Big bushy, smooth furry, patchy, pointy, oiled, curled and swooshing. Beards — big ones or neat ones — are the facial fashion for dandies these days. It’s so much fun. And maybe the biggest change in men’s fashion since bell-bottoms.
Neptune is, of course, the planet of fashion, and since early 2011, the god of the seas has been in his own sign, which rules the sailors, romantic yearning, fantasy: Game of Thrones and Liam Hemsworth’s sweater, perhaps. Those Scandinavian chunky knits certainly say hello sailor.
Neptune was last in Pisces throughout the 1850s, and indeed that was exactly when big beards came into fashion last time. In Paris, la vie boheme was in full swing and part of showing how wild and free you were was wearing scrappy whiskers. Here is Gustav Courbet — always a trendsetter — in a self portrait painted as Neptune went into Pisces in 1848.
Big beards became widely popular with the Crimean War 1854-56 — in present-day Ukraine. Normally soldiers were expected to be clean shaven, but it got so cold and there were no razors anyway.
Soon everyone was growing whiskers. The fashion spread and beards were the thing for the next 50 years or so, until they became something that old men wore.
I wonder if we’ll have a repeat of the Victorian beard thing and they’ll become the norm for the next few decades. Or is fashion more fickle? Are we heading for this?
PS The other (slight) street-fashion trend I’ve noticed since Neptune in Pisces is blue hair. What will Poseidon think of next?