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Beard of the Year: Vince Gilligan’s Van Dyke

If anyone defines the wild, unpredictable, up-is-down zeitgeist of the past twelve months, it’s Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. His unique style and vision have turned heroes into villains, producers into leading men, and the classic Van Dyke beard into grooming’s golden look. And we didn’t even mention the spin-off.

It’s rare for a television producer to end up an A-list celebrity, complete with interviews, screaming fans, and stylized cover shoots. Then again, pretty much everything about Breaking Bad defies convention. For five heart-pounding seasons, Gilligan kept viewers on the edge of their seats, weaving masterful writing and cinematography into a formula all his own. In fact, most of the show’s greatest moments, from the explosive ending of the episode “Face Off” to September’s series finale, came straight from the mind of the master.

Now, fresh on the heels of a “Best Drama” Emmy, Gilligan is expanding the Breaking Bad universe with the spin-off Better Call Saul, which is set to air in 2014. The show follows the pre-meth antics of lawyer Saul Goodman, a Breaking Bad fixture and perennial fan favorite. In our case, he had us at “spin-off.”

While Gilligan’s imagination is his first and foremost asset, his classic Van Dyke comes in at a close second. For the uninitiated, a Van Dyke is a mustache-goatee hybrid made popular by its namesake painter, and if you couldn’t already tell, it’s not for the faint of heart. Regardless, the maestro of meth has worn it with pride since early 2010, and the look is catching on. We’re not sure if it’s the clean-cut silhouette, or the villainous undertones, but we can’t get it out of our heads. Then again, perhaps that was the idea all along.

To craft and care for a Van Dyke of your own, watch our tutorials on safety razor shaving and growing a healthy beard. For more grooming tips from sunny Albuquerque, check out The Breaking Bad Guide to Grooming.

Photo: Gage Skidmore

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