Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Phrygian cap

The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia and the Balkans.
In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.
It is used in the coat of arms of certain Republics (like Haiti, Argentina, Cuba and Columbia) or of republican State institutions (like the US Senate) in the place where otherwise a Crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France's Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap.
Of course, its similarity with the Catalan barretina is no coincidence; it is a direct descendent of the Phrygian Cap.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Washington Squares

The Washington Squares were a 1980s neo-beatnik folk revival music group.
Modeled after early 1960s groups like The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary, the group was named after New York City's Washington Square Park, emblematic of Greenwich Village. The group, consisting of Bruce Jay Paskow, Tom Goodkind, and Lauren Agnelli, came up with their name over free drinks provided by Agnelli, who was a waitress at a Mickey Ruskin's Chinese Chance off Washington Square Park where Goodkind and Paskow were regulars.
Paskow, Goodkind, and Agnelli dressed, played, and sang in a style evocative of the idealistic, left-leaning folk revival groups of the Kennedy era, but added a layer of post-punk Reagan-era irony.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How To Wear Your Barretina?

Like berets, there are many ways how to wear a barretina. Much depends on the length of the barretina, as they typically come in 3 variations: 3, 5 and 7 pams. The 7 pams model is by far the longest and is usually worn rolled up (apart from the Portuguese barrete pescador version). 
Most visitors of this blog would happily pass on the extra long 7 pams version and therefore we stock mainly 3 pams barretines; still long enough to fit in your cellphone, wallet and pipe!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Béarnais Micro Breweries

Presently there are 6 established micro breweries in Béarn. Blondes, Reds, Ambers, British beers... The choice is endless. 
No surprise to find the brewers wearing a beret; BrasserieTauler, certified organic beer makers, actually feature the beret on their label!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Seydou Keïta

The great African portraitist Seydou Keïta lived in Bamako, Mali from 1921 to 2001. A self-taught photographer, he opened a studio in 1948 and specialized in portraiture. Seydou Keïta soon photographed all of Bamako and his portraits gained a reputation for excellence throughout West Africa.

Seydou Keïta was discovered in the West in the 1990s. His first solo exhibition took place in 1994 in Paris at the Fondation Cartier. This was followed by many others in various museums, galleries and foundations worldwide. He is now universally recognized as the father of African photography and considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Beards & Berets - Again

The classic combination of beard and beret; here the latest additions to the files:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Los Tramposos


Los tramposos ("The cheaters") is a 1959 Spanish comedy film directed by Pedro Lazaga and starring Tony Leblanc and Antonio Ozores.
The movie is about two small-time con-men, who make a living of swindling people. They have a relatively happy life despite some "visits" to Carabanchel Prison. However, one of them, Virgilio, falls in love with the sister of his partner. Since she is not happy about their style of living, they decide to become honest people. Having failed in other jobs, open their own travel agency, which turns out to be a success after some comical incidents.
Spanish critic Carlos Aguilar in his Guía del cine español considers this film "in his own way, a classic".

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

David Lozeau

David Lozeau creates Day of the Dead art in a non-traditional way, injecting modern, Lowbrow style into the centuries-old Dia de los Muertos subject matter. He paints unique, expressive skeleton characters and layers enamel over acrylics and gouache to achieve fine details and a smooth, bright finish for his graphic novelesque presentation. This is his way of celebrating and paying homage to his favorite time of year.
The Day of the Dead takes place on November 2nd as a way to pay tribute to the departed. Similar to the November 1st Catholic holiday "Día de los Inocentes," which honors children or infants who have passed, el Día de los Muertos is steeped in the tradition of celebrating life through music, dance, food, art, prayer, and family togetherness.
Sentimental offerings, or "ofrendas," such as bread, toys, candy, flowers, and pictures are placed upon candle-adorned altars or graves as gifts to loved ones, while wood, clay, tin, and paper are transformed into whimsical skull masks and sculptures to exchange and display. Catrina, an elegant, skeletal woman made famous by printmaker José Guadalupe Posada in the early 1900s, is one of the most recognizable figures in the Day of the Dead holidays and still permeates and influences Mexican Folk Art today.
David wearing Pizza Beret

Millions of people around the world now celebrate the Day of the Dead and, in Southern California, it's easy to be inspired by the calaveras and orange marigolds woven into street art, intricate scrollwork pinstriped onto lowriders, and sugar skull tattoos inked onto body parts. Every year, you can find Lozeau live painting at events that highlight the historical and cultural significance of the celebration.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vlado Perlemuter

Vlado Perlemuter (1904 –2002) was a Lithuanian-born French pianist and teacher.
Born to a Polish family in Kovno (now Kaunas in Lithuania), the family settled in France in 1907. In 1915, aged just 10, he was accepted by the Paris Conservatoire. At 15, he graduated from the Conservatoire, where he won the First Prize playing Gabriel Fauré’s Thème et variations before the composer, although Fauré was already deaf by that time.
In 1925 Perlemuter heard Jeux d'eau for the first time, and then he decided to study all the music of Maurice Ravel. In 1927 a friend of Perlemuter suggested him to send Ravel a letter to ask for coaching of his works. Ravel agreed and Perlemuter studied all of Ravel's solo works for piano with the composer himself for a period of six months at his home in Montfort l'Amaury.
As a Jew he was in danger in Nazi-occupied France, and was hunted by the Gestapo, barely managing to escape to Switzerland, where he lived until 1949. In 1951 he joined the teaching staff of the Paris Conservatoire.

His final years compromised by memory loss and failing sight, he died at the American Hospital in Paris in 2002 at the age of 98.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Laurita Siles from Fundación BilbaoArte Fundazioa

If only my Spanish, let alone Basque, language skills were better, I could relate here exactly what these photographers stand for. Alas, neither Spanish or Basque or my strong points.
The pictures were found on this website and I understand it is about an art project of Laurita Siles that celebrates the peasant life; a bicycle carding wool, for example.
The blackened face has to do with the carranzanas sheep; a breed at the edge of extinction.
Either way, fascinating pictures. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Johan van Hell

Johannes "Johan" Gerardus Diederik van Hell (1889 –1952) was a Dutch visual artist and musician. He was a dedicated socialist and a man with a highly developed social conscience. Many of his later works depict the struggles and plight of ‘the man in the street’. In 1925, he decided to produce lithographs to make art available at a reasonable price to the working class. He also gave free private art and music lessons to gifted students who could not afford the tuition.
His art oeuvre is varied, ranging from oil paintings, water colours, wood cuts and lithographs to political posters, ex-libris and magazine and book covers and illustrations. He also received regular commissions from the City of Amsterdam for monumental art. His music was at least as important to him as his art. His instrument was the clarinet but he also played the oboe. He regularly performed with Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra but refused a permanent position. In his last years his music took precedence over his art.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Willie G. Davidson

William Godfrey "Willie G." Davidson (1933) is an American businessman and motorcycle designer, and the former senior vice president & chief styling officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
He was also the head of Harley-Davidson's Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. While being generally responsible for approving Harley-Davidson motorcycle designs, he also personally designed several motorcycles for Harley-Davidson, including the Super Glide and the Low Rider, which pioneered the factory custom motorcycle and created an intermediate line of motorcycles between their large touring models and their smaller Sportsters.
Willie G. Davidson is the son of former Harley-Davidson president William H. Davidson and the grandson of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson. Consequently, he grew up around Harley-Davidsons. Davidson graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and went on to study at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he became aware of bike customization.
Before working for Harley-Davidson, Davidson worked for the design department of Ford Motor Company. Willie G. retired from Harley-Davidson in 2012. He is to remain involved as brand ambassador and in Special Design Projects as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Vintage Beret Advertising

Decal for Pébéo berets (made by Blancq-Olibet); "The Ace of Basque Berets"
An old decal for Boinas Elósegui berets. The same man features on present day Boinas Elósegui advertising.
Le Béret Chic: el Ramuntcho, "King of the Basque Country".
Kangol; capture the '30s look in the 1970s

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Felix Urabayen Guindo

Felix Urabayen Guindo (1883 - 1943) was a scarcely known  writer, novelist and narrator; now seen as one of the best prose writers of the literary generation of pre-Spanish Civil War.
He was the most prominent figure of the Navarre narrative and the first third of the twentieth century. Formerly a teacher, his friendship with Manuel Azana led him to stand for election in 1936 and got the post of Minister of Culture.
After the Francoist uprising, he had to move to Madrid and took refuge in the Mexican Embassy. He was arrested and jailed until November 1940. The last two years of his life were spent in Pamplona, where he finished his Under the Navarran Oak , the work that would close his Basque - Navarrese tetralogy.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

T. C. Boyle

Thomas Coraghessan Boyle, typically known as T. C. Boyle (1948), is an American novelist and short story writer. Since the mid-1970s, he has published fourteen novels and more than 100 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988, for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York.

He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

In Understanding T. C. Boyle, Paul William Gleason writes, "Boyle's stories and novels take the best elements of Carver's minimalism, Barth's postmodern extravaganzas, Garcia Marquez's magical realism, O'Connor's dark comedy and moral seriousness, and Dicken's entertaining and strange plots and brings them to bear on American life in an accessible, subversive, and inventive way".

Many of Boyle's novels and short stories explore the baby boom generation, its appetites, joys, and addictions. His themes, such as the often-misguided efforts of the male hero and the slick appeal of the anti-hero, appear alongside brutal satire, humor, and magical realism. His fiction also explores the ruthlessness and the unpredictability of nature and the toll human society unwittingly takes on the environment. 

His short stories regularly appear in the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy, as well as on the radio show, Selected Shorts.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Kelly Lynn Hamilton

Kelly Hamilton was born in Miami, Florida and began studying dance at age 4. At 14 she was accepted into the prestigious New World School of the Arts. After studying at Florida State University, she graduated with a master’s degree in dance and begins to travel the world as a model for L'Oreal.
Her career took firm steps on stage in Las Vegas, but has also participated in numerous advertising campaigns for companies such as L’Oréal, Heineken and the World Tour of Poker. 
All that experience in front of cameras facilitates the task of the photographer, and his play with the gaucho look gives unique postcards. A silver facón, a beret, bolas, leather belt, are integrated in the production.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Meet Marcus Doucette

Meet (friend & beret customer) Marcus Doucette!
Marcus is a DJ at Radio Milwaukee 88Nine, specialized in World Music, but apart from that, also a father, yogi, incense aficionado and obsessed with the rare and obscure.
I don't know how The Beret Project scores on the Obscurity Index, but Marcus certainly has an eye for rare quality, choosing Aurloronesa and Aotearoa berets! He is definitely the Nr.1 advocate for berets in Milwaukee and far surroundings. 
Pictured here at a NZ beach and in front of the Govette-Brewster Art Gallery on a visit to New Zealand, after coffee at Beret HQ.