Yesterday at Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Jean Paul Gaultier and Yohji Yamamoto sent shock waves through the world when a veritable flood of facial hair spurted onto their spring 2011 runways. These were not the too-groomed goatees and soul patches of 22-year-old boys, or the befuddling upper-lip caterpillars of politicians and financiers. These were quite old-fashioned, quite serious, and not a product of adolescent self-discovery or a wanting more hair somewhere amid midlife balding. Beards were thick and unkempt at Gaultier, where the setting for the show — a comment “on the European’s relationship to Saharan Africa,” according to Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn — was Turkish baths.
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