Beards are hardly an innovation in men's fashion. We've seen many a whisker on runways before, and they ebb and flow each year just like eyebrows in the womenswear shows. But this season, beards were out in full force, some to an extreme degree. Vivienne Westwood frosted her models' faux-facial hair with snow and ice for an extra-rugged mountain-man look, while Paul Smith and Umit Benan pruned their models' chin hairs into rounded, shrublike clouds. There were exceptions to the bushiness, though: Some designers, like Hermès and Roberto Cavalli, showed closely cropped beards that more closely resembled a few days' worth of scruff. Also of note: An exciting frequency of ginger beards! Take a look of the season's best beards in the slideshow.
Best beard/eyeliner pairing. See the complete fall 2012 Bernhard Willhelm Menswear collection.
Best scary dye job. See the complete fall 2012 Bernhard Willhelm Menswear collection.
Best use of beard conditioner. See the complete fall 2012 Daniele Alessandrini collection.
Second-best fire-beard (just you wait for slide 15). See the complete fall 2012 Daniele Alessandrini collection.
Best pirate beard. See the complete fall 2012 Diesel Black Gold Menswear collection.
Best dad beard. See the complete fall 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna collection,
Best mustache/beard combination (but oh, isn't that 'stache just crying for some nice curly waxed tips?). See the complete fall 2012 Henrik Vibskov collection.
Best avoidance of Just for Men. See the complete fall 2012 Henrik Vibskov collection.
Best beard for a Shakespeare audition. See the complete fall 2012 Hermès Menswear collection.
Best neck beard ("neard"). See the complete fall 2012 Hermès Menswear collection.
Best WWE wrestler-esque beard. See the complete Maison Martin Margiela Menswear collection.
Best beard for staying over 100 yards away from a school or playground. See the complete fall 2012 Maison Martin Margiela Menswear collection.
Best reverse rat-tail. See the complete fall 2012 Paul Smith collection.
Best attempt at growing a beard when you just can't quite. See the complete fall 2012 Roberto Cavalli Menswear collection.
Best (and most natural-looking) fire beard. See the complete fall 2012 Rynshu collection.
Best matching beard/outfit coordination. See the complete fall 2012 Trussardi 1911 Menswear collection.
Best faux beard-cicles. See the complete fall 2012 Vivienne Westwood Menswear collection.
Best beard angles. See the complete Yohji Yamamoto Menswear collection.
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