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Wander Winter 19′

Wander Winter 19′

The South Downs. The Canary Islands. To the end of the world.


Words & Photography Kirk Truman


MERCEDES-AMG G63

50.7338° N, 0.2415° E

This car is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off, and thats saying a lot. The G63 looks as if it has been pulled straight from the 1970’s when Mercedes originally launched the G series. Its tough and rugged, sharp on the edges and loud as hell. Taking this into consideration, you may wonder why the G63 were to be my perfect companion while visiting the South Downs of Sussex.

The G-class was developed as a military vehicle from a suggestion via the Shah of Iran to Mercedes, later offered as a civilian version in 1979. The first military in the world to use it was the Argentine Army beginning in 1981 with the military model 461. The G-Wagen (Geländewagen) was face-lifted in 1989 for the 10th anniversary of the G Model. 30 years on, persevered in the G63 iteration is much of the rugged and tough soul which helped forge the reputation of the original G Class. This companion to the end of the earth bares the interior and technology to rival the Bentley Continental GT, and a frightening off-road multi-terrain durability to rival any of the Range Rover iterations. Above all, what defines the G63 is its unmatched charisma. Picture Sean Connery in 1964. He’s ruthless, ready to explode at any second, and underneath all of this he’s a gentleman, charming and the best dressed man in the room with an accent and words that could kill. Thats the G63 entirely; a little misunderstood, and totally enviable.

MERCEDES-AMG.COM

SALTMARSH FARMHOUSE, EAST SUSSEX

50.7756° N, 0.1533° E

71 MILES FROM LONDON

Saltmarsh Farmhouse is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the Seven Sisters Country Park. Founded by Nina Mastriforte, the hotel is a beautiful 16th century farmhouse with guest rooms and a café set in the marshland of the South Downs. The produce on offer is sourced locally by the proprietor from the neighbouring villages and towns. All the rooms are carefully curated, as is the guests lounge; as a result, Saltmarsh Farmhouse feels more like a home away from home than a hotel. Happy guests seem to concur. The hotel is also something of a rarity in the area, as there are few places to stay overnight in close proximity to the Seven Sisters. As dusk falls, the area becomes a stargazers’ paradise, with zero light pollution for miles around, making an evening stroll to the English Channel a must.

SALTMARSHFARMHOUSE.CO.UK

LEICESTERSHIRE, EAST MIDLANDS

50.8303° N, 1.7011° W

104 MILES FROM LONDON

The quiet country lanes and hills of Leicestershire are where I grew up, so it’s an area I know better than most. Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands, more than 100 miles in any direction to reach the ocean; as a young boy, I dreamed of the sea. But coming back, it’s a fascinating landscape; much of it is littered with former slate mines which became disused when cheaper slate became available via the railway lines to Wales. Since then, they have flooded to become dark, forbidding waterholes.

The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, and 102 Derbyshire to the north-west.

Bentley Continental GT

As you leave London behind, if your pockets are deep enough, Bentley’s £151K (OTR) new vision for the Continental GT offers an ideal way to travel. As you make your way onto the quieter roads beyond the M25, the Continental GT comes into its own, and it’s soon apparent why this is perhaps the most elegant British grand tourer on the roads today.

Originally launched back in 2003, as its name boldly implies, the Continental GT is a Bentley that’s built to carry passengers across continents in as relaxed a manner as possible. It’s a thing of beauty on the outside, and fun to drive, quick, comfortable and extensively luxurious on the inside.

The interior is laden with more leather and wood than you’ll find in Soho House. There’s a feeling of tradition about the interior that perhaps only a Bentley is able to deliver. Chrome buttons and knobs feel appropriate for the cockpit of a Spitfire, not to mention the revolving dashboard and old-school dials that are completely hidden behind a large wooden panel at the touch of a button. It’s a fitting homage to Bentley’s 100-year history.

This is not a Ferrari or an Aston Martin. There’s something startling and practical about the Continental GT that makes you feel as if you could drive it every day. In one light, it’s monstrously powerful, and in another, elegant and startlingly economic if you switch to Bentley Mode. A must for escaping the capital and enjoying the open road beyond.

BENTLEYMOTORS.COM

FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLANDS

28.3587° N, 14.0537° W

1751 MILES FROM LONDON

One of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa administered by Spain, Lanzarote is known for its year-round warm weather, beaches and volcanic landscape. Timanfaya National Park’s rocky landscape was created by volcanic eruptions in the 1730s. Cueva de los Verdes has caverns formed by an underground river of lava. East-coast resort Puerto del Carmen is home to whitewashed villas, beaches and dive centers.

LA OLIVIA

28.3587° N, 14.0537° W

AUTUMN IN THE HEAT

La Oliva is a town on the island of Fuerteventura, in Spain’s Canary Islands. It’s known for the Colonels’ House, an 18th-century building with crenellated towers. Nearby, the protected Malpaís de La Arena Natural Monument features diverse flora, a 10,000-year-old volcanic crater and lava formations. It’s close to the island’s extensive beaches and dunes, like those in the Corralejo Nature Reserve.

David Gandy

David Gandy


Words & Portraits Kirk Truman


“You know, if you were ask me about the history of fashion, I probably could tell you very little…”

Over the past two decades, David Gandy has established a deserved reputation for having a careful eye for detail. Catching the attention of leading designers such as Dolce & Gabbana for Mario Testino’s Light Blue campaign, the London-based designer has built an unmatched career in the British fashion industry. He’s an intellectual, a gentleman, and a businessman who finds escapism in motoring. David and I met in Nice, 868 miles away from our capital, and from here we drove the Jaguar XE to St Tropez; on the way back, we drove the F-Pace SVR through the Route Napoléon, shooting en route. Along the way, we discussed life in London, David’s career and Jaguar’s iconic designs, which have captivated his imagination since his youth.

Tell me about the early years of your career.

I was at university in my early 20s. The only thing I learned there was that I shouldn’t have gone to university! Unbeknown to me, a friend entered me in a competition with Select Model Management. I won, and received a contract with the agency. I knew nothing about the industry, and, at first, I was a very much an observer wending my way through a world I didn’t understand. I dressed in a utilitarian way. I didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t ever aspired to be part of the industry.

What was the turning point in your career?

I’d spent a lot of time going to castings which weren’t for me. I suppose I wasn’t really doing what I wanted to be doing and, to be truthful, I felt that at times I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was the brilliant Tandy Anderson at Select who gave me the guidance I needed. I began to think about how I could work toward achieving a lasting effect in the industry and doing something nobody had ever done before, something iconic.

To me, that meant becoming the best in my game and getting a chance to work with the greatest creatives in the industry. I left behind all of my commercial work, earning nothing for months and months: it was the chance I needed to take to open up a bolder opportunity. This led to me working with Dolce & Gabbana, and subsequently becoming the face of the Light Blue fragrance.

With your work veering in a new direction, what did you take from this experience?

It was an education for me. I was passionate about photography during my youth, so I already had my own ideas of creative direction. I told myself to walk before I could run. I was just very genuinely curious about everybody I was working with. I wanted to understand the role and every element of each individual I worked with. Photographers such as Mario Testino to Steven Meisel – their intuition and creativity captivated and inspired me. More than anything, I listened, which I don’t particularly feel people do so much today. Working with Dolce & Gabbana and creatives who inspired my own thinking and direction, I knew that one day this would lead me to curate and creative-direct my own projects.

How should others interpret your work?

I’ve always described myself to people as the middle ground between an average guy on the street and the fashion industry. I hope that I can be a voice between the two. You know, funnily enough, I really don’t enjoy having my photograph taken. More and more in life, I’ve become increasingly selective about who I work with. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten to where I am now with a bit of luck, but in fact it was hard work.

What does our capital mean to you as your home?

I can walk down any street in  London and I still feel like I see something new each time. Everybody has this vision of the streets of New York, Paris and Milan being paved with gold. I’ve always felt that London is the most creative and influential city in the world. I’ve reflected this in my work, working primarily with British brands such and M&S, Jaguar, and Aspinal of London. We’re an inspiration – we’re multicultural and the greatest capital city in the world.

How did you develop a passion for motoring?

How do you begin to explain a thing like that? Cars have been ingrained into my psyche from my youth. They just have. It’s an obsession. You know, if you were to ask me about the history of fashion, I probably could tell you very little. If you were to ask me about the brake horsepower, the designer, or how a car was developed, I’d probably be able to tell you everything! My family have always been into cars. I can remember going to my grandfather’s house before I could ever even properly read, looking endlessly through car books. It’s part of who I am, and my route to escapism.

Tell me about your relationship with Jaguar. How would you define the spirit of a Jaguar?

I believe that you can’t have a one-night stand with a brand. Anything I work on with a brand is authentic and long-term. I have fond memories as a youngster of driving around Europe with my family in a Jaguar. I started working with Jaguar in 2009 and the relationship has grown from there. It started out with just a conversation and has organically progressed. More and more, I have had the privilege of being able to see behind the scenes of the design process of each model, and now I work closely with the design team. From being shown the clay models of the vehicles prior to production with Design Director, Ian Callum, as well as racing their cars, Jaguar has become part of my family and my life. To me, Jaguar is the defining British motoring designer. As with the F-PACE SVR, each and every Jaguar is designed in such a way that, even when standing still, it looks as if it is about to leap towards you. Every time you get behind the wheel of a Jaguar, you should feel that look and character.

What are your future aspirations?

There are some in life who are happy to sit and watch the world pass by. I just can’t do that. I always have to be doing something. As I’ve become more selective in life, I’ve thought about this at length. Many people have asked me whether I would consider developing my own brand in time. Doors open, doors close. I’m open to it. Life is a game of chess, and hopefully I’m making the right decisions to take me toward checkmate. I’ve invested over the years in a number of brands, and my gut tells me that one day I will perhaps have to put my money where my mouth is and start my own.

@davidgandyofficial

jaguar.co.uk

selectmodel.com