It’s a snor-fest no more – ditch that beard, the tache is back
From handlebar to pencil, the moustache is finally starting to overshadow the beard
Did you notice something missing during Sunday night’s British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) awards ceremonies? For the first time in years, beards were outnumbered.
Yes, there was a smattering of designer stubble on the red carpet (didn’t you get the memo, Bradley Cooper and Richard Madden?), but gone were the ungroomed hipster growths, the shaggy muttonchops and dishevelled steampunk look beloved of Hollywood A-listers between roles. Even Rami Malek was shorn of the Freddie Mercury facial furniture that helped him win Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody.
And for those who didn’t go clean-shaven, there was the moustache.
When Beauty and the Beast actor Luke Evans presented an award, he was wearing a sleek pencil affair – as was Mahershala Ali, who won Best Supporting Actor for Green Book. Christian Bale, no stranger to facial hair transformations, turned up with a full-on walrus; whiskers so thick and bushy that they drooped over his lip. With a bit more growth and some nifty bladework, Joseph Fiennes’s tidy facial crop, which he sported in A Handmaid’s Tale, could soon be a fetching “cookie-duster”, the horseshoe-shaped arrangement with many nicknames, several unprintable.
Stiff upper hairy lips also featured in clips of the nominated films: Ben Whishaw as Mr Banks in Mary Poppins Returns, square-jawed Henry Cavill’s rather lush example in Mission Impossible: Fallout. Even the “In Memoriam” sequence was bookended by Albert Finney (who wore an exquisitely waxed little slug for his turn as Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express) and Burt Reynolds, owner of perhaps the most famous movie tache of all.
Meanwhile, at the Grammy Awards, Ricky Martin unveiled new facial hair – a slender moustache and matching soul patch (the bit twixt chin and lip), described on social media as a “creepy porn tache”.
For those in the UK not watching the red carpets on Sunday night, series six of Endeavour began, now starring Shaun Evans as the young detective constable Endeavour Morse ... with a sizeable piece of facial furniture on his top lip; let’s call it a Morse-tache.
Until recently, the moustache has been rather out of fashion and the subject of ridicule. To mention it would inevitably bring to mind the 1970s, or Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, or Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy. But, after years in the style wilderness – set back in part by Movember, the fundraising initiative when men are encouraged to work on growing wacky taches for charity – it is finally coming back.
As a style writer, I have been predicting it for some time. Once the Victorian preacher and “soup-strainer” looks peaked, it was always likely that east London tastemakers would find new ways to style their fuzz. The dad-tache revival was only a matter of time. And now it really is catching on with a new generation, the full top-lip swagger, or subtly combined with stubble for a more on-trend, updated look.
I first essayed the moustache in the 1980s, as a young gay man newly arrived in London and frequenting Earls Court, then the epicentre of the capital’s gay scene, in the “clone” uniform of Levi’s 501s (before they went mainstream) and Lacoste polo shirt. It probably had something to do with Tom Selleck, whose Magnum PI remains one of the finest examples of bristly moustache manhood.
Having gone between goatee and clean-shaven, I have now returned to the face-fungus fold with the “porntache” handlebar. Now, mine is mostly grey, but this distinguished style could easily be given an ironic nod by younger guys. I’ve had good ratings, too, with it variously described as stylish, suave and sexy. It’s time other gents followed suit.
Whether you go for a Clark Gable pencil or something waxed and twirlable in the Salvador Dalí mould, mo’ moustaches, please!
– © The Daily Telegraph