Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Collection 100: Famous Bros. with Famous Mo's: 20 portraits of moustaches.

It's a well-known fact that moustaches can be more than a little bit awesome- distinguished, charismatic and playful...but then again they can go so, so wrong.

Here, I showcase some of the most notable and famed moustaches from the world of celebrity- those that did it so right, and those that are more than a little bit odd.

Everyone's favourite genius, Albert Einstein- showcasing a traditional style which suited his eccentricty perfectly.

Basil Fawlty- everything was faulty bar the wonderful 'tache.

Personally, I'm not a lover of The Killers frontman, Brandon Flower's facial fuzz phase, but he still undoubtedly works the tache like a trooper... a very, very handsome trooper.

Charlie Chaplin...another iconic moustache, this time from the legendary slapstick comedian- worn in a "toothbrush" style.

Freddie Mercury- king (or queen...) of rock. Freddie went through smooth phases throughout his career, but definately was remembered for the upper lip adorement the most- also, a glowing example of how well a moustache can disguise a prominent upper jaw!

Groucho Marx- another legendary moustache-wearing comic, truly distinctive and parodied the world-over.

David Suchet as Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot- perhaps with one of my favourite moustaches of all time- sleek and elegant, true European moustache chic.

Howard "Don't be mocking my Mocha" Moon- Julian Barratt here in surrealist comedy show, The Mighty Boosh, showcasing what is undoubtedly one of the most attractive moustaches in the modern day (this is not up for disagreement).

When the 70's had it's wicked way with Lionel...enough said.

Manuel, the "adorable" waiter in the Fawlty Towers hotel, as if the moustache needed any more of an excuse, "he's from Barcelona..."

Nick Cave- the true example that the man makes the moustache. Never in the history of the world has a horseshoe moustache been anything but laughable, until this man came along, and gave the horseshoe an avantegarde and uber-trendy edge...obviously.

Salvador Dali...I just haven't the words. The true moustahce-d messiah.
If I could create an entire project on his without exhausting every avenue of this fantastic man's life, i would.

"Just like the word "Marco" implies "Polo", the phrase "Attractive moustache" implies Tom Selleck"- the wonderful response from an annonymus 'Yahoo! Answers' member summarises it all really- one of the few men in the world who may infact look BETTER with facial fuzz, believe it or not...

Moustaches don't escape the cartoon world either, with some of culture and "celebritie's" most notable 'taches being adorned through images of animation and illustration.

Here, Ned Flanders has a BMD (Bad Moustache Day) in Springfield (from television show 'The Simpsons').

Super Mario- everyone's favourite Italian moustached character, putting moustaches on the virtual map.

...and when moustaches go bad...

I'm sorry Mr Hogan, but there really is no excuse for this bleach-blonde horsey monstosity. A true lover of moustaches, this just makes me shake my head and wonder...why?

Adolf Hitler, WWII dictator and the owner of the world's most infamous moustache.

Contreversial Russian communist leader, Joseph Stalin- like Adolf Hitler, the less said about him the better...

Not neccessarily evil, but pretty darn close. The 'Go Compare' man is undoubtedly gracing many advertisers hit-lists right about now.

The most disturbing crime to facial fuzz known to mankind. The Chuckle Brothers certainly gave me nothing to chuckle about as a child...

...pure terror.

Collection 100: Moustaches Make a Difference.

'Moustaches Make a Difference'- supporting prostate cancer research.
Another 'Movember' link- again, showcasing some of the brilliant ideas that are portrayed through graphic designs, this time, showing just how greatly moustaches can make a difference to a man's upper lip, and the man himself!

Collection 100 Research: Mr Bingo.

Mr. Bingo is a London-based illustrator and graphic design of whom I have admired and been in awe of since "discovering" his work on the cover of the first QI "book of general ignorance" my sister bought me as a present several years ago. 
Mr. Bingo can be credited for his unique playfullness and diversity, working with numerous notable clients including companies and organizations such as: 

-Financial Times
-The Guardian, etc...

However, I consider my favourites pieces of work from his portfolio are from his hair series...

The cast characters from television series 'The Mighty Boosh'.
 Characters from the Star Wars franchise.

A hairdo fine for any aspiring prog-rocker!

The obligatory moustache picture.
I really love the consitency of Mr Bingo's style in this series and how simple yet effective the idea is- distinctive hair cuts can be very strongly associated with their owners for key visual communication. 

I will consider applying this to my own findings- what people see as distinctive or memorable moustaches from their responses to my "favourite celebrity moustache" survey...

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Collection 100: Weird and Wonderful Moustachioed Videos.

With a developing fascination with film and moving image, I have decided to research how moustaches are portrayed in visual context relative to sound and vision- with help and thanks to the video sharing site, YouTube, I have sourced some prime examples...

The sort of video I wish I had thought of first- weird, wonderful, yet so simplistic. I really love the minimal use of pixelation yet what such an impact it has with the ever-increasing pace of the music. 

"Why you lookin' at me?"... Well, because of your dandy moustaches, of course.
So many examples of "hilarious raps" out there, these guys give mousatches their place in social paradoy history. Oddly enough, this has inspired me- perhaps, instead of creating a badman rap, experimenting with semantics and word play- perhaps an ode to moustaches- again, maybe looking at a "user's guide" with a playful twist.

The thought of an oreos pizza truly disgusts me, but this advert is undeniably brilliant- tapping into a key market- the aspiring moustache grower- teenage boys have troubles too.

If Old Spice have done it- you know it has to be good. Such a brilliant moustache paradox, this is inspiring and a little bit genius. Perhaps I could play around with designing moustaches onto adhesive plasters, or think about printing onto scarves, etc- any objects that might cover the upper lip.

Another wonderfully clever advertisement utlising the great adhesive moustache, this time curteousy of the Beunos Aires Independent Film Festival. 
Adhesive or "false" moustaches are just as, if not more, famous than the true upper-lip growers, thus, it will certainly be worth researching more into the culture of false moustaches- fustaches.

Again, simple but so very effective- perhaps consider looking at the importance of moustaches and hair- through identity and public image.

Adorable (in a manly way, obviously) and inspiring- this really wants me to grab a pen and start a moustache-themed limerick series. This is a book in the making.

Collection 100: The World Beard and Moustache Championships.

The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a global competition in which men with bears and moustaches showcase their carefully and skillfully crafted facial hair- first taking place in Hofen-Enz, Germany, twenty years ago in 1990, the event has grown enormously in terms of applicants and popularity.

On September 1, 2007, competitors from the the world-over gathered for the annual championship, this year, held in Brighton, UK, with competition judges including moustachioed musician Nick Cave and musician/poet, Billy Childish. 
Categories inclued Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle.

Categories also include:

-Natural Moustache: maximum of 1.5cm beyond the edge of the upper lip (may be styled but without aides).
-English: slender, hairs extremely long and pulled to the side.
-Dali: slender with long tips, straight up or arching up.
-Imperial Moustache: small and bushy with tips arching up.
-Hungarian: big and bushy, beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side.
-Freestyle: All moustaches that do not match other classes.

Partial Beard:

-Natural Goatee: facial hair grown only on chip, upper and lower lip (may be styled buyt without aides).
-Chinese: chin shaved with moustache tips long and pulled down.
-Musketeer: moustache long and slender, beard small and pointed.
-Imperial: hair to be grown only on cheeks and upper lip.
-Sideburns Freestyle: all other sideburns with shaved chin.
-Alaskan Whaler: all beards with no moustache.
-Partial Beard Freestyle: all partial beards not matching other classes.

 Full Beard
-Verdi: short and round, length not to exceed 10cm.
-Garibaldi: broad, full and round, length not to exceed 20cm.
-Natural Full Beard: as grown, no aids allowed.
-Natural Full Beard with Styled Moustache: as grown, only moustache can be styled with aides.
-Full Beard Freestyle: full beards not matching other classes, but considered the most creative over all the categories in the full beards. 

History of the Beard and Moustache Championships.

Since 1995,  the championships have been held every two years- in 1997 being organized by the Norweigan Moustache Club (Den Norkske Mustaschklubben) in Trondheim, Norway, and then, in 1999 being held by the Swedish Moustache Club (Svenska Mustaschklubben), in the southern city of Ystad, and continuing a European theme when it returned to the founding land of Germany in 2001, when the Swabian Beard and Moustache Club (Schwabische Bart- und Schnauzerclub) celebrated it's tenth anniversary by hosting the championships in the hometown of Schomberg.

Brighton 2007

In 2007, London's famous Handlebar Club hosted the championships in the seaside town of Brighton. The championships were host to a sell out crowd whilst hundreds of facial hair fans stood outside, though unable to retrieve tickets, hungry for a piece of the facial fuzz action- with German teams once again proving triumphant, winning nine golds in total.

These images from The World Beard and Moustache Championships have certainly given me a dose of inspiration in the zany, weird and more-than-a-little-bit-wonderful world of moustache growth- potentially a source for designing my own moustaches- perhaps creating a "grow-your-own" guide, or wall chart?...

upcoming events

Collection 100: 20 facts about 'taches.

1. In a deck of cards, the King of Hearts in the only King whom does not have a moustache.

2. For many years in his career on stage and film, Groucho Marx's moustache was achieved by applying greasepaint to his upper lip, until he decided to grow one in real life.

3. In 1967, The Beatles gave away cardboard moustaches with their album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts club Band'.

4. In the 1972 April issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, Burt Reynolds posed nude on a bearskin rug with nothing but his moustache covering his dignity. Afterwards, he vowed never to remove his moustache as it was his claim to fame. 

5. Eight types of moustache are recognised at the World Beard and Moustache Championships. These are called: Natural, English, Dali, Handlebar, Wild West, Fu Manchu, Imperial, and Freestyle.

6. According to research by drinks producer, Guiness, the average moustached Guiness drinker traps a pint and a half of the drink in his facial hair every year.

7. Firemen are not allowed to have facial hair, as this prevents breathing equiptment from fitting properly.

8. In the 1960's, long and facial hair was considered to be "a sign of hippies", which the Disney empire did not wish to be associated with, therefore, a policy was set in place in which all male employees had to have short hair and no facial hair at the theme parks. It took until 2000 for the theme parks to remove this policy- now male employees are allowed to have neatly trimmed moustaches.

9. Shaving with stone razors was potentially possible from Neolithic times, but the oldest portrait showing a shaved man with a moustache is an acient Iranian (Scythian) horseman from 300 BC in a cave painting.

10. In Western cultures, women have generally avoided the growth of facial hair- some are (unfortunately) capable, but most use a form of depilation to remove it. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo embraced her facial hair and often depicted it in self portraits, along with a unibrow. Her distinctive style and empanicated style has been followed by many contemporary females working within the arts today.

11. The longest recorded moustache belongs to Bajansinh Juwansinh Gurjar of Ahmedabad, India. It had not been cut for 22 years and it was 12 ft, 6 in long in 2004.

12. Salvador Dali published a book, solely dedicated to his famed moustache.

13. Swimmer Mark Spitz won seven gold medals whilst sporting a moustache, when swimmers usually shaved all of their body hair to decrease drag. When other competitors questioned the moustache and the potential increased drag, he claimed that it helped to create a pocket of air to breathe.

14. Movember is an annual month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November, concieved in 1999 by a male group in Adelaide, Australia, the event supports men's health issues and charities, most notably, supporting research and care in prostate cancer.  

15. The French actor, Francois-Alexandre Galipedes used the stage name "Moustache" in reference to his facial hair.

16. A variety of tools have been developed for the care of moustaches, including moustache wax, moustache nets (snoods), moustache brushes, moustache combs and moustache scissors. 

17. The moustache cup is a drinking cup with a semi-circular ledge inside, which provides a guard to keep the moustache dry from the cup's liquids, and was thought to have been invented by British potter Harvey Adams.

18. The distinct style of moustache known as the pencil moustache is thin and found adjacend or a little above the lip. The style is neatly clipped so the moustache takes a pencil drawn appearance, whereupon a large gap is left between the nose and the moustache, usually breaking across the philtrum, or continues unbroken. Famous examples include director John Waters and television personality, Bruce Forsyth.

19. A horseshoe moustache is a full moustache with vertical extensions grown on the corners of the lips and down the sides of the mouth to the jawline, resembling an upside down U or a horseshoe. The whiskers grow along the sides of the mouth in the horseshoe are sometimes referred to as "pipes".

20. The styles of moustache include: natural, mexican, dali, english, imperial, freestyle, fu manchu, handlebar, rollie fingers, horseshow, pencil moustache, chevron, toothbrush, and walrus.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Stop motion and Pixelation Research.

Mike Bailey-Gates- Untitled (Music by Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain OST, Yann Tiersen).

A really great example of how simple yet effective pixelation can be. A great example from Mike Bailey-Gates here, with very subtle expressions and movements showing a variation of emotions from several characters. A definate inspiration for my stopmotion- perhaps people's emotions could reflect their view or opinions of Leeds?

Peter Gabriel- Sledgehammer.
Animated by Aardman Studios.

Undoubtedly one of the best pixelation videos of all time- Peter Gabriel's music video for single 'Sledgehammer', created by the Aardman animation team. A brilliant blend of surrealism and humanistic qualities. Really creative and inspirational- if only I had more than two weeks!

Oren Lavie- Her Morning Elegance.

Again, one of my favourite ever examples of pixelation, the music video of Oren Lavie's 'Her Morning Elegance'- beautifully simple and elegant- I love how they have utilise so few materials and space in this video- a great example of how effective minimalism can be with great creativity.

American Beauty Kinetic Typography.

A really good example of typographic animation- here, a narrated sequence from the end of the film 'American Beauty'. I love how the words flow so effortlessly from slide to slide, perfectly timed to the speech audio and visually communicating the words so well- an example being the "like rain" section above, in which the 'rain' lettering appears to be pouring down from a cloud.

There Will Be Blood Kinetic Typography.

Another fun example of typography- this 'There Will Be Blood' narrative piece shows great movement and playfullness in it's character, focusing on composition, colour and font size to create a memorable and creative piece.