Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Boules, Fanny and Holidays!

Ah yes, it's that time of the year again. Merry Christmas to you all. For those of you living in the northern hemisphere: stay warm, dress well and keep that beret on top of your head. For those of you who, like me, are about to enjoy the summer holidays: be careful of all that UV radition on your head - cover up well!
The last "real" post of the year; while on holidays you are treated on a daily, but excellent beret shot (only). I'll be back by the middle of next month. Enjoy!
KissingFanny (Embrasser Fanny) is to lose a game of boules (bowls) with a score of 13 to 0.  The loser or losing team then has to kiss the bare backside of a dummy Fanny.
The Fanny was represented in tabular form, in pottery or sculpture.
It was both a reward and an embarrassment for the losing team but still a good laugh for the audience. "Kissing Fanny is the frightening image of defeat, the horrible evidence that you’re beaten. And not only beaten, but beaten miserably, total humiliation by losing 13-0! ".
Tradition dictates that the practice started in Dauphiné where Fanny was a waitress in a café,shortly before the First World War. It was the town mayor who inaugurated the practice, but postcards before that time already shows Fanny and her postère offered. 
Some say it originated in Lyon, in the district of Croix-Rousse in 1870. Players of Clos Jouve had a 20 years old girl as a spectator with a big heart. She consoled the unfortunate player showing her buttocks (but did not agree to have them kissed).
More? Visit the Musee de la boule.
See you all mid-January - have a lovely holiday (and Long Live The Beret!)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

(Dutch) Boules

Boules is a collective name for a wide range of games in which the objective is to throw or roll heavy balls (called boules in France, and "bocce" in Italy) as close as possible to a small target ball.
Boules-type games are traditional and popular in France, Italy, Malta and Croatia, some former French colonies and also in my native Netherlands (see pictures). In those countries, boules games are often played in open spaces (town squares and parks) in villages and towns. Dedicated playing areas for boules-type games are typically large, level, rectangular courts made of flattened earth, gravel, or crushed stone, enclosed in wooden rails or back boards.
In the south of France, the word boules is also often used as a synonym for pétanque. Coloured berets make for ideal team recognition! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Akris Berets

Akris is an independent family owned fashion house established 90 years ago in St. Gallen, a Swiss town renowned for its longstanding tradition as the heart of the country's textile industry. Brothers Albert and Peter Kriemler are the third generation to head up the business. Creative director Albert Kriemler is Head of Design of Akris and Akris punto as well as the company's handbag and accessories collection launched in 2009, while CEO Peter Kriemler is at the helm of finances and management.
Akris is distributed worldwide. In addition to flagship boutiques in major cities throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia, Akris is available internationally in some 600 high-end department stores and fashion emporiums.
"Spectacularly unspectacular"-this is how one leading US American fashion critic has deftly characterized the house of Akris. Akris stands for state-of-the-art fashion that makes perfect sense, effortlessly to the needs of today's women, where true creativity and innovation segue into wearability; fashion whose clear, architecturally inspired lines will work as well tomorrow as they do today.
Ah yeah, and berets, of course...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Rose Albert and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome. Mushers and a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days or more. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today's highly competitive race. 
Teams generally race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach −100 °F (−73 °C). A ceremonial start occurs in the city of Anchorage and is followed by the official restart in Willow, a city in the south central region of the state.
Rose Albert, who was born on the Nowitna River and grew up in Ruby, was the first Alaska Native woman to run and finish the race. But apart from racing sledges, Rose is also a carver and painter. Rose's beautiful Athabascan mother also had French blood in her. By the time Rose was 16, her artistic talent and desire was clear to all of her family. Her father told her that in France, the artists all wore berets and that as she has French blood in her, she should wear a beret, too.
She took her dad's statement to heart. When she is working with and showing her art, Rose always wears a French beret.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Joshua Yospyn's Red Beret Project

Joshua Yospyn was born in suburban Cleveland, raised outside Detroit and went to college at the University of Dayton, where he majored in business.  In 1999 he moved to Washington, D.C. and bounced around several jobs doing website design while learning photography, and started freelancing part-time for the Washington Post and MSNBC.  
He still freelances for the Post and various non-profits; is a member of the STRATA street photography collective; and in May of 2014  was hired to teach photography on behalf of the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, where he spent time in Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps.  This summer he also created a multimedia piece on Iraqi refugees in Maine during a workshop at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.  
On Bastille Day in 2009 Yospyn was in search of French maids.  Instead, he found a little 11-year-old girl wearing a red beret, who was out for a stroll with her mother.  After a brief introduction on a street corner near a Belgian restaurant, Anka allowed Yospyn to photograph her child.  He took a few frames, said thank you, and bid them farewell.
They do it again every year.  And always on Bastille Day.  The original close-up portrait, which was taken on medium format Kodak film, was displayed at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

George Crumb

George Crumb (1929) is an American composer of avant-garde music.
He is noted as an explorer of unusual timbres, alternative forms of notation, and extended instrumental and vocal techniques. Examples include seagull effect for the cello (e.g. Vox Balaenae), metallic vibrato for the piano (e.g. Five Pieces for Piano), and using a mallet to play the strings of a contrabass (e.g. Madrigals, Book I), among numerous others.
He is not an electronic music composer; however, many works call for amplification of instruments, such as Black Angels (string quartet) or Ancient Voices of Children (mixed ensemble). Crumb's music contains an intense humanism, which is reflected in his personal definition of music: "a system of proportions in the service of spiritual impulse."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Egon Schwarz, aka Schnitzer Benni

The wood artist Egon Schwarz, better known as Schnitzer Benni (Carver Benni) has made hundreds of masks.
His day begins when he fires  up the stove in his workshop. It is located in the old part of the building. He likes to take visitors to his kingdom, which throughout his life gave him and his family daily bread. 
The art of carving is what he has learned from his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. It is his life. His father made ​​ wooden movable limbs for the renowned Professor Sauerbruch during the First World War.
His workshop is like a museum of local history. Egon Schwarz has made ​​hundreds of masks made ​​of linden wood. The wood he got mostly from the Rhine Valley and from northern France.

His creativity and reliability made ​​him an artist of high standing. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Wau Wau Sisters

Wearing high heels and clutching cocktails, The Wau Wau Sisters, NYC’s bravest and bawdiest burlesque duo and the act The NY Times calls “irreverent, sacrilegious, foul-mouthed and uninhibited” straddle the hilarious gap between performance art and burlesque. With beret, naturally...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jan de Meyere

Jan (Johannes Cornelis Jacob ) de Meyere, born in the Dutch town of IJsselmonde in 1897 was a Dutch -Swedish photographer and actor.
He set up his photographic studio in Amsterdam and over time he developed his own style in portrait photography; the so-called "high-key technology" became his signature (where photographs are dominated by bright tones (highlights) and contain almost no shadows).

Jan de Meyere passed Stockholm on a trip to Russia and stayed. He established a studio in 1925 and soon became known for his artistic portraits. Jan de Meyere held frequent discussions about goals and ways in photography, and through exhibitions around the world, he represented Swedish photography.
These photographs (from 1925-1941) come from the archives of the City ofStockholm. Interestingly, many of his beret wearers are women. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DEER Basques - The End

Kongo Shokai, the manufacturer of the DEER Basque berets stops to exist from May 2015.
The historic hat manufacturer (since 1928) simply can't compete in today's economic climate. Much of the manufacturing of the DEER Basques is specialized hand work; in combination with the ever decreasing Japanese Yen, the high running costs of the factory and the very slim profit margins, survival is not possible.
Personally, I feel really sad. The DEER Basque is an exceptional quality artisan beret that, in both craftsmanship and comfort, can compete with the very best French and Spanish berets. For years now, the wool DEER Basque has been my beret of choice during the NZ summer, changed occasionally for the linen version of this beret. 
Worse even, my stock of DEER Basques is running very low. I have put in  last order and I keep my fingers crossed that these will be made still... (if so, it will be March before these arrive).
The present stock is available here.

Pastor Alape

Felix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro also known as "Jose Lisandro Lascarro" or "Pastor Alape" (1959) is a Colombian guerrilla leader, member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and part of their high command known as the Estado Mayor Central which has some 30 to 60 members. In March, 2008 Torres-Victoria was appointed as possible substitute to one of the seven member secretariat of the FARC.
According to the United States government Muñoz-Lascarro oversaw production of the Magdalena Medio Bloc’s cocaine supply, participated in setting and implementing the FARC’s cocaine policies directing and controlling the production, manufacture, and distribution of hundreds of tons of cocaine; the "taxation" of the drug trade in Colombia to raise funds for the FARC; and the murder of hundreds of people who violated or interfered with the FARC’s cocaine policies.
The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to US$2.5 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction.
One thing I have to grand the Pastor, he wears a real Basque beret – not a small military piece like so many of his fellow  ”revolutionaries”.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Reiner Frommer

Reiner Frommer was born in Berlin in 1938. After the severe bombing of the city in 1943, he spent his childhood in a village in Swabia before moving to Hesse, where his father owned a photographt business.
Reiner Frommer -  Fisherman, taxi driver, village clerk.. Central Finland 1961
After college and studies at the School of Photography (under Martha Hoepffner), Frommer started work in his father's company and as a freelance photographer.
In 1962 he met his Finnish wife Ann-Marie and in 1978 moved with her and the two children to Finland. 
Today they have three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and live on a farm in Helsinki with dogs, cats, alpacas and Icelandic horses.