Facial hair of any kind has long been maligned as being off-putting and creepy. But if you look back in time, some of the coolest, most respected people wore mustaches and beards. Great men like Martin Luther King, Jr. and even women like Frida Kahlo wore facial hair and they made it look great. But for some reason modern society has rejected the “Stache” and the longbeard. The mustache has been associated with stalkers or worse and I think that it stinks that a few bad apples have ruined the bunch for all stache wearers. Look if Burt Reynolds could wear one, why can’t I?
Good news to all facial hair wearers and the people who love them, because there are people out there who actually appreciate us! On Monday, January 31st, The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn hosted an event called “Beardfest & Stachebash 2011.” The Bell House is truly one of the best new venues in all of New York. With the amount of space they have, they can literally support events of any size. Once we found out about the event, we were instantly excited. Not only would facial hair of all kinds be accepted, but in fact, they’d be celebrated!
The event was packed to the gills with facial hair related fun. The front lounge of The Bell House was filled with stands where people could sell their mustache related products, be it a pillow with a huge beard on it or fake mustaches for the non-stached to wear throughout the party so they could fit in. Speaking of the fake facial hair, it was quite funny seeing women walking around wearing either fake bushy mustaches, or ones that were drawn on. We even saw a girl with a full fake beard, that looked homemade. Now that’s commitment! The facial hair friendly were also able to rock out to music by a great DJ duo who were playing what they dubbed “Bro-Wave,” a comical selection of music that would be typical to the frat guy set. It was mostly 90′s fare, as I could hear Warren G’s”Regulate,” blaring over the speakers. On the way into the main room, one could stop and get their facial hair trimmed, styled, and even photographed for a major project by a local photographer. So much to choose from!
The main space also known as the concert venue, was loaded with more facial haired gents than you could shake a stick at. Many of which were more than happy to take a picture for us and for your viewing enjoyment. I shit you not- it was like being at a ZZ Top convention as we walked through the main room. One of the best beards we saw was what I’d call a, “Two Year Job.” This refers to the amount of time it takes for a beard to grow about half way down one’s chest. That is a huge beard. The guy sporting this was very cool and backed up my two year theory. He also was able to fashion a great stache as well. I guess that’s double points? The beards we encountered really did run the gambit from the puffy, to the long and styled- much like Scott Ian from Anthrax would sport.
The Mustaches were a whole other level of entertainment. The one I was wearing, what could only be described as a “70s style business man,” was nothing compared to some of the amazing flavor savers we saw. Some of our favorite staches were period pieces, meaning they were from certain eras of US history. These mustachioed gents wore turn of the century style clothes and wwo of them actually matched wearing top hats, and were literally the belles of the ball, since everyone wanted to be photographed with them. Each of these guys used wax on the ends of their mustaches in order to make it curl. This style is extremely retro and only seen on the most hardcore stache fan.
The facial hair folk were not the only entertainment at the bash. The very talented women of Wasbassco Burlesque Review were in attendance for an eye-catching performance of what they dubbed, “Beardlesque”. Our favorite performance was a spirited rendition of, The Beatles’ “I am The Walrus,” performed burlesque style while the women, wore a Walrus mustache and long teeth. Please do yourself a favor and check out the Wasbassco Burlesque review whenever they are performing. They are regulars at The Bell House and their sister club, Union Hall. The Beardfest & Stachebash was a funny and hilarious way to spend a Monday night in Brooklyn, drawing in beard enthusiasts and normals alike. Hey, we also made some new hairy friends! Be sure to check out The Bell House’s calendar for future events just like this one. Grow a beard, it’s good for you!
- Alan Smithee