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
Need we say more? Image: Salvador Dali with ocelot and cane taken in 1953.
It's a double moustache. Image: Self-portrait (in the role of 'Les Misérables' protagonist Jean Valjean) with Émile Bernard portrait in the background, for Vincent, 1888.
Don't freak out, Courbet. Your french fork is coming in fine. Image: Gustave Courbet, The Desperate Man, 1844-45
Marcel Duchamp celebrates Movember with Mona Lisa. Image: Marcel Duchamp, "L.H.O.O.Q.", 1919
The perm-esque hair really compliments the curled moustache. Kudos, Albrecht, on your daring moustache. Image: Albrecht Durer, "Self-portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe", 1500
We can't decide what we like more: the singer's pencil moustache or his seductive facial expression. Image: Edouard Manet, "Spanish Singer", 1860.
The good ol' Walrus moustache. Great likeness, Mr. van gogh. Image: Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of a Man with a Moustache, Paris, Winter 1886/87
Frida Kahlo forever proving the old addage "Whatever you can do I can do better." Image: Frida Kahlo, "Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird" (1940)
You're not looking your best, Caravaggio, but we dig your chin puff/soul patch situation. Image: A portrait of the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, c. 1621.
Such a well-coiffed 'stache, Reubens. Image: Peter Paul Reubens, Self-portrait, 1623
Another styling pencil courtesy of Modigliani. Image: Amadeo Modigliani, Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota, 1915
Munch's somber 'stache. Image: Edvard Munch, Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895
Van Dyck being all coy and mustachioed. Image: Anthony van Dyck, Self-portrait, c. 1633
Vlad, you've been haunting our slideshow dreams lately, but we'd be remiss if we didn't include your caterpillar mustache today. Image: Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia, c. 1500s
Hal's 'stache is so good it has its own shadow. Image: Frans Hals, Self-portrait, c. 1650
Mouth agape + moustache = true beauty. Image: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Porträt des Rainer Maria Rilke, 1906
So close to being friendly mutton chops. So close. Image: Gouache painting on paper from a portfolio of sixty-three paintings of deities and daily life by South East Asian artists collectively known as the Company School, c. 1820
"Ok, so every artist did a handlebar-puff combo. I get it." Image: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Self-portrait, c. 1635
Um, you might be distracted by this man's gigantic pants, but there's a blonde 'stache in there somewhere. We promise. Image: Paul van Somer, James I of England (James VI of Scotland), c. 1618
Many, many moustaches a la Cornelis van Haarlem. Image: Cornelis van Haarlem, Banquet of the officers and sub-alterns of the Haarlem Calivermen Civic Guard, 1599
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