Welcome to Gentleman’s Journal Winter issue 2023 — an American-flavoured special which we hope is a wonderful fireside companion in this bleak midwinter. It’s certainly full of soul-warming stuff: everything from niche Japanese whiskies to beefy American reds, Miami’s glorious renaissance; and nice-guy-finishing-first Bryan Cranston — that utterly charming leading man whose zig-zagging career has been a case of the American Dream personified.
The fun starts in our Portfolio, where we explore the enduring appeal of Ivy League prep; celebrate 40 years of the waxed Barbour Beaufort jacket; learn how to dress like the All-American greats; find out what books Levison Wood keeps in his adventurer’s kitbag; find Grenadier’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe in South Africa; and meet British rising star Ben Radcliff (no relation!) in London.
Then there’s our House Notes section, in which we mourn the death of the Volvo estate; go gourmet with super-chef Albert Adría; meet the families running New York’s real estate universe; scroll through photographer Robert Spangle’s personal archive; and find out just where the most powerful tables in America are right now.
In our Features well, meanwhile, we sit down with Michael Wolff, the foremost chronicler of perhaps the twin poles of recent Western power: Murdoch and Trump; discover the best slopes and pistes of the season; explore the controversial world of cocaine-conservationist Ivan Mordisco; talk winning and losing with Formula One’s George Russell; visit Polestar’s remarkable Swedish HQ; and survey the finest evening wear imaginable.
We also sit down with Bryan Cranston in Venice Beach, LA, for a candid and uplifting cover interview. Cranston was born and raised in Hollywood, the son of a radio actress and a boxer-turned-actor, in a home wracked by alcoholism, conflict and neglect. His journey, over a few decades, to become the leading man of that precise same neighbourhood — square-jawed, twinkly-eyed, magnetic — is like a great cosmic boomerang, inevitable and unstoppable, arcing through a succession of bit parts, obscure roles, an excellent turn as the put-upon Hal in Malcolm in the Middle, and finally to critical and public adoration, at the age of 52, for his role in Breaking Bad. He tells Jonathan Wells how, in his early twenties and dipping his toes into acting, he came up with a personal credo: “To discover something that I really loved, and to learn how to get really good at it — as opposed to going after something I was already really good at, but didn’t love”. It is as good a take on the pursuit of happiness as any — and perhaps a good mantra for all of us for the year ahead.
Finally, in our ever dependable Society pages, we revisit the best GJ parties of the past few months; break bread with Industry creators Konrad Kay and Mickey Down; and find out why Rolf Sachs’s favourite word in the English language is ‘oomph!’.
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