Friday, August 31, 2018

Le Béret, Basque ou Béarnais?

It is an old question that still manages to stir up heated debates, particularly in the South-West of France. 
However, faithful visitors of The Beret Project know very well there is a clear answer to it: the Béret Basque is Béarnais.
Here two video's, in French, digging in deeper into the origins.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lindsay Kemp

Lindsay Keith Kemp, who dies on 25 August, was a British dancer, actor, teacher, mime artist, and choreographer.
He was probably best known for his 1974 flagship production of Flowers, a mime and music show based on Jean Genet's novel Our Lady of the Flowers, in which he played the lead role of 'Divine'. Due to its homosexuality and perceived decadence, reviews were sometimes hostile, but it was widely considered a theatrical and sensory sensation, and it toured globally for many years.
He was a mentor to David Bowie and Kate Bush. Kemp was openly gay. He had an affair with David Bowie, and their friendship was highly important in Bowie's artistic development. He left England in 1979 for Spain and then Italy. By 2002 he had homes in Rome and Todi.
Kemp died in Livorno, Italy on 25 August 2018, aged 80. David Haughton, his closest friend and collaborator for 45 years, said Kemp had remained busy and active right till the end, saying "he suddenly said he felt ill, and a minute and a half later he was gone."
Thanks Thomas

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Man's (and Woman's) Best Friend

Man's (and Woman's) Best Friend:
Man walking his chihuahua in the streets of Laguardia, Spain

Carole Lombard and friend, 1929

Lauren Hutton
Saint-Michel, Paris - pet market 1977

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beret Signs

Beret Signs come in all shapes and sizes, whether advertising a restaurant like Pépé Joe's (above)
or manufacturers like El Ramuntcho (above) or Boinas Elosegui (below) or
hatters in the Basque Country (below), but best of all 
I like this sign (below), telling you that caps are not allowed - only berets!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Michel Bouyer; Trade-Unionist and Weightlifter

Michel Bouyer is an iconic trade unionist and, due to his always present Basque beret and Gallic moustache, a wellknown and recognizable character.
Bouyer contracted polio at the young age of 13 months and at 18, was offered a place in a facility for disabled people. He refused and a year after, began his career in the steel industry (and trade unions).
Interestingly, his achievements as a weightlifter are not as much on the foreground. In his "second life" he was a great sportsman. With an impressive track record: seven times champion of France; two-time European champion; once vice-world champion. He finished his career at the Seoul Paralympic Games in 1988.
He portrays himself as a little man who had, in part, missed his studies. But who is able, today, to address any politician. "Unionism allowed me to exist. It's a great school. The CFDT was my second family.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bar Bû

A retro and musical aperitif in a "village party" atmosphere at Bar Bû in Marseille:
With beret, naturally...

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pépé’s Béret

Daniel Airoldi is the founder of Airoldi Wines. He was born in Nérac in the South West of France, the centre of the Armagnac region. The Airoldi Family has always been connected to wines, as in every generation, a family member has worked in the industry in various wine-making regions.
Daniel’s first choice of career was cooking and after 15 years following this career in Australia and various countries, it became obvious that his main interest was to renew his strong ties to wine.
Pépé’s Béret came to life as a result of a desire to pay homage to Daniel’s great grand-father Robert, who was a winemaker in the Bordeaux area.

The fruits for all three Pépé’s Béret wines have been carefully selected within vineyards of greater southern France to reflect our vision of making great value-for-money wines of the highest possible quality that are approachable, are fun to drink, and would have made Pépé proud of his descendants.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Heinz Fülfe

Heinz Fülfe (1920 - 1994) was a German actor and writer, known for Flax und Krümel (1955), Zu Besuch im Märchenland (1955) and Unser Sandmännchen (1958). 
From 1959 he was a darling of the GDR children's television in the role of "Taddeus Punkt" with dog "Struppi" in the "Abendgruß" and with his wife Ingeburg Fülfe in the puppetry TV series "Flax und Krümel" (1955-1970) created by both.

For his achievements Heinz Fülfe was honored in 1961 with the National Prize of the GDR.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Felix Philipp Ingold

Felix Philipp Ingold (1942) is a Swiss Slavist, cultural journalist, writer, translator and publisher. 
He is Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Social History of Russia at the University of St. Gallen.
Ingold is the author, publisher and translator of numerous articles and books, especially in the field of comparative and Slavic literary studies. As cultural correspondent and reviewer he wrote for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Basler Zeitung, the Zeit, the Zeitschrift Volltext, the Wissenschaftszeitung and other publications.
He lives in Zurich and in Romainmôtier.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Gilda Gray

Gilda Gray (born Marianna Michalska in Kraków, Poland, 1901 –1959) was an American actress and dancer who popularized a dance called the "shimmy" which became fashionable in 1920s films and theater productions.
Although the shimmy is said to have been introduced to American audiences by Gray in New York in 1919, the term was widely used before, and the shimmy was already a well-known dance move. Gray appropriated it as her own, saying that she had accidentally invented the shimmy while dancing at her father-in-law's saloon and "shaking her chemise" (or her "shimee", as her Polish accent rendered it).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Boinas Elósegui vintage advertising

Boinas Elósegui was an early adapt to advertising and left a treasure trove of beautiful pictures. 
Published here, pictures from the early 20th century to the 1960s.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Captain Sir John Norman Ide Leslie

Captain Sir John Norman Ide Leslie, 4th Baronet (1916 –2016), known locally as Jack Leslie, was the eldest son of Sir John Randolph Leslie, 3rd Baronet (known as Shane Leslie), and Marjorie Ide. He became the fourth baronet when his father died in 1971.
Educated at Downside School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, Leslie never married or had children. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Irish Guards during the Battle of France before being captured at Boulogne-sur-Mer. He then spent five years in POW camps.
After the war, he moved to New York City and later traveled around Europe, settling in Rome. At the age of 78 he returned to his family's homestead, Castle Leslie and traveled to Ibiza for his 85th birthday in 2001. 
He inadvertently revealed the wedding location of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills by admitting to reporters it was to take place in Castle Leslie, but that it was "a secret". In January 2012, he appeared in the television programme Secrets of the Manor House, which discussed the Leslie family and Castle Leslie, among other manor homes. 
In 2015, he featured in the TV series Tales of Irish Castles. Leslie was presented with the Legion d'Honneur at the French embassy in Dublin on 9 November 2015.

A passionate beret wearer, Sir John had an interesting way of wearing his berets. Typically he would have the headband of his Basque beret folded outwards (visible) and usually a feather on it as decoration.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Shameless glorification of the nation state, it's military and weapons doesn't come much worse than in this video.

Singer Narmin Kerimbayeva glorifies the national armed forces in the style of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The president himself is looking from a bunker to the border with neighboring  Armenia (still "officially" at war with Azerbaijan)
The Russian tanks and helicopters, the special forces, armored cars and destroyers are sung to by Narmin Kerimbeyova, finalist of the Voice of Azerbaijan 2016. Many berets though, in this video..

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Basque Pig (Euskal Txerri / Pie Noir du Pays Basque)

Pig farming has been a common activity in the Basque Country since the time of the Celts. 
In the past, the three most common native breeds were the Baztanesa, the Chato Vitoriano (now both extinct) and the Euskal Txerria (whose name means simply “Basque pig”). In 1237, the King of Navarre decided to demand a fifth of every herd of this breed of pig in exchange for the farmers being allowed to graze their pigs in the royal mountains in the autumn. 
The tax was commonly known as “kintoa,” from “quinta,” meaning “fifth,” which eventually became the name of this area, particularly suited to pig farming.
The Basque pig has strongly built limbs, a silky coat with large black spots, a black head and rump, a convex back and large fat ears hanging over its eyes. It has a very docile temperament and grows slowly, putting on around 300 grams a day (in contrast, a commercial hybrid can grow a kilo a day on average).
The innate docility of this breed means it can be farmed outdoors in small herds, feeding only on acorns, chestnuts and ferns.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall was a Belorussian-born French artist whose work generally was based on emotional association rather than traditional pictorial fundamentals.
Chagall was born in Belarus in 1887 and developed an early interest in art. After studying painting, in 1907 he left Russia for Paris, where he lived in an artist colony on the city’s outskirts. 
Fusing his own personal, dreamlike imagery with hints of the fauvism and cubism popular in France at the time, Chagall created his most lasting work—including I and the Village (1911)—some of which would be featured in the Salon des Indépendants exhibitions. 
I and the Village (1911)

After returning to Vitebsk for a visit in 1914, the outbreak of WWI trapped Chagall in Russia. He returned to France in 1923 but was forced to flee the country and Nazi persecution during WWII. Finding asylum in the U.S., Chagall became involved in set and costume design before returning to France in 1948. In his later years, he experimented with new art forms and was commissioned to produce numerous large-scale works. Chagall died in St.-Paul-de-Vence in 1985.