Monday, September 30, 2013

Irish Rugby and Berets

When posting on rugby on The Beret Project, there is usually a Kiwi- or French link to it, but not necessarily so. 
Irish rugby team Leinster too knows what headgear to choose! You can get your own here.
 Heineken Cup holders, with beret, naturally. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Dictator Chic" from Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe is renowned for many things, but his starchy dress sense and Savile Row suits are considered the lesser of his crimes. And yet “dictator chic” has found a niche among young people in Zimbabwe.
Wearing a beret bearing the signature “RG Mugabe” is not only a fashion statement but an act of rebellion in major cities where denigrating “Uncle Bob” or “the old man” has almost become de rigueur.

“It’s rebellious: everyone in the cities is supposed to be against Mugabe. People don’t expect urban young professionals to support him.” The design is hardly spectacular, but the Mugabe signature appeals to a particular group, typically around 30 and running their own business, who feel they are doing just fine under his 33-year rule.

Designer Herbert Huruba (beret) pictured with Robert Mugabe (baseball cap).
No, not available through South Pacific Berets!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Berets from Kenya

An anaesthetized black rhino is loaded onto the back of a truck for transport to a national park in Kenya, as part of an attempt to protect the species against extinction.
And for something completely different, a more contemporary picture from Kenyan Stylista

Friday, September 27, 2013

Luis Ramiro Barragán

Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (1902 – 1988) was a Mexican architect.

After graduation, he travelled through Spain and France, where he became aware of the writings of Ferdinand Bac, a German-French writer, designer and artist who Barragán cited throughout his life. In 1931, he again traveled to France with a long stop-over in New York. In this trip he met Mexican mural painter José Clemente Orozco, architectural magazine editors, and Frederick Kiesler. In France he briefly met Le Corbusier and finally visited the gardens realized by Ferdinand Bac. He practiced architecture in Guadalajara from 1927–1936, and in Mexico City thereafter.
Luis Barragan, Mexico, 1983
His Guadalajara work includes over a dozen private homes in the Colonia Americana area of what is today near downtown Guadalajara. These homes, within walking distance of each other, include Barragán's earliest residential projects. One of his first buildings, Casa Cristo, was restored and houses the state's Architects' Guild.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

'The Shepherd', by Evelyn Hofer

"This portrait of the Shepherd was taken in Spain in 1962. I saw him there amid his sheep. I got out of the car and asked if he would mind if I took his picture. He said no; he was very pleased. But by the time I got my tripod set up and was ready, the sheep had run away. Then something very sad happened. I wanted to pay him. He said he would be very happy to accept a pesata or two, but “You’ll have to put it in my pocket,” he said. “I don’t have hands and I’m also blind.” Then he told me a story. “During the Civil War,” he said, I was right at this meadow and there”—he made a gesture with his head—”where the curve of the road goes, a bomb fell. It cut off my hands. Now I see very little.”
  –Evelyn Hofer in Portrait: Theory

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shepherds and Berets

shepherd, or sheepherder, is a person who tends, feeds, or guards flocks of sheep. The word stems from an amalgam of sheep herder.
Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milkmeat and especially their wool. Over the next millennia, sheep and shepherding spread throughout Eurasia.
Coincidentally, it were the shepherds on the Pyrenees northern slopes who invented the beret - a headgear still very much worn by shepherds, on both sides of the Pyrenees.
In many societies, shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others. Shepherds also lived apart from society, being largely nomadic. It was mainly a job of solitary males without children, and new shepherds thus needed to be recruited externally. Shepherds were most often the younger sons of farming peasants who did not inherit any land. 
In modern times, shepherding has changed dramatically. The abolition of common lands in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth century moved shepherding from independent nomads to employees of massive estates. Some families in Africa and Asia have their wealth in sheep, so a young son is sent out to guard them while the rest of the family tend to other chores. In the USA, many sheep herds are flocked over public BLM lands.
 Here a nice collection of bereted shepherds from both sides of the Pyrenees Mountains. 
And the best picture comes last, from Aragon in Spain.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Federación Australiana de Pelota Vasca

The initial data on the arrival of Basques in Australia dates from 1907. However it was during the years 1958 to 1960 when the highest number of Basques were migrating to Australia. The Government sponsored operations titled “Kangaroo”, “Eucalyptus” and “Emu” resulted in the emigration of Basques, who along with the Italians, settled in the northern state of Queensland to cut sugar cane. A prime destination was the town of Ingham.
Amongst the many traditions that were maintained by Basques who migrated to Australia, handball (pelota) was a particular favourite. It was there at the Mendiolea family farm, on a back wall, that this most favoured of pastimes began its life in North Queensland. Eventually a more substantial court and venue was established at the Trebonne Hotel. This favoured meeting place for Basques in the Ingham region was where they used to dance, sing and play mus (traditional Basque card game).
The fronton in Trebonne is currently declared as a Cultural Heritage site by the Queensland government and serves as a training facility for a new generation of handball players.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The New SPECIAL: Boinas Elósegui Exposición Fina Granate

The Exposición Fina is Boinas Elósegui's standard daily-wear beret, perfect for every day use at a competitive price, but with all the characteristics that makes it a real Boinas Elósegui beret. 100% Australian merino wool in Bordeaux/Granate, matching satin lining and carrying the embroidered Exposición Fina label. These berets come in a 12" / 28cm diameter, without headband.

Beautiful berets in both appearance, touch and comfort! Now at a discounted price of $ 39.95 (from $ 46.00) for a limited period!

Ramiro Arrue

Ramiro Arrue y Valle, generally known as Ramiro Arrue (1892 - 1971) was a Basque painter, illustrator, and ceramist, of Spanish nationality, who devoted his work to the Basque Country.
Ramiro Arrue was born into an artistic family: his three older brothers, Alberto, Ricardo, and José, were also artists and frequently held joint exhibitions with him. He also had two sisters. Their father, Lucas Arrue, was an art collector who sold his collections (including a Goya) to pay for the artistic training of his sons. At the age of nineteen, Ramiro travelled to Paris to take courses at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Living in Montparnasse, he became an associate of his countrymen Ignacio Zuloaga and Francisco Durrio de Madrón, as well as the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, who became a close friend. He was also associated with Picasso, Modigliani, and Jean Cocteau. In 1911, Arrue exhibited at the Salon des Artistes français.
In 1922, along with his friends Philip Veyrin and Commandant William Boissel, he founded the Musée Basque at Bayonne.
In 1943, Ramiro Arrue, who had not become a naturalized French citizen, was arrested with other Spanish Basques and imprisoned in the fortress of St. Jean Pied de Port. He resumed painting after the war.
The end of Arrue's life was marred by loneliness and financial hardship. He died in April 1971 of lung cancer.
Ramiro Arrue remains one of the most representative painters of the Basque Country. His style is figurative, featuring simple lines with an almost monumental quality and muted colour harmonies. The academic Hélène Saule-Sorbé wrote: "The colours of Ramiro Arrue's brush are a trilogy: green, white, red. The permanence of heraldry, a sign of belonging, the palette of a country of green hills, of bright white houses whose roofs and woodwork is red".

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nikki Dagostino's Red Beret

Nikki Dagostino is recognised as Australia’s youngest extremely fashionable and entertaining female Accordionist. From a young age Nikki Dagostino developed a deep passion for music with a strong love for performing and teaching.
Born in Perth, Western Australia from Italian heritage, she began studying classical piano at age 9 and discovered the beautiful sound of the piano accordion at age eleven. 
Nikki’s solo accordion act “Red Beret” caters for many audiences, atmospheres and event themes. Her repertoire ranges from the Couture to the Contemporary- reminiscing vintage classics, contemporary commercial hits and dance, German Polkas, Italian Waltzes, Tango’s and Tarantella’s and exquisite renditions of French favourites, ideal for ambient background music which includes Edith Piaf’s well loved repertoire.
With the addition of double bass and acoustic guitar, Nikki has developed the Red Beret Trio which combines the exotic sounds of gypsy jazz, married with Spanish and cafe flavours. A delightful Musical treat!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, con boina

 Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner (1953), known as Cristina Kirchner or CFK, is the 55th and current President of Argentina and widow of former president Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, the second woman to hold the position (after Isabel Martínez de Perón, 1974–1976) and the first woman re-elected.
Critics of Kirchner's administration charged it with corruption, crony capitalism, falsification of public statistics, harassment of Argentina's independent media and use of the tax agency as a censorship tool.
Kirchner is famously passionate about clothes. She wears a mixture of textures, colours and prints, always makeup and high heels and, more important, often a beret, or boina.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pigeons, Doves & Berets

Pigeons and doves constitute the bird clade Columbidae, that includes some 310 species. They are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and have short, slender bills with fleshy ceres. Doves feed on seeds, fruits, and plants. This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.
In general, the terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably. In ornithological practice, "dove" tends to be used for smaller species and "pigeon" for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied, and historically, the common names for these birds involve a great deal of variation between the terms. The species most commonly referred to as "pigeon" is the Feral Rock Pigeon, common in many cities.
Man feeding pigeon from his mouth, Paris, 1950's
Doves and pigeons build relatively flimsy nests from sticks and other debris, which may be placed in trees, on ledges, or on the ground, depending on species.
The pigeon has contributed to both World War I and II, notably by the Australian, French, German, American, and UK forces. Thirty-two pigeons have been decorated with the Dickin Medal for war contributions, including Commando, G.I. Joe, Paddy, and William of Orange.
Pigeons lay one or two eggs, and both parents care for the young, which leave the nest after seven to 28 days. Unlike most birds, both sexes of doves and pigeons produce "crop milk" to feed to their young, secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. 
Young doves and pigeons are called "squabs".

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On SPECIAL: Bérets Bayadère

On SPECIAL now for a limited period: the Béret Bayadère 9.5p/267mm at a discounted price!  
The bérets bayadère are inspired by the interbellum's Roaring Twenties, or "Années Folles" ("crazy years"); Parisian jazz clubs and a hunger in people to express themselves and shed off the old conformative shells of society.
The term bayadère has two meanings: "dancer", from the Portuguese "bailadeira", and "fabric in striped, bright colours". The berets bayadère come in a variety of these multi-coloured linings, similar to those berets of the era that are now showcased in museums.
Beautiful berets in both appearance, touch and comfort!
Only for a limited time at a discounted price:

The Berets of Tobeen (aka Félix Elie Bonnet)

Tobeen (Bordeaux, 1880 - Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, 1938) is the pseudonym of the French artist Félix Elie Bonnet.
campesinos en la cosecha
Tobeen stayed frequently in the western part of thé Pyrenees, Basque Country, but was born and bred in Bordeaux. Because of his frequent reference to Basque subjects within his paintings he became known as a Basque artist. However, he was not a Basque and neither were his parents. 
From 1910 he worked in Paris where he maintained relations with the group of Pablo Picasso and George Braque and with the group of the Duchamp brothers (Gaston, Raymond and Marcel) in Puteaux where the first Section d'Or exposition was organized. But Tobeen was not a city-dweller. He loved a life of liberty, the sea, the woods and after 1920 he settled in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. Tobeen's paintings, drawings and woodcarvings show the traces of his Parisian period and his passion for the poetry in human life.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus with Beret

Herbert Lom (full name Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchačevič ze Schluderpacheru, 1917 – 2012) was a Czech-born film and television actor who moved to the United Kingdom in 1939. In a career lasting more than 60 years he appeared in character roles, usually portraying villains early in his career and professional men in later years.
Lom's English was noted for a precise, elegant delivery. Lom was perhaps best known for his portrayal of Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, Inspector Clouseau's long-suffering superior in several of Blake Edwards's Pink Panther films.
Lom wrote two historical novels, one on the playwright Christopher Marlowe (Enter a Spy: The Double Life of Christopher Marlowe, 1971) and another on the French Revolution (Dr. Guillotin: The Eccentric Exploits of an Early Scientist, 1992). The film rights to the latter have been purchased but to date no film has been produced.
He died in his sleep on 27 September 2012 at the age of 95.