Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Shearing Sheep at the End of the World

A nice article in the NY Times: Shearing Sheep at the End of the World.
Actually, in many ways the beautiful imagery very much resembles my adopted homeland New Zealand. I guess both are full of sheep and at the bottom of the world...
For weeks at a time, Roberto Bitsch and gauchos like him might not see another human being. They see horses, both wild and tame. They see the dogs they work with. But mostly, they see sheep — thousands of them.
Locals mark time by the length of the sheep’s woolly coats here on Isla Grande, the largest of the Tierra del Fuego islands at the tip of South America, closer to Antarctica than to Chile’s capital, Santiago.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Crystal Birch Berets

Crystal Birch is a maverick milliner whose irreverent designs of classic hats have become beloved adornments on the heads of South Africa’s fashion conscious.
Born in Pretoria, Crystal studied fashion design at Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion in Stellenbosch. Never one to follow the status quo, Crystal decided to skip the conventional fashion design route and go straight to the top(hat).
She spent time in London honing her skills under the guidance of Noel Stewart and Piers Atkinson, arguably two of Europe’s finest talents in the art of hat-making. Styling and creating are second nature to Crystal, and she regards every opportunity to assemble, or create with her hands as an opportunity to develop her own aesthetic.
Widely regarded as one of the country’s most daring stylists, her renewed focus on hats will undoubtedly reinvent the headscape of South Africa.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Camila Quinteros Peñafiel

Camila Quinteros Peñafiel from Chile is an agricultural engineer and has a Master's in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants from the University of Edinburgh. She has based her work on the field botany and research of the flora of remote and isolated islands.
Fair Isle is a remote island between Orkney and Shetland that is renowned for rare migratory birds, but has often been overlooked in botanical surveys. In 2016, Camila surveyed the entire flora of the island for her MSc project at the RBGE. Her survey revealed that the island contains a high number of plant species—a surprising level of diversity given the island size (768 hectares), likely due to its remarkable variation of habitats, also the importance of this small island for its diversity of Scottish native plants.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Matteo Boe

Matteo Nicolò Luca Boe, known as Matteo Boe (1957), is an Italian criminal, one of the main exponents of Sardinian banditism along with Graziano Mesina. 
Boe is particularly famous for being the only prisoner to ever carry out an escape from the Asinara prison,using an inflatable boat.
Last June, after serving 25 years in prison, beard and beret wearing Boe became a free man once again; he was quickly driven away by an anonymous woman driver.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reinhart Dozy

Many berets on Reinhart Dozy's painting 'Boerenfeest te Elp' (early 20th century).
Dutch born Dozy left the art academy in Antwerp in 1899. In 1903, Dozy went to Paris for a learning period in the studio of F. Humbert. Here he made friends with the young Georges Braque and got acquainted with Picasso.
In 1911 he had a house built in Elp (Dutch province of Drenthe) and in 1918 he became a member of the Groninger artists' circle De Ploeg and made friends with the Groningen painter Johan Dijkstra. They painted the farmland of Groningen and Drenthe to keep the memory of the simple country life. His house in Elp was a hiding place for Jews during WW II. In 1943 he was imprisoned for his resistance work in Camp Vught, but survived. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fally Ipupa

Fally Ipupa N'simba (1977), known by his stage name Fally Ipupa, is a DR Congolese singer-songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, guitarist and producer. From 1999 until 2006, he was a member of Quartier Latin International, the music band formed in 1986 by Koffi Olomidé.
His first solo album was Droit Chemin released in 2006, which went on to sell over 100,000 units, and his second album Arsenal de Belles Melodies (A2BM) was released in 2009. In 2007, Ipupa won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa.
In 2010, Fally Ipupa won the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010 for Best Video (for Sexy Dance) and Best Francophone Artist. He won the urban awards for best African artist.
Ipupa was nominated in the Best Live Act category at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2014. He released an album named Power "Kosa Leka" in 2013. Ipupa, who is also a noted guitar player, connected with audiences stateside with "Chaise Electrique", a bilingual love song featuring former G-Unit singer Olivia.
Fally Ipupa won the Best Artist category for Central Africa in the Afrimma Awards held in Dallas in July 2014. He then travelled to Washington DC as part of the US-Africa Summit meeting, for which President Obama had invited 47 African leaders for the period 4 to 6 August 2014. This meeting was convened in order to strengthen ties between Africa and the United States. A dozen African artists were selected to attend, including Fally Ipupa, the only invited artist from Central Africa.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pat DiNizio (The Smithereens)

Pat DiNizio (1955) is the lead singer, songwriter, and member of the band The Smithereens, which he formed in 1980 with Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, from Carteret, New Jersey.
The band are perhaps best known for a string of modest hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "Only a Memory", "A Girl Like You" and "Too Much Passion". The Smithereens have collaborated with numerous musicians, both in the studio (Suzanne Vega and Belinda Carlisle) and live (Graham Parker and The Kinks). The band's name comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase, "Varmint, I'm a-gonna blow you to smithereens!"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tom Paxton

Thomas Richard Paxton (1937) is an American folk singer-songwriter who has had a music career spanning more than fifty years. In 2009, Paxton received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He is noteworthy as a music educator as well as an advocate for folk singers to combine traditional songs with new compositions.
 Paxton's songs have been recorded by Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, The Weavers, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Seekers, Marianne Faithfull, The Kingston Trio, the Chad Mitchell Trio, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, Willie Nelson, Flatt & Scruggs, The Move, The Fireballs, and many others (see covers). He has performed thousands of concerts around the world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tobacco Jars

These days it is hard to imagine just how normal smoking was, only a few decades ago.
Not only did you not find smokers semi-secretly sheltering behind office buildings to get their fix in a 3 minute break from their desk, cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco were available anywhere; sold from bars, corner dairies and specialised tobacconists.
Tobacco and all paraphernalia coming along with it were omnipresent. Mid 20th century, with many smokers rolling their own, tobacco jars were a commonly seen piece in many households. Plain wooden pots, but often elaborated figurines in clay or porcelain.
No surprise to find many berets among these (although Scottish bonnets were dominant).

Monday, January 22, 2018

Charles Neville

The Neville Brothers is an American R&B/soul/funk group, started in 1976, when the four brothers of the Neville family, Art, Charles (1938), Aaron, and Cyril got together to take part in the recording session of The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardi Gras Indian group led by their uncle, George Landry ("Big Chief Jolly").
In 1988, the group released Uptown from EMI featuring guests including Branford Marsalis, Keith Richards, and Carlos Santana. The following year saw the release of Yellow Moon from A&M Records produced by Daniel Lanois. The track "Healing Chant" from that album won best pop instrumental performance of the Grammy Awards.
In 1990, the Neville Brothers contributed "In the Still of the Night" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization. Also in 1990, they appeared on the bill at that year's Glastonbury Festival. This also was the year they recorded "Sons and Daughters" on their Brother's Keeper album.
Their version of "Bird on a Wire" was played over the closing credits of the 1990 film, Bird on a Wire.
The group formally disbanded in 2012 but reunited in 2015 for a farewell concert in New Orleans.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Mick Jones

Michael Geoffrey "Mick" Jones (1955) is a British musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist, cofounder and songwriter for The Clash until his dismissal in 1983.
Afterwards, he formed the band Big Audio Dynamite with Don Letts. Jones has recently played with the group Carbon/Silicon along with Tony James and has toured the world as part of the Gorillaz live band. In late 2011, Jones collaborated with Pete Wylie and members of The Farm to form The Justice Tonight Band.
When he was 21, he and Paul Simonon were introduced to Joe Strummer by Bernie Rhodes (the self-proclaimed inventor of punk rock) in a squat in Shepherd's Bush. The band rehearsed in a former railway warehouse in Camden Town and The Clash was formed. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Beach #8

Holidays over - back to school & work. All orders placed over the past week will be posted first thing on Monday morning!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Beach #1

From today, I'll be enjoying the above view for a week; (southern hemisphere) summer holidays at Amaroana Beach in Hawkes Bay.
Naturally, South Pacific Berets and Boneteria Aotearoa remain "open" 24/7 and all orders placed after today will be posted on the 20th of January.
Meanwhile, a daily updated beret-beach-pic on The Beret Project!

Friday, January 12, 2018

How to Wear a Gaucho's Poncho as a Scarf

As essential a part of the gaucho's attire as the beret, or boina, is the woolen poncho. Used as a jacket, blanket, pillow, tablecloth, etc, it is typically worn as a scarf while riding and wrangling cattle. 

How to wear a gaucho's poncho as a scarf?
1. Wring poncho together like a wet towel.
2. Swing one end around right shoulder, with the other end under left arm.
3. Keep left hand in place. Wrap right end around your neck.
4.Tie both ends above your heart.
5. Drink mate, wear a beret and ride horse into the sunset.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The old FEZCO Factory in Strakonice

The oldest industry in Strakonice, then part of the Ottoman Empire, was the manufacturing of fezzes.
The first fezes were produced in Strakonice in 1805–1807 and became a great export commodity. The export to Turkey was particularly strong until 1925. 
The fez was Turkey's traditional headgear until (founder of the modern Turkish republic) Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned it in in 1925 as part of his modernizing reforms. The Hat Law of 1925 introduced the use of Western style hats instead of the fez.
The sudden reduction in demand for fezzes made FEZCO turn to berets, one of the most popular hats at the time. 
Eventually FEZCO merged into the nationalized Hückel company TONAK (1948) and berets were made under both the FEZCO and TONAK label. 
These photographs depict the old factories that were once used to manufacture FEZCO berets. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Not for the shy and self-conscious:  wearing a yellow beret does require a certain amount of confidence and sturdiness.
You're not alone though...