn’t until we
saw the “Tailleur Oblique” DBs worn alone at Dior that we realised we were dealing with an actual full-blown trend.
Louche and a little bit dangerous, if, like us, you plan on rocking this look, the vibe to go for is less Crockett and Tubbs
post-swim, more too-hot-at-la-plage Timothée Chalamet. The key to nailing it? Ensure that a) you don’t have too much
chest hair poking through, b) you only wear the look when the temperature is right (you don’t want to run the risk of
From left: Going shirtless is V big and
chicken skin bubbling up from under your lapels) and c) you opt for a DB if you have anything other than washboard
abs. The body-contouring shape of a DB will look great worn alone and offer a hint of sexiness, while a single-breasted V clever, as Donald Glover, Darren Criss
style risks exposing wobbly bits, which no one – least of all you and your suit’s designer – wants. TvdB G
and Jay Z ably demonstrate
158 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Photographs Backgrid; Getty Images
This month:
eco-friendly grooming
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Explore the wide world of videos at GQ.co.uk
Loyle Carner cooks with Ottolenghi
Continue your new year’s resolutions by rustling
up these delicious vegetarian recipes. (24m)
GQ Action Replay
Armie Hammer talks us through a scene
from Call Me By Your Name (no, not the
peach scene).
Helen Lewis interviews
Jordan Peterson
Find out why this video has been viewed
more than five million times. (1hr 42m)
Tony Parsons on... everything
From how to write a bestseller to whether he’d eat
human flesh: eleven “non-boring” questions. (15m)
The 2019 GQ Car Awards
The PT masterclass
Fitness columnist Bradley Simmonds shows you
how to get fit without spending a fortune.
See all the cars, SUVs and personal private
flyers that won top prize at our annual
celebration of everything that moves.
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The art
of living
stylishly
Menswear maven Oliver Spencer
has award-winningly good taste.
We asked him for his essential
rules for an elegant existence...
Story by Charlie Burton
Photographs by Mark Sanders
S
ince childhood, the menswear maestro
Oliver Spencer has had a keen sense of
style. When he was shopping for second-hand
clothes, for instance, if he couldn’t find what
he wanted, he would simply make it himself.
“And at that point I started designing,” he
recalls. That independent attitude is also what
led him to quit art school in his early twenties
and strike out on his own in the fashion world,
first at a stall in Portobello Market and later
with his formalwear label Favourbrook. Today,
he continues to live a life brimming with style,
from his wardrobe to his home to his downtime. We asked him for some pointers...
Being well dressed starts from the ground up
“If I was to give one piece of style advice, it
would be: always wear good shoes. It is one
of the most important things because people
look at other people’s shoes when they walk
into a room.”
There are three rules for interior design
“Keep things eclectic – a mixture of old and
new is super important. Comfort is very important. And look at things for their beauty – don’t
clutter the place. I’ve got an OCD problem, to
be honest. If in doubt, chuck it out.”
When choosing a place to live, aspect is king
“My house took two years to find. It’s end-ofterrace and south-facing, so essentially you get
amazing light. I believe it’s important to live
somewhere with lots of light.”
Don’t feel you have to hide away technology
“If technology is beautifully designed, then it
seamlessly interacts with the environment
it’s in. We’ve got an LG SIGNATURE fridge
freezer, which I consider to be very beautiful.
It feels like it’s almost part of the furniture
immediately because it looks so clean –
straight lines, very nicely designed. I chose
our LG SIGNATURE television because I was
so impressed by the thinness of it. Plus it has
an Art Gallery mode: when you turn it into
sleep mode it shows pictures of paintings by
famous artists, which I find relaxing when
I’m reading a book.”
Oliver at his store on
Lamb’s Conduit Street
in London. Below: at
home, Oliver’s
LG SIGNATURE
washing machine
provides a useful
second drum for
washing smaller
loads. Right: Oliver’s
designs on display
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G Partnership
Don’t settle for white goods that simply
don’t look good
Some things, like washing machines, are typically really ugly, with big dials and controls all
over them. I like the LG SIGNATURE washing
machine because when I looked at it I was like,
“Wow this is different – this looks like somebody has really thought about it.” The OLED
dial allows it to have a really minimalist design
without scrimping on functionality.
Have a signature drink
“My favourite cocktail in the summer is a Dark
And Stormy, and in the winter it’s a Negroni.
A Dark And Stormy is rum-based – I take that
first sip of it and I feel like I’m in the West
Indies sitting under a palm tree. Then in the
winter a Negroni is clear and crisp and strong.
I like it fully twisted and I like it really bitter.”
Stay in shape
“I go running. I like to do the bridges between
Hammersmith and Putney bridge: 7km, twice
a week. I don’t go to the gym but I still do a
lot of backcountry skiing and adventure sport.
I’ve just been in Nepal riding between Pokhara
and Mustang, which was amazing.”
Don’t get lazy in your relationship
“My mornings starts early, at 06:15. I go downstairs and there’s one thing I’ve kind of always
done for the last 20 years for my wife, which is
‘Above anything else
style is about manners.
It’s about how you are
as a human being’
make her a cup of tea in the morning. So that’s
the first thing I do and I take that up to her.”
Protect your work-life balance
Clockwise from top:
Oliver’s home has
an area designed for
TV viewing, with a
space for his 65in
LG SIGNATURE OLED
TV W and soundbar;
eyewear at Oliver
Spencer; Oliver’s
sleek LG SIGNATURE
fridge freezer takes
pride of place in his
bespoke kitchen;
design detail on a
wool coat
“Before I look to invest in a business I will look
at the people running it: their attitude towards
work and what they want to get out of the
business. Business should be about having
fun, and it should be about doing it with the
lowest possible footprint.”
Style is about more than simply clothes or
interiors or looks
“Above anything else it’s about your manners.
It’s about how you are as a human being. So,
the most beautifully dressed person can have
terrible manners, and by that I’m talking about
the basic things such as not getting up for an
elderly person on the Tube, never opening a
door, never caring about anyone else. Then
they become automatically very unstylish –
and really quite ugly human beings.”
LG.COM/UK/LG-SIGNATURE
For a more in-depth look into
Oliver’s life and style watch our
exclusive video at GQ.co.uk
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7KHSHUIHFWZD\WRHQMR\3DWUyQLVUHVSRQVLEO\‹+DQGFUDIWHGDQGLPSRUWHGH[FOXVLYHO\IURP0H[LFRE\7KH3DWUyQ6SLULWV&RPSDQ\/DV9HJDV19DOFYRO
HANDCRAFTED WITH MORE
THAN TEQUILA IN MIND.
)URPFRPSRVWLQJOHIWRYHUDJDYHÀEUHVWRDQLQGXVWU\OHDGLQJZDWHUWUHDWPHQWSURFHVV
DWRXUGLVWLOOHU\ZHEHOLHYHLQFUDIWLQJWKHEHVWWHTXLODWKHEHVWZD\SRVVLEOH
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
AT PATRONTEQUILA.COM/COMMITMENT.
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GQ Taste
ell, you know p.167 Rüy
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Above: The chef who made Barcelona the experimental food capital has opened in London. Get hype, then get a reservation at Cakes & Bubbles – p.169
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 165
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The Pub
The Brown Dog,
London
‘Local’ atmosphere;
Barnes-storming food...
Above: Beef up steak
night with bone marrow
gravy and blue cheese
creamed spinach
The Book
Cooking At Home
O28 Cross Street, London, SW13. 020 8392 2200.
thebrowndog.co.uk.
166 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
by Dan Doherty
Banish dull staple dishes with ideas for domestic gods
Twenty years: that’s how long chef
Dan Doherty has been learning, honing
and executing his craft at Michelinstarred restaurants (1 Lombard Street),
gastropubs (The Empress, The Old Brewery, The
Royal Oak) and open-all-hours outposts (Duck
& Waffle) across London. And although one
never stops learning, says the Shrewsbury native,
“You do start to find time for other things as you
progress.” Those “things” in Doherty’s case? Home
cooking. Specifically fuss-free home cooking that’s
as pleasurable to prepare as it is to put away, as
his new book, Cooking At Home, demonstrates.
From Friday-night nibbles to slap-up feasts
and one-pot wonders, the Britain’s Best Home
Cook judge’s latest release comprises nourishing
recipes inspired by his favourite dishes to rustle
up at home, all with Doherty’s signature spin.
What’s more, starters, sides, dips and desserts
feature too, as well as four set seasonal menus
– meaning all types of occasions, be it a Sunday
supper or a summer party, are catered for, and
pleasingly easily.
This is seriously good comfort food with a twist,
a solution to those work-week “What’s for dinner
tonight?” woes and then some. Glenda McCauley
OCooking At Home by Dan Doherty (Octopus, £25) is out on 7 February.
Small Bites
+ Where we’ve been eating this month...
Kutir
Kin + Deum
Rohit Ghai swaps his Michelinstrewn tenure at Jamavar for
Chelsea, where Kutir (Sanskrit
for “cottage”) has opened in a
revamped Georgian townhouse.
This homely neighbourhood
Thai restaurant presents a
punchy and contemporary
take on authentic Bangkok
cuisine, with delicate flavours
and bags of zing.
Standout dish
Standout dish
The “Expedition” tasting menu,
including stone bass with squid
ink and lamb with black cumin.
Countryside pork belly, with a
side of tamarind crispy eggs.
10 Lincoln Street, London SW3.
020 7581 1144. kutir.co.uk
2 Crucifix Lane, London SE1.
020 7357 7995. kindeum.com
The Gardener’s
Cottage
AA Gill called it exceptional for a
reason. This gem of a restaurant
– inside, yes, a cottage – serves
seasonal food to shout about.
Standout dish
The six-course taster menu,
which changes frequently.
1 Royal Terrace Gardens,
Edinburgh. EH7 5DX. 0131 677
0244. thegardenerscottage.co
Illustration Joe McKendry
Something odd often
happens to pubs when
they up their food game:
they become more like a
restaurant, which is fine, except...
you want to be in a pub. The
Brown Dog, part-owned by
former F1 driver David Coulthard,
has wisely avoided this. Step
inside this little redoubt, tucked
down the leafy back streets of
Barnes in South London, and
you’re very much in a local.
The bar, which serves its own
Brown Dog real ale, dominates
the space and sets the tone. The
taproom is warm and convivial:
dog- and child-friendly, with
earthen colours and an open coal
fire. So far, so pubby. But the food
on offer is restaurant-grade. The
menu changes with the seasons
– GQ ordered meaty scallops
followed by a decent slab of steak
– and the cooking has found
favour with the neighbourhood,
judging by the business of the
dining room. The owners pack a
lot of covers into a modest space,
perfect for a lively night out, but if
you’re looking to relax in peace
and quiet, you’ll struggle.
To use the Michelin Guide’s
distinction, this is “very good”
rather than “worth a special trip”.
But that’s the point: it is, through
and through, a local. Charlie Burton
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TASTE
The Drinking Den
The bar at China Tang, London
Come for the cocktails; stay for the dim sum
Art deco interiors, crystal-cut glassware, perfect Cantonese
fare, prime Park Lane location: China Tang has all the hallmarks of a decadent treat. But an evening of indulgence
doesn’t always have to mean a full-on feast and for those occasions
when you’re looking for the glamour of an evening at The Dorchester
with a more casual vibe, there’s the bar at the hotel’s China Tang restaurant. The cosy space has the same Thirties Shanghai-inspired glitz
as the restaurant, but a buzzier atmosphere. Jubilant parties of wellheeled visitors are packed next to in-the-know Londoners (there’s a
walk-ins-only policy), all knocking back elegant cocktails and quaffing delicate dumplings from stacks of bamboo steamers. Order The
Whistling Pig (rye whiskey, Campari bitter, Belsazar red vermouth,
Redeye bitters) or play it safe with a well-made Negroni.
Either make a quick pit stop for predinner drinks or go the whole
hog and spend a few hours working through the dim sum menu:
steamed siu mai, golden prawn toast, pretty-as-a-picture seafood
dumplings and all the other usual suspects feature. However, the
standout dish has to be the Peking duck, which, genuinely, is better
than anything GQ tried on a recent trip to Beijing. The tender meat,
served the proper way – sliced not shredded – is unburdened by that
unpleasant edging of fat, while the mahogany sheets of skin are at
once lip-smackingly crisp and yet still melt-in-the-mouth. A gloriously good time guaranteed, the bar at China Tang is one of the city’s
gilded treasures. Kathleen Johnston
Another Place’s Rampsbeck Restaurant
The Hotel
Another
Place,
Order Tea Tang
punch (top) and siu
long bao (below) to
the bar at China
Tang (above)
OThe Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, London W1. 020 7629 9988. chinatanglondon.co.uk
the Lake District
Weather the weather, trek the
fells, then sit for stand-up food fare
What is it? The team behind Cornwall’s
Watergate Bay have taken their
tried-and-tested formula to the Lake
District, opening Another Place on the
shores of Ullswater. With sumptuous bedrooms,
an award-winning spa and activities for all, this is,
well, another place entirely...
What’s on the itinerary? Each morning, the day’s
agenda is etched on a chalkboard in reception,
with everything from stand-up paddle boarding to
wild swimming (if you’re brave enough) on offer.
Prefer going off the beaten track? Staff are on
hand to recommend the best walks and will kit you
out with flasks of hot coffee and boots for a day
on the fells.
Weather playing up (well, it is the Lake District)?
Head to the spa or settle in for an afternoon
of Scrabble in front of the open fire and, most
importantly, a gin menu extensive enough to keep
any board game-induced disputes at bay. Ours is
a Lakes Rhubarb & Rosehip, if you’re asking.
And the menu? There are two restaurants to choose
from. The Living Space is more laid-back, serving
sharing plates and salads throughout the day.
For fancier fare, guests can head to Rampsbeck
Restaurant, where seasonal menus centre around
Lakeland’s natural larder. Begin with Morecambe
Bay crab atop grapefruit and watercress mousse,
before tucking into roast picanha of beef with
truffle, crispy potato and girolles. Whatever you do,
get to breakfast hungry – a smorgasbord of quality
cold cuts, seasonal fruit and a waffle station awaits.
What’s the best room in the house? Choose from
original Georgian bedrooms, with four-posters and
period details, or opt for the more contemporary
wing for Scandi-inspired interiors, roll-top baths
and Juliet balconies. Millicia West
ORampsbeck Grange, Watermillock, Cumbria
CA11 0LP. 01768 486442. another.place
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 167
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Ingredients
For the purée:
1.1kg aubergines (large) cooked
and strained
16g garlic cloves, peeled and minced
50g walnuts, peeled and
coarsely chopped
100ml extra virgin olive oil
18ml lemon juice
40ml apple vinegar (Amea)
Maldon Sea Salt
For the crisps:
40g icing sugar
70g katakuriko (Japanese potato starch)
150g panko bread crumbs
2g table salt
250g aubergines, long and thin
Oil for deep frying
Method
Wash the aubergines and pat dry.
Puncture the skin in several places
with a fork.
Place over charcoal, turning until the
skin is blistered and blackened. Remove
and cool for a few minutes until easy to
handle. Peel off the blackened skin.
While the aubergines are on the grill,
blend the garlic, walnuts and 30ml of
olive oil together in a food processor
until smooth.
Add the aubergines a little at a time to
the food processor and pulse. Add lemon
juice, vinegar and the remaining olive
oil and pulse until well combined. The
aubergine purée does not have to be
perfectly smooth. Season with sea salt.
Rüya’s Conran-designed
interior brings Turkish
flair to Mayfair
Cut the aubergines in half through the
middle (widthwise if thick). Using a
Japanese mandolin, slice the aubergines
as thin as possible lengthways.
The Recipe
Isli patlican purée with
crispy panko-coated
aubergines from Rüya
(serves ten)
Having enjoyed great success in Dubai, the new Mayfair
outpost of Rüya has brought Anatolian-inspired cuisine
to London. Specialising in dishes that stretch from the
Mediterranean to the Black Sea – but with an emphasis on
Istanbul – this 136-cover restaurant has been designed by
Conran And Partners and features an open kitchen, a fantastic
cocktail selection and all the modern Turkish glamour you’d
expect. In other words, Middle Eastern fine dining done very
well. Executive chef Colin Clague (formerly of Zuma) is in
charge of the kitchen and his take on Anatolia is both clever
and creative. Why not try it for yourself...
168 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
For the aubergine crisps, mix together
the icing sugar, potato starch, panko and
salt in a large bowl.
In batches, cover the sliced aubergine in
the panko-sugar mixture and shake to
remove the excess. Deep-fry until golden
brown. Remove and place on kitchen
paper to absorb the excess oil. Place the
crisps in a bowl and the purée in another,
then garnish with olive oil.
ORüya, 30 Upper Grosvenor Street,
London W1. 020 3848 6710. ruyalondon.com
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TASTE
The Bottle
‘Vigneto Bucerchiale’
Chianti Rufina Riserva
A modest Tuscan red packing palate-pleasing punch
Cakes &
Bubbles,
The first few months of the year aren’t the time for blockbuster wines or egos in a bottle. While you’re contemplating
the rest of 2019, we suggest you open this, the quietly
brilliant Selvapiana Bucerchiale. Wines from Chianti Rufina are less
well-known than those made in the Classico part of the region, but
have an elegance and a finesse that make them Tuscany’s best-kept
secret. Selvapiana is the pinnacle of Rufina – an estate that has been
in the Giuntini family since 1827. It’s currently run by the friendly,
gentle Federico Giuntini Massetti, who is as dedicated to the history of
the property (keeping vintages of all the wines back to 1948 in their
ancient cellars) as he is to the future, making their wines organic and
vegan. The Bucerchiale is their most prized vineyard and produces
a stunning 100 per cent sangiovese with intense deep fruit flavours
and a long, herbal finish. Amy Matthews
London
O2015 ‘Vigneto Bucerchiale’ Chianti Rufina Riserva, Selvapiana, £30.
Passion fruit and chocolate cake
The Restaurant
At The Wine Reserve. thewinereserve.co.uk
Photograph Pixeleyes
The clue is in the name at pastry
powerhouse Albert Adrià’s new
Michelin star-worthy eatery
If you are one of the very lucky, or
very well-connected, few who have
been able to bag a table at Barcelona’s
hottest spot, Tickets, you’ll already
know the wacky and wonderful creations of
Albert Adrià. Synonymous with the culinary cult
that was elBulli, Albert and his brother, Ferran, set
the food world on fire with their three-Michelin
star restaurant just outside of the Catalan capital,
but it was the pastries for which Albert was
particularly well-known. And if you haven’t made
it to Tickets, fear not: he has opened Cakes &
Bubbles in London’s Hotel Café Royal and it’s got
some of his finest creations on the menu.
Albert, who had a pop-up in the same
location back in 2016, was named “Best Pastry
Chef” by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and,
with his delectable pastries and cakes to sample
in one of London’s most beautiful 19th-century
hotels, Cakes & Bubbles won’t disappoint.
Opening its doors back in November, it allows
you the opportunity to try Albert’s famous
cheesecake without the stress of trying to
get a table and a flight to Spain. Homemade
doughnuts, “airwaffles” with caramelised
banana and egg flan with dark caramel are
just some of the sweet treats you can sample
alongside vintage Champagne.
“I believe London is the capital of the world,”
Albert explains, “and I’m very much looking
forward to this new challenge. I have been
waiting for the perfect opportunity to open a
restaurant here and when this presented itself
it was difficult to say no. London is one of my
favourite cities.” He clearly feels very much
at home in the capital, where, he says, “The
welcome I received on my first visit and the
friendships I have created at Hotel Café Royal
make it the perfect location.”
And what does the world’s greatest pastry
chef recommend you order? “Apart from
the cheesecake, my weakness would be the
chocolate wine cork.” We are sold. Cass Farrar
OHotel Café Royal, 70 Regent Street, London W1.
020 7406 3333. cakesandbubbles.co.uk
The Roundup
+ Country casuals
Three laid-back venues with all the fun of the farm
RedFarm
Farmer J
Farm Girl
9 Russell Street,
London WC2.
redfarmldn.com
24-32 King William Street,
London EC4.
farmerj.com
9 Park Walk,
London SW10.
thefarmgirl.co.uk
The setup: The award-winning
West Village and Upper West
Side restaurant has opened
in London’s Covent Garden,
right next to fellow New
York import Balthazar. The
creation of restaurateur Ed
Schoenfeld and chef Joe Ng,
RedFarm serves modern, playful
American-Chinese dishes with
bags of imaginative flair.
The setup: Farmer J started life
as a Mediterranean “fieldtray”
lunch spot in the capital on
Leadenhall Street, but in
September it launched a second
restaurant on the Monument side
of London Bridge, which is open
in the evenings too.
Eat this: There’s not a dud
on the menu. The spicy crispy
beef (£8) adeptly balances
meatiness and crunch and the
golden cheeseburger spring
rolls (£10) are served with a
gherkin and burger-sauce dip.
Eat this: The meat is
phenomenally good – and,
GQ is told, the secret is in
sous-vide cooking, used
before the cuts reach the grill.
It results in dishes, such as flank
steak with green tahini (£10)
and lamb on laffa bread (£14),
that are both meltingly tender
and expertly charred.
Drink this: Your feast is best
matched to a bottle of Brooklyn
Lager (£6), although the killer
cocktails may turn your head.
Drink this: The house cocktails
include a Pickle Back (£7) –
bourbon with homemade
pickle juice.
The setup: The third addition
to the Farm Girl family opened
in London’s Chelsea in 2018 and
is best known for its veggiefriendly Aussie-style brunch.
Eat this: Sidestep the “coconut
bacon”: frankly, coconut
shavings in Frazzles dust
have no place in a BLT. But
the patch eggs (poached eggs
on sourdough with rainbow
chard, leeks and beetroot
goats’ cheese) are a hearty
choice (£10.50).
Drink this: The “super latte”
collection has Instagram all
a-froth. Options include a
liquid gold latte – turmeric,
astragalus, ginger root,
honey and lime (£3.90) –
and an excellent matcha latte
(£3.70). Jennifer Bradly G
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 169
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Hiran achaar at Opheem
From top: A Wong; the Hemp at Waeska;
chocolate dessert at Launceston Place
Last year the GQ Food &
Drink Awards, presented
by Veuve Clicquot,
received thousands
of suggestions from
across the country. Now
in its fifth outing – and
following another record
response – the search
for the next winners
comes down to our
panel of judges. Here
is the shortlist, plus the
men and women who
will decide who is the
best of the best in 2019.
Best
RESTAURANT
• Brat, London
The Fleurissimo at Connaught Bar
• Matteo Montone at Berners
oriolebar.com
Tavern, London
Story, London
• Satan’s Whiskers, London
bernerstavern.com
restaurantstory.co.uk
Best
RESTAURATEUR
bratrestaurant.com
@satans_whiskers
• Stefan Kobald at The Social
•
• The Dead Canary, Cardiff
Company, London
thedeadcanary.co.uk
thesocialcompany.co.uk
• Waeska at The Mandrake,
Best
CHEF
Hide, London
hide.co.uk
• Northcote, Lancashire
northcote.com
• Opheem, Birmingham
opheem.com
London
themandrake.com
• Adam Handling at Frog
sorrelrestaurant.co.uk
Best
SOMMELIER
• Sosban & The Old Butchers,
London
Berkshire
themandrake.com
dorchestercollection.com
• Alex Freguin at Moor Hall,
• Ben Murphy at Launceston
• Sorrel, Surrey
Anglesey
sosbanandtheoldbutchers.com
• Albert Blaize at The Mandrake,
By Adam Handling, London
frogbyadamhandling.com
• Adam Smith at Coworth Park,
Belvedere
BEST BAR
Lancashire
Place, London
moorhall.com
launcestonplace-restaurant.co.uk
• Connaught Bar, London
• Jolanta Dinnadge at Corrigan’s,
• Jeremy Chan at Ikoyi, London
London
ikoyilondon.com
the-connaught.co.uk
corrigansmayfair.co.uk
• Orchid, Aberdeen
• Honey Spencer at Nuala, London
• Nuno Mendes at Mãos,
orchidaberdeen.com
nualalondon.com
170 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
• Tom Sellers at Restaurant
• Oriole, London
London
bluemountain.school
• Andrew Wong of A Wong
and Kym’s
awong.co.uk; kymsrestaurant.com
• David Campbell of The Ivy
Collection
ivycollection.com
• Des Gunewardena and
David Loewi of D&D London
danddlondon.com
• Gary Usher of Sticky Walnut,
Hispi, Burnt Truffle and Wreckfish
stickywalnut.net; hispi.net;
burnttruffle.net; wreckfish.co
• Layo and Zoë Paskin of The Blue
Posts, Evelyn’s Table, The Mulwray,
The Palomar and The Barbary
theblueposts.co.uk; thepalomar.co.uk;
thebarbary.co.uk
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GQ FOOD & DRINK AWARDS
• Rosie Barclay at Nathan
Outlaw, Cornwall
nathan-outlaw.com
Best
OVERALL
EXPERIENCE
• Chewton Glen, Hampshire
chewtonglen.com
• Coombeshead Farm,
Cornwall
coombesheadfarm.co.uk
• Gleneagles, Perthshire
Hide
• Tom Kitchin of The Kitchin,
Castle Terrace, The Scran &
Scallie and Southside Scran
thekitchin.com;
castleterracerestaurant.com;
scranandscallie.com;
southsidescran.com
Best
HOTEL
• Adare Manor, County Limerick
gleneagles.com
• Laylow, London
laylow.co.uk
• Petersham Nurseries,
London
petershamnurseries.com
Best
BREAKTHROUGH
• 83 Hanover Street,
Edinburgh
• Corinthia, London
• Caractère, London
corinthia.com
caractererestaurant.com
• Lympstone Manor, Devon
• Etch, East Sussex
lympstonemanor.co.uk
etchfood.co.uk
• Padstow Townhouse,
• Evelyn’s Table, London
Cornwall
theblueposts.co.uk
paul-ainsworth.co.uk
• RedFarm, London
• Summer Lodge, Dorset
redfarmldn.com
summerlodgehotel.co.uk
• Sabor, London
• Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
saborrestaurants.co.uk
Best
PUB
• The Compasses Inn, Wiltshire
• Annabel’s, London
thecompassesinn.com
annabels.co.uk
• The Drunken Duck, Cumbria
• The Coral Room, London
drunkenduckinn.co.uk
thecoralroom.co.uk
• The Fox & Pheasant, London
• Greyhound Café, London
thefoxandpheasant.com
greyhoundcafe.uk
• Fordwich Arms, Kent
• Lina Stores, London
fordwicharms.co.uk
linastores.co.uk
• Plum & Partridge, Yorkshire
• The Baptist Grill, London
theplumandpartridge.co.uk
baptistgrill.com
• The St Tudy Inn, Cornwall
• Mr Fogg’s Society Of
sttudyinn.com
Exploration, London
mr-foggs.com
Best
FRONT OF HOUSE
• Amy Corbin at Kudu, London
kudu-restaurant.com
• Jean-Claude Breton at
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay,
London
gordonramsayrestaurants.com
• Juanito Asencio at Chiltern
Firehouse, London
Veuve Clicquot
INNOVATOR
• Hide, London
hide.co.uk
eatnative.co.uk
• Mark Hix
hixrestaurants.co.uk
• The Marram Grass, Anglesey
themarramgrass.com
• The Spread Eagle, London
thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk
• Gianluca Austin-Rizzo at
• White Rabbit Fund
simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk
whiterabbitfund.com
At The French, Manchester
Lifetime
ACHIEVEMENT
the-french.co.uk
To be announced on the night
• Kamila Plonska at Adam Reid
Tara Bernerd
Designer Tara Bernerd continues to lead the way in luxury
interior design. Her practice boasts a portfolio of seriously
high-end hospitality projects, from the striking redesign
of New York’s Sixty Soho hotel to restoring The Principal
London to its former glory.
Isaac Carew
Chef-turned-model-turned-chef Isaac Carew was schooled
in Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred establishments. His
Instagram and YouTube series The Dirty Dishes has gained
a cult following, with a long-awaited recipe book due for
release next month.
Pippa Guy
Pippa Guy is the first woman in more than 100 years to
earn the American Bar’s coveted white jacket. At just 27
years old, Guy is already a formidable force in the cocktail
industry and has recently released her own cocktail recipe
book, Let’s Get Fizzical.
Aimee Hartley
Aimee Hartley is founder of Above Sea Level, a magazine
and events platform offering a fresh perspective on wine.
By exploring wine in the context of food, design, people
and places, Hartley hopes that wine will become a more
natural part of our daily conversations.
Dylan Jones
Since Dylan Jones became Editor of GQ in 1999, the
magazine has won 68 awards. Jones is also chairman
of London Fashion Week Men’s, board member of the
British Fashion Council and chairs the board of the Hay
Festival Foundation.
Oliver Peyton
Oliver Peyton has been a fixture on the London food
scene since he opened his first restaurant, Atlantic Bar
& Grill, in the Nineties. In addition to judging Great British
Menu since 2006, Peyton is a founder and restaurateur
of noted hospitality group Peyton And Byrne.
• Native, London
chilternfirehouse.com
Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham
Jason Atherton
Renowned chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton is
at the top of his game and shows no sign of slowing
down. His group, The Social Company, has opened 17
restaurants in just seven years, spanning London, Asia,
New York and beyond.
hovarda.london
adaremanor.com
Best
INTERIOR
Introducing GQ’s panel of experts – leaders
in the fields of food and drink, journalism,
hospitality and interiors – who have been
tasked with judging this year’s shortlist.
• Hovarda, London
83hanoverstreet.com
whatleymanor.com
The judges
Sharleen Spiteri
Sharleen Spiteri, of the hugely successful rock band Texas,
has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and is no
stranger to culinary circles. Her husband, Bryn Williams, is
an acclaimed chef and restaurateur, with outposts across
London and in Porth Eirias.
Bertrand Steip
Bertrand Steip has enjoyed a celebrated career in the
luxury drinks industry. After nearly three decades with
Moët Hennessy, in 2017 he became managing director of
the company’s UK arm, which looks after prestigious brands
including Belvedere, Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot. G
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 171
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*
Five
Martinis
with
Armie
Hammer
Or was it six?
*
This wasn’t your regular GQ interview. For one thing, we usually remember getting home. The man
responsible? The vodka cocktail-pushing star of Call Me By Your Name, Sorry To Bother You and On The
Basis Of Sex, Armie Hammer. (OK. It wasn’t his fault. Blame jet lag and LA’s penchant for tiny sliders.) So,
what can we tell you about this too-handsome oil heir turned thespy scene-stealer? Well, the scenes he steals
come from pure hard graft, he doesn’t take a cent of his family’s money and, as costar Timothée Chalamet
tells us, he’s one of the few good guys. After the hangover cleared, we couldn’t have agreed more...
Story by
Jonathan Heaf
Photographs by
Eric Ray Davidson
Styled by
Luke Day
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ARMIE HAMMER
Jacket, £1,160. Trousers,
£670. Both by Gucci. At
matchesfashion.com.
T-shirt by Sunspel, £70.
sunspel.com. Trainers by
Adidas, £75. At Schuh.
schuh.co.uk
‘I can’t say I am not a millennial,
but I’m not a millennial. I don’t get it.
It doesn’t resonate with me’
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 173
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N
aked? Naked. I wake completely
naked. As my vision adjusts
to California’s smog-choked
apricot dawn I realise I’m flat
out on my front, legs and arms,
splayed like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian
Man, just, you know, less manly and less
Vitruvian, whatever the hell that is.
In fact, I’m more like a human hide,
stretched out, pinned and ready to roast over
a smouldering Argentine fire pit. Looking up,
squinting, I half expect to see chef Francis
Mallmann standing over me with a hot poker,
a handful of Cajun spice rub and a wild grin.
At least the queen-size bed I landed in
(whenever I came in) is comfy: the softest khaki
linen sheets this side of the Calico Mountains.
I’m under the high-beamed ceilings of the Villa
Carlotta, a newly restored residence in the
Franklin Village area of Los Angeles, which was
once home to half of Hollywood’s golden era.
It’s quite the room – not your usual dusty
nostalgia trip that pops up so often in this
town or whatever version of wipe-down,
decaffeinated cool the proprietor was into (and
could afford) that week. There’s real industry
history here, history I’m currently flashing like
Bruce Willis’ ego in Colour Of Night.
It was in this very one-bed apartment (an
apartment with floor-to-ceiling French doors
that open on to a walled palm garden) where
renowned gossip and film critic Louella Parsons
once assembled her devastating columns in the
Thirties. For a writer in the business this name
means something: at her peak she had a readership of more than 20 million and could snap
an ingénue’s career faster than Howard Hughes
crunching a breadstick in Dan Tana’s.
It’s also the room in which Academy
Award-winning producer David O Selznick
slept – or rather tossed and turned – while
making Gone With The Wind. This morning,
however, it’s just me. Me and, one imagines,
several other rather disappointed Hollywood
ghosts wondering, as I am, where on earth
my silk briefs have gone.
Why am I here again? What happened last
night? And, more importantly, who was I with?
A trail of detritus leads from the hotel
room’s heavy white wooden door to the edge
of the bed, where I am currently contemplating slipping back into the unconscious to
forget rather than stay awake and remember.
Like a doomed spacecraft disintegrating on reentering the earth’s atmosphere, my clothing
and various accoutrements seem to have been
jettisoned from my hands, pockets and body,
thrown onto the floor, willy-nilly, one by one.
In order of appearance: room key fob,
iPhone, navy cotton coat (from much underrated Italian label Fay), Paul Smith holdall
(a stalwart when on business), my Moncler
leather wallet (with credit cards), $460 in cash
174 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
in a Bottega Veneta money clip (no, I never
thought I’d use one either, but there you
go), a Frame denim shirt (crumpled), a white
Ralph Lauren T-shirt with a large, dubious
red stain, grey Saint Laurent Chelsea boots,
black Acne Studio jeans, a Tudor Black Bay
GMT (wow, I took off my watch?), a much
treasured gold necklace (my girlfriend’s, pilfered about six months ago) and, finally, one
lone black sock. The other sock (Uniqlo, since
we’re doing this) seems to have made it onto
the nearby table, where it lies like cotton
roadkill on the shade of a desk light.
Is the naked thing bothering you? It’s bothering me. You see, I don’t ever go to bed
naked. I’m just not one of those guys that
roll like that. I don’t have a special brush to
clean my trainers. I don’t drive a “murdered
out” Maserati. I don’t spend Valentine’s
Day in Amilla Fushi in the Maldives. I don’t
get my EA to do my weekly food shop at
Harrods Food Hall. I don’t own an original
Jackson Pollock that I hang in my office on
my Philippe Starck-designed superyacht, my
tax bracket does not fall into that of a permanent traveller and, no, I do not sleep naked.
Hammer has the
stature of a centurion
and the dewy eyes of
that cat from Shrek 2
I mean, do you? Perhaps you do. Perhaps
you’re like Beto O’Rourke. (I bet he sleeps
naked.) Perhaps you are Beto O’Rourke.
(If you are, do you?) Or Gandy. (David, the
British male model, not Gandhi, the prophetic
Indian figurehead. Gandhi may have slept
naked but probably for reasons other than
pure lasciviousness.) Or Obama. Maybe expresident Barack slips between the covers
with Michelle – also naked, except for those
killer thigh-high Balenciaga boots she wore
to meet Sarah Jessica Parker – humming
“Havana” by Camila Cabello without a stitch
between his saddle-gripping thighs and the
ten-ply Egyptian cotton sheets.
Naked, however, just isn’t my go-to pregame
style. I bathe naked. I screw naked. And speaking of which I might end up naked having
started not naked. (Occasionally. I mean, one
would hope so, right?) But even when I end
up naked – which is rarely – I never go to sleep
naked. I get in clothed. I do whatever happens
when two human beings can’t find anything
good to watch on Netflix and then I get up. I
get dressed. I get back into bed, clothed.
I like pyjamas – so what? It’s better than
sleeping in that old T-shirt you picked up on
a scuba-diving holiday to Tunisia. Since we’re
here, let it be known: I like Derek Rose pin-dot
cotton-jacquard pyjamas in navy with ivory
piping and top pocket. Ideally, they must be
warmed on a towel rail in advance, certainly
not crumpled under one’s pillow like a student
hiding their stash. Once changed, I brush my
teeth using an Oral-B Genius 9000 for the
recommended two minutes, sometimes a
little longer if the mind wanders. Then I floss.
Thoroughly. And I rinse with a glass of water,
and, yes, sometimes it is filtered water. Then I
wash my face. I wash my face with warm water
and dry it with a clean, plump towel if available. If no downy towel is within reach I will use
whatever I can find: a paper napkin, a spare
cushion, one of my daughter’s school jumpers
in the laundry basket – anything. The fact that
I will wash and dry my face before bed is as
sure as Kim Kardashian West will remove her
fake lashes and post a “belfie” on Snapchat
before taking a footbath in fresh unicorn milk
and sleeping in her “Ye”-shaped cryo chamber.
B
ack to the Villa Carlotta. I’m still
naked. I’m still alone. But what
exactly happened last night?
I check the phone. It’s 7am. I
have an appointment I need
to get to at 9am. I know this because the
man I am meeting – a survivor of the wildfires down in Malibu – has already texted
me. Twice. “Jonathan, you OK?” Turns out
I was supposed to meet him last night but
cancelled, suddenly, around 9pm. What was
so important? And what’s stopping me from
filling in these blanks?
I scroll through my phone to find clues.
There’s no email from Uber thanking me for
the ride home, although I’m pretty sure I
got an Uber home. Didn’t I? I was working.
I was interviewing?
I was interviewing.
I was interviewing... Armie Hammer!
Of course! Armie! Armster! The Armada.
Armie-geddon. Armie-tage Shanks. You And
Whose Armie! Arm & Hammer. The Hamster.
Hammertime. The Ham Man... (Thinking
about it, I don’t think anyone has ever called
Armie Hammer any of these nicknames,
especially not me. Although I do believe his
great-grandfather – the late Armand Hammer,
on whom there’s more later, bought Arm &
Hammer simply because the brand shared his
surname and he got bored being asked if he
owned it. Millionaires and billionaires have
odd, indulgent whims...)
You know Armie. Tall. Really handsome.
Punchably handsome. His is a handsome so
acute that he could make audiences believe
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name
would make American Pie-style love to a peach
just thinking about such handsomeness. No? >>
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ARMIE HAMMER
Who doesn’t want
to try a drink called
‘Tito’s Gibson’,
especially when it’s
been ordered by
this beautiful face?
Suit, £2,000. Shirt, £200.
Both by Louis Vuitton.
louisvuitton.com. Tie,
£65. Tie pin, £65. Pocket
square, £35. All by Boss.
hugoboss.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 175
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Pyjama shirt, £650.
Pyjama trousers, £470.
Both by Versace.
versace.com
176 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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ARMIE HAMMER
‘I would be foolish
to say white
privilege has
nothing to do
with my career.
I can’t say that’
Shirt, £17.50. Shorts,
£25. Both by M&S
Collection. marks
andspencer.com.
Sliders by Versace,
£280. versace.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 177
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>> Armie? Hammer? He’s the man with the
stature of a Roman centurion from an Asterix
comic and the dewy eyes of that cat from
Shrek 2. Moist. His eyes, I mean. His eyes are
moist. Sort of vulnerable but strong looking.
The man has an air of decency that he carries
around with him, not like a cop but more
like an usher at a wedding you could never
afford. He looks a bit like Cary Elwes, who
played Westley in The Princess Bride. In fact,
his whole shtick is very Prince Charming.
Superb breeding. He also looks really good in
an Adidas tracksuit. As good as any Olympic
downhill racer or basketball pro.
Armie! Hammer! C’mon! Maybe you saw
him in Gossip Girl playing the quintessential asshole boyfriend. He’s sort of a more
sober-looking Bradley Cooper, which is weird
because he drinks and Cooper doesn’t. He’s
in The Social Network and is excellent in it.
No, not the Zuckerberg character, that’s Jesse
Eisenberg. Armie was the rowers. Yes, both
of them. The Harvard bros. The rowers. The
Winklevoss twins. (They CGI-ed Armie’s face
onto a body double.) “I’m 6’5” and there’s
two of me.” Those guys. That guy. That was
Hammer. That was Armie.
Anyway, I was with him. Yesterday. We’d
spent the day together. Cuddling. Well, not
actually cuddling, more like hanging out. (OK,
working.) In a house. High in the Hollywood
Hills. Then we got a cab, I think. Or his publicist arranged a car. To a hotel. The Sunset
Tower, yes. The Tower Bar. Classy joint. Wes
Anderson drinks here. As does Jeff Goldblum.
(Jeff tried to take me here once; we ended up
in his closet for two hours, but that’s another
story.) Armie knows the maître d’, Dimitri
Dimitrov. This isn’t a brag, by the way, everyone knows Dimitri. Even I know Dimitri. Or
did. He quit. Whatever. The difference is, of
course, that Dimitri never knew me. Or you.
Unless you’re Armie Hammer. In which case...
It was Friday, around 5pm. Wasn’t it? We
found a corner table. Just you and me. The bar
was empty. We talked. We talked a lot. About
your film projects. Actually, that’s not true. We
didn’t really talk about your upcoming film projects at all, projects such as the excellent (and
important) On The Basis Of Sex, with Felicity
Jones as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg. Or your killer turn as coke-snorting
Steve Lift in Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You.
We talked about work, generally, and
about being men and that thing you said about
people who posted selfies with Stan Lee when
Stan Lee died. We talked about money too.
About Timothée Chalamet. And there were
drinks. Food? Yes, although you were on a
diet. Or was it that you were on a diet as a bet?
Or both? Something like that. We had burgers?
I’m sure we did. Possibly. But drinks, yes. So
many, many, many...
178 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
M
artinis! Yes. I’ll do a Tito’s
Gibson.”
There it is: proof (80 per
cent proof to be exact).
Before we go any further,
I have it on record: the Martinis were your
idea, Armie Hammer. To be honest, I didn’t
know what a Tito’s Gibson was, so it’s just as
well he mentioned “Martinis” first. Turns out,
Tito’s is a brand of vodka, made by a microbrewery in Texas.
The provenance of the vodka may or may
not be significant. Hammer, you see, wasn’t
born in Texas. He was born in Santa Monica
32 years ago, although his mother, Dru Ann,
was from Texas and the family lived in Dallas
until Armie was six, maybe seven. Michael
Hammer, Armie’s father (nickname “Beep”
and the son of the rich guy who bought Arm
& Hammer for the weird lolz), then moved
the family to the Cayman Islands, where they
stayed for a good number of years. (They
moved back right after 9/11.) Armie’s wife,
and mother to their two children, Elizabeth
Chambers, however, is from San Antonio,
which is also in Texas. Together, Chambers
‘I had agents tell me
I’d never make it.
“Son, you just don’t
have it. Quit. Now”’
and Hammer own a bakery down there, Bird
Bakery. (Cookies you’d shop your grandmother for, apparently.)
(Aside: the “Gibson” part of Hammer’s
requested Martini, if you don’t know, is
simply a switch in the usual garnish from
an olive to a dinky cocktail onion. Although
I had no idea what a Tito’s Gibson was
at the time of Hammer’s ordering. I request
the same. Why? Because who doesn’t want
to try a drink called Tito’s Gibson, especially
when ordered through Armie Hammer’s
beautiful face?)
Anyway, here’s what you need to figure
out: is Hammer requesting a Tito’s Texan
vodka by brand name simply because
he likes that particular smooth blend?
Or is it because he’s the sort of guy who
ensures that, as he rises, so too do those
around him, or at least those from his wife’s
home state? Or maybe he just likes saying
“Tito’s Gibson” out loud? Because it does
sound pretty cool. “Make mine a Tito’s
Gibson.” Try it. Cool, right? (Although only
if you’re having a drink in The Tower Bar
in LA and Armie Hammer is ordering. I
tried it at my local pub in North London
and got a bottle of Fanta and a bag of
pork scratchings.)
Family is the first thing that I bring up with
Hammer as his is more interesting than most.
Remember Armand Hammer, the grandfather
I mentioned? Well, that’s the man after
whom Armie is, in fact, named. Armie, on his
birth certificate, is named “Armand Douglas
Hammer”. It got shortened to Armie – cooler,
snappier – sometime in high school and it
just stuck. Armand (the OG, not Armie who
likes Tito’s) was born in New York in 1898 to
Jewish parents who emigrated from Russia.
Armand once explained that his father, Julius
Hammer, named him after the character
Armand Duval in La Dame Aux Camélias, a
novel by Alexandre Dumas fils about a young
bourgeois who falls in love with a courtesan. (These facts may or may not become
useful later on.)
Armand had a pretty punchy life; I mean,
there are books about this guy. Although he
set out to become a doctor like his father,
Julius – who subsequently had a medical
practice in a wing of the family home in
the Bronx and is said to have served time
for a botched abortion – Armand ended
up travelling extensively between Russia
and the United States. He was mainly
importing and exporting goods and medical
supplies, at times coming under suspicion
by the US government, not least during the
Cold War.
Anyway, one way or another, Armie’s
grandfather made a pretty decent amount
of money. And then? Well, then he made
a serious amount of money. After moving
to Los Angeles in semi-retirement, he took
a couple of punts and invested in various
US oil production efforts. In 1957, Armand
Hammer took control of a company called
Occidental Petroleum. Heard of it? Me
neither. Well, I checked its records and
although Armand Hammer no longer is
chairman (he died in 1990, aged 92), while
he was, the company grew into one of the
most successful oil companies in the US.
The dividends must have been bonkers.
Like, which-island-in-the-Caribbeanshall-we-buy-style bonkers. In 2017,
Occidental Petroleum turned over $12 billion.
Yeah. Ker-effing-ching.
What does this have to do with his grandson Armie, you ask (fairly). Well, when oil
money runs through a bloodline like French
mustard runs through ranch dressing, one
must do due diligence and question what
sort of impact this has had on someone’s life
and career trajectory, right? Right. And it is
also important to be aware of background,
not least when considering the flux going
on in Hollywood at the moment. Frances
McDormand’s words at the Oscars last year >>
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ARMIE HAMMER
Shirt, £625. Trousers,
£645. Both by
Dolce & Gabbana.
dolcegabbana.com.
Vest by Sunspel, £30.
sunspel.com. Braces by
Budd Shirtmakers,
£45. buddshirts.co.uk
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 179
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>> should echo through all of such conversations: “Inclusion rider!”
One could argue, for example – indeed
some have already argued (namely
BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, in an
article named “Ten Long Years Of Trying
To Make Armie Hammer Happen”) – that
this 32-year-old actor’s background, his
wealth and the colour of his skin has
given him privileges and second chances
that would not have been afforded to him
were he poor, black or a woman. Or, indeed,
a poor black woman.
How aware was Hammer of his family’s
unusual wealth growing up? “I didn’t really
have anything to compare it to, so it was
just kind of the thing,” he explains, sipping
his Tito’s. “My mother’s parents grew up in
the Depression in Oklahoma, so it was very
different. She didn’t allow us to be raised
like we were wealthy. We were never just
told, ‘Hey, here’s [some] cash. Go and enjoy
yourselves!’ If our friends were getting a
$10 allowance, she would make a point of
giving us $7. I would question that, profusely
sometimes, and she’d ask me, ‘So, you think
you deserve more? Why?’ And, of course, I
had no sort of good answer. So my mother’s
care and sensibilities insulated us from being
spoilt in that way, I believe.”
I also feel like I must ask Hammer about
accusations of white privilege, some of which
have been aimed directly and vociferously at
him and his career, not least on social media,
where the actor is both visible and fairly
vocal. (His publicist might say too vocal,
on which more later.) As the industry pendulum swings – and quite rightly – it is the
tall, white, good-looking men from particular backgrounds who may find they wake up
to a very different landscape, with very different career prospects.
“I am aware of white privilege, yes, and I
am aware of how it affects people.” Hammer’s
answer is sure-footed. “There are white
people who exercise their white privilege
with or without knowing it and I would be
foolish to sit here and say, ‘Well, that has
nothing to do with my career.’ I can’t sit
here and say that. But also, people must be
aware of the work ethic it takes. I get it. Guys
like me have got a lot from being guys like
me. Even if white privilege does have anything to do with it, there is a lot of work I
put into this.”
Sure, OK, but it’s one thing being a struggling actor sleeping in your car and waiting
tables to make ends meet and it’s another
thing being a struggling actor sleeping
in your car whose family has made many
hundreds of millions of dollars from the
US oil business. There’s struggling and
then there’s struggling. Let’s face it, Armie,
180 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
you don’t have to worry about money
– at all.
“Oh, dude, I worry about money all the
time.” Really? What, with regards to how
big your paycheque is in comparison to, say,
Paul Rudd’s? Look, your ego worries about
money, but it’s not like you don’t know if you
can afford to pay the childcare this week.
“I’ve only really been paid twice, The Lone
Ranger and The Man From UNCLE – they
were my two big paycheques. OK, look, there
is a version of my life that is a bit like Sliding
Doors, where if I chose a particular path, I
wouldn’t have had to worry about anything,
least of all money. I didn’t choose that route.”
I ask Hammer directly: you turned your
back on your family’s wealth? “Currently,
right now, and I feel kind of silly for even
talking about it, but I don’t own a house. If
someone was like, ‘Well, you have to remortgage something,’ I don’t have anything to
remortgage. Like, I am all in on this.” This
being acting? “Yes. This is all I have ever
wanted to do. And you’re right. Nannies
are not cheap. And I don’t just go home and
wave a cheque. I go, ‘OK, how much is it?
‘It’s very interesting
to incur the ire of the
internet. Its attention
span is very short’
How many hours do we owe?’ While my life
has all these amazing opportunities here and
there, I worry about money, like, for sure.”
You have no financial support at all from
your family? “I don’t get any money
from my family.” And that was a distinct decision you made? Or did they disown you when
you chose acting over going into the family
business? “I made the choice. Me. Now, let’s
be clear here, as we’re being honest and
candid. Would I have a safety net, where I
could go to my parents, who are now separated, and ask for help if I couldn’t pay my
rent? Like, ‘I need your help.’ Do I have the
opportunity to do that? Yes. Would I ever do
that? No.” When did you make this decision?
“When I was young. I mean, I haven’t taken
anything from my parents to live and survive
since, well, it’s been over a decade.” Was it a
conversation you had with your parents or...
“No.” Hammer’s voice is just that little bit
raised. The barman looks up, briefly. “No,” he
continues calmly. “It was a conversation I had
with myself: you can be this person or you
cannot. I would rather not. It wasn’t about
cutting ties or bonds with my parents or anything like that. It was about strengthening
myself. It was about what kind of person I
wanted to be. What kind of person did I want
to look at in the mirror each morning?”
A
round an hour in and we’ve
had at least three Tito’s Gibsons
each. Maybe four. Anyone
who knows anything about
Martinis knows this is a lot of
booze, not least (for me) on virtually no sleep
(thanks to the couple rowing in the apartment upstairs, plus jet lag) and only black
coffee and a tofu sausage since 10am UK
time yesterday. There’s a little light Juuling,
no slurring (yet) and we have eaten, so...
When I say “we have eaten”, what we’ve
had is a small side plate of mincemeat each:
five golf ball-sized patties sandwiched
between two sheets of iceberg lettuce. Kind
of delicious. Yet kind of not particularly
effective at soaking up the quarter bottle of
vodka gunned. For complete transparency, I
did ask for my mini burgers – they call them
sliders here – to come with bread. Turns out
that a) Sunset Tower Hotel has run out of mini
bread buns for their mini burgers (see how the
gods were against me?) and b) Hammer has a
bet on with his closest friends that involves
not eating any carbs.
“We were in New York,” Hammer recounts,
“and a few of my friends and I decided to
meet up and, well, sometimes you have
to go at the thing, right? We had one night
together and we decided: ‘Let’s just make
tonight opulent.’ And we had two meals, a
bunch of drinks and all that and at the end
of it everyone was just sitting back and being
like, ‘I feel so sick, so overdone. We should
take a month off.’ And someone was like,
‘You can’t do a month off.’ It spiralled and
then it became a bet where we all had to do
this keto diet, which is specific because you
can actually test it.”
Keto? What does it measure? “The ketones
in your urine. You can’t have any carbohydrates, so you piss on these things and it
measures how many there are in your blood.”
Is there any way of getting around this bet?
“The only thing I thought of is that while I’m
actually in ketosis I could just pee on a bunch
of the strips and store them up.” Will you do
that, though? “Cheat? Nah. Where’s the fun
in that?” What happens if you’re the first to
eat carbs? “The loser has to shave his head.”
I glance at Hammer’s haircut: a side parting
with a light bounce and a fade at the sides
and rear. Very fetching. A little conservative but fetching nonetheless. It would be
a shame, I suggest: you have enviable hair.
“Well, hair grows back. I’m competitive
usually. But it might be fun to lose, actually...” About two weeks before Christmas,
Hammer posts an Instagram video of >>
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ARMIE HAMMER
Jacket, £2,350.
Shirt, £625.
Trousers, £645. All
by Dolce & Gabbana.
dolcegabbana.com.
Bow tie by Tom Ford,
£165. tomford.co.uk.
Shoes by Christian
Louboutin, £675.
christianlouboutin.com
‘My mother’s
parents grew up
in the Depression.
She didn’t allow
us to be raised like
we were wealthy’
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 181
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>> himself shaving his head with a pair
of electric clippers, right before he does
The Tonight Show. He tells host Jimmy
Fallon live on the show that he “just
woke up this morning hating his hair”. Six
of Hammer’s closest friends – and me –
laugh a little louder than the rest of the
audience, however.
It’s easy to want to be friends with Hammer.
You can kind of tell, right? I swooned, plus
he’s terrific company. Smart, candid and
convivial. He’s also, unlike some in the industry, unafraid to speak up and speak out when
something bothers him. This can, however,
land him in hot water. Only days before we
sit down and drink our own body weight in
vodka and vermouth, Hammer hits Twitter
(as he is prone) to rail against celebrities
posting selfies of themselves with Stan Lee,
the creative force behind Marvel comics, as
a tribute to him passing. “So touched by all
of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee,” Hammer tweeted on
12 November 2018. “No better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting
up a picture of yourself.” Ouch.
So you don’t like selfies? “Look, about Stan
Lee, here’s the deal. I misspoke. I offended
people that I didn’t intend to offend and I
made a generalised statement that unfortunately included people that it wasn’t fair
to include.” Such as Robert Downey Jr?
Tom Hardy? Evangeline Lilly? “So there are
people that have known Stan and worked
with him for years and years and years and
had a really close relationship with him, but
that wasn’t actually the people I was criticising. Let me be clear. I do not feel badly
for the people that I offended who met Stan
Lee once and were capitalising and masking
self-promotion as false grief.”
Hammer has been fairly critical of “celebrity culture” in the past. Is this from his
own particular set of experiences? Isn’t that
just what culture is like nowadays for many
young people? “This is what happens. This is
what happens to me, that I can see: I will be
somewhere in public and someone will walk
up to me and not say, ‘Hi,’ not say, ‘It’s nice
to meet you,’ not say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I love
your work’ or anything like that... Look, I am
as vain as anyone else. If someone walks up
to me, says something nice, wants a selfie,
then, of course, let’s have a chat and take
a selfie. But they don’t do that. They come
up to you, say, ‘Can I get a selfie?’ take the
selfie and walk away. They don’t say thank
you but rather go tell everyone, ‘Oh, my
God. I just met Armie Hammer!’ No, no you
didn’t. We didn’t actually exchange more
than one or two words. That’s not what
meeting someone is.”
I splutter: aren’t you a millennial? Selfies
182 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
and such like: this is supposed to be your –
generation’s thing.
“I am a millennial. You’re right. I totally
should. And I can’t say I am not a millennial,
but I’m not a millennial. I don’t get it. It
doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t know why
millennials will go to a wedding and take
a picture of themselves on the dance floor
and then post it on social media and be like,
‘Congratulations to Sarah and Jeff, so happy
for you guys!’ Just what the hell is that? That
just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
H
ammer has quit social media
a couple of times but keeps
coming back to it – why?
“Good question. I should probably relinquish control.”
Some people give you a hard time out
there, I say. (The Tito’s is kicking in somewhat now.) I am always surprised at how
harsh people are about your performance in
The Man From UNCLE. I actually liked that
movie. I mean, it’s no The Thomas Crown
Affair (the Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo
version, obvs), but then what is?
“Erm, right. I don’t know,” he says, shrug-
‘About Stan Lee,
I misspoke. I offended
people that I didn’t
intend to offend’
ging. “Maybe some people just don’t like
my style. I get a lot of people telling me that
they think my acting is as bland as a piece
of wood. Well, that’s their opinion, I guess.
I’ve had agents tell me I will never make it.
Ever. ‘Son, you just don’t have it. Quit. Now.’
It happened a great deal when I first started
out.” Does that sort of personal attack sting
a little? “Yeah. I mean it doesn’t feel good.
It’s one of the reasons I took a break from
social media before. I’m not sadomasochistic enough to enjoy this. I don’t want to read
this, so I just walked away. For a while.” Does
he read the comments? The tweets? “Oh,
sure. But I don’t go over and over them. But
every now and again I won’t be able to sleep
and I’ll take a peek and then I’ll be up for an
hour and a half and ugh.
“It’s very interesting to incur the wrath and
the ire of the internet; the internet’s attention
span is very short. My relationship with Twitter
is like that fable of the frog and the scorpion:
the frog gives the scorpion a lift across the
river, right before the scorpion stings it. The
frog goes, ‘Why did you do that?’ and he goes,
‘Because I’m a fucking scorpion!’”
D
id I tell you how much I like
Armie Hammer? Well, let me
tell you again: it’s very easy
to like Armie Hammer. He’s
smart, easy-breezy company.
He also (you may have noticed) likes a
Martini, which, coming up to 7pm, we’d had
quite a number of. Four? Five? Six? For me,
certainly, two too many. From what I remember – both through emailing Hammer himself
the following day and also talking with a good
friend who turned up after the interview for
a couple – is that, eventually, Hammer was
kind enough to point me and my spinning
head in the right direction home. Or at least
give the Uber the right address.
Did he hold my hair back? Not quite. But
would he have done? Yes, absolutely.
Once home in London, the following week,
I manage to get hold of actor Timothée
Chalamet, Hammer’s costar in the critically
acclaimed Call Me By Your Name, a sequel
of which Hammer tells me he’d “be more
than up for”. Chalamet and Hammer formed
a strong, lasting friendship on set. A film
about the relationship between a boy, Elio,
played by Chalamet, and an older American
man, Oliver, played by Hammer.
I am compelled to tell Chalamet what I feel
compelled to tell you: about the sheer decency
of Hammer as a human being. “Yeah. I feel like
I couldn’t have been luckier to have someone
like Armie by my side,” explains Chalamet.
“And that’s both through the making of the
film and through all the press stuff. Armie was
a walking example to me. He allows you to
trust him. That’s as an actor, but, perhaps more
importantly, as a man and a father and how he
carries himself and how he treats others. How
Armie treated me on set, his time and care, my
gratitude will extend to him forever for that.”
What is his vibe on set? “Hard-working.
Determined to get it right. Collaborative. But
also a desire to lift everyone up along with him
for the good of the project. The greatest gift
an actor has is experience and Armie’s experience helped me so much while working on Call
Me By Your Name. I mean, I hadn’t really done
much before. He knows to an expert level the
workings of getting a good scene and getting
the emotion out of it. I mean, that scene by the
monument when his character and mine have
to express their love for one another for the
first time, man, that’s a subtle, difficult thing
to get right. We were struggling in the rehearsals that morning with how to do it.
“It’s a scary thing, as the last thing you want
to do as an actor is throw your eyebrows all
over an expression of love. Yet Armie had this
idea of shooting the scene on a single track and
Luca [Guadagnino, the director] agreed. And it
worked. I could never have offered something
like that up and it just goes to show what >>
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ARMIE HAMMER
‘Would I have
a safety net,
where I could
ask my
parents for
help if I
couldn’t pay
my rent? Yes.
Would I ever
do that? No’
Dressing gown by
Versace, £335. At
matchesfashion.com.
Pyjama shirt, £650.
Pyjama trousers, £470.
Both by Versace.
versace.com
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 183
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ARMIE HAMMER
>> a feel Armie has for the medium. I mean,
he’s an amazing guy, Armie. He checks all
‘-isms’ at the door, if you know what I mean.”
Hey, I get it, I tell Chalamet. I tell him that
I believe there is something noble about his
friend, mentor and colleague. Not noble as
in a sense of hierarchy or blue-bloodedness,
but more in a decent, gallant, chivalrous
way. That’s why he will always take those
questions about his wealth and white privilege seriously, no matter how many times
they come up. He understands. Chalamet,
or Timmy, as Hammer calls him, concurs:
“Absolutely. And I’ve never heard anyone say
it like that before, but that’s totally right. He’s
just a good guy. I really like what you just said
– noble. I agree. He lives in relation to good
purpose. It’s when people present themselves
as they truly are. And Armie is as he truly is.”
Things later that night in LA got pretty
spicy. For me, anyway. And that’s how I ended
up naked on my hotel bed, without my Derek
Rose pyjamas on, wondering what the hell
‘He allows you to
trust him, as an
actor and as a man’
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
Shirt, £293. Shorts,
£231. Both by Versace.
versace.com. Trainers by
Adidas, £75. At Schuh.
schuh.co.uk. Sunglasses
by Salvatore Ferragamo,
£185. ferragamo.com
Production
3 Star Productions
Grooming KC Fee
Digital technician
Jules Bates
Photography assistants
Yolanda Leaney;
Kelsey Novotny;
Steve Yang
Styling assistant
Angelo Mitakos
happened. Oh, you want the full story? (And
yes, there are photographs.) Well, maybe
another time. Perhaps. Ask me. Indulge me.
Or here’s a better idea. If you see Armie
Hammer out on the street, looking tall and
noble, ask him. Ask Hammer the actor what
happened to him and the British journalist
after the Martini session in the Sunset Tower
Hotel bar in November last year. Walk up to
him. Say hi. Smile. Wave. Talk. Engage in a
conversation. He’ll like that. Be nice. Be civil.
Be a bit more, well, be a bit more Armie.
I mean, he probably won’t tell you. Why
not? Well, he’s Armie Hammer, isn’t he? It
wouldn’t be gracious. It would make you
laugh like hell, sure, but it wouldn’t be loyal. It
wouldn’t be decent. And, you know, we could
all do with being a bit more Armie Hammer
sometimes. Right, Armie? G
More from G For these related
stories visit GQ.co.uk /magazine
Johnny Depp (Jonathan Heaf, October 2018)
Jeff Goldblum (Jonathan Heaf, July 2018)
Armie Hammer And Timothée Chalamet On
Friendship, The Oscars And That Peach Scene
(Paul Flynn, September 2017)
ON THE BASIS OF SEX IS OUT NOW.
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 185
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David Cameron
WHERE THE
HELL
HAS HE
BEEN?
WHAT THE
HELL
DOES HE
DO NOW?
Story by
Alastair Campbell
Illustration by
André Carrilho
Eton. Oxford. The Commons. Number Ten... The road map of modern Britain’s youngest prime minister had
been navigated with nary a wrong turn. Until that happened. The referendum. His resignation. Gardening leave.
Does he have regrets? What about a plan? In public, he remains tight-lipped. But behind closed doors, friends
and former colleagues say he must speak up and rescue his legacy – if not the nation – from itself
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ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
Cameron lost
the battle of
Brexit and the
war for Britain’s
future. Now it
seems he feels
barred from
the fightback
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 187
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A
nd how fair and reasonable is
this? I am going to make an
apology to Mr Cameron, even
though he would say there is
no need (he has very good
manners). So why apologise? Because I fear
I was responsible for his being doorstepped,
just before Christmas last year, when Sky
News grabbed him as he was emerging from
a carol service where he, Piers Morgan, Kirstie
Allsopp and I were doing the readings. (It was
for charity, folks. We don’t hang out together.)
It was on the day that Theresa May, facing
certain defeat, had pulled the big Brexit vote.
Meltdown.
I was getting a lot of bids to do TV interviews.
Fine, I said, but you’ll have to come to St John’s
church in Notting Hill. And so they did. My
fault. An accident, too, that I arrived, on foot,
188 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
just as Cameron was arriving, in his policeprotected car. A couple of press photographers
snapped away, their photos making it seem as
though we were arriving together. We weren’t,
but he didn’t seem to mind. Good manners.
“Fancy seeing you here. Let’s get inside
sharpish.” Then we talked Brexit, of which
more later.
I dutifully knocked off a Channel 4 interview
by the churchyard entrance, but the man from
Sky News hung back for a bigger quarry, one
whose office was doubtless getting many
interview bids, but saying no to all of them.
There was a time when David Cameron was on
the news every day of the week. Trained first
in political campaigns, then media, then back
to politics as an MP, he was the master of the
short, sharp clip that would take a story
straight to the top of the bulletins: emerge
into frame, settle himself, deliver a perfectly
formed sound bite with energy and clarity
then make his way purposefully into a nearby
building or car. Take what you’re given; that
was the message. And they did, day after
day. He was good at it. It led me once to write
a piece headlined “Cameron isn’t Blair’s
successor – he’s mine”, which Cameron raised
when I next bumped into him. “Far too close
for comfort that one,” he said.
But today? Can you remember the last time
you saw him on the news? A near ever-present in our lives has chosen near invisibility
instead. He does things, as all former leaders
do: sits on boards; does business in China;
consultancy elsewhere; turns up at carol
services; chairs the patrons of the National
Citizens Service; is president of Alzheimer’s
Research UK; and makes speeches (he is in >>
Photographs Empics; Eyevine; Goff Photos; Wenn
The aim, dear reader, is to be fair. Fair, reasonable, rounded. What, you?
Alastair Campbell, the Labour guy, the one who can’t go ten minutes
without banging on about the People’s Vote as the way to get out of
the Brexit mess that he created and that you keep saying is the biggest
disaster of our lifetime? You’re going to be fair, reasonable and rounded
about David bloody Cameron?
Well, I can try, try to go beyond the obvious stuff, Brexit chief among it,
and the referendum, his decision, which I am convinced he didn’t have to make. And well
before the B-word even existed, there was plenty of other “obvious stuff” unlikely to
warm my feelings towards him, the man who put an end to the New Labour years, even
if we did stop him winning a majority in 2010. But still, fairly, reasonably, I can feel
grudging respect for how he used and then discarded his Liberal Democrat coalition
partners and finally secured that majority five years later, the first prime minister to
increase his share of the vote after a full term in office since Lord Salisbury in 1900.
Go back further and there is plenty more “obvious stuff” to get the chip on my shoulder
twitching – such as Eton College, which had produced no fewer than 18 prime ministers
before Cameron became the 19th. Yes, that one school has delivered more than three
times as many prime ministers as the six the Labour Party has provided in its entire
history, so forgive me the mild, lifelong obsession with Eton, the pinnacle of privilege.
Then the effortless, inevitable rise to and through Oxford, where his tutor Vernon
Bogdanor reckoned him to be among the cleverest students he ever taught (tick), but
where his sense of entitlement made him a natural for the membership and debauchery
of the Bullingdon Club (untick), a subsequent embarrassment that led to the wheelsin-wheels withdrawal of the official portrait of him, Boris Johnson (who fancies himself
Eton’s 20th prime minister) and eight other young toffs in tails and waistcoats, oozing
their own superiority. But let me be fair, reasonable and rounded even about that.
None of us choose our background, do we? We cannot select our parents. Father,
Ian, a stockbroker, mother, Mary, daughter of a baronet, where else would he go but
Eton? Nor could he help being clever. Clever, clever Cameron, no irony. How fair and
reasonable is that? Born to rule, destined to lead and he made it look so easy (till the
EU referendum). Sort the party, rule the country for a while, then see what comes up.
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ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
Having focused on
strategy for party
and country, he is
struggling to find a
strategy for himself
Clockwise from above: David Cameron arrives at an EU ‘crisis’ summit, days after
the Brexit vote, Brussels, 28 June 2016; the final appearance at the despatch
box (Theresa May took office the same day), 13 July 2016; with wife Samantha at
the Victoria & Albert Museum Summer Party, London, 20 June 2018; Cameron
and Alastair Campbell at a charity carol service, London, 15 December 2018
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 189
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industry Al Gore calls “white-collar crime”,
although most of it is below the radar – the
higher the fee for the speech, the less likely
you are to want to get coverage for it).
So although I apologise for getting the
cameras along to a charity event, I make no
apology for dwelling in some detail here on
how the doorstepping played out. We do not,
after all, have much to work with when trying
to analyse the post-power Cameron.
He leaves the church after the service,
bodyguards close by, and heads to the car.
“Mr Cameron, do you think there should
be a second referendum?” asks Sky reporter
Dan Whitehead.
“Good evening,” replies Cameron, politely
ignoring him. He is settling into the back seat
when Whitehead tries a second question.
“Do you regret calling the referendum, Mr
Cameron?” It would be neither fair nor reasonable to say that Cameron “snaps”, but
certainly the question provokes something
inside him that makes him feel compelled to
come back and answer. It touches a nerve. The
words begin to emerge even as he is extricating himself from the car.
“No, of course not,” he says, semi-audibly,
half hidden by the car door.
“You don’t?” asks Whitehead. Cameron is
now upright, back in the mode we know from
his previous life, clear, crisp, direct.
“Of course I don’t regret calling a referendum. I made a promise in the election
to call a referendum and I called the referendum. Obviously I’m concerned about
what’s happening today, but I do support
the prime minister in her efforts to try and
have a close partnership with the European
Union. It’s the right thing to do and she has
my support.”
He nods curtly, then he’s back into the car,
the bodyguard closing the door behind him.
But sometimes the look on a face can say more
than the words that have just emerged from its
mouth. He stares grimly out of the far window.
Pissed off understates it.
M
inutes earlier, mingling in
the church, posing for
selfies, tolerating Piers
Morgan’s incessant banter,
all destined for Morgan’s
Mail On Sunday column, Cameron could not
have been more chilled. He reacted goodnaturedly to the humour at his expense in
my reading, a spoof account of a BBC report
of Jesus’ birth, which contained several digs
at Brexit and ended with the observation that
the three wise men were thought to be
heading to Britain, “where there is currently
a very high demand for non-European
migrants to work in hospitals, care homes and
190 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Notting Hill specialist oat milk frappuccino
coffee shops... This is Alastair Campbell, BBC
News, Bethlehem, praying for a People’s Vote
and handing you back to Huw Edwards, in
strong and stable broken Britain.”
“Did you write that?” Cameron asked afterwards. “Bloody funny.”
Several people pointed out how well he
looked, how relaxed – after all, it must have
been crossing the minds of the many wellheeled charity donors and Notting Hill types
in attendance that they were in the presence
of “the man who ruined the country”. He must
be aware. Many say it.
I had felt that even more powerfully at
Tessa Jowell’s memorial service in Southwark
Cathedral, where he was sitting two rows
in front of me, eyes boring into him from
all directions, and I had to stop my daughter, Grace, from rushing forward to “make
a citizen’s arrest”. I felt a variation of it at
the funeral of cabinet secretary Jeremy
Heywood, where Cameron and May were
seated together in the front pew and whispered conversations were taking place behind
Take a close look at the first sentence. He
doesn’t exactly say he supports her deal, does
he? He is concerned at what is happening because he knows the government is in
chaos and he knows the country is projecting a very bad image of itself to the world,
and that the Brexit negotiations are a big
part of that.
Although his negotiations with the
European Union are often cited as one of
the reasons Cameron lost the referendum –
he overpromised and underdelivered – he
would not be human if he did not occasionally think he could have made a better job of
the negotiations than May. But in so far as
he is supporting the prime minister, it is “in
her efforts to try and have a close partnership with the European Union”. It is hardly
full-throated “support”. Nor for one second
would he support the change in approach
May made a few days later, when she sought
to crank up the prospect of no deal as a way
of winning over wavering MPs to her deal.
Crazy stuff. He won’t say it. But you can be
sure he thinks it.
He was never at his
best when on the
defensive. And it
feels like he is on
the defensive now
o what about the first part of the
answer to the question that had
Cameron exiting the car? “Of
course I don’t regret calling a referendum.” Not least thanks to
Édith Piaf, politicians find it hard to admit
regret to anything, unless it is mistakes made
by predecessors. Cameron got in his fair share
of apologies for others and was not averse to
making political capital out of them. His
apology on behalf of the Conservatives for
Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988,
which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools, was a not-so-subtle way of
signalling his party was being modernised
under his leadership.
A Commons apology for neglect at Mid
Staffordshire hospitals between 2005 and
2009 helped undermine Labour’s often
impregnable political strength on the NHS.
And how’s this for sheer nerve: his apology
as opposition leader in 2008 for failing to
spot that Britain was lurching into an economic crisis thanks to Gordon Brown? (All
part of the strategy, successful it has to be
said, of shifting the blame for a global crisis
to Labour, “the mess we inherited” becoming
a phrase Tory ministers never tired of uttering
and which successive Labour leaders rebutted insufficiently.)
He liked the big moments and history
often gives you those. So he had fine words
of regret for the massacre of Indians by
British riflemen in Amritsar in 1919; a full-on
apology for the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy
in 1989; another for the state collusion in the
murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane in >>
them along the lines of, “Which one will
history judge more harshly?”
Cameron is a little heavier than he was in
Number Ten – a decrease in adrenaline and
workload can do that to anyone. Although it
is greying at the back, he still has a good head
of hair and just the one chin. His cheeks are
as smooth and baby-like as ever, the forehead as wrinkle-free as Vladimir Putin’s, but
without the cosmetic surgery. “He’s aged a lot
better than your pal Tony,” one of the Notting
Hill set observed.
Yet, his little doorstep over, as the TV
cameramen continued to film him, that youthful face now looked peevish.
“Should there be no deal or a second referendum?” asked one voice.
“Do you feel you should apologise to people
in Britain?” shouted another. That one led to
peak pissed-off look. No reply. But the words
he spoke earlier, not just his body language,
merit analysis.
“Obviously I’m concerned about what’s
happening today, but I do support the prime
minister in her efforts to try and have a close
partnership with the European Union. It’s the
right thing to do and she has my support.”
S
Photograph Eyevine
>> and around the six-figure range in an
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ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
If he had stayed, Cameron would be waiting for the knife in
the back as a Brexiteer got into position to replace him
Hours after the
referendum result
was confirmed – and
barely a year after he
secured a Commons
majority in the general
election of May 2015 –
David Cameron
announced his
intention to resign as
prime minister,
24 June 2016
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 191
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– there I go, being fair and reasonable again –
was his apology, in June 2010, for the actions
of British forces on what became known as
Bloody Sunday, something that happened
when he was five years old. “There is no
doubt. There is nothing equivocal. There
are no ambiguities. What happened on
Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and
unjustifiable. It was wrong.” Most of those
public apologies came as a result of long,
costly public inquiries. If Brexit turns out to
be even a fraction as bad as many think it
will be, there will be public inquiries aplenty,
David Cameron a star witness, and whether
he will always be able to say “Of course I
don’t regret calling a referendum” will be dictated by events now well beyond his control.
T
he phrase he used for Bloody
Sunday – “There is no doubt” –
conveys certainty. So, albeit more
defensively, does “of course”. But
when he says he doesn’t regret
calling the referendum, can he really mean
it? How could he not have regret, at a personal level, for the fact that having become
our youngest prime minister since Lord
Liverpool in 1812, moving into Number Ten
aged 43, he was out of the job before turning
50? Or that he made way for someone he
never much liked or rated, who had refused
to put her shoulder to the wheel in the
referendum and who called a snap election
that saw the loss of the majority he had won,
in part by very deliberately reversing much
of the political strategy he and George
Osborne had carefully developed and executed
over years? Or that, by any calculation, the
referendum and his failure to win it inspired
three years of political turmoil with no end
in sight?
Can he really not regret that no matter how
much he might want a more modern, liberal
Conservatism to be his legacy (that didn’t
last long, did it, Theresa?), Brexit dwarfs it
in terms of major change. And the fact that
he, a consummate communicator, has taken
the active decision that to communicate about
Brexit at all would be more likely to damage
than help the cause he supports, how can
that not be a cause of regret? Is there not a
part of him that worries the Brexit referendum will become to his critics what Iraq has
become to Tony Blair’s – an all-encompassing
expression of “whataboutery” designed to
render irrelevant anything else done in the
past or said in the future? Who said politics was fair?
Yet, just as I advise Blair to engage more
in UK debate, I think the same could go for
Cameron. He disagrees, hence the reluctance to crack on with publication of his
192 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
autobiography, penned in his posh garden
shed, whose existence, revealed courtesy
of a tweet by the firm that installed it, is
one of the few new facts learned about
Cameron since he left office. He is waiting
for the Brexit fog to clear in the hope he
can tell a bigger story: about modernising
Conservatism; the fight for same-sex marriage, won despite most of his own MPs
voting against him; introducing the national
living wage; about building and leading a
coalition government in a country not used
to them; delivering relatively “strong and
stable” government not seen since; about the
attempts to rescue the economy from
the impact of the global financial crisis; and
to tell his side of the story about the reduction of the structural deficit and the austerity
programme that undoubtedly contributed
to struggling local government, a housing
crisis, thousands sleeping on the streets,
greater pressure than ever for the NHS,
police and schools, and Iain Duncan Smith’s
welfare reforms, which are still playing
out with devastating effect and leave us
He makes six-figure
speeches below the
radar. The higher
the fee, the less
coverage you want
to wonder what happened to Cameron’s
“Big Society” or his bold claim that “We
can make British poverty history and we will
make British poverty history.”
Even with an active foreign policy – the
challenge of Isis, Afghanistan, intervention in
Libya, trying and failing to intervene in Syria,
when President Assad crossed President
Obama’s red line of chemical weapon use
and Cameron became the first prime minister since 1782 to lose a vote on committing
troops – I think he is being unrealistic if he
thinks any or all of the above will clear the
Brexit fog from the story of David Cameron’s
life, even if he is the man with the pen. Short
of revealing that he took drugs all the way
from Bullingdon to Number Ten, including a
few snort-ups with Obama and Angela Merkel
in the cabinet room, then whenever his book
finally does see the light of day, expect Brexit
to figure large in the coverage.
Maybe he should embrace that. Get on
the front foot. “He [Blair] was the future
once!” That took some nerve, in his first Prime
Minister’s Questions as opposition leader,
taking on a man who had already despatched
four Tory leaders to the pavilion. Cameron
was the first since Major that Blair imagined might make it as prime minister. “He’s
got something,” he would say. “He’s good
enough.” But Cameron was never at his best
when on the defensive. And it feels like he
is on the defensive right now.
S
o there I was, pre-carols, People’s
Vote hat on, suggesting there were
not many voices that can really cut
through, but that his, as a former
prime minister central to the Brexit
story, is one of them. Was he giving much
thought to when he might say something about
the mess? If people go all Danny Dyer on him,
let them: “So what’s happened to that twat
David Cameron who called it on? How comes
he can scuttle off? Where is he? He’s in Europe,
in Nice, with his trotters up, yeah. Where is
the geezer? I think he should be held to account
for it.” It was certainly a moment. It is certainly
a viewpoint too. Dyer’s point about “scuttling
off” has resonance with those who feel that
having offered the people the choice Cameron
had a duty to deliver on their chosen outcome,
that he should have stayed to face the music
or at least some kind of sanction for having
led the country to its current unpretty pass.
In the middle of the night, hours after the
referendum defeat was confirmed, he was
clear: he saw no way that he, who had led the
campaign against Brexit from the front, could
remain to deliver it. Even if he had stayed,
Cameron was clear he would be waiting for
the tap on the shoulder and the knife in the
back as a Brexiteer got into position to replace
him. Certainly, when you think how heavily
the Brexiteers push the line that May “does
not really believe in Brexit”, how much more
would they have been able to use that attack
against the man who led the doomed Remain
campaign, successfully labelled Project Fear,
based as it was on the same kind of negative
economic drumbeat he ran in the Scottish
independence referendum of 2014 and his
win over Ed Miliband in 2015, a win secured
shortly after a pre-election tweet that has
not aged well: “Britain faces a simple and
inescapable choice... Stability and strong government with me or chaos with Ed Miliband.”
His team admit surprise that May, Michael
Gove and Boris Johnson – interesting
how they now belong in the same breath
– “behaved as badly as they did” in the
referendum and anger that Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn “didn’t lift a finger”. It felt
to Cameron that he was “leading from the
front, nominally in charge of an army that
included every political party, but that was
too squeamish to fight. The rest of the political establishment were so convinced they
would win they wondered why they should
help an Etonian toff?” >>
Photographs Eyevine; Goff Photos; Reuters
>> 1989... Indeed, one of his finest moments
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ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
Clockwise from top:
The former PM meets
Chinese premier Li
Keqiang. Since leaving
office, Cameron has
headed up a private
investment fund called
UK-China, Beijing,
27 November 2018;
(left and right) on
a family holiday in
Corsica, 29 May 2018;
at the Queen’s Club
tennis championship,
20 June 2018
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>> So he now seems to take the view that his is
the last voice anyone wants to hear on Brexit.
And, for sure, even that short Sky News clip
provoked the usual orgy of abuse on social
media. But is it universally shared? Would
people listen if he spoke, said what he really
thought, offered leadership advice to a country
in dire need of it? Some would not. But many
would. So why doesn’t he? Why the silence
and self-imposed obscurity?
Partly, he sees parallels with Blair, thinks
that all PMs need a cooling-off period, especially when associated with a controversy as
big as Iraq or Brexit. He knows that whenever
he does put his head back above the parapet,
there will be plenty of people waiting to
fire at him. He is confident he can get his
reputation to a better place, that there is
a difficult pain barrier to go through with
press and public, but now, mid-turmoil, is not
the time. Also, he looks back at his party’s
history, recalls Ted Heath making life harder
for Margaret Thatcher, just as she did for
John Major. He does not want to make life
any more difficult for May. Does that mean
he likes her? No. He found her frustrating to
deal with, cold, stubborn and that she rather
enjoyed being a “bloody difficult woman”,
long before Ken Clarke provided the label.
Cameron often managed to find a reason to
send Nick Clegg in his stead for the regular
prime minister-home secretary bilaterals
and he rightly assumes her brutal dismissal
of George Osborne when she became prime
minister was in large part a dig at him for
allowing the Dave-George chumocracy to run
things so tightly.
There was something odd, however, about
her flat-out denial in the Commons of media
reports that he had been advising her on
Brexit. She said that the last time they had
spoken was after reaching the withdrawal
agreement with the EU, when she made
a courtesy call to him. Yet – back to the
Christmas carols – Cameron had told a group
in the church a very nice story about how his
daughter Nancy had wanted to revisit Number
Ten, where she had grown up, and May had
shown them around a few days earlier. I find
it hard to believe the B-word wasn’t mentioned, nor advice I know he had given her
previously, which went unheeded, to “keep
her options open”.
C
ameron and Osborne appear to
have a genuine friendship, personal and political. They were
together, following events in the
Commons, on the day May faced
down the motion of no confidence from her
MPs. There are many similarities, but differences too. Osborne is more urban, Cameron
more rural. “George would happily frack
194 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
anywhere,” says a friend. “David doesn’t like
bulldozers. He is modern, but traditional too.”
Yet even today, it is hard to uncover stories
that reveal any kind of genuine rift, let alone
the dysfunction that came to characterise
Blair-Brown or, in their own party, ThatcherHowe and Major-Lamont.
Cameron was able to view the latter of
these from both sides, as part of the team preparing Major for Prime Minister’s Questions
when he was in the Conservative Research
Department and later as a special advisor to
then chancellor Norman Lamont. Indeed,
my first memory of Cameron, looking not
unlike a choirboy from nearby Westminster
Cathedral, was when he was part of the
Lamont entourage on 16 September 1992,
when the chancellor emerged to tell the media
– I was political editor of the Mirror – that
the pound’s collapse was forcing Britain out
of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Europe. Always bloody Europe. But, my
God, if you had asked anyone at that hastily
arranged press conference if they thought we
might leave the EU in our lifetime, I doubt any
Whether he can
always say ‘I don’t
regret calling a
referendum’ is now
beyond his control
of them, politician or journalist, would have
said yes, let alone that the young man standing to the side would be the prime minister
who would pave the way.
One big difference we know Cameron and
Osborne had was over whether to offer a referendum on Europe at all. Osborne was against,
though perhaps not as vehemently as he now
maintains. Cameron felt he had no choice.
He resents the accusation that he just woke
up one day and for reasons purely of political management decided to take a massive,
reckless gamble on the country’s future. As
far as he was concerned, the issue was real
and refusing to go away. But was it, really,
with the public?
I had a few exchanges with Cameron during
and immediately after the referendum campaign, his then press advisor Craig Oliver
having asked me to help brief the politicians
being fielded for the TV debates. I never tired
of saying I thought he had not needed to hold
the referendum. He was adamant. The pressure was real. It could not be ignored. And,
perhaps not unreasonably, his allies point out
that “If there was no demand for a referendum
on leaving, how come so many voted to leave
when they were given the chance? There is no
logic to what you are saying.”
Y
ou are not a Tory, you don’t
understand.”
It is something of a mantra for
those Remainer friends of Cameron
who still support his decision,
despite all that has flowed from it. “You [New
Labour] promised a vote on the Lisbon Treaty,
then didn’t give it. So we offered one. Lots and
lots of our candidates made a big thing of it.
Once Lisbon was ratified, we ran out of things
to give a referendum on. It moved to in or out.
Something had to give. David did not think the
demand for a referendum was mad.” (Though
he did label those calling for it most loudly,
Ukip, “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”.)
Another of Cameron’s referendum team put
it like this: “The EU referendum was a slow
train coming for years and it arrived in the
station on our watch.” Anyone under the age
of 60 had never had a vote on Europe, he said.
It had grown from a group of just nine
members with similar economies in 1973 to
a huge institution with 28 members and
Britain a magnet for unlimited freedom of
movement. The Ukip threat was real, he
insisted, posing an existential threat to the
Tories. “They didn’t just do well in the 2014
European elections – they won them. It is
utterly naive to say a Conservative leader
didn’t need to deal with them.” Closer to home,
Cameron had around 80 MPs rebelling on
everything and anything to do with Europe.
Nor do Labour escape the blame in the
Cameroons’ Brexit analysis. We had been
“deceitful” about the numbers likely to come
from the countries acceding from the east.
“Metropolitan liberals like you and me,” one
of his team lectured me, “believed arguments
about globalisation and immigration had been
won or at least accepted. They hadn’t been.”
And although Blair was perhaps the most proEuropean PM of modern times, they say he
was one of a long line of leaders happy to
“trade in slagging off Europe” when domestic politics required it. Yes, the right-wing
media ran dishonest and highly effective campaigns against the EU, but successive PMs
were insufficiently concerned to fight back.
Also, Cameron, much more than Osborne,
let alone Blair, always had a sceptic streak in
him. We saw it in his 2005 leadership campaign against David Davis, when he promised
that Tory MEPs would leave the European
People’s Party grouping, which included the
MEPs of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy’s
parties. Europe’s leaders were baffled and
Merkel upset by the move, feeling that in
most policy areas Cameron was trying to
shift his party to the centre. But this, they
saw, not least because of the parties he then
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ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
began to ally with, as a shift to the right.
It did not help him when it came, years later,
to his attempted renegotiation of the UK’s
relations in Europe, nor did his unsuccessful
attempts to block Jean-Claude Juncker as
Commission president. Tactics came ahead
of strategy maybe, a common complaint of
Cameron’s tenure.
“George genuinely thinks what is happening is a disaster, for the country, for the party,”
said someone who worked with both Cameron
and Osborne. “He thinks we are heading to
Planet Zog. He is also determined to settle
scores with Theresa. David is more sanguine,
wishes it wasn’t happening, thinks it’s a total
shitshow now, but that will come to an end.
I know you probably want me to say that he
wakes up every morning, throws his hands
in the air and says, ‘Oh, no, what have I
done to the country?’ But he doesn’t. He felt
he had to call the referendum. He thinks the
result has to be respected. And he thinks, certainly hopes, things might not be that bad.”
Hardly statecraft, I suggested. “No, maybe not.
But sometimes supreme confidence can shield
you from good or bad and you just trust the
judgment of history. He still has that supreme
confidence.” So why is he hiding away, as if
ashamed of something? “It’s about not backseat driving, simple as that... You’re not sure,
are you?” No, I wasn’t. “This is the influence
of his mother, very much a magistrate... Offer
advice if asked for it. Stay silent if not.”
I’m still not sure.
There are two other misconceptions his
friends are keen to challenge. “It is not true
that he always thought he would win, never
thought he could lose. He was confident, but
he and George both knew it was loseable.”
Secondly, the “chillaxed” jibe was a myth.
“He put the work in. He never looked tired,
he never seemed stressed, but he had a real
capacity for hard work.” However, I do recall
civil servants complaining that he would not
always engage with the deep complexities of
the EU negotiations, tending to devote more
time and energy to party and media management. “He would focus on the crocodile
closest to the canoe, not the bigger ones swimming downstream,” is how one of his former
advisors put it.
S
o what now for Cameron? Leaders
who get to the top younger also
leave office younger than in times
past – Blair was just 54 when he
left Number Ten after a decade in
power, Barack Obama 55 when he left the
White House after two terms as president.
Cameron is a decade younger than Theresa
May, almost to the day, and 17 years younger
than Jeremy Corbyn. He can’t, surely, spend
the rest of his life just being “former prime
minister David Cameron”. Can he? One of his
friends told me he thinks Cameron is “struggling more than he lets on” to define and
shape a new life out of office. “Former PMs
have a choice. They can do the ‘former PM’
thing or they can try to do something new
and different. He is not really doing either.
He is a little bit in no-man’s-land and yet he
has decades ahead of him.” Compare and contrast, he suggested, with Osborne. Of course,
former chancellor is not the same as former
PM, but Osborne has created a new life for
himself, “almost entirely on his own terms”,
and one of some continuing influence, thanks
to the editorship of the London Evening
Standard, just one of several high-profile and
lucrative roles.
Might Cameron be in this weird limbo
land described by his friend because, having
been focused for years on strategy for party
and country, the latter having ended badly,
he is struggling to come up with a strategy
for himself?
When you’re prime minister – even May gets
this bit – you can do things, say things, be on
Public apologies
follow public
inquiries – in
Brexit’s, Cameron
will be a star witness
the news night after night, persuade yourself
you are articulating a clear vision and propelling the country forward. When that goes,
where do you go? What do you do?
He is definitely spending more time with
his family and giving more space to his wife,
Samantha, to pursue her own career and interests. She was never wholly comfortable with
the role of prime ministerial consort, certainly
had little passion for it, and Cameron accepts
both that it was a sacrifice for her and that the
family had to take something of a back seat,
no easy task when you lose a son, Ivan, and a
father, within 19 months.
There was talk of the top job at Nato, but
it was not encouraged by him and he took to
task friends who had been putting his name in
the frame. There has been talk of him returning to help a future Tory prime minister as
foreign secretary, presumably from the House
Of Lords, but as one of his colleagues put it,
“The redeeming return... It’s one of those ideas
that sounds OK – until you analyse it.” As to
who that future prime minister might be and
where Cameron might throw his support, he
appears to have forgiven Boris Johnson but
not Michael Gove for their role in his downfall.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s starring role in the
Channel 4 drama Brexit: The Uncivil War might
have helped fuel the suggestion that Gove’s
former special advisor Dominic Cummings was
“the man who delivered Brexit”. But Cameron
is in no doubt that Johnson and Gove were the
two politicians who carried the Brexit ball over
the line. “He and Boris go back a long way, but
were never that close. He was always wary of
him, saw him as a rival, a nuisance. Michael he
saw as a real friend, so the feeling of betrayal
runs deep.” As for David Davis, Cameron has
not changed the judgment he reached when
seeing him off as a leadership rival 13 years
ago: lazy, not clever, opportunistic.
But if I feel I know what he thinks of the
above, I would love to know what he is making
of the shift to the right of Jeremy Hunt and
Sajid Javid. Not a lot, I imagine. He thinks May
made a mistake in ignoring the lessons of how
he won his majority – through a coalition of
metropolitan liberals and shire Tories – and
in appealing to the crowded pro-Brexit base
they risk making the same mistake again. He
was not averse to political game-playing and
posturing when needed, but Hunt and Javid’s
born-again Brexiteering makes Cameron and
Osborne look innocents by comparison.
Cameron continues to believe that whatever
else Brexit says about the country, Britain is a
more liberal and progressive place than traditional Tories might think and that unless the
party embraces that, and changes accordingly, it risks irrelevance and oblivion. He
argues that his vision of Conservatism won
when put to the electoral test against Ed
Miliband’s Labour.
Since then, Labour politics has moved to
the left, Tory politics to the right, and neither
appear to be offering a winning formula for
the country, whatever happens in the Brexit
debate. He is that leader who in losing the
battle of Brexit also lost the war for Britain’s
future and now seems to feel barred even
from engaging in the argument about how the
fightback should be conducted. That is a lot
of wasted talent, energy and experience that
has to go somewhere, do something, surely?
When, what, how and whether the country
will be in a mood to listen are the next big
questions in David Cameron’s life. G
More from G For these related
stories visit GQ.co.uk /magazine
David Cameron, Foreign Secretary?
(David Levesley, November 2018)
Who Should Be Blamed For What Brexit
Did To Britain? (Matt Kelly, June 2018)
Nobody Was Smart Enough To Understand
Brexit (Matt Kelly, May 2018)
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 195
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432 Park
Avenue
Currently the tallest
residential building in
the Western hemisphere.
Height: 426 metres
520 Park
Avenue
Includes a £103 million
triplex penthouse among
its 35 residences.
Height: 238 metres
53W53
New York’s seventhtallest building, rising
directly above the city’s
Museum Of Modern Art.
Height: 320 metres
Haven’t you heard? Our cities are full, bulging, engorged... and yet demand for luxury homes is
ballooning. No wonder, then, that enterprising architects are throwing up ultra-skinny residential
skyscrapers around the world. NYC is leading the size-zero revolution with a cluster on the south
side of Central Park known as Billionaires’ Row. Here, GQ tours some of the skyline’s slimmest
‘super-slenders’ and asks: are they pillars of the community or pinnacles of post-crash inequality?
Story by
Charlie Burton
196 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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SKYSCRAPERS
Central
Park Tower
111 West
57th Street
When finished, will be
the tallest residential
building in the world.
Height: 472 metres
Set to become the
world’s skinniest
skyscraper upon
completion this year.
Height: 435 metres
220 Central
Park South
The £198m penthouse is
set to eclipse the record
for New York’s most
expensive apartment.
Height: 290 metres
One57
Holds the record for
the most expensive
home ever sold in NYC.
Height: 306 metres
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 197
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Their purpose is a clue to what’s driving
the boom. At a time when luxury housing is
in demand, but space is at a premium, architects are grabbing small city-centre plots that
might be too modest for large corporations but
adequate for individuals and maximising their
value by building them up as far as possible.
That has been made possible by a conflux
of two things. First, a quirk of the New York
legal system. The city’s planning regulations
prohibit building above certain heights in
certain areas, to ensure that Manhattan doesn’t
become a cyberpunk sprawl of densely packed
superstructures. But if an architect chooses
not to max out the height limit on a building,
neighbouring developers have the ability to
buy the unused “air rights” and add them
to their own structure – and the people behind
the new super-skinnies have done just that.
The second driver is innovation. Wind is the
biggest problem skyscrapers have to contend
with, and engineers have found new ways to
disrupt the flow of air and prevent it from
forming vibration-causing vortices – especially
important for skinny structures. Pertinently,
the chemical composition of concrete has
evolved radically over the years and now it
is able to support much more with much less.
I
Of all the architectural forms that took wing
during the 20th century, the skyscraper in particular invites metaphorical readings. What
exactly it means, however, has always been
up for grabs. Are these almighty structures
emblems of hope and accomplishment or are
they Babel-like images of capitalist hubris?
As the world turns, so too do the resonances.
During the feminist revolution, the skyscraper
looked unapologetically phallic; after 9/11,
it looked helplessly vulnerable. And, recently,
the symbolism has shifted again – this time
not due to changing times, but changing style.
The super-skinny skyscraper was born a
decade ago in the spiritual home of the highrise, New York City, where this burgeoning
architectural subgenre came to be defined by
a spindly base-to-height ratio of at least 1:10.
Many, however, are much slimmer than that.
Take the Steinway Tower, a 435-metre edifice
under construction at 111 West 57th Street.
When it’s completed this year, it will be the
world’s skinniest skyscraper, with a ratio of 1:24
(for comparison, the World Trade Center North
Tower was 1:7). Or look at 100 East 53rd Street,
which is shorter (216 metres) but still a slender
198 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
1:16. This architectural trend has since spread
far. In Melbourne, a 75-storey tower called
the Elysium has been approved for the city’s
Southbank precinct. Designed by local architects BKK, it will stand 244 metres tall and, at
its narrowest point, be just 12 metres wide.
In NYC, there is a concentration of such
developments, either complete or in progress, around 57th Street, earning it – and
its surrounding neighbourhood – the sobriquet “Billionaires’ Row”. This has caused the
demeanour of the area to transform. Once
upon a time, it was only for businesses. But
these towers are primarily residential, their
appeal being unsurpassed views across the
park, the rivers and the Atlantic Ocean.
Are skyscrapers
emblems of hope
and accomplishment
or Babel-like images
of capitalist hubris?
f you think all that sounds expensive, you are right. The size-zero
building comes with an outsize price
tag: the Steinway Tower’s construction budget was filed at £678 million
in June 2015. But developers are betting
that its elite vistas will nonetheless make it
highly profitable, attracting ultra-wealthy
residents willing to spend upwards of £12m
on a unit. Given that the building stretches
up through 82 storeys, the projected value of
the venture, assuming it sells out, is reportedly £1.15 billion.
Super-skinny skyscrapers won’t crop up in
every unused nook and cranny of the city,
because buildings can only go so skinny.
The technology on which all skyscrapers are
predicated is the lift. But lift shafts can’t be
shrunk. If a skyscraper is too slender, the lift
shaft will occupy too much of the footprint and
eat into profitability. Manhattan has a finite
number of plots of land that are big enough
for a viable skinny residential skyscraper, but
not so large as to warrant a different kind of
development altogether. The rarity of these
buildings will only add to what is increasingly
being seen as their metaphorical significance:
that they are spatial representations of income
inequality, a smattering of extraordinary, and
extraordinarily expensive, homes for the 0.1
per cent, visible for miles around. And for all
their aesthetic wow factor, that’s worth considering. As Churchill observed, “We shape our
buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
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SKYSCRAPERS
111 West 57th Street
(Steinway Tower)
Height: 435 metres
Floors: 82
Top-out date: 2019
Skinniness ratio: 1:24
Intel: The plot of land on
which 111 West 57th Street
stands is only 18 metres
wide; most of the flats inside
the building will occupy a
full floor, although some will
be duplexes.
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
It hasn’t been easy. This project designed by
Shop Architects for JDS Development Group
and Property Markets Group has faced legal
obstacles, but it has survived, and when it is
completed it will be the skinniest skyscraper
in the world. Nicknamed the “Steinway Tower”
because its site was formerly that of piano
makers Steinway & Sons, it will contain 60
condominiums and provide residents with
access to a gym, barber and pool. Fittingly,
given the history, it will also contain a semiprivate concert hall.
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 199
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53W53
Height: 320 metres
Floors: 77
Top-out date: 2018
Skinniness ratio: 1:12
Intel: A one-bed
flat on the 27th
floor is priced at
£4.1m; the interiors
of the building’s 145
residences were
designed by architect
Thierry Despont.
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
This tower adjacent to the Museum Of Modern
Art became the seventh tallest in the city when
it topped out last year. Designed by the French
architect Jean Nouvel for Hines, Pontiac Land
Group and Goldman Sachs, it is packed with
amenities: a wine cellar, a golf simulator, a formal
dining room, a 65-feet pool, a wine-tasting
room, a squash court and a wellness centre. The
structure was originally going to stand as tall as
the Empire State Building but New York refused
to approve construction unless its height was
reduced by 61 metres.
200 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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Central Park Tower
Apartments have just gone on sale at Central Park Tower,
which will be the tallest residential building in the world
when it is complete. Comprising a vast total floorspace
of one million square feet, the first 31 floors will be
dedicated to commercial use. Floors one to seven, for
instance, have been taken by the luxury department
store Nordstrom, hence the structure’s alternative name,
the “Nordstrom Tower”. It will house residents from the
32nd storey upwards and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Architecture has included plenty of amenities for them to
enjoy, including a 15,000-square-feet terrace, indoor and
outdoor pools, a private club and a sky-high ballroom.
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
Height: 472 metres
Floors: 95
Top-out date: 2019
Skinniness ratio: 1:14
Intel: The original plan
was to add a spire that
would take the building’s
height to just one foot short
of One World Trade Center,
but the idea was dropped;
a penthouse is reportedly
on sale for £75.3m and
comes with four bedrooms,
a 2,000-square-feet terrace
and an outdoor pool.
202 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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SKYSCRAPERS
220 Central
Park South
The architect behind this structure is Robert AM
Stern, who is something of a New York favourite,
having designed landmark apartment buildings
such as 30 Park Place and 15 Central Park West.
His creation has already topped out, but it is
yet to be completed. When it is, an anonymous
Qatari is reportedly planning to spend £198m on
the penthouse, which would break the record for
the most expensive property in NYC (currently
found at One57) by £118m.
220 Central Park South Illustration by Sinelab
Height: 290 metres
Floors: 70
Top-out date: 2017
Skinniness ratio: 1:18
Intel: Amenities include
a porte-cochère, wine
vault, pool, private
dining room and gym; all
360,000 square feet of
the building’s exterior will
be clad in two-inch-thick
Alabama limestone.
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO .UK 203
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520 Park Avenue
British inventor Sir James Dyson, former Barclays
chief Bob Diamond and former UFC owner Frank
Fertitta have all reportedly bought properties inside
this Robert AM Stern-designed tower. It comprises
just 35 residences (many are duplexes and the
crowning penthouse is a triplex) but advertises a
huge array of amenities, including a vaulted salon
“for conversation and socialising”, a “classically
landscaped private garden” and a pool “surrounded
by hand-carved stone latticework and bathed in
natural light from the garden above”.
Height: 238 metres
Floors: 54
Top-out date: 2017
Skinniness ratio: 1:13
Intel: One critic estimated that
520 Park Avenue has “perhaps
the highest ratio of amenityto-unit space of any building in
the city”; the building’s design
inspiration was, according to its
developer, “the mansion-like base
of The Sherry-Netherland, the tall,
slender silhouette of The Pierre
and the scale and architectural
design of 770 Park Avenue”.
204 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
SKYSCRAPERS
Height: 306 metres
Floors: 75
Top-out date: 2012
Skinniness ratio: 1:8
Intel: The building
has had two notable
accidents – in 2012 the
construction crane was
partially damaged by
Hurricane Sandy and
in 2014 a fire broke out in
the loading dock; One57’s
residents have access
to a 20,000-square-feet
amenities floor, which
includes a fitness centre,
pool, 24-seat cinema
and library.
One57
While its 1:8 ratio falls just shy of the standard
definition of a “slender” skyscraper, One57 is
perceived as a key example of the trend. Dubbed
the “Billionaire Building”, it was designed by the
award-winning French architect Christian de
Portzamparc for Extell Development and contains
92 condos. The penthouse became the priciest
home ever sold in NYC when tech titan Michael
Dell bought it for £79.7m in 2014, although he
was only identified as the buyer last year.
MARCH 2019 GQ.CO. UK 205
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Mothers were
mutilated, nuns
were raped
and men were
castrated.
The young
Jair Bolsonaro
was a fan
A rally for former army
captain Jair Bolsonaro
takes to the streets in São
Paulo, seven days before
his election as president,
21 October 2018; (right)
Bolsonaro campaigns in
Rio De Janeiro with his
eldest son, Flávio (right),
27 August 2018
206 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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BRAZIL
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
Photographs
Getty Images
Story by
Matt Sandy
from
Photograph by
Mauro Pimentel
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: an establishment caste blighted by corruption; a reactionary outsider
with a flair for invective and a grudge against mainstream news; an election fought and won on the servers of
social media. This year, Jair Bolsonaro stepped from obscurity and into the presidency on a platform of violence,
intolerance and militarised authority. But as the battle for control of the fourth largest democracy enters round
two, we ask will his supporters return to the streets when the reality of his promises hit home?
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 207
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I
t had long been suspected. Now, the
people knew it for sure. A year earlier,
even before Operation Car Wash began,
anger at corruption had seen millions
surge to the streets. As a foreign correspondent, it was quite a welcome to Brazil
– the thud of exploding sound bombs reverberating off the grand façades of downtown
Rio De Janeiro, the smell of tear gas festering in the night air.
Brazil had not seen protests like this in a
generation. Charlo Ferreson, a hairdresser
with a keen sense of injustice, was there.
She figured she was witnessing something
historic. “It was the watershed,” she said.
“Brazilians knew all politicians were thieves.
In June 2013, we woke up.”
Back then, Brazil was not in crisis. It
was about to host the World Cup and the
Olympics. There was little hint the country’s newly confident self-image would come
crashing down; that Car Wash would implicate everyone who was anyone, including
four former presidents; that Rio was on
the verge of an economic crisis so severe
police would not be able to pay for petrol,
let alone rubber bullets.
There was just a sense that not everything
208 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
was right, the unmistakably rotten scent of
corruption, a malaise that had in all likelihood
existed for decades, even centuries. “Excuse
the inconvenience,” one placard read. “We
are changing our country.”
So why did the protests happen then?
Ferreson suspects she knows. It began on
Orkut, a Google-owned social network
that was briefly dominant here a decade
ago. It gave Brazilians the first taste of a
platform on which they could air gripes
about entrenched injustices – the petty
thief locked up in a stinking jail while the
millionaire politician stole with impunity
– while bypassing an out-of-touch media
and a bought-up political system. “It was
very subtle,” Ferreson said, “but people began
to complain.”
Bolsonaro promised
to drain the swamp
in Brasília: ‘Either
they go abroad
or they go to jail’
By 2013, Facebook had supplanted Orkut.
The digital murmurs had become louder and
more organised. That day in June, when
video of police violence against marchers
went viral on social media, it sparked a mass
street movement and generated a moment of
real political power.
It did not last, but it would not be the
last time. And there was something else,
the matter of who was protesting – such
as Ferreson, for example, a 45-year-old
mother-of-two. Sitting at her kitchen table
in a detached house on a gated, tree-lined
street on the periphery of Rio, she did not
emanate revolution.
The protesters were not just students, activists and anarchists. The whole society was
frustrated. “It was the first time the right went
to the streets,” Ferreson said. That nascent
movement was about to be propelled by legal
tremors that would shake the continent.
I t had begun, appropriately enough, at a
car wash. In March 2014, anticorruption
police raided a nondescript garage in
the capital, Brasília, suspecting its operators of money laundering. The clues
they found sparked a probe that would
demolish the credibility of the political class.
Construction giant Odebrecht, whose chief
executive was later jailed for 19 years, was
found to have created a department dedicated
to paying bribes to hundreds of codenamed
politicians, who spent it on luxury villas,
helicopters, fine wines and even finer prostitutes. The company’s corrupt tentacles were
found to have stretched across South America
and Africa and the scam even determined
policy priorities: World Cup stadiums that
would barely be used, superfluous airport
terminals, even hydroelectric dams. Many
billions were stolen.
Leading the probe, which was fictionalised
by Narcos producer José Padilha in Netflix
series The Mechanism, was judge Sérgio
Moro. A 46-year-old with cropped black hair
and an intense, studious manner, he soon
became a hero to those who saw corruption
as Brazil’s curse. Every round of police raids
on money launderers, public officials and
company executives, every new scandalous
revelation as to the sheer scale of the fraud,
it all added to his aura.
In Brazil, historically, investigations such as
this were nixed by the most powerful before
they could get going. But Moro was leaving
politicians quaking and the public baying
for more. He was becoming a legend, but
his path was about to bring him into conflict
with another. And, as Brazil descended in an
unprecedented political and economic crisis,
it ultimately led to the unlikely ascent of Jair
Bolsonaro, a far-right authoritarian with a >>
Photographs Getty Images
The azure bank notes, each worth about £20,
fluttered through seven counting machines at
the rate of hundreds per minute. It was well
past midnight and the police were still at it. After
14 hours, they had their total: R$42,643,500
and $2,688,000. In all, cash worth more than
£10 million, recovered in September 2017 from
the secret bunker of just one politician.
It was the biggest cash find in the history
of Brazil – but it was just a grain of sand on
the beach of corruption being uncovered since
Operation Car Wash, the world’s biggest graft
investigation, which had started three years
earlier. The plot went like this: Brazil’s public
coffers had been brazenly used as a cashpoint
by its political class for decades – house speaker
Eduardo Cunha, a kind of Brazilian Frank
Underwood, was said to have stashed £30m in
offshore accounts – and contracts worth billions
to construction companies would be inflated
and a percentage kicked back to officials.
Everyone won, except ordinary Brazilians.
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BRAZIL
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
When Bolsonaro isn’t
threatening to
punch gay men on
the street, he
projects the image of
a jovial family man
Carried on the shoulders of
supporters, Bolsonaro
campaigns in Juiz De Fora, a city
north of Rio De Janeiro, one
month before the first round of
elections, 7 September 2018
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 211
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history of fascism. But his opponents were not
individuals to be taken seriously, Bolsonaro
said with confidence. One centre-left rival
would “open the doors to communism here
in Brazil, for sure”.
It was not the ideal way to distance
himself from the political tactics of the
Thirties. (“He campaigns and sounds like
a fascist. He is intolerant of any idea different to his about how Brazil should be,”
Federico Finchelstein, a historian of totalitarianism in Europe and South America, told
me.) But if tyranny was taboo, no one told
Brazil, a country that, unlike neighbouring
Argentina, still reveres the military above
other institutions.
Lula persisted with a surreal campaign
for the presidency from his jail cell and had
reached 33 per cent in the polls. But with a
court seeking to bar his candidacy, there was
added significance to Bolsonaro being in clear
second with 15 per cent. As things stood, the
two would contest a runoff. How would he
fare in that?
“I’m going to win in the first round.”
Now it was my turn to be perplexed. A
knockout victory required more than 50 per
cent of votes. Surely a candidate so extreme
had hit his electoral ceiling? His numbers with
women were less than half what they were
with male voters.
“How?” I asked.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
That he did.
A
few days after Jair Messias
Bolsonaro celebrated his ninth
birthday, in 1964, the military
seized power in a coup backed
by the US and subsequently
supported by the UK. It marked the start
of two dark decades in South America, as
collateral damage from the Cold War saw
autocrats rule with impunity.
Under the regime, mothers were mutilated
in the presence of their children. Nuns were
raped. Men were castrated. In 2014, Brazil’s
National Truth Commission found the regime
responsible for the disappearances or deaths
of 434 of their compatriots and the torture of
at least 1,843 more. But because of an
amnesty law passed in 1979, no one has
ever been punished.
Young Jair, who grew up in the countryside of São Paulo, was a fan. At 15, he told
me, the military came to his town to hunt
for Carlos Lamarca, a “traitor, terrorist and
deserter” who wanted to overthrow the
regime. Bolsonaro said he guided soldiers
through the vegetation, streams and caves
of the Atlantic Forest near his home. “I fell
in love with the army,” he said.
212 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
It is not clear how much faith to put in this
account (“These stories about him guiding the
army are a complete lie. What army would
accept a 15-year-old as a guide? That didn’t
happen,” Gilmar Alves, once a close childhood
friend of Bolsonaro, told me). But, perhaps a
consequence of a difficult relationship with
his alcoholic father, he found a lifelong reverence for military power.
He signed up to be a cadet but in a 15-year
career never saw combat (“I would have
liked to have killed someone,” he offered).
He left the army in 1988 after being punished for campaigning on military bases
against low pay. He immediately ran for
political office.
As Brazil transitioned to a liberal democracy, Bolsonaro was a lone and insistent
voice for the return of the military regime.
“I am in favour of a dictatorship,” he hollered to congress in 1993. “We will never
resolve serious national problems with this
irresponsible democracy.” But this conversion
from army captain to firebrand politician did
not impress the military top brass. Ernesto
Geisel, who served as president in the
‘He campaigns and
sounds like a fascist.
He is intolerant of
any ideas different
to his own’
Seventies, said Bolsonaro was “a case completely out of the ordinary, even for a bad
soldier”. A chief of staff of the armed forces,
Jonas de Morais Correia Neto, called him “a
deceiver, cunning and cowardly”.
Bolsonaro’s politics centred on an absolute belief in the right of the state to use
unbridled violence to achieve order. Torture?
Yes. The heinous tactics of Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet? Sure, if necessary. The
death penalty for all premeditated crimes?
Why not?
In 1999, Bolsonaro reserved particular ire
for Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil’s then
centre-right president, telling a television
station the country would only improve with
a civil war, “doing the work the dictatorship
did not do – killing about 30,000, starting
with FHC”.
In a magazine interview, he added some
tips about how that might happen: “It all
depends on planning. You can get a gun and
kill the president in Brasília. With a bow and
arrow, you can eliminate a person from 200
metres away. And even with just a penknife
you can reach the president’s neck. But I
want to make it clear that I am not urging
anyone to do it.”
To describe him as peripheral would be
an understatement. In 27 years in congress
he authored two laws. “He was a buffoon,
a clown. Nobody took him seriously,” said
Gilberto Carvalho.
I
would not rape you, because you do
not deserve it.”
The words were as good as a campaign launch. Bolsonaro’s Trumpian
jukebox of invective against women,
gays and racial minorities was often deployed
tactfully to gain media coverage. Maria do
Rosário, a PT deputy and his target this time,
turned and left the chamber. She had heard
it before – when Bolsonaro had thrown the
same insult at her eleven years earlier.
But while before Bolsonaro had typically
relied on fleeting coverage in mainstream
media, his campaign now had the means to
bypass those structures. From this moment
in 2014, his embryonic campaign made skilful
use of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to
sideline traditional outlets.
Digitally engaged activists such as Charlo
Ferreson, who lived in a cyber world, were an
early source of followers. “We wanted a candidate who spoke to our issues,” she told me,
explaining how she and fellow activists had
assessed like-minded politicians and chose
Bolsonaro. It was important that the candidate was prepared, for example, to state that
Lula would like to turn Brazil into the Soviet
Union or advance the theory that Cuba had
sent guerrillas to the country disguised as
doctors. “He spoke for the streets when no
one else would,” she said.
Another source of early support was the
richest people in Brazil, many of whom
reviled the PT not only for its corruption,
but for the way it had altered the country’s social structures. “The economic elite
has cultural values entrenched in slavery,”
Guilherme Boulos, a candidate who ran for
the presidency this year on a left-wing ticket,
suggested to me. “They simply cannot accept
poor people in airports, blacks in universities
or maids earning a decent salary.”
As Operation Car Wash produced an endless
show reel of the rapaciousness of their rulers,
life for many ordinary Brazilians was biting.
Unemployment soared and tough-won gains
in living standards slipped away. Spiralling
crime (the murder toll would hit 63,800
deaths in 2017, almost 90 times higher than
in the UK) gave the impression of a state
unable to fulfil its basic duties.
Bolsonaro’s poll numbers emerged from the
vicinity of zero and began creeping upwards.
His strongman pitch was to sweep away the
corruption and violence plaguing Brazil >>
Photographs Getty Images; Reuters
>> opponents and several experts on the
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BRAZIL
Argentinian ‘Not Him’
demonstrators protest
Bolsonaro outside the
Brazilian embassy
in Buenos Aires,
20 October 2018
Photograph Xxxxxxxxxxx
‘We were going to become a communist dictatorship for sure...
Whoever didn’t win didn’t listen to the streets’
Supporters celebrate
Bolsonaro’s election
outside his home in Rio De
Janeiro, 28 October 2018
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 213
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>> with whatever force was necessary. He
promised to give police, who currently kill
more than 5,000 each year, more latitude to
shoot criminals, to relax gun laws and reduce
the age of criminality to 16.
More than anything else, his campaign
railed against the “reds” he said were
poisoning the country. Communism was
everywhere. Brazil was the next Venezuela.
The PT was sexualising young children with
its “ideological indoctrination” in schools.
In contrast, he would restore family values,
seek closer links with the US and move the
Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.
Inviting the comparison with Donald
Trump, Bolsonaro promised to drain the
swamp in Brasília and give absolute support
to Car Wash. To bring order he would appoint
generals to key posts. In a sop to the power
of the economic elites, he promised privatisations and a radical tax reform.
The momentum only kept growing. After
years of work, Ferreson could sense it.
Two years before, she had faced a battle to
convince voters she met on the street. But
not now.
“We won over everyone,” she said of
her campaign trips with Flávio Bolsonaro,
Jair’s eldest son (whom he refers to as “Zero
One”), to a crime-stricken periphery of Rio.
“Once, people would always turn a blind
eye to Bolsonaro. Suddenly, everyone was
thinking alike.”
Soon, young supporters were on every
street corner, hopeful and proud. When
Lula was replaced as the PT’s presidential
candidate by Fernando Haddad, a bookish
former professor, Bolsonaro leapt into
first place.
One day in early September 2018 was
typical. Bolsonaro was mobbed and carried
on the shoulders of his adoring supporters
proven. Bolsonaro could sit back in hospital and watch his poll numbers creep
ever higher.
Days afterwards, Bolsonaro posed for a
photo in his bed in intensive care, doing the
finger gun salute that had become the symbol
of his campaign. The message was clear.
Slowly, large sections of the establishment
began to adjust to the new reality. Financial
interests decided he was a better bet than
the PT. The media treated him as a president
in waiting. Brazil’s evangelical churches, vast
pyramid schemes tempered by piped gospel
music, started to move their huge influence towards a full-throated backing for the
far-right candidate. The scene was set, but
still no one on the left believed Bolsonaro
could win.
On election day, Guilherme Boulos headed
for his polling station in São Paulo and was
struck by the lack of noise. “It was the silent
Anyone – be it human rights activists, environmentalists or journalists – who got in the
way was an enemy. The Amazon rainforest
would be exploited regardless of the environment. By the time I interviewed him,
four months before election day, it was clear
he had traction.
To understand the phenomenon, I turned
to Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, an academic
who has researched fanatic Bolsonaristas for
two years. “They love him, they cry for him,
they meet him at airports,” she told me. “It
runs through all social classes. It is an electoral phenomenon. There is a disbelief in the
political system, which they oppose. Their
vote for Bolsonaro is not an exchange of
favours. It is free. It comes from love. He is a
saviour and an outsider.”
Among poorer voters, there is also a tremendous fear of crime. “People fear leaving
their jobs at a shop at night, walking to a bus
stop and being robbed of the little they have,”
Pinheiro-Machado added.
214 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
through Juiz De Fora, a university town north
of Rio. He waved. He grinned. Then he grimaced, doubled over in pain and grabbed his
stomach with both hands.
He had been stabbed.
B
olsonaro was rushed to intensive care with injuries that could
easily have been fatal. Doctors
staunched the bleeding, but not
before he had lost 40 per cent
of the blood in his body.
Doctor Eunice Dantas emerged to face the
press. The candidate has survived, she said.
But only just. If he had lost much more blood
– or if the knife had entered at a slightly different angle – he would be dead.
Watching on television, Ferreson felt
“orphaned at that moment”. But Gilberto
Carvalho, Lula’s aide, also had a sinking
feeling – the attack might be to Bolsonaro’s
benefit. No more debates. No more questions. His point about violence in Brazil
vote. It was the vote of fear,” he realised. “It
was the vote of the right.”
In Rio, the first round polls on 7 October
closed at 5pm. The first indications were the
regional exit polls. In the race for Rio governor, a Bolsonaro-aligned candidate, Wilson
Witzel, came first with 41 per cent. In an
opinion poll just over a week before, he had
scored just four per cent.
Fireworks and shouts erupted across
Brazil, even before the national exit poll
was announced. Bolsonaro has easily won
on the first round, the rumours said, in
a landslide. He had not, but he might as
well have. In the end, Bolsonaro scored
46 per cent of the valid vote, more than
doubling his support since Lula’s exclusion
from running a little more than a month
before. His tiny Social Liberal Party would
now be the second largest in congress. The
world’s fourth largest democracy had delivered a shock greater than Trump and Brexit
put together.
Photographs Eyevine
A month before the election, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach while campaigning in Juiz De Fora. He lost 40 per cent of the blood in his body, 7 September 2018
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BRAZIL
W
hat happened?
The left are sure they
know: WhatsApp.
“The spread of hate
through social media was
a phenomenon that absolutely amazed us,”
Carvalho reflected. “We went to war with
traditional weapons. They came with an
immensely technologically superior strategy
and hit us with impressive efficiency.”
Fake news is big in Brazil. In many cases,
bigger than the actual news. And its distribution via WhatsApp, which is encrypted,
leaves outsiders and opponents bewildered
by its effects. But it isn’t just the outright
lies (such as the video on Facebook that
claimed Haddad supported penis-shaped
milk bottles in nurseries and got 4.9m
views). Those, in any case, were not limited
to one side.
It is also the frightening power to target
precise segments of the population with
tailored messages, as illustrated by the
Cambridge Analytica scandal. A concerted
attempt by the Brazilian media to fact-check
false or dubious claims appeared to have
barely made a dent.
“This was the first WhatsApp election,”
Boulos said.
Soon after the first round, the newspaper Folha De S Paulo published a story
that Brazilian companies illegally paid
agencies, such as Quickmobile, to send hundreds of millions of WhatsApp messages
denigrating the PT. Packages were said to
cost £2.4m.
The story’s writer, Patrícia Campos Mello,
was bombarded. Bolsonaro said Folha should
be closed. Mello was abused, threatened,
hacked and harassed in person. Eventually,
she hired private security. “It’s crazy,” she said.
“I’ve been in Libya, in Somalia, and nothing
like this ever happened.”
One consequence of the hailstorm of fake,
dubious, distorted or unverifiable news was
that all reporting was questioned, especially
if the stories were unfavourable to a chosen
candidate. “That Folha story was fake news,”
Ferreson, who does not trust any institutional
media, said.
Of course, Bolsonaro supporters would say,
the losers in any election will naturally make
excuses. And there is no doubting the PT’s
volcanic unpopularity. Bolsonaro fan Steve
Bannon, once the chief strategist for Donald
Trump, emerged a few days later and took
the opposing view to the extreme. (Q: “Do
you think fake news could help a candidate?”
A: “No, no.”)
With an impregnable lead and the second
round closing in, Bolsonaro addressed a
rally in São Paulo via a Facebook video feed
and made a chilling threat to his leftwing
opponents. “Either they go abroad or they
go to jail,” he said. “These red outlaws will
be banished from our homeland. It will be a
cleanup the likes of which has never been
seen in Brazil’s history.”
Boulos, who watched the speech on the
way back from campaigning with Haddad
in the northeast, is the sort of troublesome
activist Bolsonaro likely had in mind with
his threats. “I think he wanted to send a
message,” he said. “He already knew he
had won and wanted to send a signal that
his would not be a government of national
unity, that it would be a government of fury
and polarisation that will take an iron fist to
democratic freedoms.”
In the second round, Bolsonaro triumphed
easily against Haddad.
In the days that followed, Bolsonaro
made Sérgio Moro his minister of justice,
seven months after the judge had jailed
his leading opponent. The appointment
means he will be in charge of a wide-ranging
anticorruption crackdown.
The PT cried foul. Lula fell into a depression. He feared he would be treated as an
Bolsonaro made
skilful use of
social media.
‘This was the first
WhatsApp election’
asset by Bolsonaro, who might humiliate him as a way of throwing fresh meat
to his supporters. “He cannot see what is
ahead,” Carvalho said. “He is such a sociable person. To be condemned to solitude is
very cruel.”
Bolsonaro now does not have the same
worry. For once, he has no shortage of
friends. Unlike the toytown reactionaries of
the UK, there’s no doubt he is the real deal.
And of all the alt-right candidates nurtured
by Bannon across the world, he is now one
of the most successful.
President Trump tweeted that he had
an “excellent call” with him, adding, “We
agreed that Brazil and the United States will
work closely together on trade, military and
everything else!”
Theresa May was not so keen. She broke
with the usual protocol and did not call
Bolsonaro. However, the British ambassador,
Vijay Rangarajan, did send his congratulations, adding, “Happy that Winston Churchill
inspires you in democracy, freedom and
British values. The UK-BR partnership is
vital in economic reform, for technology,
investment, human rights, energy and
climate change.”
That mention of climate change was no
mistake. Bolsonaro’s wholehearted support
for loggers and miners could prove fatal to the
Amazon, with disastrous consequences for
the planet. During the campaign he promised
to withdraw from The Paris Accords, but has
since walked that back, learning that, unlike
the US, it is hard for Brazil to duck an international consensus.
Nonetheless, Brazilian democracy faces
the challenge of its life, not least in terms
of adjusting to the new reality. The aftermath of the election saw an explosion of
violence against activists and minorities.
“If you’d told me this would’ve been the
situation ten years ago I wouldn’t have
believed it,” political scientist Jairo Nicolau
told me. “It’s like the kid at school with no
friends suddenly becoming a charismatic
political leader.”
That said, Nicolau believes that a definitive break from the democratic norms is
unlikely. If Car Wash proves anything, it
is that Brazil has some strong and resilient institutions. Indeed, Bolsonaro’s new
government will soon have to face up to
some very tough political and economic
realities. Despite historically being a bigstate nationalist, Bolsonaro will adopt
painful economic reforms of the pension
and tax systems and widespread privatisations. In his ferocious attempts to resolve
Brazil’s public security crisis, substantial
(additional) bloodshed seems inevitable.
Even if he gives Moro a free hand to root
out corruption, that too will likely be a
tremendous battle.
The potential for further unrest is
obvious. A fatigued population voted,
after all, for an end to corruption, violence and pain.“Nothing indicates that will
happen,” Boulos said. Charlo Ferreson, like
many Bolsonaro supporters, disagrees.
“Whoever didn’t win didn’t listen to the
streets,” she said. “How many lifelong politicians weren’t elected? That is the result of
our work.”
It is a message Bolsonaro himself would do
well not to forget. G
More from G For these related
stories visit GQ.co.uk /magazine
How Donald Trump Fooled The Media
(Michael Wolff, February 2017)
Inside A Brazilian Drug Lord’s Jail Cell
(August, 2016)
The Story Of Brazil’s Killer Cops
(Bruce Douglas, July 2015)
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHANNA HANBURY.
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 215
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Shirt, £170. Tie, £160.
Trousers, £350.
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Right: Suit, £1,350.
Polo shirt, £290. All
by Canali. canali.com
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COLLECTIONS
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MARCH 2019 GQ .CO.UK 217
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Hermès
Clockwise from top: Top, £1,280. Trousers, £850. Shoes, £800.
Coat, £16,900. T-shirt, £990. Trousers, £870. Sandals, £560.
Top, £1,450. Trousers, £1,050. Sandals, £560. All by Hermès. hermes.com
218 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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COLLECTIONS
Corneliani
Left: Jacket, £900.
Polo shirt, £300. Trousers,
£270. Shoes, £520. All by
Corneliani. corneliani.com
Burberry
Above: Jacket, £1,590.
Shirt, £350. Tie, £140.
Trousers, £590. Shoes,
£630. Umbrella with chain,
£350. All by Burberry.
uk.burberry.com. Socks
by Falke, £11. falke.com
MARCH 2019 GQ. CO.UK 219
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Above: Jacket, £9,050.
Shirt, £285. Bow tie,
£115. Trousers, £375.
Shoes, £628. All by
Dolce & Gabbana.
dolcegabbana.com
220 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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COLLECTIONS
Bottega Veneta
Right: Coat, £1,550.
Trousers, £565.
Shoes, £565.
Above: Shirt, £2,005.
Shorts, £595.
Shoes, £565. All
by Bottega Veneta.
bottegaveneta.com.
Socks by Pantherella,
£12. pantherella.com
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Right: Coat, £1,655.
Dress, £1,430.
Boots, £1,970. All
by Salvatore
Ferragamo.
ferragamo.com
Salvatore Ferragamo
Left: Coat, £2,590.
Trousers, £475.
Shoes, £800.
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COLLECTIONS
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MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 223
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Boss
From left: Coat,
£1,600. Vest, £179.
Shorts, £179.
Socks, £18.
Suit, £695. Shirt, £219.
224 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
Jacket, £1,300.
Shirt, £219. Trousers,
£269. Shoes, £399.
All by Boss.
hugoboss.com
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COLLECTIONS
Giorgio
Armani
From left: Jacket, £1,700.
Waistcoat, £860.
Jacket, £1,700. Waistcoat,
£860. Trousers, £720. All
by Giorgio Armani.
armani.com
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Above: Jacket, £1,125. Hoodie, £585. Trousers, £1,425. Shoes, £870. All by
Dsquared2. dsquared2.com. Socks by Pantherella, £12. pantherella.com
226 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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COLLECTIONS
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Billionaire
Left: Jacket, £1,214.
Shirt, £966. Trousers,
£513. Shoes, £2,250.
All by Billionaire.
billionaire.com
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 227
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Michael
Kors
Collection
Above: Jumpsuit by
Michael Kors
Collection, £4,700.
michaelkors.com.
Shoes by Dsquared2,
£675. dsquared2.com
Right: Jacket, £780. Shirt,
£375. Trousers, £310.
Shoes, £260. All by
Michael Kors Collection.
michaelkors.com
228 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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COLLECTIONS
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MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 229
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Philipp
Plein
Right: Jacket, £2,693.
Shirt, £245. Trousers, £2,473.
Above: Jacket, £3,592.
Trousers, £358. All by
Philipp Plein. plein.com
230 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
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Meet the scientists, practitioners and researchers transforming
the landscape for health providers and patients. Join us for
a one-day symposium of thought-provoking keynotes, engaging
fireside chats and a Test Lab showcase of next-gen health tech.
Save 20%
on the full
ticket price.
Book with
code GQ20
online at
wired.uk/
health-tickets.
WIRED Health. March 26,
2019. London, UK
HEADLINE PARTNER
KNOWLEDGE
PARTNERS
Bringing innovation to influencers
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GQ’s new personal trainer
Bradley Simmonds is in the
house. Gentlemen, ready
your kettlebells...
+ Want to be fitter, faster,
sharper, stronger?
Of course you do.
To explore yourself,
your limits, your world?
No doubt. With answers
to all the questions that
count, your best self
starts right here
Photograph Hamish Brown
Grooming Margo Holder
+ Health & Fitness + Wellbeing + Travel + Grooming
Edited by
Paul Henderson
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 233
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Fitness
Make 2019 the
year you commit
Bradley Simmonds is GQ’s new personal trainer
and his workout routine promises incredible
results from an exercise programme that will take
up only 45 minutes a day. No more excuses...
Story by Bradley Simmonds
Let’s face it, we all strive to be in the best shape possible,
but with modern life being extremely demanding, finding
the time or energy to involve the gym in your daily
routine can be a struggle. Everyone knows that the benefits of
regular exercise can help prevent numerous negative physical and
mental concerns, such as depression, anxiety, back injuries
and fatigue. But working out can also encourage so many positives, such as improved energy levels, more sleep, better posture
and a more focused mind. This is why we should all aim to find
the time to fit it into our lives on a daily basis.
Sounds impossible? This is where I can offer my expertise to
ensure you can be in and out of the gym in just 45 minutes. My
method is very simple, focuses on individual muscle groups,
requires minimal space and equipment and is specifically designed
for the busiest of individuals looking for long-term results. You’ll
receive a new workout every month in each issue, with further
exercises available on a weekly basis on GQ.co.uk.
This month, to give proceedings a kick-start, we are looking
at legs. Despite being one of the most important muscle groups
when it comes to building a strong physique,
Method
they often tend to be neglected. Performing
1. Clean the kettlebells into a
compound movements that include squats and
rack position, resting it on
deadlifts will promote strength and stability –
your forearms, biceps and
so say goodbye to those chicken legs.
shoulders with a neutral
For beginners it is vitally important that
wrist position. Position your
fingers so they are touch
you start with the basic exercises to ensure
tight with your closed fists.
your form is correct and to prevent any
2. Stand up tall with your
potential injuries. Start with these two exerfeet shoulder-width
cises and then visit GQ.co.uk for more.
10
Exercise 1
Front rack deep squat
Perform 10 reps x 4
sets, using 20kg
kettlebells
234 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
apart. Feet and toes can
be either straight ahead
or turned no more than
ten degrees outward.
3. Engage your core for
stability as you start to
begin your squat, digging
your heels into the ground,
bringing your ribs down and
hips underneath you.
4. Sit down into your squat
position, aiming for as deep
as you can possibly go,
keeping the same form
as step three.
5. Pause and then exhale
as you begin to stand
up, pressing the ground
away through your heels,
keeping your core engaged
and keeping your hips
underneath you. Once at
the top, reset and repeat.
Photographs Hamish Brown Grooming Margo Holder
BRADLEYSIMMONDS.COM
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WELLBEING
LIFE
Nutrition
Exercise 2
Kettlebell reverse lunges
12
Perform 12 reps x 4
sets, using 20kg
kettlebells
Method
1. With a tight grip, hold
a kettlebell in each
hand at your side while
standing upright.
2. Starting with your
favoured side, begin
to perform your
first reverse lunge,
stepping your leg
behind, aiming to make
your back knee touch
the ground, while
keeping the movement
very controlled.
3. Inhale and then exhale
as you drive back into
the starting position,
pushing from your
front heel to ensure
the correct muscles
are working.
4. Reset and repeat,
alternating to
your opposite leg,
maintaining the same
control and technique.
The kettlebell is your best
friend when strengthening
your lower half. Remember,
never skip leg day...
Shorts, £35. Tights, £60.
Trainers, £160. All by
Adidas. adidas.co.uk
Introducing,
the real
five-a-day diet
“New year, new me” – I think we’ve all
muttered this on the first of January, but
come the end of the week, we’ve fallen off
the wagon and are back to our old ways.
Setting new year’s resolutions following
the Christmas period is all well and good,
but only if you’re going to see them
through (which is easier said than done).
So I’ve rounded up my top tips for getting
back to nutritional health after Christmas
Story by Georgia Head
1
Be realistic with your goals
Don’t feel the need to forbid
yourself from your favourite foods
all at once come the new year,
as chances are you won’t stick to
it. Instead, take a step back and
set yourself a smaller number of
manageable goals, which are both
measurable and achievable.
2
Give yourself specific targets
Targets are great to keep you focused
on the end goal and they don’t have
to be solely related to weight loss –
they could be things like running five
kilometres without stopping or walking
to work at least three days per week.
3
Get in your five-a-day
It’s good to think of your diet in terms
of macros – the amounts of protein,
carbohydrate and fat you eat – but a
great deal of importance should be
placed on making sure each meal is
made up of various brightly coloured
foods, as they will add a huge amount
of nutritional value to your meals and
help towards reaching your five-a-day.
4
Hydrate
Consuming highly processed
food and alcohol over the festive
period can lead to dehydration:
the former being high in salt,
the latter being a diuretic. To
counteract the above, aim
to drink around two to three
litres of water each day
(more if you’re exercising)
and limit caffeine and alcohol
consumption where possible.
5
Stick at it
It is important to note there may
be weeks when your progress is
outstanding and others when it
appears to be rather stagnant.
Don’t let this get you down. Assess
where you’ve gone wrong and work
towards finding a solution to avoid
it happening again.
GEORGIA HEAD IS A NUTRITIONIST AT FRESH FITNESS
FOOD. FRESHFITNESSFOOD.COM
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 235
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Thomas Wielecki
and the Hyandai
i20 take on Coffs
Harbour during
the WRC 2018
Hyundai
The world’s toughest
driving challenge
From the gravelled back roads of Australia and Sardinia to everyday streets all
around the globe, the lessons learned from the world’s most demanding driving
environments are being put to use across the whole Hyundai range
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In pole position:
Lando Norris
His name conjures up images of faster-than-light
speeds and this young British racer won’t be far off
that in the cockpit of next season’s McLaren F1 car
Story by Jason Barlow
Despite having sealed his fifth
Formula One world title in Mexico,
the focus of the Abu Dhabi Grand
Prix season finale wasn’t Lewis Hamilton, it
was the departing Fernando Alonso. One of
F1’s biggest beasts signed off with donuts
on Yas Marina’s £800 million tarmac flanked
by Hamilton’s pirouetting Mercedes and
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Some serenade.
If it signals a changing of the guard, then
imagine the pressure that comes with trying
to fill those racing boots. Enter 19-year-old
238 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
‘McLaren
doesn’t
want to
keep
changing
drivers.
They want
consistency’
Three more
British drivers
to watch...
George Russell
Part of MercedesAMG F1’s junior driver
line-up, the 2018 F2
champion will race
for Williams in 2019
ahead of a likely
promotion to the Merc
squad alongside Lewis
Hamilton in 2020.
Jack Aitken
A disappointing
F2 season last
year betrays the
star quality this
London-born driver
possesses. He’s part
of Renault’s F1 youngdriver programme.
Alexander Albon
Finishing third
in the 2018 F2
championship, this
British-born Red Bull
protégé’s ups and
downs have resolved
into an F1 drive with
Toro Rosso. JB
Photographs Getty Images
Formula One
Englishman Lando Norris, promoted from
“reserve driver” into a McLaren race seat
after a stellar rise through the junior formulas.
He arrives in the team’s hospitality suite to
talk fresh from hot laps in a McLaren 570S
road car, asks me if I want a bottle of water
and quickly pulls up a chair. It’s always fascinating observing a nascent F1 driver, but
even at this tender age McLaren’s driver training has clearly equipped him with substantial
mental armour, neural firepower and endearing ebullience. Nervous? Not yet, he insists,
but McLaren has endured a shocking slump in
form of late and Norris knows being fast is just
one part of the matrix. So where do you start?
“Getting the team around you is so important,” he says. “Growing up, I heard about how
good [Michael] Schumacher was at it. To get
everyone on his side, overcoming his teammate, that’s how it is with all the best drivers.
It’s not just about driving, it’s about working
as a team to develop the car, evolving it race
by race across the whole season.”
That’s a big ask. Opposite him in the
McLaren garage for 2019 is former Renault
driver Carlos Sainz Jr. When I suggest he
has to destroy him, Lando’s eyes darken and
there’s a long pause.
“Destroy him? Do I? I have to beat him,”
he explains. “It’s rule number one, really –
beating your teammate.”
The current generation of F1 cars are
pushing 1,000bhp, have complex hybrid
powertrains and generate colossal downforce. In this context, immense natural speed
is no longer enough, as Lando acknowledges:
“F2 cars have downforce; they’re quick. But
it’s difficult for your brain and eyes to keep up
with everything that’s going on once you’re in
an F1 car. You get used to it and you learn to
stay calm, because if you react too quickly the
opposite will happen. Being more relaxed is
when it becomes more natural and controlled.”
He also rejects the idea that another year of
prep might have helped. Too much too soon?
Hardly. “Nowadays, you can’t wait when an
opportunity comes up in F1,” he says firmly.
“A team like McLaren doesn’t want to keep
changing drivers at a time when they’re
developing the car. They want consistency.”
He cites MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi
as his childhood inspiration (“So cool, I loved
everything about him”), won’t be drawn in
on his strengths and weaknesses (“You tell
me,” he says mischievously) and admits there
have been sacrifices along the way. But while
normal teenage distractions are off limits, he’s
emphatically not a personality-free robot.
“I’ve never wanted to go out and get
wrecked,” he muses. “But I can’t just drink a
little. If I do it, I have to go all the way. I’m an
all-or-nothing kind of guy, I guess.”
Notice has been served.
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CAREER ADVICE
LIFE
The Final Frontier
As above,
so below
Think
macro,
not micro
“We tend to get very centric
in our thinking and not recognise
which problems are local and which
are much larger,” says Hadfield. Yes,
your colleague may have made an
almighty mistake, but will it really affect
your business as a whole? “Most
problems are local and transient
and not important to the world
at large,” says Hadfield. And
he should know.
Send your working life into
orbit with these tips from
astronauts Chris Hadfield
and Edward Gibson
Story by Matt Glasby
Illustration by Ben Douglass
Venture
out of your
comfort zone
You may feel safe operating in
the same old bubble day in, day out,
but what are you missing? For example,
“Space walking is really eye-opening
because you’re so used to floating around
inside the spacecraft,” says Gibson. But
be brave. “You step out there and your
heart’s racing, but there’s a big smile on
your face. It’s one thing to look out
of a window. It’s another to be
completely free and see the
earth going by.”
Be
prepared... to
enjoy yourself
Step
back and see
the bigger picture
If you’re worried about giving an
important presentation, the power’s
in your hands. “Work hard, make sure
you understand everything, then, on the
big day, just relax, enjoy it and do what
you’ve been trained to do,” says Gibson.
If you’re not prepared, you’re letting
everyone down, and if you can’t
appreciate the fruits of your
own labour, you’re letting
yourself down.
Often, when we’re faced with
overwhelming, multifaceted problems,
“You can’t possibly see everything that’s
in front of you,” says Hadfield. “That means
you don’t have the mental and emotional
capacity to soak up the nuance of what
you’re looking at.” To get a better sense of
the earth from space, he took pictures of
it, which he could analyse in his own
time. With a bit of distance, “Things
just pop out that you didn’t
catch right away.”
Get into
a ‘habit pattern’
In a challenging environment
– whether that’s space or a
serious meeting – emotional
responses are not your friends.
Training is key. “If you learn how to deal
with all the problems that might come
up, that becomes a habit pattern,” says
Gibson. “So if things start getting a
little tense, you’ve got to focus
on what needs to be done,
as opposed to how you
feel about it.”
MARCH 2019 GQ.C O.UK 239
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Life Lessons
The GQ Pep Talk with...
Liam Neeson
When it comes to the big screen, the 66-year-old
leading man has a particular set of skills acquired
over a very long career that continues this month
with Cold Pursuit. He has also picked up a few
life lessons along the way too...
In his words: “Some mornings you wake up and think,
‘Gee, I look handsome today.’ Other days I think, ‘What
am I doing in the movies? I wanna go back to Ireland
and drive a forklift.’”
In other words: Everybody has good days, when we are full of
confidence, and bad days, when we yearn for a simpler, less stressful
way of life. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone else has life
figured out, because they don’t – we all have emotional ups and downs.
In his words: “I have a fear of heights, but my son and I climbed this
little peak in Utah... I was scared, especially getting nearer the summit.
Everybody says don’t look down, but you have to. It was scary but I’m
glad I did it. I did it for my son.”
In other words: Getting out of your comfort zone and confronting your
fears is a huge positive in life. If you can’t do it on your own, find someone,
or something, that motivates you to do it and use that to inspire you.
In his words: “We live in an age when revenge seems to be the most important thing for individuals
and countries. Why not forgive each other? Decide to accept each other’s differences and move on.”
In other words:
When we seek retribution, we aren’t just seeking
to harm someone, we are also harming ourselves.
As Confucius said, “Before you embark on
a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
In his words: “Acting with creatures that aren’t there is kind of like
acting with an actor who refuses to come out of his trailer. You still
have to go on and do the scene.”
In other words: Don’t use others as an excuse for your own failings.
Do your job, do it well and don’t worry about what others are doing.
Liam Neeson might
be known as a man
of action, but he
also possesses
an abundance of
Jedi-like wisdom
In his words: “I’ve had an unbelievable life. I’ve been very lucky. I
never forget where I’m from. Whenever I pass a building site or see
somebody digging a ditch I always think, ‘That’s real work.’”
In other words: It’s good to appreciate all that you have achieved in
life, but don’t take it for granted. There are many people worse off
than yourself and you shouldn’t forget that.
Cold Pursuit is out on 22 February.
Chef Day Radley explains how to cut animal products out of your diet (and enjoy doing so)
1
Don’t just go vegan... try
plant-based whole foods
It’s the smug and svelte cousin
of the vegan diet. Your new
vegan leanings might make
you feel ethically wholesome,
but beware: a diet of only
processed animal-free food
will put you on a one-way
route to rediscovering your
teenage self (think greasy hair
and pimple breakouts).
240 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
2
Be sure to
fat load
Good fat is where it’s at. Don’t
just eat salad leaves and then
complain that you’re hungry.
Pimp that salad with healthy
fats such as toasted seeds,
nuts, tofu or avocado and
you will have a tasty
meal that will
keep you full
for hours.
3
Play with
your food
Swap out ingredients, try a
food you have never cooked
before, let your creativity out
and go off-recipe. But just
in case, keep a backup meal
in the freezer should your
friends or loved ones
not appreciate
your curried
Yorkshire puddings.
4
Start slowly
and experiment
How do you make a good
cup of tea or coffee? It’s a
good question because not all
plant milks are created equal.
Dairy milk tastes like dairy milk
no matter which brand you
buy. Plant milk, however, has
a varied flavour depending on
which plant is used. You need
to find the type that you like.
5
Becoming vegan is a
time of food exploration
Don’t focus on all the food
you can’t have. Focus on the
food you are now discovering.
Use your existing food habits
as a starting point, substitute
the foods you already know
and like for the animal-free
versions so that the change
isn’t so drastic.
veganchefday.com
Illustration Joe McKendry
Photograph Marc Hom/Trunk Archive
+ Isn’t it time you tried... Going vegan?
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GROOMING
LIFE
+
Hydration
stations!
Have your eyes had
it? Is your T-zone
T-boned? See below
to help save face
The eye hydrator
The Eye Balm Intense
by La Mer, £160 for 15ml.
cremedelamer.co.uk
The chapped lip saver
Hydrating Lip Balm
by Tom Ford, £21 for 10ml.
tomford.co.uk
Why so sad, sandpaper face?
If your skin’s looking tired and your cheeks are feeling rough,
fight the good fight with GQ’s ultimate anti-dryness arsenal
Edited by Teo van den Broeke Illustration by Gavin Reece
Photographs Pixeleyes
There’s nothing worse than that
tight, dry-faced feeling that comes
from too many late nights, not
enough water and overexposure to the cold
winter weather (and that’s before you get to
the lack of vitamin D). It’s an issue many of
you have owned up to struggling with too.
In our recent national grooming survey, conducted in partnership with Clinique, it was
revealed that tired skin is one of the top
five grooming issues that concerns British
men. Although a daily supplement, regular
H2O consumption and cutting back on the
fun juice will certainly clear up congested,
tired skin, we all need a little extra help now
and again – particularly when the weather’s
working against us. The key? A selection
of cleverly selected products used in the
correct order – it’s as simple as that. A highquality face scrub used once a week will
help unclog pores and remove dead skin.
The daily use of a cleansing pad will gently
maintain the good work done by the scrub.
And use a light moisturiser (which will be
more easily absorbed by the skin) or serum
in the morning, a thicker moisturiser at night
and you’ll be glowing again before you can
say, “Someone please buy me a SAD lamp.”
The exfoliating pads
Intensify Facial Discs
by Colbert MD, £60 for 20.
At Space NK.
spacenk.com
The nourishing
night cream
Max LS Age-Less Power V
Lifting Cream by Lab Series,
£62 for 50ml. labseries.co.uk
The day-to-day face quencher
Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Hydrating Concentrate SPF 40 by Clinique For Men
Containing caffeine and brightening optics, this ultra-hydrating, super-light moisturiser not only
keeps your skin looking fresh all day, it also creates a natural barrier against external aggressors
such as UVA/UVB, infra-red and the dreaded blue light (which is emitted by our phone screens).
Consider this your No1 weapon in the fight against rubbish skin. £40. clinique.co.uk
The scrub
Face Scrub by Clinique For
Men, £21 for 100ml.
clinique.co.uk
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LIFE
TRAVEL
Scandal, skulduggery
and statesmanship, see
it all from the Top Of The
Gate roof terrace bar
Stay Of The Month
The Watergate Hotel
Having lent its suffix to every major scandal since 1972, the iconoclastic DC destination is back
and bookable with a design-led regeneration that’s once again taking on the establishment
Edited by Bill Prince
Of all the famous cities in the US, one
thinks of a great many disruptors
before one thinks of Washington.
One thinks of Los Angeles. One thinks of
New Orleans or Las Vegas. Lately, one might
think, with sadness, of Charlottesville. And
yet it’s not only the appointment of the
great disruptor-in-chief to its most famous
residence that’s upturned the tables in Old
DC. Look back to 1972, when its other most
famous residence, The Watergate, was the
catalyst for 20th-century America’s greatest constitutional crisis, when Republican
president Richard Nixon was forced to resign
after White House operatives used the hotel
to co-ordinate a break-in to the neighbouring
Democratic HQ. (Lesser-known fact: the site
played political hangman again in 1995, when
one Monica Lewinsky moved to live there...)
Well, The Watergate Hotel is at it again. Only
this time it’s not the political caste it’s rocking,
but the capital’s social scene. Having been
shuttered since 2007, a credit-crunch casualty,
the hotel was bought by husband-and-wife
hoteliers Jacques and Rakel Cohen in 2010.
After six years and a £155 million refurbishment with design doyen Ron Arad, the Cohens
242 GQ.CO.UK MARCH 2019
reopened what was once the world’s most
notorious hotel, having given it one of the
most striking interiors bookable today.
Each room is appointed unique furniture
that’s more Mad Men than House Of Cards,
stylishly ruffling the feathers of DC’s otherwise
largely sober neo-classical, white-tablecloth
hospitality. It’s a modernised return to the
hotel’s roots. When it opened in 1965, the
disruptive vision – there’s that word again –
of architect Luigi Moretti, with his sweeping
buildings, became instantly iconic in the face of
twittering local disgruntlement, constructed as
they were in the historic Foggy Bottom neighbourhood at the foot of Virginia Avenue, over
which the Washington Monument looms large.
Today, with its outstanding restaurant,
Kingbird, edge-hip Next Whisky Bar, the
Argentta spa, plus a roof terrace that sways
with the seasons (from sun bar to ice rink),
the hotel draws an eager young crowd, which,
given its anti-establishment past and present,
seems apt. Indeed, one feels it may well be a
local staging ground for whatever will come to
replace Trump. One president down; one to go.
But that’s for the future. For now, suffice it
to know that The Watergate is back in the mix
and mixing things up. Its part in American
mythology was cemented decades since, but
now, in the DC of 2019, where change and,
yes, disruption is palpable, visitors once
again have the chance to put themselves in
the story. Aaron Callow From £315 per night.
thewatergatehotel.com
+ The Scandal Room
For years after the Watergate break-in, the suite from
which the burglary was co-ordinated was all but forgotten,
after the hotel’s room numbering changed. Now, part of
the owners’ witty re-engagement with the Nixon era,
Room 214 (left) is back and dressed with memorabilia
of the affair that scalped Tricky Dicky. The concierge
is usually able to arrange a private visit.
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Smile all
the stay
in the
Maldives.
1,200 white-sand coral islands that stretch over 800 kilometers. 99% water. 8 hours of sunshine per day.
7KH0DOGLYHVVDWLVƩHVHYHU\EHDFKIDQWDV\$OZD\VKDV$QGLWMXVWJRWVH[LHU/8;*1RUWK0DOH$WROO
QRZRSHQGHƩHVDOOQRUPVDQGVWHUHRW\SHV7KHEUDQGQHZUHVRUWLVSOD\IXODQGVRSKLVWLFDWHGFRQWHPSRUDU\
DQGH[FLWLQJ,WLVXQOLNHDQ\WKLQJ\RXKDYHVHHQEHIRUH,WLVWKH0DOGLYHVUHLPDJLQHG
MAURITIUS
•
RÉUNION
•
MALDIVES
•
CHINA
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TURKEY
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VIETNAM
•
U.A.E
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I TA LY
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FRANCE
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&6-8%-24634)68=
,)0037927,-2)
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7%26%*%)07):-00)
Approached via a tree-lined avenue, the Palacio
is a traditional hacienda with seven-bedroom
accommodation arranged around a cobbled
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years, the €3.5 million price tag includes indoor
and outdoor swimming pools and nine-acre
grounds, where olive groves, cereal crops and
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1%+%+237'*6)2',6-:-)6%
Ten minutes from Valbonne and half an hour from
Cannes, this quintessentially Aix-en-Provence
-style ‘bastide’ has four bedrooms and a triple
reception room. French windows open on to a
choice of alfresco terraces, shady loggias, glorious
gardens and an elegantly oval swimming pool.
Yours for €2.75 million.
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A one-off for the region, aptly named Eagle’s Eye
occupies a clifftop location with views towards
Europe’s most southwesterly landmark, Cape
St Vincent. Moments from the beach at Praia da
Luz and bordering the Quinta da Boavista golf
course, this €QMPPMSRZMPPELEW½ZIFIHVSSQW
ERHEWXEJJ¾EX
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'378%'%6)=)71)<-'3
For those who aspire to call a clifftop
castle home, Sol de Oriente is what
modern $9.9 million fairy tales are
all about. Overlooking the Mexican
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tiered living, dining and entertaining
spaces, the castle has three bedrooms
with three further suites in two
bungalows and a tower.
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1=/3237+6))')
This brand-new, streamline-designed eight-bedroom villa offers a choice of views
across the sea, the port and the town. It is also handy for the most beautiful beaches,
although the privacy of its huge decked terrace, outdoor bar, dining pergola and
MR½RMX]TSSPGSYPHEX€12 million, prove too lovely to leave.
*MI]KPIUX-[\I\M[" !!
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PROPERTY | PROMOTION
-27-()
/23;0)(+)
Lucie Hirst and
Delphine Colombo.
Left: Cheyne Walk
Below:The Old
Courthouse
THE DREAM TEAM
LUCIE HIRST AND DELPHINE COLOMBO PHOTOGRAPHED IN A FINCHATTON PROPERTY BY DAVID WOOLFALL.
THE OLD COURTHOUSE / DOMUS NOVA; CHEYNE WALK / RUSSELL SIMPSON
(IPTLMRI'SPSQFSERH0YGMI,MVWXSTIVEXMRKEWERMRHITIRHIRXFSYXMUYIFY]MRKEKIRG]
'SPSQFS,MVWXWSYVGITVMQITVSTIVXMIWJSVTVMZEXIGPMIRXWEGVSWWXLIGETMXEP
Property is the biggest investment we make
in life, so why shouldn’t the purchase process
be commensurately enjoyable?
This is the fresh, modern philosophy of
Delphine Colombo and Lucie Hirst who, as
boutique buying agents Colombo Hirst, find
residential properties for time-pressed clients.
Let them help you find your perfect home, and
in return you’ll get their experience, their
contacts (alerting them to properties not even
on the market), their negotiation skills and
hard work, all with a personal touch. With
more than 20 years’ combined experience, the
glamorous pair act only for buyers. They take
time to understand your needs, then handhold you through curated viewings to the day
of completion, when they inspect the property
before any money changes hands to ensure all
goes smoothly.
A property search agent used to be the
preserve of the higher-end property buyers,
but Colombo Hirst’s adaptable boutique
approach is of immense value to people
searching for anything from a dream one-
bedroom flat to a glamorous £35million house.
It could be an overseas buyer seeking a newbuild investment apartment in Shoreditch or a
Chelsea resident needing a rental property for
a large family while their home undergoes a
basement renovation.
Vogue Advertisement Director Sophie
Markwick and her partner wanted to move
before the birth of their first baby. ‘Buying a
new house seemed like a totally overwhelming
task with both of us having full-time jobs that
don’t allow time for viewings during working
hours. We were unsure even of the areas we
wanted to focus our search on,’ she says. ‘The
Colombo Hirst ladies came to our rescue;
they were professional, efficient and utterly
accommodating of every request we made or
challenge we presented.’
Delphine and Lucie previewed properties
across different areas of London, reducing 60
potential houses to two. ‘We took Sophie to
view them in a chauffeur-driven car so we
could talk, without the stress of parking, and it
was a truly pleasurable morning,’ says Lucie.
When it came to choosing between the two,
Colombo Hirst provided invaluable advice,
helping Sophie to make an informed choice
and steer away from bad decisions.
The finding is one thing. Once you’ve
settled on your dream home or rental,
Colombo Hirst will also negotiate the best
possible price and terms, and liaise with
lawyers, surveyors and mortgage brokers.
That’s gold-star service.
For further information, please visit
colombohirst.com, call +44 (0) 7730 987377
or email info@colombohirst.com
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2 & 3 B E D R O O M A PA R T M E N T S A N D P E N T H O U S E S
FROM £1,074,950* READY TO MOVE IN NOW
An exclusive collection of stylish new homes in Hammersmith, one of London’s best connected locations, close to Chiswick, Kensington
and Fulham. Sovereign Court provides interior designed, high specification homes, offering extensive views over the London skyline.
Contact us for a viewing today: 020 8023 9282 www.sovereign-court.com
Show Apartments & Marketing Suite, Beadon Road, Hammersmith, London W6 0BT
Photography of the show home penthouse at Sovereign Court. *Price correct at time of going to press.
www.sovereign-court.com
Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies
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&6-8%-24634)68=
4)6*)'80=40%')(
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&6-8%-24634)68=
&%(+)136)+6%2+)
3<*36(7,-6)
With six bedrooms and ancillary accommodation,
this Regency property is within walking distance of
Henley-on-Thames, and Reading, with its regular
trains to London, is nine miles away. Traditional
features include an orangery, an Aga and a walk-in
larder – this property has plenty of charm, while
still being accessible to commuters. Guide price:
£6.495 million. ;I^QTT[" VM WN Ua NI^W]ZQ\M NQ U[ Q[
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#OTL
Jonathan Heaf Is...
This month with Rosamund Pike
W
hen actor Rosamund Pike,
40, arrives at my table at
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
on the King’s Road, it is
immediately clear she
is the most striking-looking person in the
room – and this isn’t simply because Piers
Morgan is dining in the far corner.
Pike is long, with eyes that seem to spin like
tiny, illuminated blue globes. Others around
us – men, women, Swiss au pairs, air dogs in
Moncler puffer jackets – look like they have
just come back from a HIIT class, while Pike
slides into her low wicker seat with all the
grace of a semi-retired prima ballerina assoluta. It’s a lesson in quiet, graceful etiquette.
Draped over her shoulders is a black tailored blazer, while her body is folded inside a
vanilla-hued jumpsuit that seems to goad the
detritus-strewn West London street outside.
“This is an interesting choice...” she comments
about the Richard Caring-owned restaurant
chain, whose original West End location was
famous for serving shepherd’s pie to everyone
from Princess Margaret to Tom Cruise.
The way Pike vociferously underlines “interesting” makes me think she means precisely
the opposite and I can’t argue that the atmosphere here is more Christmas carvery on a
cruise liner than elegant table for two. Still, she
doesn’t flounce and makes herself comfortable,
taking off her jacket to reveal skin as luminous
and fragile as freshly steamed har gow.
I must confess I knew precious little about
Pike before arranging this interview. Last
summer, however, I met the actor briefly
at a party at the notorious Stanway House,
Gloucestershire, with Noel Gallagher and his
wife, Sara – two of my favourite people to
bump into at any social gathering, especially
when surrounded by bingoing bohemians.
Being a little worse for wear (I blame the
Gallaghers), I immediately exclaimed how much
I’d enjoyed Pike’s performance in The Girl On
The Train. Clang! Of course I meant Gone Girl
(it was Emily Blunt in the former and very
good she was too). Pike, quite rightly, gave
me a thorough dressing-down that evening,
although I stand by the fact that it was the title
of the film I got wrong rather than my feelings
VERDICT
Food +++,,
‘I don’t care too much how
I’m perceived. Film is not
a personality contest’
about her excellent performance. Today, Pike
is either too polite to bring the incident up or
– more likely – I’m too forgettable to remember other than as a faceless buffoon at some
party. Either way, I appreciate her decorum.
“Icy” is how some folk consider Pike. When
I told one of my friends I was due to meet her,
he told me he feels a lack of empathy towards
her, that he feels there is an emotional distance
she keeps between herself and the audience.
Is Pike aware of such chilly perception? “Well,
yes, this is something that has been said occasionally,” she explains, tucking into a slightly
too tart glass of white wine and a generous
plate of baked truffled orzo pasta. “Although I
wonder whether my pale complexion and hair
colour don’t contribute to a lack of warmth
people feel. Though I don’t really care too
much about how I am personally perceived.
It’s my characters that I value and the desire to
get their lives and their humanity down. That
is my only concern. That is the job. Film isn’t
some sort of personality contest.”
Pike’s latest performance can be seen in
A Private War. It is a part that must be singled
Wine ++,,,
Personality +++++
out for its accomplishments; indeed many have.
After we meet, Pike receives a Golden Globe
nomination and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’ll
have received an Oscar nomination by the time
this magazine comes out.
Pike’s portrayal of the near-indomitable
Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin – killed
in Homs by the Assad regime while covering
the civil war in Syria in 2012 – isn’t so much
pitch perfect as a visual exorcism of Colvin’s
ghost. It’s a haunting, harrowing depiction
of the eye patch-wearing American journalist who drank as hard as she worked, a film
that looks at how Colvin’s own life and mental
health was torn apart by her restless pursuit
of the truth, no matter what the dangers.
“Well, I had to learn how to smoke like a
chimney,” Pike explains. Colvin got through
cigarettes in a way only those working so
close to death can. “I used to wrap my arms in
gaffer tape above the elbow to learn how to get
her tense, angular movements. She carried so
much tension around in her shoulders: Marie
was always hunched over, ready for attack. I
have permanently shortened my own neck by
almost two centimetres, rather shockingly.”
What? How can it be worth it, not only
physically, but also to drag up memories that
Colvin’s friends, family and colleagues may
find difficult to relive? “I doubted myself,
whether I could play this part,” Pike says, more
quietly now. “For me, honouring Marie, and in
a way so many other journalists who have lost
their lives – Jamal Khashoggi for one – in the
search of the truth, was incredibly important.
“I realised quickly how painful it could be to
people who knew her. I rang the director and
said, ‘I don’t know if we can do this.’ The next
morning a taxi arrived at my door in London
and there was nobody in it, just this bag. One
of Marie’s friends had sent me a sweater and a
jacket that had belonged to her. The message
was ‘keep going’. It helped. And it stayed with
me. I hope this film does the same for others.”
So how’s that for empathy? We finish with
strong coffee. Which wasn’t chilly or emotionally distant in the slightest. G
A PRIVATE WAR IS OUT ON 15 FEBRUARY. THE IVY
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Chilliness +,,,,
Empathy ++++,
Overall ++++,
Illustrations Anton Emdin; Zohar Lazar
Chilly, distant, imperious... No, not winter in Chelsea. And, actually, not our guest either
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