Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Paris Syndrome

When someone comes to you and says they are going to Paris for the first time, or when you are planning that first trip, there are certain visions that come to mind: modelesque Parisians in berets, people writing poetry and painting on street corners, cheese and wine of the highest caliber being served on sunny days with the Eiffel Tower always in view… Paris is where flowers bloom year round and everyone has a little pep in their step that is perfectly in rhythm with the soundtrack playing in the background.
Now imagine you get off the plane and step into this magical place. You check your passport and boarding pass to make sure it is correct because what you see is not what you expected. The food tastes nothing like you thought, the sky is cloudy, and the buildings lack that je ne sais quoi.

The Paris natives are less-than-friendly and the Eiffel Tower sticks out like a sore thumb. You feel out of place, disillusioned, and utterly disappointed. This has happened often enough that psychiatrists have come up with a name for it: Paris Syndrome, or Syndrome de Paris. Japanese tourists especially have been known to suffer from it because of their highly idealized view of French culture; in fact, it was a Japanese doctor practicing in Paris who coined the term “Paris Syndrome” back in the 80s.
Paris Syndrome can be diagnosed by anyone aware of this condition, no hoity toity psychoanalyst necessary. Everything that has been romanticized and dramatized about Paris is no longer as it is on the big screen. Everything is different about Paris and you long for home, where, if nothing else, you know what to expect. Upon your arrival and during your stay feelings of depression and persecution may set in. No worries, there is help — at least if you’re Japanese: there’s a 24-hour hotline at the Japanese embassy to deal with this. For the rest of us, there’s a a long shower back in the hotel and the drone of the 24-hour news channel in the background to remind us that while Paris may not be all runway models and romance on every corner, it still is a great place to get away from it all.
On a related note, read this thread on TripAdvisor: a future visitor wants to know what Parisians dress like in order to blend in more. Another user posts these pictures of actual Parisians and Shock, Scandal! some Parisians dress pretty badly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The advertising world moves by money, much money. Of course, it is easy to create campaigns when there are sufficient resources, but the real challenge is to advertise from simple and austere budgets, creating campaigns that do not lose the strength and effectiveness of the message you want to offer.

Ana Ruiz offers just that: effective marketing at a low cost and what better name to choose for her company than 'La Boina' - simple, clever and humble!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Introduction of Black Berets in the US Rangers

General  Charles Echols "Pete" Spragins was the man who iintroduced the black beret to the uniform of the Airborne Rangers.
Through four generations, members of Spragins' family attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, each ultimately achieving the rank of general.His great-grandfather, Maj. Gen. Stewart Van Vliet, served on Ulysses S. Grant's staff as quartermaster of the Union Army during the Civil War. His father, Maj. Gen. R.L. Spragins, served at Guadalcanal and with the "Iron Men of Metz," ultimately pushing through the Vosges with the 44th during the bitterly cold winter of 1944 to liberate Strasbourg during World War II.
Spragins volunteered for the Korean War and joined the Rangers at Fort Benning, Ga., as commander of the 10th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne). In commemoration of the grueling training, mostly in the dark of night, he introduced the Rangers' signature black beret.

The beret was wildly popular with his troops and was worn unofficially through the Vietnam War. It was officially designated as part of the newly created battalions of U.S. Army Rangers in 1975, according to several online sources. Nice to see that his very first black beret was, indeed, a black Basque beret - cabilliou in place!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in North America, is a large breed of dog used as a livestock guardian dog.
The Great Pyrenees is a very old breed that has been used for hundreds of years by shepherds, who inhabit parts of the region in and around the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain.
One of the first descriptions of the breed dates from 1407, and from 1675 the breed was a favourite of The Grand Dauphin and other members of the French aristocracy. 
By the early nineteenth century there was a thriving market for the dogs in mountain towns, from where they would be taken to other parts of France. It was developed to be agile in order to guard sheep on steep, mountainous slopes.
In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle (especially with children), and affectionate. While territorial and protective of its flock or family when necessary, its general demeanour is of composure and patience and loyalty. It is a strong willed, independent and reserved breed. It is also attentive, quite fearless and loyal to its duties. The Great Pyrenees' size makes it an imposing guardian.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Henri Béraldi

Henri Béraldi (1849 – 1931) was a French bibliophile, publisher and author of books on the Pyrenees and on French printmakers of the 19th century.
Father, son and friends
Henri Béraldi was the son of Pierre Louis Béraldi, a senator in the Third Republic between 1876 and 1885. The collection of Henri Béraldi consisted mainly of French illustrated books and books with special bindings, and was considered one of the four most important collections of its type.
Henri Béraldi, with beret
He enjoyed holidays in the spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees, and became a noted writer on the range. Pic Béraldi, also known as the Eriste N or the Bagüeñola Norte, is a 3,205m-high peak in the Spanish Province of Huesca named after him.
Béraldi at the Pic du Milieu, 1900
After his death in 1931, his collection (minus a selection of books on the Pyrenees, which was donated to the library of Toulouse) was sold in a five-day auction in 1934–35.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Laurent le Berger (2)

Following yesterday's post, here is the man behind the children's book: Laurent Crampe (which was written by his cousin).
Laurent was a farmer / shepherd who embodied the tradition of the Toy Country without denying the mobile phone and many other modernities. He followed the tradition of breeding Barégeoises and Barèges-Gavarnie sheep.
Laurent was also traditional in the use of shears (versus electric clippers) and he and his workshop were a museum of old tools that told all about the history of his family, the transhumance and the village. 
His smile and kindness were legendary and he was always happy to explain his work, history and landscape to tourists visiting him.
Laurent died last year in a fall, trying to clear a waterway, at 61 years old. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Laurent le Berger

A warming-up for tomorrow's post here on The Beret Project: the beautiful children's book Laurent le Berger by Raphaëlle Jessic.
Since ancient times, the shepherds of the Pyrenean mountains drive their herds with the seasons. Laurent continues this ancestral farming method. It is the love of his land and his animals that makes him one of these exceptional men, a Pyrenean shepherd. Through his memories, you will discover his work, his passion, started from his earliest childhood ... A book that explains pastoralists from days gone by and today. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Berger des Pyrenees

Reproduction of an aquarelle on a postcard by Charles Homualk. "Berger des Pyrenees";  made in France, Editions Gaby. 
I'm unsure of the date of this card but would assume it would be in the 40s to 60s era.  It is a beautiful card which captures many components of the life of a shepherd in the Pyrenees - the ruggedness, the villages below, the majestic mountains, sheep and faithful dog.  This card is larger than the earlier cards and has an uneven edging.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Johnny Gallagher, Irish Bluesman

Widely acknowledged as one of the finest guitar players in Ireland & the UK, Johnny Gallagher is first and foremost an explosive live entertainer. He has scorched his way through shows all over Europe and is held in awe by musicians and fans alike in his native Ireland. 
His live shows with the powerful Boxtie Band feature a trawl through his own original material interspersed with stunning personal versions of songs from the likes, Lynyrd Skynrd, Hendrix, Peter Green among others.
 Though privately quiet and unassuming, Johnny oozes charisma and excitement on stage with that indefinable and much sought after "larger than life" presence. He can change from full on aggressive rock to quieter moments of more tender, introspective music, and in the course of a set he shows his wizardry on both electric and acoustic guitars. 
To top it all, Johnny possesses truly unique and expressive voices which show cases his songs with the dynamics to swoop from a scream to a whisper.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Zuloagas: Juan Daniel Zuloaga Khoyan

Last in this series and the youngest generation of Zuloaga ceramists: Juan Daniel Zuloaga Khoyan.
Born in Paris in 1974 and from the age of four, he lived and continues to live in Segovia with his family.
At the same time that he helps his father, Daniel Zuloaga Olalla, in the workshop, he learns to draw from Angel Cristóbal Higuera, a professor of this subject at the School of Arts at the Casa de los Picos.
After the death of his father in 2000, he continues the work in the studio. For two years he collaborates with the artist and sculptor José María García Moro.
Currently he is trying to master the technique of the potter's wheel under the teaching of Emilio Carrasco, while continuing with the task of keeping alive the artisan workshop of his father Daniel, located in the Plaza de la Merced of Segovia.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Zuloagas: Daniel Zuloaga Olalla

Daniel Zuloaga Olalla was born in Madrid in 1922 and died in Segovia in 2000.
Daniel Zuloaga Olalla, Fernando Arranz y Juan Zuloaga Estringana
The grandson of Daniel Zuloaga Boneta, he was to be the third generation of potters. He learned the techniques of pottery and ceramics from his father and at the School of Ceramics in Madrid.
In 1951, he traveled with his father to Argentina where he taught at, and later directed, the School of Ceramics of Mar del Plata. His time in Argentina was rich in works of ceramics, sculptures and paintings which were exhibited at many expositions, winning awards and medals.
Danielle Khoyan and Daniel Zuloaga Olalla in “Les Metiers D´Arts”, Paris, 1975

Back in Segovia (Spain), in 1967, he opened his own school. He maintained the quality, technical and artistic tradition of his family, adding some of his ideas into design, more in line with their time. His skills and love for ceramics were passed on to his son Juan Daniel.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Zuloagas: Ignacio Zuloaga Zuloaga

Ignacio Zuloaga Zuloaga was a painter, draftsman, ceramist and engraver from the (Spanish) Basque Country, called "the Younger Zuloaga" nephew of Ignacio Zuloaga Zabaleta .
Artist of oil paintings, pastels and etchings, he had ​​several exhibitions in Bilbao (Association of Basque Artists, Room Delclaux, Abra Maritime) between 1931 and 1933. He later moved to Caracas where consolidated his career. 
His first exhibition of oil paintings in Venezuela was held at the Portobello Gallery on 19 October 1969. The most important works of this period are the ceramic murals.
In Venezuela "El Mozo" also published some books and several essays. 
He exhibited in Madrid, Paris, London and the United States.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Zuloagas: Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta

Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (1870 –1945) was a Basque painter, born in Eibar (Guipuzcoa).
He was the son of metalworker and damascener  Plácido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury (Don Eusebio) in Madrid. His uncle was Daniel Zuloaga. His great-grandfather who was also the royal armourer was a friend and contemporary of Goya.
Zuloaga was fervently attached to the nationalist Falangist forces during the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorial regime of the Generalissimo Franco, whose portrait he painted in 1940. While the aerial devastation of Basque villages by volunteer airmen from Nazi Germany propelled Picasso to paint the epic and modern painting of Guernica, Zuloaga chose instead to honor the Siege of the Alcázar in 1936, when the building's Nationalist defenders refused to surrender despite the building being in flames. This siege, and other events such as the death of General Moscardo's son, served as a rallying cry for the anti-Republican forces. The nationalist content of such a work was allied to Zuloaga's celebration of folk traditions. However, in Spain, over the centuries, this anti-cosmopolitan nationalist focus had also been used to deport groups such as Jews, Moors, and Gypsies. Franco's forces allied it with the Fascist urge to distil countries into unitary aggregates. Stylistically, the directness of the Siege painting also avoids modernity's challenge to realistic depictions; falangism was not endeared to complex symbolism such as found in works such as Guernica.
While it may seem surprising for a Basque to have been sympathetic to the forces that levelled his hometown of Eibar, and for a Generalissimo that for years suppressed the teaching of Basque language in Spain, however, the Basque countries was also home to supporters of Carlism and their militia, the Requetés, who formed an uneasy alliance with the Falange.
In an April, 1939 letter Zuloaga stated:

"Thanks to God, and to Franco, at last the war is won and over! And over, despite the goodwill of those so-called democratic countries – what a farce, what shame, when those countries learn the truth of this drama! We all will work with all our strength to rebuild a new Spain (free, great and unified) to Spanishize Spain, and get rid of all outside influences, so that we can keep our great nature. That’s my dream in art. I hate fads (which are destructive to racial characteristics) One must (for good or bad) be oneself, and not ape the style of anyone else. I will dedicate the years that are left to me to that end. What shame there will be in the future, for those countries who inflicted crime, savage vandalism, which reigned within the soviet clan in Spain!"

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Astrid Andersen's Fashion Berets

Astrid Andersen is a London based brand that creates premium casualwear with a sports inspired aesthetic that leads a new generation in menswear. The collections offer comfort as the ultimate styling and quality as an uncompromised signature of its style.
Astrid Andersen is Danish born and trained at The Royal College of Art in London. She consults for brands such as Nike and Kopenhagen Fur, determined to fuse the worlds of luxury and sports.
Andersen incorporates many berets in her clothing; typically the military style beret (but any attempt to popularize berets among the younger generation is applauded!). 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chicano Activist Henry Dominguez

Chicano activists wore the black beret in the 1960s (in homage to Ché Guevara) as a symbol of militancy and organized the Black Berets por La Justicia throughout California and the Southwestern United States.
Veteran Chicano/Native American activist and Black Berets co-founder Henry Dominguez is a dedicated beret wearer. Here we see him in the coat he wore on “The Long Walk” to Mexico City.
The Black Berets de San Jose pose in front of the pyramid at “Ranchito Rio Tuolumne,” along the Tuolumne River south of Modesto.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Studio portrait of young man in beret with dead deer slung over shoulder

Studio portrait of young man in beret with dead deer slung over shoulder:
Hand-tinted photograph; color wash and painted details have been applied to photo.
Name on photo: Urbis Palladium Et Centis, Pau, Photographie Béarnaise, date unknown. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Last of the Argentinian Berets?

Sad news for the many fans of Argentinian berets, or 'boinas'.
For the last 8 months I have not been able to re-stock any of the boinas Espinosa and Tolosa Tupida and many models/colours have now sold out.
Very sad indeed, as these berets are among the best daily wear berets one can find. I would hate to see these disappear, but fear that the present stock may be the very last. 
On the Berets Facebook page, I regularly post updates on numbers still available; most that are are in the lower single digits only.
Nice from a sales perspective, but really, I find it very sad to see all the "SOLD OUT" notices under the various models.