Saturday, September 22, 2018

Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Award

As an Oscar is to actors, a Benson & Hedges FashionDesign Award was to aspiring New Zealand fashion designers. To be nominated for, or to win, one of these coveted awards, was considered the pinnacle of fashion achievement.
Trish Beach won the Leather Award and the Supreme Award in 1987 with this design. The lambskin greatcoat was worn with pleat-top cuffed pants and a floppy, large diameter beret.

Friday, September 21, 2018


Cartoon (2007) held by the New Zealand National Library:
A tagger is annoyed that a mountain scene being painted by an artist wearing a Basque beret is on a part of the wall that he wants to tag.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Mystery Of The Two Sonny Boy Williamsons

Nowadays it would be called “identity theft”, but when he took the name Sonny Boy Williamson in the early 40s – a moniker already held by a distinguished blues singer and harmonica player who had been born in Tennessee on 30 March 1914 – the man born Aleck Ford, in Glendora, Mississippi, knew exactly what he was doing.
Alex or Aleck Miller (né Ford, possibly December 5, 1912 – May 24, 1965), known later in his career as Sonny Boy Williamson, was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter.
He was an early and influential blues harp stylist who recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s. Miller used various names, including Rice Miller and Little Boy Blue, before calling himself Sonny Boy Williamson, which was also the name of a popular Chicago blues singer and harmonica player. To distinguish the two, Miller has been referred to as Sonny Boy Williamson II. It is believed that Miller adopted the name to suggest to audiences (and to his first record label) that he was the "original" Sonny Boy.
The cynical act of mimicry was designed to further his career, and, decades later, the exploit prompted a funny and moving song on Randy Newman’s excellent album Dark Matter. On ‘Sonny Boy’, Newman sings from the perspective of the man now known as Sonny Boy Williamson I, about how “This man stole my name/He stole my soul”.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (1881 – 1955) was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of the Peking Man.
He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky's concept of noosphere.
Although many of Teilhard's writings were censored by the Catholic Church during his lifetime because of his views on original sin, Teilhard has been posthumously praised by Pope Benedict XVI and other eminent Catholic figures, and his theological teachings were cited by Pope Francis in the 2015 encyclical, Laudato si'. The response to his writings by evolutionary biologists has been, with some exceptions, decidedly negative.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Te Wei

Te Wei (1915 - 2010]) was a Chinese manhua artist and animator. He is probably best known for the 1956 short animated film TheConceited General.
From about 1960 he worked in an ink-wash animation style that was influenced by the painter Qi Baishi. Not permitted to carry on his animation during the Cultural Revolution and placed in solitary confinement for a year, Te Wei regained a position of artistic influence in the late 1970s and the 1980s with a series of animated films in painterly style.
The 1980s would be an intense period for Te Wei, who found himself in charge of some 500 workers at the studio. Still benefitting from state funding, the studio produced some of its most acclaimed and experimental work. Having stepped down as studio president in 1984, Te Wei directed the feature film Monkey King Conquers the Demon (1984), based on Journey to the West, and the acclaimed Feeling from Mountain and Water (1988), that would turn out to be his last film.
In 1989, the communist party honored Te Wei by naming him one of the four outstanding filmmakers in China's history.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Revolution in Dinkelland

This short film shows mayor F.P.M. (Frans) Willeme of the Dinkelland municipality in the Netherlands. 

On 6 November 2007, the three aldermen of the municipality of Dinkelland withdrew their confidence in Mayor Willeme, which led to a management crisis in the municipality. In a carnavalesk way, Willeme called for a revolution, shouting out “alle macht aan het volk” (“power to the people”).
On December 12, 2007, some 1500 residents demonstrated on the village square to keep Willeme as mayor, but Minister Guusje ter Horst of Internal Affairs decided to dismiss the mayor with honors as of 1 March 2008. She also advised the city council to dismiss the aldermen.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Monchito Merlo

At thirteen years Monchito Merlo was already a professional acordionist who debuted on radio and shortly after on television.
At the age of fifteen, he recorded his first LP and, to his own surprise, was in high demand at festivals and received more recording offers and important contacts.
A studious, temperamental and enterprising young man, his ability and fame crossed the Argentinean borders into Brazil. The states of Rio Grande Do Sur, Santa Catarina, were getting to know Monchito Merlo.
Merlo became the voice of the Argentine coast, playing the sweet melodies that became the soul of the Chamame.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Basque Anthropology/Ethnography

Anthropology is the intellectual result of the comparative methods developed in the earlier 19th century. 
Theorists in such diverse fields as anatomy, linguistics, and ethnology, making feature-by-feature comparisons of their subject matters, were beginning to suspect that similarities between animals, languages, and folkways were the result of processes or laws unknown to them then. 
For them, the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was the epiphany of everything they had begun to suspect. Darwin himself arrived at his conclusions through comparison of species he had seen in agronomy and in the wild.
The study (sometimes scientific, often not) of people and ethnicities became very popular early last century.
The Basques, a unique people in Europe, were often portrayed on postcards, pointing out various characteristics in their appearance. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

William A. Goddard III - Scientist in a Beret

William A. Goddard III was born in El Centro California and lived his early years in farm towns across California, where his dad made the wooden boxes used to ship agricultural products.
He always dreamed of living in LA and became an undergraduate at UCLA (BS Engineering, June 1960) and a graduate student at Caltech [PhD in Engineering Science (minor in Physics), Oct. 1964]. He joined the chemistry faculty at Caltech in November 1964 where he remains today as a professor and researcher. 
One of the most influential American scientists of our time, he tirelessly embarks on revolutionary projects of environmental aid and groundbreaking drug design. 
Bill Goddard emerged from poverty with his philanthropist heart and scientific genius to shape theories of some of the most influential scientist in the world.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Malvern Star Streamlined Bicycle

Australia leads the world in cycle fashion. The recent development of the streamlined bicycle has put Australia ahead of any other country in the world, said an engineering expert of Bruce Small Pty Ltd (in 1948). 

He said that, although some American bicycles for boys were streamlined, they were also heavy enough to make them impractical and that the Malvern Star with the new look was a streamlined lightweight improvement that was stronger and more resilient than any conventional bicycle on the market. City shops are featuring the new look cycles and frocks.
Some of Malvern Star’s adverts announcing this revolutionary new bicycle have a herald (wearing a beret) proclaiming ‘BS’ …which might not initially inspire confidence in the product.
The bicycle’s first incarnation was a ‘Coronation’ gent’s machine in 1937. This was the year of the coronation of King George VI. Sir Hubert Opperman seems to happily enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New: Super Luxury Berets from the Czech Republic

Three new custom made berets at South Pacific Berets! 
The Faldina 12" is TONAK-FEZCO's Super Luxury model; a generously sized beret in ultra soft, densely felted wool fitted with the traditional tartan lining. 
These grand berets are made exclusively for South Pacific Berets and available three colours: Vermillion (Red), Marbled Charcoal and Roskam-Ox @ 48.50.
What is "Roskam-Ox"? This beret is an homage to my friend Pieter Roskam (27 April 1950 - 28 October 2014). Pieter was an artist in the true sense of the word, in the work he produced as a graphic artist, photographer, silkscreen printer and painter, as well in his way of living - always with a keen and open eye, but going his own way. 
One of Pieter's most recognizable peculiarities was that he always dressed in Bordeaux - from socks and shoes to his berets. Pieter had a large number of Bordeaux coloured berets in all sizes and qualities and I am sure he would have loved to have seen (and worn) this Super Luxury model in a light, marbled Bordeaux.
The name Roskam-Ox comes from his website RoskamOxTxapeldun.


A dragon is a large, serpent-like legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures around world. Beliefs about dragons vary drastically by region, but dragons in western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and capable of breathing fire.
Dragons in eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence.
In western cultures, dragons are portrayed as monsters to be tamed or overcome, usually by saints or culture heroes, as in the popular legend of Saint George and the Dragon. They are often said to have ravenous appetites and to live in caves, where they hoard treasure. These dragons appear frequently in western fantasy literature, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
And of course, one can find dragons embroidered on black Basque berets…

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Jean-Claude!

Jean-Claude Pertuzé is a graphic designer, illustrator and author of French comics, born 11 September, 1949 in Lectoure (Gers).
Of course, Jean-Claude is also the man behind the “Beret Wizard” and various logo’s and artwork featured on The Beret Project and South Pacific Berets.
His work is mainly devoted to his region of origin, Gascony, with a marked interest for the tales and the personality of the folklorist Jean-François Bladé (1827-1900. He is also interested in the Pyrenees; their traditions and history.
On July 19, 1987, he climbed to the top of the Vignemale (3,298 m) to write and draw the portfolio of 32 comic strips, Le jour du Vignemale, in the days and night of 19 to 20 July. A completely new version, in "manga" format (16 × 24 cm ) and in color, Vignemale, the other day, appeared in 2011.
In 2009, he directed the theatrical adaptation of one of his unpublished works, Picoulin le Chafougnesque, assembled and represented by students from a primary school in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.
Jean-Claude regularly attends seminars and congresses offering live drawing. He produces drawings for newspapers and magazines.
In May 2011, he was the guest of honor at the BD-Comminges (comic book) Festival in Saint-Gaudens and in November 2014, he was invited at the first Salon of the Basque Comic Festival in Bilbao and gave a conference on comics in Occitan.
Needless to say, Jean-Claude is a dedicated boinero.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Henri The Frenchman

In 1973 or thereabouts a cut-out caricature of a Frenchman was found stuck to the side of a waste bin in a newspaper office.  Nobody laid claim to this rejected cartoon and so he was adopted by the advertising department and nicknamed Henri.
Sporting a moustache, dressed in a striped shirt and wearing a beret, he had the appearance of the pre EU concept of a frugal French onion seller.  Shown to and adopted by local Citroën dealers, Graveley Motor Company, he quickly became the choice local candidate to promote the company and the newly arriving Dyane cars.
And so, a low key and successful local advertising campaign was born.
Over a period of about 15 years Henri regularly featured in advertisements published in local newspapers circulating in the North Herts and South Beds catchment areas.  During this time, he also promoted the Citroën GSA range before taking his final bow when Citroen insisted on a unified national image for all their dealerships.
Moving on to 2013, Rob Moss of Chevronics was given the opportunity of adopting Henri. Rob decided to give Henri a new home at Chevronics.  After a freshen up and making him into Henri mark 2 Henri can now be found bringing joy to Chevronics, their customers and found on their advertising too.
“We always love it when our customers talk about Henri,” says Rob, “especially when it turns out some of our current customers were customers of Graveley Motor Company!’  Henri has turned into a true icon.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Old Jewish Men

A delight on Instagram is the (almost daily updated) page of Old Jewish Men; not just for the beautiful shots of... old Jewish men, but just as much for the accompanying texts!
“You will never see me wearing the color blue. I can’t stand the color blue, and anyone who says differently doesn’t know anything about me and can’t be trusted.”
"For those of you asking, no we have not yet found out if this man is Yogi Berra. If you have answers or insider information, please send inquires to the OJM office direct message line. Shabbat Shalom."
"We've been married since 1971. Think of how many meals that is. Wasn't like this when I was working. Every single meal...together. Thank god we can argue to pass the time. I feel bad for couples who just sit there."