Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Best Cars at the New York Auto Show

It's a good thing mayor Michael Bloomberg is paying more attention to sugary sodas than he is tire-shredding horsepower—the copious amounts of horsepower on display in New York makes the soda hazard pale by comparison

Porsche 911 GT3

We'll be wearing protective clothing when we hit the North American debut of what has long been one of the most hardcore 911 variants. Sparks will be flying when the faithful see that the newest GT3 comes only with Porsche's seven-speed PDK—that's right, an automatic transmission. A 9000 rpm redline, a 3.3-second 0-60 time, and a 195 mph top speed ought to limit the buzzkill, however, while rear-wheel steering will help it corner faster than any ordinary 911. But, slushbox mandatory? Aw, c'mon, Herr Doktors.

The GQ Punch List: 8 Things You Need to Watch, Hear and Read this Week

1. Let Josh Gad be your excuse for seeing Jobs. Cuz you'll need a good one. The Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs biopic hits theaters on Friday. Finally. Josh Gad steals our attention away in Jobs as Steve Wozniak. (He's the same guy just tapped to play comic icon Sam Kinison, NBD.) Back in April, GQ's Freddie Campion spoke to Gad about taking on the Woz—here, more from that conversation.

Monday, 19 August 2013

GQ Selects: September

Mougin & Piquard  x J.Crew Grande Seconde Watch
What’s so great about this Mougin & Piquard watch is that it perfectly toes the line between dressy and rugged, minimal and military. Those qualities make it a smart option for the fall season, as it holds it’s own when paired with a pinstripe suit, tweed sports coat, or even a chunky fisherman’s sweater. And at this price, the value for all that versatility can’t be beat.
Power moves at the office deserve an appropriately powerful suit and this season the one that’s going to get you noticed, and remembered, comes in a statement-making plaid. The exploded linear pattern on this Valentino makes a big impact while the medium gray body ensures the suit will work with a myriad of underpinnings, from stripes to solids and even other plaids.

Saint Laurent Studded Loafers

Hedi Slimane gives one of menswear’s classic footwear silhouettes some subtle rocker edge and the result couldn’t be more on point for Fall 2013. These loafers capture the teddy-boy vibe we saw on the runways but wouldn’t look out of place come casual Friday at the office. Wear them sockless until the leaves start to turn then try them with a melange camp sock for an unexpected twist or a crisp white pair to drive the teddy-boy look home.

Burberry London Duffle Coat

For a silhouette that’s been around as long as the duffle coat, introduced to the world during World War I, it’s remarkable that the outerwear style still feels just as fresh today. This one, from Burberry London, takes the iconic piece into trimmer territory thanks to a more tailored cut than the original turns the color up a notch from its traditional camel hue. The result is a coat that’s as timely as it is timeless this season.

Jean Shop Stitched Belt

Jean Shop’s belts rival their denim when it comes to quality, so when you invest in one you can rest assured it’s going to last for the long haul. The rich brown, hand-dyed hide brings a rugged edge to your best indigo denim and becomes a handsome tonal accent to your khaki-hued chinos and cords. This is a belt that’s going to be the workhorse in your arsenal of accessories.

Acne Max New Raw Jeans

Acne is a company built on great jeans and their Max New Raw fit proves why they’ve grown to be such a powerhouse in the denim field. The slim fit and straight leg means these are cut lean without venturing into skinny territory, so they look great sitting over any shoe, be it brogues or lug-soled boots. Meanwhile the clean indigo wash makes them appropriate with any outfit, in any setting, from a shirt and tie on casual office days to a t-shirt and hoodie for that early morning coffee run.

Michael Bastian Sweater

We’re never not impressed by Michael Bastian’s ability to put a new spin on the classics, and this hooded fisherman’s sweater proves why he’s so great at it. It captures the rugged spirit of the original but adds a detail, the hood in this case, that separates it from any other one you’re going to see this season. Layer it under a CPO-style jacket like we shot on Russell Wilson, or wear it alone over your favorite jeans; just know however you do you’re bound to get a bunch of compliments.

Cutler and Gross Optical Glasses

Cutler and Gross’ black acetate frames are a throwback style that’s a bit retro but hardly old-fashioned, aside from the hours of it takes to craft each pair by hand. Plus, the frame shape is friendly to every face thanks to the keyhole bridge cutout that sits just right on any nose. Want to look like the smartest guy in the room? Buy these glasses.

Saint Laurent Varsity Jacket

Every so often we’ll see a look walk down the runway that takes a garment we thought we’d seen every iteration of, in this case a varsity jacket, and makes it fresh again. That’s just what Hedi Slimane did with his wool version, trimmed in contrast white leather at the shoulders, by turning an iconic piece of sporty American outerwear into a luxe must-have. It’s a homerun when paired with a simple white t-shirt and slim black jeans like we shot on Alex Turner this month.

Lanvin and Valextra Card Holders

Here at GQ, we firmly believe that less is more when it comes to wallets. No guy should walk around with an overstuffed billfold jammed into his back pocket and that is why we’re fans of these sleek card holders that let you carry just the essentials and nothing more. Available from luxury houses like Lanvin and Valextra, the leather goods are available in an array bold colors and textures, which means not only will your back pocket be lighter once you switch to one, but those must-have credit cards and I.D. will be that much harder to misplace.

J.Crew Abingdon Waxed Holdall

For those last minute overnight trips as summer winds down, consider this J.Crew bag your best bet. The waxed canvas body is roomy enough to stow everything you’d need for a getaway and waterproof to keep it all dry inside. Leather handles and contrast canvas trim add support and structure while keeping the bag lightweight, so how heavy it is to haul around just depends on how much you want to pack.

Burberry Prorsum Heart Print Shirt

One of the many reasons we love Christopher Bailey at the helm of Burberry is that while the designer makes serious clothes, he is not afraid to inject some playfulness into his designs. A case in point is this dress shirt that’s cut as sharp as any to walk down a Prorsum runway, but comes in a clever, graphic heart print that turns the iconic symbol into a cool, downtown design for fall.

Saint Laurent Chain-Embellished Bracelet

When it comes to men’s jewelry, one piece can make a big statement and with that in mind, we’re big fans of Hedi Slimane’s sterling silver bracelet for Saint Laurent. A single strand of chain is given a new spin thanks to Silmane’s built-in structure below, so an accessory that would commonly hang holds strong instead. It’s a clever detail and one that’s sure to make any wrist standout in a crowd.

Hodinkee's Watch Report: The One Rolex You Shouldn't Overlook

The Rolex Explorer is often overshadowed by the Subs, the GMT's, and certainly the Daytonas - those watches that always bring down good money at auctions and were worn by dictators, diplomats, and an assortment of just really, really cool guys. But I've found that the more one starts to understand the murky, occasionally merciless world of vintage collecting, the more one comes to appreciate this undersized runt of the Rolex sport watch litter.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the Season's Best Plaid Suits

Over time, the gray suit has become the second skin of businessmen around the world. But in the competitive waters of corporate culture, the new move is to be the man with big, bold, bright ideas that stand out. Here, 'Kick-Ass 2' star Aaron Taylor-Johnson shows how a sharply tailored suit can put you at the top of the food chain.
World's Youngest Super-Dad
Aaron Taylor-Johnson's résumé has the logic of a Dalí painting. He works infrequently. His roles are extreme. He's basically the inverse of typecast, having played a pubescent John Lennon, a comic-book nerd turned vigilante (Kick-Ass, the first and second), a polyamorous—with Serena van der Woodsen and Tim Riggins!—pot tycoon in Oliver Stone's Savages, and a poodle-ish Count Vronsky (Anna Karenina). But it's the quality of the young Brit's personal life that contrasts most surreally with the roles. At 23, he holes up in London nearly full-time ("I'm trying to do just one movie a year; that'd be a luxury," he says) with his 46-year-old wife, artist/director Sam Taylor-Johnson, their two young daughters, and her two kids from a previous marriage. (She poached him directly from the set of the Lennon movie, and they swapped surnames.) Accordingly, he seems to regard his career with a middle-aged evenness, dismissing the awesome parts of being an actor: "Turning down roles just means more family." As though, say, training to fight a freshly conceived, freshly pissed Godzilla (his next film) is simply a vacation from family life: "We were assigned a Marine who's worked a bunch of movies. That was very new to me." Same as running up a body count in Kick-Ass 2 alongside foulmouthed, super scandalizing 16-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz: "I mean, when I first worked with her, she was 12. So she's older now, yes, but she was already way more mature than most teenagers, anyway." Or filming threesome sex scenes with Blake Lively and Taylor Kitsch: "If you agree to do a sex scene, you have to be willing to not be awkward about it. C'mon! I don't think of it as anything other than a dance, really. I don't see that person. I don't think of me being me." Oh, what men will do to support their families.

—Alice Gregory

Suit, $1,625 by Calvin Klein. Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers. Shirt, $240, by Thom Browne New York. Tie, $125, by Ovadia & Sons. Raincoat by Mackintosh. Watch by Bulova

Think of It as a Visual Business Card
Style in the work world isn't just about clothes. It includes: your comportment, your work ethic, and yes, a loud-and-proud suit that says, "I'm not just another drone."

Suit, $1,590, by Gant by Michael Bastian. Shirt, $385, by Ermenegildo Zegna. Tie, $115, by Ralph Lauren Black Label. Tie bar by The Tie Bar. Pocket square by Sid Mashburn. Belt by Salvatore Ferragamo.
The Two-and-a-Half-Piece Suit
We heard somewhere that this is the most colorful fall ever, and look! More proof. Try layering in a V-neck that picks up a tone in your plaid suit—and leave your winter coat in the closet as long as possible.

Suit, $2,150, by Valentino. Sweater, $695, by Burberry London. Shirt, $295, by Ralph Lauren Black Label. Tie, $155, Band of Outsiders. Briefcase by Smythson
Run a Tighter Ship
Wearing a plaid suit is going to get you noticed and remembered—that’s the point. It also means your whole look needs to be put together with confidence, poise, and know-how. This is that know-how.

1. Shirt
To look modern, it's gotta be a crisp-as-hell dress shirt (not a more casual sport shirt) with a smallish semi-spread collar.

2. Tie
You can play it safe with a solid, or go big (like this guy here) by wearing a small pattern that contrasts with your suit's bigger plaid.

3. Tie bar
Nothing locks your look in place like a tie bar. It shouldn't be wider than your tie, and right now we're feeling these short 'n' subtle ones.

4. Pocket square
The one thing that can look nonchalant. Fold it and shove it in your pocket, showing about an inch. Now grab your briefcase

Suit jacket, $1,150, by Calvin Klein. Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers. Shirt, $325, by Ralph Lauren Black Label. Tie, $15, tie bar, $15, and pocket square, $8, by The Tie Bar.
Master the Merger
Mixing different patterns is easier than you think. In fact, there's a formula: One big pattern + one small pattern + one solid = success.
The Bag Needs an Update Too
Carrying that same ole' busted briefcase with your new bold plaid suit would be like putting hub caps on a Ferrari. Finish strong with a folio like this brown one from Coach.
Blue and Brown: the Greatest Merger in History
It's true. There isn't a single shade of brown or blue that can't be paired together and look handsome. In fact, we dare you to try and prove us wrong.

Robert Griffin III GQ Cover Story - September 2013 - The Second Coming of RG3

And the Lord said unto his flock in Washington, "Take this young man, this impossibly gifted quarterback, and watch him hoist your moribund franchise upon his shoulders and into the playoffs." And lo, it was good. Sweet Jesus, was it good. And then RG3's greedy head coach ran him into the ground and blew out his knee. But now the young quarterback has returned, and his followers are ready to rejoice again. But lo, they're terrified. Sweet Jesus, are they terrified. It's the blessing and the curse of Robert Griffin III, the joy that could turn to agony at any moment. People, can we get an amen?

Everyone was crying. RG3 himself got it started, lying there in his hospital bed, totally immobile. Then his fiancée, Rebecca, and his mom welled up. Jackie never wanted her only son to play football in the first place, not really—what mother wants her son to play football?—but she relented when the 11-year-old pinkie-promised her he wouldn't get hurt. And now this. Finally, even the quarterback's military father, Robert Griffin Jr., the retired sergeant, the Iraq vet, "the guy who never cries," according to his son—not even RG2 could choke back the tears.

Today's Breaking Bad Nerd-Out: Did Walter White Have Enough Money in Those Barrels?

On last night's Breaking Bad, Walter White's now-enormous fortune took yet another turn, when he had the whole shebang dumped into barrels and buried in the New Mexico desert. But did all the money from that infamous cube make the journey? Or did the show's production designer (or someone else...) pull a fast one on us? Luckily, we have the video evidence—and the fifth-grade arithmetic—to see if it all checks out:
The dollar value of Walt's fortune has been estimated before, but for our purposes it doesn't matter; we only need to know the volume of all that cash (nice problem to have, that), and whether it would fill all seven barrels in the van. The estimate from this Quora thread of the size of the cube sounds about right: 5 by 6 by 2.5 feet, or 75 cubic feet.

Now, assuming those are standard 55-gallon drums, seven of them filled to the brim would hold 385 gallons, or (thanks, Google) only 51.467 cubic feet. And that's not accounting for the fact that bills stuffed into barrels is less space-efficient than bills stacked into a cube—just ask your favorite rapper. So where did those three or four extra barrels disappear to, the magic of television? Or...

The Week in Style: 8.16.13

Aaron Paul having a really good time in Hollywood, California
If you're still profiling popped-collar guys as dickbags, let this photo of Aaron Paul put you in your place
Anthony Weiner in NYC
Orange pants are a bad way to draw attention to places that are not your crotch.
Zachary Quinto in Tokyo
The only thing we'd do differently is take off about five bracelets. That's it.
Liam Hemsworth in Los Angeles
If this were a text, it would just read eight thumbs up emoji and that one with the Edvard Munch face.

Josh Hutcherson in Los Angeles
Nice to see a guy in one tattoo and something besides a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle. It's the perfect example of how restrained Hutcherson is when he's giving badass vibes.

J.J. Abrams, Zachary Quinto, Alice Eve and Chris Pine in Tokyo
This reads left to right like a How-To suiting guide organized from Puritanically Traditional to Human Peacock. Take note of all the perfect fits, patterns, and confidence levels.
John Oliver in NYC
We'd comment on Oliver's always-impeccable style but he's standing in front of the most color-coordinated photobomber in Week in Style history
Penn Badgley in NYC
Is it possible that Penn is as good at nailing heel flips as he is the skater boy look? We have doubts because everything down to the dress socks and sneakers is one hundred authentic.
James Franco in NYC
Meanwhile, Franco is trolling Gotham's book-lovers in their own uniform: frumpy Goodwill cardigans worn with an air of intellectual superiority.
The Jonas Brothers in Los Angeles
Three brothers, united by excellent fall-weight jackets in the summer.

CK1: Colin Kaepernick biography

He's the backup who took his team to the Super Bowl, the football player with the 95-mph fastball, the guy who ran roughshod over defenses last season but was coached in high school to never run the ball at all. In other words, the most unpredictable and least understood elite QB in the league right now
The statistics are shameless—sixty-mile-per-hour spirals! 181 rushing yards against the Packers in the playoffs! a 38 on that esoteric and lewd-sounding metric known as Wonderlic!—but the most mind-blowing of them isn't gaudy. Just...weird.

"I want you to know," Colin Kaepernick says, "that I had negative running yardage as a high school quarterback. Yes, I was fast. Yes, my coaches knew I was fast. But we had no backup QB." And at six feet five and 170 pounds, Kaepernick seemed like such a fragile emu that his coaches were terrified he'd get injured. "So they told me not to run."

The GQ Punch List: 8 Things You Need to Watch, Hear, and Read this Week

1. Be a Trap Lord. Like A$AP Ferg. The rapper's debut studio album—titled Trap Lord, obvs—is out tomorrow, and features collaborations with the likes of A$AP Rocky, French Montana, and Waka Flocka Flame. Plus, tracks like "Hood Pope," in which we learn he's the Hood Pope. But first and foremost, he's a trap lord—A$AP Ferg stopped by GQHQ last week, where he explained to our own Ren McKnight just what the heck that is. GQ: How would you define a "trap lord"?
A$AP Ferg: A trap lord is basically the lord of the trap, and my trap is rap.

GQ: Sometimes we call Michael Hainey, GQ's deputy editor, the "trap lord." Are you okay with that?
A$AP Ferg: Is he a hustler? As long as he's jiggy, I'm cool with it.

2. Contemplate The World's End with help from Simon Pegg. We've seen the apocalypse a lot this summer—it destroyed James Franco's house, gave Matt Damon robot arms, and made Will Smith...weird. But The World's End is different: It has beer. Part of the "Three Flavours Cornetto" trilogy (the first two chapters were Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) from British comics Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright, The World's End follows a group of friends who reunite for an epic bar crawl that ends at the title pub. That is, until they realize everyone in their hometown has become alien robots hell-bent on destroying humankind. We enlisted Pegg to school us on what to expect when you're expecting the end of the world.
3. Learn three facts about comedian Kurt Braunohler. Recorded live at rock clubs in Seattle and Portland, Braunohler's debut comedy album, How Do I Land?

Alan Richman: At Estela, An Extraordinary Chef and What Could Be the Steak Dish of the Century (So Far)

If you are an admirer of Houston St., moved by its struggle to rise above a history of drugs, alcohol, and indie rock, reveling in the hilarity of tourists mispronouncing the name, grateful for the existence of Katz's pastrami, you might enjoy finding your way to Estela.

The restaurant is at 47 E. Houston, an address packed with possibilities. On the ground floor is Botanica, a dimly lit bar where to my knowledge nothing requiring sunlight grows. To the left of the bar is a baleful entranceway, the door held open during my visits with a shiny yellow cord, the kind psychos use to tie corpses to bedposts on Law & Order: SVU.

The Violent Life and Sudden Death of Junior Seau

When the legendary NFL linebacker retired for good in 2010, he seemed set for life: supremely wealthy, beloved across the league, a hero in his hometown of San Diego. Two years later, he was dead. On a lonely morning in a big empty house, Seau shot himself through the chest. It's no longer a secret how much damage pro football can do to the men who play it, but never before had we witnessed it destroy a genuine superstar—not until Junior Seau. in this GQ special report, Seau's friends and former teammates try to make sense of how a life so filled with triumph could go so wrong so fast
The average NFL career lasts 3.5 years. Junior Seau, one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL, played for twenty—and San Diego, where he starred most of those years for the Chargers, was his city as much as New York is Derek Jeter's. Seau invested in San Diego both as a businessman and as the head of a foundation serving at-risk kids. But after retiring as a very wealthy man in 2010—he earned more than $50 million over the course of his long career—he began to behave uncharacteristically.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

GQ's Comprehensive Guide to Body Grooming

How to clip, shave, and tweeze every inch of your body, from the chest to (yup) way, way down under
For most men, body grooming involves walking a delicate line between looking like a caveman on the beach, or a member of One Direction. Then there are the more...nitty-gritty aspects of grooming, involving places where the sun don't shine, and even some you've probably never considered before. To help strike that balance, we consulted top grooming experts on how to prepare your body for the summer. That said, body hair is a matter of preference—both yours and your partner's. In other words, don't buzz without asking her how she likes it first.

Dear Leader Dreams of Sushi

North Korea is a mythically strange land, an Absurdistan, where almost nothing is known about the people or, more important, their missile-launching leaders. There is, however, one man—a humble sushi chef from Japan—who infiltrated the inner sanctum, becoming the Dear Leader's cook, confidant, and court jester. What is life like serving Kim Jong-il and his heir? A strange and dangerous gig where the food and drink never stop, the girls are all virgins, and you're never really safe. We sent Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Adam Johnson to meet the man who survived all the craziness
The sushi chef was leaving his apartment when he noticed the stranger outside. He could tell by the man's suit—black and badly made—that he was North Korean. Right away, the chef was nervous. Even in his midsixties, the chef is a formidable man: He has thick shoulders, a broad chest; the rings on his strong hands would one day have to be cut off. But he'd long since quit wearing his bulletproof vest, and the last time a North Korean made the journey to visit him in Japan, a decade ago, he was there to kill him.

10 Essentials: Rainn Wilson

No longer Dwight Schrute, The Office star talks about sexy custom vans, sad men with guitars, and Vitamix

Rainn Wilson's tastes tend toward the moody: indie singers, burnout actors, film noir. Not what you might expect from the man who for nine seasons starred as Dwight Schrute, the nitpicky, egomaniacal assistant manager on The Office. Or the funny guy whose media website, SoulPancake, hosts a talk show where he asks actors things like, "If you had a magic bus, where would you go?" and, "Draw a picture of your soul." Wilson's site is also home to the Internet's favorite child politician, Kid President—the black third grader who met Obama in the Oval Office—and a slew of other original content. So Wilson's creativity will clearly outlive Dwight…but in what form?

Wilson is reticent to say. Now is a fresh phase, and he's excited to do something new. There are indie film projects he's involved with, and he starred in a pilot for the CBS crime drama Backstrom, as an offensive criminologist whose only commonality with Dwight is that he's also a curmudgeon. He'd also like to get back to New York theater, where he got his start in acting at NYU. But in the meantime, the former Mr. Schrute told us about Orson Welles, swaggy custom vans, and his mini-guitar.

1. 1970s Custom Van
"When I came up with the idea for Metaphysical Milkshake, it was mostly an excuse for me to make a custom van. I've been in awe of them ever since I was a child in the '70s—there's such an air of mystery, like, 'Wow, anything could go on in the back of one of these things.' We're not completely done, but I love it. It's an awesome feeling to tool around town in this mysterious, sexy custom van, and we use it for the talk show."

The 3 Best Sparkling Wines for Summer

In the June heat, even the crispest Riesling can feel a little flat. So we're seeking relief in sparkling wines—they come in every color and flavor, and the best ones can cost less than a movie ticket. Behold the most unexpected, thirst-quenching booze of the season.

 Picture a summer afternoon. It was hot. I was poor. The bearded sage at my local wine shop handed me a surprising remedy—a Vinho Verde, gently fizzing with tiny bubbles, that clocked in at (wait for it!) nine bucks. Nine also happened to be the percentage of alcohol. Which meant that an hour later, on my roof with a friend, I was in the Happy Place: pleasantly buzzed (bubbly, you might say), but not blitzed.

8 Essential Shorts for the Summer

Chalky Chinos

At GQ, we're into wearing bright hues that are all washed-out and faded. It's the low-key way to rep more color.
Chalky Chinos

The Retro Hiker

Good riddance to a lot of '70s style, but we do dig the return of patch-pocket cord shorts.
The Retro Hiker
A Muted Plaid

Take madras back from the Nantucket set with dark, muted colors instead of garish plaids.
A Muted Plaid
Camp Shorts

The diagonal pockets give these their workwear appeal; roll the legs up for a personal spin.

Warning: You Might Be an Insta-Dick

When it comes to social media, share too much and you're boring everyone with Instagrammed appetizers. But the opposite's just as bad: Share too little and, as Mark Byrne found out, it's really easy to look like a shallow, self-aggrandizing jerk.

I joined Instagram on Memorial Day of last year, several beers into a long, boozy evening, after watching four of the people at my table use their phones to photograph the three-tiered oyster tray that had just been delivered...to the table next to ours. By the time I'd downloaded the app, the oyster pyramid was gone, but I'd acquired three followers (all at the table) and the groundwork for a new way to misrepresent myself to the masses. The first picture I took, later that night, was of a bottle of wine. I don't even like wine, and it wasn't my bottle. But no one needed to know that.

Admit it: You've done the same. Maybe you don't outright lie about drinking beyond-your-budget Syrah, but a quick flick through Instagram shows mostly beach pics, fancy drinks, fast cars, and group shots of beautiful friends. (And dog photos. So many goddamn dog photos.)

Which falls in line with the general social-networking M.O. The whole game is rigged to favor the witty and the cool. Your tweets are all humblebrags, and your Facebook photo albums oscillate between Party and Vacation—or parties while on vacation. Cancún! Fourteen-dollar Manhattans! But the other six days a week, you stay in with a six-pack and Netflix rom-coms even your girlfriend is too embarrassed to watch. There are two yous: Real You and Insta-You. And there's, like, six income brackets between these people.

Welcome to your new social-media neurosis: You're undersharing.

Remember when everyone was afraid of the opposite, of giving away too much? It's why your Facebook page doesn't have your phone number and why your Twitter handle is a reference to a song lyric instead of your real name. But all that time spent trying to obscure your identity created this new problem: No one knows the real you.

I can tell you who Instagram Mark is. Instagram Mark is a man who lives on espresso and aged Manchego and spends more time with his feet dangling into pools than he does working. (Does he even have a job?) He's never eaten fast food, and his apartment is always crowded with friends. Truth be told, Instagram Mark is kind of an overcompensating dick.

Ask yourself: Would you be embarrassed for Insta-You if he were real? Would your girlfriend think he's a stooge? If the answer's anything more than "maybe," get to work evening out the dickishness. Salvation is only a few self-deprecating photographs away.

Look, I'm not telling you to skip shooting all the cool stuff you normally would. Go ahead—snap that vintage Volvo P1800, that expensive watch, or someone else's wine. Don't hold back. But the goal here—as in seesaws or a good martini—is balance. And the only way you're going to hit the sweet spot between under- and oversharing is if you constantly take stock of what you're putting out there. Consider it an Insta-audit.

Say your last three photos were from a twelve-course tasting menu with square white plates and molded orbs of foie gras. Offset the swagger with glory shots of the ham and Swiss on rye you eat for lunch every day. Last week you were in Palm Springs? This week: the subway. If the celebs-are-just-like-us tabloid staple has taught us anything, it's that everyone likes seeing photos of other people doing realistic, relatable shit. A little bit of reality goes a long way.

And hey, if your feed's beyond saving, you can always nuke your account and start over. A less dickish Insta-You is only a shiny new username away.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fade Up

The secret to wearing bold colors without looking like a dandy or a spaz is simple: They should be washed-out. Faded. Like they were already broken in before you even pulled them on. And don't be afraid to mix them all together, like New York band Vampire Weekend—the indie darlings who are now looking, thanks to an inspired third album, to float the mainstream
When Vampire Weekend's first album appeared, in 2008, you couldn't talk about them without arguing about them. All up for debate: their sly, self-assured, and perfect-pop riffs; their breezy Internet-fueled rise and Afropop appropriation; the perception vs. reality of their elitism, vis-à-vis their degrees from Columbia and the pink horses on their Ralph Lauren. Back then, VW's cheery frontman, Ezra Koenig, tells me, it felt like "people were waiting for us to fuck up."

Now here comes third album Modern Vampires of the City, a tightly produced batch of wordy, playful, daydream jams written and recorded in L.A., Brooklyn, and—okay, laugh it up—a friend's guesthouse on Martha's Vineyard. Koenig says, softly sarcastic, "If people are still like, 'Oh, my God, you preppy white-ass Ivy League whatever,' " well, then, maybe they weren't really listening to the music in the first place. Not that he's all that salted about it: "I mean, I'm always happy to engage in a dialogue about Polo shirts."

Right before I hang up, I offer a theory: A while back, Drake embraced the winter sweater, via his particular Haute-Cosby Look. Is it possible Vampire Weekend—once so closely associated with the woolly wear—became, by comparison, less preppy? "Maybe that's true," Koenig offers gamely. "I didn't think about that, because the sweaters Drake wears are from such a different branch of the sweater tree. It's the style of somebody wearing clothes associated with very old people. Which I like." He mulls it over some more. "I feel like sweaters will always be a part of our band. But maybe the moment for them to be at the forefront has passed, in a healthy way? And we can start focusing on other items?"
Spring Colors You Know, in Shades You Don't
This season, our favorite colors look like they were made in the 1980s—and then spent the next thirty years in some forgotten warehouse washing machine. The result is rusty reds, watery blues, and purples that fade into grays. Start by buying a sweatshirt or a pair of chinos and then work your way up to Vampire Weekend's next-level mixing and matching

The Gentleman's Guide to a One-Night Stand

Congrats! You're going home with someone! Better yet, someone who miraculously wants exactly what you want from this encounter—a no-strings-attached (unless bondage straps count?) night of sex. But instead of enjoying this rarely realized fantasy, you're paralyzed with anxiety. Siobhan Rosen lays out how to be a stand-up guy throughout the stickiest, most mistake-ridden sexual escapade of them all

In theory, a one-night stand should be as easy as its sexual congregants. You want sex. She wants sex. Commence passionate no-commitment sexytimes. Finish passionate no-commitment sexytimes. Wash face. Sleep. Part. Thanks for the memories, you!

Style Report: The MTV Movie Awards

Eddie Redmayne
Gosling better start checking his rearview mirror, because Redmayne is coming up fast in the leading-man style lane. The actor knows how to kill it when it comes to black tie, and proves here he can handle the off-duty stuff equally with ease.
The good? Macklemore knows how a suit fits, and that cobalt tux is pretty sharp. The bad? Wearing Liberace's skeet blanket over it.
Paul Feig
We never thought we'd say this, but someone actually showed up overdressed to an MTV awards show.
Tom Hiddleston