Friday, July 31, 2015

Yellow Beret

No, definitely not your average middle-of-the-road headgear, these bright yellow berets. 
Although these have been popular with women, men tended to shy away from this colour - a pity really, as the pictures here testify.
For Finnish designer and architect Yrjo Kukkapuro, it has become a bit of a trademark, but personally, I would encourage many more men to go yellow. Make a statement, look good!
I have a small number in stock: the Elósegui Exposición Hombres.
And of course, not only for men...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

His Honour Gives Up Beret For Charity

1931, by British Pathé
The title reads: "His Honour Gives Up Beret For Charity. Mayor Walker parts with his unique headgear, giving it to Mrs Clark of women's committee for hospital campaign."
A woman, probably Mrs Clark, gives the keys to the Women's Committee thrift shop to New York Mayor, James 'Gentleman Jimmy' Walker. The thrift shop raises money for cancer hospitals.
Mayor Walker offers one of his famous berets for sale in the shop. He is asked to try it on so that everyone can see. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hiking & Tramping

No doubt, berets are among the best hats one can wear when hiking or tramping, and have been for a long time.
For women, wool berets began to be worn with outdoor gear in the late 1920's. The casual beret was worn pulled well down on the head, nearly covering all the hair and definitely keeping the ears warm. Berets are shown in 1930's catalogs as well as in many  photos of women hiking and camping. 
Scouts of course are a perfect example of the combination Outdoors - Beret. Like this French troop pictured above.
And James Walker Tucker painted these women hikers, peering over their map, all wearing a beret. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ural Cobra & Red Beret

Two years ago, I first published a post on the legendary Russian Ural motorbikes. At the time, I wasn't aware of the 'Ural Cobra'. 
The Cobra is the Russian answer to American choppers; a limited-series motorcycle in bright yellow painting, the Cobra logo on the tank and "hard-tail" suspension.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Short Film on Chinese Painting from British Pathé

The man is English painter Peter Thompson and the technique used is modified Chinese "free brush" style. He works on horizontal surface and it takes him only several minutes to complete a painting. His work was exhibited at St. George's Gallery in London.
With the introduction and description of the work, comes a woman wearing a blue beret, looking at Mr Thompson's paintings hanging on the gallery wall. 
Last, a high angle shot of Mr Thompson finishing a drawing of a cat. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Listening Patrol

13 Seconds of French listening patrol with dog along the front during the Great War (1914 - 1918). 
Shot of soldier (moustache, beret, jacket, not obviously military - he could be hunting) and very alert German Shepherd (Alsatian) dog. They are sitting together in the snow. The man starts to pick up his rifle. 
Not many film fragments from that period showing a beret this clearly.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Boinero Brother Birthday

The 25th of July again; that means my best wishes for my boinero brother (and beret spy photographer) Emile's birthday. 
All good wishes Bro, in every respect (and keep that beret on top of your head!). 

Friday, July 24, 2015

More 1960's Beret Fashion

 Burda Magazine, 1964
Colorful kilts and berets, photo Kees Pot. Margriet (Dutch magazine) January 1967
Margriet weekly Magazine (Dutch), 1968

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vert-de-Gris Bérets de Printemps

Verdigris (Vert-de-Gris) is the common name for a green pigment obtained through the application of acetic acid to copper plates or the natural patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time.
The name verdigris comes from the Middle English vertegrez, from the Old French verte grez, an alteration of vert-de-Grèce ("green of Greece"). The modern French spelling of this word is vert-de-gris ("green of grey"). 
Since it was used as a pigment in paintings and other art objects (as green color), it was required by artists in Greece. It was originally made by hanging copper plates over hot vinegar in a sealed pot until a green crust formed on the copper. 
Another method of obtaining verdigris pigment, used in the Middle Ages, was to attach copper strips to a wooden block with acetic acid, then bury the sealed block in dung. A few weeks later the pot was dug up and the verdigris scraped off.
To come up with an alternative for our best-selling boina Tolosa Tupida in sun-washed cotton, Le Béret Français developed the Eco beret Printemps in Vert-de-Gris. These Eco-berets are made out of recycled materials: wool, synthetics, cotton and silk. Perfect summer and warm weather wear; super light and extremely soft to the touch (thanks to a high silk content). So light, you'd easily forget you're wearing a beret!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


These photographs come from the blog of Adrie Broeren-Rip.
Giel grew up in the small community of Kethel in the Netherlands. As a small boy, Giel was always found on Adrie's farm, helping with haying, fattening, milking and feeding the animals. Later on, Giel went to work in the building industry. 
In the 1960's Giel returned to the Kethel environment and was constantly seen on the farm again, doing all sorts of jobs, and always wearing his beret (or in Dutch: alpinopet)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Brand New Bérets Germain in Genuine Harris Tweed™

Yes!! They have arrived, the brand new berets in genuine Harris Tweed™.
"Harris Tweed means a tweed has been hand-woven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the islands of Harris, Lewis, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra and their several purtenances, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides". This definition of Harris Tweed became statutory when the Harris Tweed Act was passed in 1993. Only tweed made this way can be given the Harris Tweed trademark 'Orb' stamp, which the Harris Tweed Authority gives to every piece of the cloth.
With the berets in Harris Tweed, Laulhère shows innovation in a classic product with classic material.
These berets make an excellent fit on both men and women; to accompany denim, a three piece suit or a leather biker outfit: très chic, très hip, très sexy!
Available in the weaves Prince the Galles, Chevron Marron Beige and Chevron Bleu in 10 pouces / 28cm diameter, fitted with the Héritage label and a soft cotton headband that can be worn folded inwards (classic Basque) or outwards (military style).
Size information: S - 54/56, M - 57/58 and L - 58/60.
Available on two pages: right here or under the Laulhère page here

When Dad Showed Me the Universe

Tonight Dad wants to show his son something very special: the Universe. Of course, they can’t possibly embark on such a daring adventure unprepared, so they wrap up warm (beret incluis), gather provisions, and then off they go. It’s a long walk, but eventually they get there.
Along the way, they learn that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination, and sometimes the biggest lessons happen when you least expect them.
This is a beautiful tale, told from the point of view of a small child. This story encapsulates the experience of being a child and being a parent brilliantly, and the descriptive language is wonderful and quirky. It isn’t often you encounter a picture book that refers to the flecks of blood on a dentists white lab coat!
The dad in this story is hoping to show his child the Universe, so takes him out in the dark one evening after he finishes work. He builds the anticipation for an unknown trip so that the child is excited yet concerned that they don’t know what the universe is. They reach the place that the father calls the universe, only for the child to consider wonders closer to the ground as the universe – which of course they were, yet the father says this is silly and shows him the stars; his “universe”.
Liking this New Zealand published book so much myself, I have stocked a few copies for sale (free postage with any beret!). 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Urs Mannhart

Urs Mannhart was born in 1975 in Rohrbach, in rural Switserland. He studied German, English and Philosophy, then worked as a journalist, cycle courier and night watchman. 
His first novel, Luchs (The Lynx) appeared in 2004, followed in 2006 by Die Anomalie des geomagnetischen Feldes südöstlich von Domodossola (The Anomaly of the Geomagnetic Field South-East of Domodossola). 
As a reporter, Mannhart has worked in many countries, including Hungary, Serbia, Kosovo, Romania, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. 
He lives in Langenthal and Moutier. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bluesman Paul Reddick

Paul Reddick is an award-winning Canadian blues singer, songwriter and harmonica player, addicted to the Bérets Universel by Boneteria Auloronesa.
Reddick began playing the harmonica at the age of twelve. In 1990, he formed The Sidemen, a blues band based out of Toronto, which toured and recorded until the early 2000s. The Sidemen's album Rattlebag (2001) was nominated for a Juno, as well as a W.C. Handy Award. In 2002, The Sidemen also won three Maple Blues Awards, including Album of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year. Reddick was also the 2008 Maple Blues Award winner as Songwriter of the Year.
Reddick’s songs are sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, always thought-provoking and rarely sentimental.
His songs have been used in such feature films as Two If by Sea, Triggermen, Niagara Motel and The Evel Knievel Story, in addition to the television series Due South, Dawson’s Creek, 15 Love and Madison. In 2006, the Coca Cola Company used the song "I'm A Criminal", from Rattlebag, in a US commercial for Coca Cola Classic.
Reddick continues to tour across Canada and the United States, with two or three trips a year to Europe with his hard-hitting band.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Spies of Warsaw

Spies of Warsaw” is based on Alan Furst’s acclaimed novel and adapted by Emmy-winning writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. “Doctor Who” star David Tennant and Janet Montgomery (“Black Swan,” “Entourage”) are cast in this thrilling spy story set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War.
In the mini-series, French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle in the espionage arena. At the French embassy, a decorated war hero of the 1914 war, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant), is sucked into a world of abduction, betrayal and international intrigue from the diplomatic salons to the back alleys of Warsaw. Mercier simultaneously finds himself in a passionate love affair with Anna (Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer for the League of Nations. Their complicated love affair intensifies as German tanks drive through the Black Forest.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Three Vintage Czechs

Three vintage photographs of Czech berets. The top one was taken in 1933, acrobatics at a fair on a Jawa motorcycle.
Below, a picture from a fashion magazine dated 1934.
Below, a Škoda Felicia convertible with it's driver wearing the typical Radiovka

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Les origines du béret

A video by France 3 with lots of interesting snippets of information about berets; historical fragments and photographs, the production at Laulhere, it's sales director Mark Saunders, Oloron Sainte Marie's oldest beret seller... etc. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jerome Guerrini

Prisoner Jerome Guerrini (who also went under the alias of Joseph Brunetti) was a 27 year old Corsican who had spent the previous four years at sea as a fireman. The man he was accused of murdering was a labourer, Patrick Gilligan. Gilligan lived in Clive Street, North Shields (with two brothers named Davis), almost directly opposite the lodgings occupied by Guerrini.
If this triggers your interest, read further here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

La Fête nationale

Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête nationale and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. 
Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests.
Typically, a good reason for a French themed party in other parts of the world!