Monday, March 19, 2018

Heads Up on the Genuine Chasseurs Alpins!

Happy to inform you that South Pacific Berets now stocks the genuine "tartes" of the Chasseurs Alpins. 
Heavy duty 200+ grams black berets made of 100% Australian merino wool, sized without headband, cotton lined and fitted with the traditional Cambo label.
Available in sizes 56-62, exclusively at South Pacific Berets and to be found on the new dedicated Chasseurs Alpins page.

Manufacture de Bérets - C. Georget

In my continuing search for vanished beret manufacturers, I came across the business card of a Parisian beret factory.
Manufacture de Bérets - C. Georget was located at Nr. 3  Rue des Arquebusiers in the Marais neighborhood (3rd arrondissement). 
Further searches on the web and Google Maps didn't amount to any more information; all what remains is (what looks like) a boarded up house covered in graffiti... 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chasseurs Alpins - Magazine Covers

Different times, where everyone was familiar with the Chasseurs Alpins and their pictures were commonly found on the covers of magazines (berets included...).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Chasseurs Alpins go Green

The battalion of the 13th Alpine Chasseurs in Savoy reduced its energy consumption by 50%. 
"What is done here obviously serves as a laboratory", says Colonel Jacques Massot, chief of the defense infrastructure service of Lyon. The Roc-Noir-de-Barby (Savoie) district, home to some 1,100 alpine hunters at the foot of the Bauges massif, has undergone a profound but almost invisible change in the past two years. The two-story buildings of the 1970s have kept their facade greyish and unattractive, but "solar carpets" installed on the roofs now make it possible to produce hot water. Insulation has been thoroughly overhauled, and electric heaters, installed in the golden age of nuclear energy, have been replaced by a wood-fired boiler plant, fueled by the region's forests.
In total, 30 buildings (for a heated area of ​​more than 41,500 m²) have been renovated. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations

Few musical pieces as beautiful as Glenn Gould’s interpretation of Bach’s Golberg variations.
“Columbia Masterworks’ recording director and his engineering colleagues are sympathetic veterans who accept as perfectly natural all artists’ studio rituals, foibles, or fancies. But even these hardy souls were surprised by the arrival of young Canadian pianist Glenn Gould and his ‘recording equipment’ for his first Columbia sessions. … It was a balmy June day, but Gould arrived in a coat, beret, muffler and gloves.”
The rest of the bulletin detailed the other peculiarities that Gould had brought along with him when recording J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the label.
These were many. Instead of nobly holding his head high with a proper recitalist’s posture, Gould’s modified piano bench allowed him to get his face right near the keys, where he would proceed to hum audibly while playing. He soaked his arms in hot water for up to 20 minutes before takes and brought a wide variety of pills. He also brought his own bottles of water, which, for 1955, was still something that seemed like only Howard Hughes would do. It was these initial, broadly trumpeted peculiarities that helped shape the Gould myth throughout his too-short life, the audacious genius who slightly unsettled everyone around him. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bill Deraime

Bill Deraime, (1947, real name Alain Deraime) is a French blues singer and musician from Senlis (Oise).
Deraime started his carreer in the mid -1970s and has since continued to sing and advocate for various causes.
Deraime produced 18 studio albums and 3 live recordings between 1979 and 2018, his latest last February: Nouvel Horizon.
Bill Deraime has continued tirelessly to find his path, in the margins of the commercial system, focusing on meeting fellow humans, openness and the human adventure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Eli "Lucky" Thompson

Eli "Lucky" Thompson (1924 –2005) was an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist. While John Coltrane usually receives the most credit for bringing the soprano saxophone out of obsolescence in the early 1960s, Thompson (along with Steve Lacy) embraced the instrument earlier than Coltrane.
Thompson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and moved to Detroit, Michigan, during his childhood. Thompson had to raise his siblings after his mother died, and he practiced saxophone fingerings on a broom handle before acquiring his first instrument. He joined Erskine Hawkins' band in 1942 upon graduating from high school.
After playing with the swing orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Don Redman, Billy Eckstine (alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker) and Count Basie, he worked in rhythm and blues and then established a career in bebop and hard bop, working with Kenny Clarke, Miles Davis, Gillespie and Milt Jackson.
Thompson was strongly critical of the music business, later describing promoters, music producers and record companies as "parasites" or "vultures". This, in part, led him to move to Paris, where he lived and made several recordings between 1957 and 1962. During this time, he began playing soprano saxophone.
In his last years he lived in Seattle, Washington. Acquaintances reported that Thompson was homeless by the early 1990s, and lived as a hermit.
Thompson died from Alzheimer's disease in an assisted living facility on July 30, 2005.
Thanks, Dennis.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Max Aub

Max Aub Mohrenwitz (1903 –1972) was a experimentalist novelist, playwright and literary critic. 
Aub was born in Paris to a Jewish French mother and German father, who was a travelling salesman. At the outbreak of World War I, his father was in Spain on business and could not return to France, as he had become an enemy alien. Max and his mother joined him there and they all took Spanish citizenship. Aub and his family settled in Valencia. In 1921, he became a Spanish citizen. In 1929, Aub joined the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and remained a lifelong member.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Republican government posted him to Paris as a cultural attaché and in 1937, he was responsible for placing Picasso's "Guernica" on display at the International Exposition, and took part in the organisation of the Second Congress of Anti-Fascists Writers. 
In February 1939 Aub left Spain with André Malraux and the film crew of L'espoir. By 1940, the Franco regime had come to consider him a serious opponent, and in March 1940 he was denounced to the new Vichy government of France as a militant communist and a "German-Jew", and therefore a possible spy or traitor. He was imprisoned for a year in Camp Vernet, then deported to the forced labor camp of Djelfa in Algeria.] In 1942, with the help of a guard, he escaped.
Max Aub in the prison camp of Djelfa, Algeria, ca. 1941-1942
Soon thereafter, he was able to find passage from Casablanca to Mexico, followed shortly by his wife and children. There he joined other Spanish exiles — including Luis Buñuel, with whom he formed a working friendship. In Mexico he worked as screenwriter. He also wrote for the newspapers Nacional and Excélsior and worked as a Professor at the Film Academy in Mexico. He became a Mexican citizen in 1955 and lived in Mexico City until his death. In 1972, he was elected Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Tapio Mattlar

Tapio Mattlar is the Co-Founder of the Finish Village Action Network. The Network promotes and develops village action and locally initiated rural development on the national level. 
The Village Action Association of Finland is an umbrella organisation for regional actors in rural development. Residents’ Associations, village coalitions, LAGs and national central organisations are members of the Village Action Association. At the end of 2006 the Association had 131 member organisations.
Mattlar received the Right Livelihood Award in 1992.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Johnny Hallyday

Jean-Philippe Léo Smet (1943 –2017), better known by his stage name Johnny Hallyday, was a French rock and roll and pop singer and actor, considered to be a legend in France and credited for having imported rock and roll there. However, his musical universe continued to be centred on the blues.
During a career spanning 57 years, he released 79 albums and sold 110 million copies worldwide, mainly in the French-speaking world, making him one of the best-selling artists in France and in the world.
Hugely popular in France, he was usually referred to as simply "Johnny" and seen as a "national monument" (the only one since Edith Piaf) and a part of the French cultural legacy. His exceptional longevity in public life made him a familiar figure for four generations and a symbol of the Thirty Glorious Years when he emerged in 1960. More than 2,500 magazine covers and 190 books have been dedicated to him during his lifetime.
He remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world where he was dubbed "the biggest rock star you've never heard of" and introduced as the French version of Elvis Presley.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Air France

The first Air France 'uniforms' were made up of a wardrobe inspired by the clothes worn by sleeping-car attendants, in keeping with the conventions of high-end hotels: a white jacket, navy trousers, a white cap and a collared navy spencer. Stripes and insignia served to highlight the crews' hierarchy, ensuring military order as well as a military style that male civil aviation uniforms retain even today.
In 1946, Air France organised the first competition to recruit hostesses. Having a uniform became essential. 
The fashion house Georgette Renal, chosen by hostesses, included a wardrobe of basic clothing items: a suit, a summer dress, and a coat. In 1951, with the airline experiencing great success, it chose the Georgette de Trèze fashion house to modernise and feminise its hostesses' appearance, and to convey the spirit of the 1950s, with beret.
Alas, the beret disappeared in 1962, when Marc Bohan (Dior) introduced the 'Air France' range into its haute couture collection. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

On War, Conflict and Edita Vilkevičiūtė

From the past 10 years of researching "everything beret" on the web, I learned one thing: many (men) are attracted to girls/women in uniform or with guns.
I certainly can enjoy seeing a woman or girl wearing a fitting beret, but the whole uniform/guns thing is quite abstract to me.
And to take it a step further, the context of how/where these photo's are shot, I find disturbing; it often romanticizes war or other conflict, portraying fashion in a place of utter misery or suffering.
The photo's published in this post are a good example. They're quite beautiful in their own right, but I find it sinister how the background of the photo-shoot portrays the Spanish Civil War. It doesn't go as far as fashion shoots at Auschwitz (yes, I've come across those too), but still, to my standard it's simply not appropriate. 
The model in case is Edita Vilkevičiūtė (1 January 1989) from Lithuania.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jiří Kylián's Car Men

Exactly 20 years separate Jirí Kylián's solo Silent Cries and his black-and-white film, Car Men, made in 2006 in collaboration with the Dutch filmmaker, Boris Paval Cone.
What unites the two works is the sheer expressiveness of the dance on the one hand, and the distinctive facial
gestures and body language of the dancer Sabine Kupferberg on the other. Kupferberg is the one who pulls the strings in Car Men, victim and plotter in equal measure, prepared at all times to stand up to life's problems -- as well as to her three co-actors Escamillo, Don José and Micaëla -- with humor and enigmatic wit. And so at the end of Kylián's unusual, slapstick-like tragicomedy, she simply abandons her three colleagues, self-assured and incorrigible -- just like her role model Carmen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Macedonia - What's in a Name?

I found this photo in my Dutch daily online today, Macedonians protesting the possible name change of their republic. 

The Macedonia naming dispute is a political dispute over the use of the name "Macedonia" between the south-eastern European countries of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, formerly a region within Yugoslavia. Pertinent to its background is an early 20th century dispute and armed conflict that formed part of the background to the Balkan Wars. The specific naming dispute, although an existing issue in Yugoslav–Greek relations since World War II, was reignited after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the newly gained independence of the former Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1991. Since then, it has been an ongoing issue in bilateral and international relations.

An old tobacco farmer, whose son was killed by guerillas, makes an anti-Slav speech during the Greek Civil War of 1945-1947. Location Rodopolis, Macedonia, Greece.
I may be offending some visitors here, but no, I have no sympathy for this kind of narrow minded nationalism. It's a name and borders are lines drawn on a map... Alas, a beret always goed well with a protest!

Monday, March 5, 2018


Beautiful sketches by US based French artist France Belleville-Van Stone.
Her blog 'Wagonized' is not just full of great sketches, but depicting many of my favourite old-timer cars, from French DS's to grand Volvo's Amazones, Saab's and everything in between.