Trends: The Moustache
March 2004, Toro Magazine
by Matt Beam

In January last year, a new facial-hair trend suddenly appeared in Milan. The men strutting the runway for Gucci's fall 2003 collection were all wearing that forgotten relic from machismo's past-the 'stache. In the spring, North America caught on and shermans started sprouting on upper lips of vanguard hipsters. Soon after, the Foo Fighters caught the bug, or rather, the furry caterpillar: Front man Dave Grohl and some of his band mates sported handlebars in a promo for their latest album, One by One. While Johnny Depp can't seem to grow more than a finger-twisted mistletoe (see Pirates of the Caribbean and Chocolat) Toronto's Charles Spearin, of the internationally acclaimed collective Broken Social Scene, does it up right, wearing a significant chevron sans ironie retro.

According to Allan Peterkin, author of One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair, cultural experts concur about the moustache's return. All styles are cyclical, after all, and it's been a long two decades since the 'stache got its due. But Peterkin suggests it won't be a matter of simply shaving the cheeks and chin. While the moustache is still prominent in manly professions, such as the law enforcement and the military, it has also been a bi/gay signifier since the swinging seventies. And so with dandyism on the rise, the spring of 2004 might just be the time to bridge the gap. Everyone knows the goatee has got to go, but these things take time. Expect the bottom-lip soul patch to hang back for support before the moustache, on a wing and a prayer, finally flies solo again.

© Copyright 2004 Toro Magazine