Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Away 12

Rose and Auguste Rodin on their wedding day

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Away 10

El abuelo de las montañas

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Away 6

'Dame aux berets', (vintage) Laulhere labels

Monday, August 19, 2013

Away 5

'Dino the Alpino' ("Alpino" = Dutch for beret), Schilderswijk, The Hague, Netherlands

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Away 4

Dutch ad for stock cubes. The text translates: "Alpinism. Across the mountain ridge".

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Away 3

Aboard Dutch barge "Vrouwe Cornelia", 2009

Friday, August 16, 2013

Away 2

Homeless in Rotterdam (Netherlands), with the beret's headband turned outwards

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Yes, away! From tomorrow, The Beret Project will go on automatic pilot for a good 2 weeks, when I go to the Netherlands (private) and France and Spain (berets). Until 2 September no informative posts, just (well..., "just"...) funny, interesting, cool, historic or contemporary beret related pictures.
Beret orders: South Pacific Berets remains "open" and all orders placed from tomorrow until 2 September will be posted immediately upon my return to Wellington, 2 September.
For those in the northern hemisphere (and for myself), I wish you some great summer weeks and everyone down under: stay warm under your beret!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Berets on Sicily

Sicily (Italian: Sicilia) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the 'Regione Siciliana' (Sicilian Region). Interestingly, it is also the part of Italy with the highest density of berets! And among those berets, an overwhelming majority are Bascos Roma.

Sicily, Sant'Elia, Fishermen in conversation.
Sicily, town of Trapani. 1964, by Bruno Barbey.
Sicily. Province of Catania, Bronte. Mount Etna. Preparation of coal. 1971.
Sicily. A blacksmith in the courtyard of a home. 1974.
Sicily. Favignana island. 1956. Tuna fishing 

Monday, August 12, 2013

New & Exclusive: Bascos Grande Piatto from Italy!

Yes! The 'Bascos Grande Piatto' have arrived! 
These "Bascos Grande Piatto" are Italy's answer to the French Tarte, the Basque Txapeldun and the Argentinian Plato Grande, made specifically for South Pacific Berets by Italy's oldest beret manufacturer A. de Setti and you won't find these sizeable beauties anywhere else. 
Large (330mm/13") diameter berets in pure new wool, fitted with satin lining and the man-made ones also used in the Bascos Francia, soft and flexible. Similar to the Plato Grandes from Argentina, these berets are lighter in weight and density compared to their French and Spanish equivalents, making these ideal wool berets for warmer weather/climates. Extremely comfortable berets and real head-turners too!
Available in black/nero, navy/blu, maroon/bordò, green/verde in a variety of sizes. 
Needless to say, I have taken a few for my own use. Thanks to NZ Customs the price was so high that it's unlikely I'll re-stock these again.

Business Plan

Beretman Business Plan

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ian Berry's Berets

Ian Berry (1934) is a British photo-journalist. Berry's photographs have been exhibited world-wide and some are now included in the Magnum Photos: Photographic Collection at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Kuala Lumpur. Local artist with beret in front of a self portrait in the artists corner.
Nobel prize winner and president of the ANC (African National Congress) Albert Luthuli. 1961
London. Whitechapel. Three men gossip outside a shop window displaying women's clothes on modern shop dummies. 1972.
Edward Fox, playing 'The Jackal', hired to shoot Charles de Gaulle, in the film of The Day of the Jackal, shot in Paris and directed by Fred Zinnemann. 1972

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ché's Beret

Many, many people have asked me "what was the beret Ché Guevara wore?" and all I could do, was make a good guess. So yes, I was delighted when I found these two photographs by German photographer Thomas Hoepker of  Arsenio Garcia Davila.
Davila was a combatant with Fidel Castro and survivor of the 1956 landing of the Granma in Cuba. He owns Ché Guevara's original beret and pipe. A model of the Granma (boat) sits on the table, in his house in Havana.
Now, what beret did Ché wear? It is definitely a French beret, with it's Bayadere lining and typical French heraldic label. Unfortunately, I can't enlarge the detail on the picture enough to tell, but I don't have the exact label in my collection. To me it seems to be either a Basque Authetique (by Laulhere) or a Fandango (made by Blancq-Olibet). 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fidel Castro con Boina, by Bob Henriques

Bob Henriques is a photojournalist associated with Magnum Photos known for candid portraits of notable people, including Marilyn Monroe, Fidel Castro, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.. He was active during the 1950s and 1960s.
Bob Henriques: Cuba, 1961. Fidel Castro at a press conference.
1961. Cuban leader Fidel Castro during an interview with journalist concerning the aborted invasion of Cuba by American-backed forces.
1961. Fidel Castro at a press conference.
1961. Fidel Castro on the beach at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs), the site of the unsuccessful invasion by US-backed forces.
1959. Raul Castro at a baseball game between the Barbudos and the National Police Department.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56

The best finds are when it happens without looking for it... This is exactly what happened when reading the fantastic new book by Anne Applebaum "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56". 
One of the pictures (above) says: "The Communist Party in Lodz, Poland, demonstrates against Western imperialism and Winston Churchill, 1946". And even in the Poland of 1946, a Basque beret was standard gear for demonstrators! 
Without wanting to sound arrogant, I believed I was reasonably well informed about Eastern ('Central', really) Europe, having lived and worked in the former USSR and spent time in many East-Block countries before the end of communism. Of course, Ms Applebaum is American and a real right-winger too, but nonetheless, this book is a real eye-opener. It makes fascinating (and frightening) reading and makes me question once again my latent sympathy for socialism.
Much better than I can in a few lines, there is a great review by Anatol Lieven in the Guardian (here). I bought my copy in town, @ $36.00 - The Book Depository sells it at $ 12.45 including international shipping... Highly recommended!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The New SPECIALS: Hybrids with External Headband

The principal difference between a Basque and a military beret is the absence of the txortena and the type of headband. Where Basque berets are either headband-less or have an internal headband, all military berets have an external headband, generally fitted with a drawstring to allow slight size adjustments. 
Not every beret enthusiast likes the look of military style berets, but do appreciate the different, comfortable fit of these berets. Luckily, there association, but are excellent compromises!. Not long ago, the German Baskenmuetze with external headband featured on this SPECIALS page - now two more berets in this style: the Czech made Service Star and the Argentinian boina Tolosa.
Now for a limited period at a discounted price
The Service Star is a kind of hybrid beret; the size of a large diameter Basque beret in 11.5", while having a military style rim with drawstring and three air vents on the side. The Service Star is an excellently finished beret with viscose lining. A seriously comfortable and pleasant beret to wear. 

Specially made for South Pacific Berets by Bonigor - Buenos Aires: 300mm diameter berets with external headband. Based on the boina Tolosa Tupida, with an added external headband with drawstring, making these berets slightly adjustable in size. These berets, or boinas, are fitted with the larger Tolosa label and of course have the txortena (or "wick") still in place. Perfect for people who like the feel and adjustbility of a military style beret, but prefer the look of Basque beret. 
For a limited period at a discounted price:

Abbas, his Berets

Born a photographer, Abbas is an Iranian transplanted to Paris. He has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In his major work since 1970 he has covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid.
Sarajevo. 1993. A Bosnian soldier in uniform checks his gun. On his right is his fiancee, wearing the hijab. Only a minute number of women wear the Islamic hijab in Sarajevo.
Saudi Arabia. A French Foreign Legion officer with shepherds. 1990.
 Funeral of a militant of the IRA killed by British forces.
Hautes-Pyrenees department. Town of Lourdes. 1995. Gave River, flowing by the grotto. A Catholic priest, wearing the old fashioned gown, prays.