Let us now praise facial hair, especially the 'stache.
*Note: This is days before police violence erupted in Istanbul including in the Istiklal neighbourhood, where these photos were taken.We send our sympathies to those killed and injured in protesting for their civil and human rights.
One of the great pleasures of life is kissing a man with a moustache. (Yes, you can quote me.) I am completely in luck because Istanbul is full of handsome men with moustaches -- not just any kind of moustache, but sexy ones. In fact, all of the facial hair here in Istanbul is süper sexy.
Back in my hometown of Brooklyn, NYC there was also plenty of facial hair (though moustaches, as I recall, not so much). What was not sexy about them was that they were all 'ironic'. Basically, men grew facial hair to be hipster-chic or back-to-the-land tongue-in-cheek or something so self-conscious you just wanted to lay down on Bedford Avenue and die. So.not.sexy. But that was there and then and this is here and now. And now is completely and totally wow. Even if some of the facial hair styles harken back to earlier times -- the '70s or, OK, the Ottoman Empire -- there is nothing 'ironic' about these 'staches. So goodbye irony, hello handsome. (Story continues after these fabulous photos).
Moustaches here are usually on the bushier side, but with a distinctive vibe and style. Sometimes they are paired with beards and a usual Istanbul look is a thicker moustache with a closer shaved (sometimes 5 o'clock shadow-y) beard. Ooh, ah, nice!
What's more, there is a whole host of moustache-themed clothing and accessories for us chicks to dig (as if a sexy man weren't enough. They are, but as Mae West said, too much of a good thing is wonderful. Yes. You can quote her too.) Little Hercule Poirot moustaches have become the icon of choice on blouses, leggings and even shoes. I personally love the rings. You can have your 'stache any which way you like. And I like them a lot, just don't ask me to kiss and tell. You can quote me there, too.
By: Alba Brunetti, Istanbul, Turkey
Photography by Alba Brunetti