Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Bert Eriksson

Born in Antwerp (Belgium) to an Eastern Swedish father and Flemish mother, Bert Eriksson became a Nazi at an early age and joined the Hitler Youth before the end of the Second World War. A staunch anti-communist, he went in 1950 to fight in the Korean War as a paratrooper.

In 1968 he opened a cafe, 'Lokaal Odal', in Antwerp which became a leading centre for neo-Nazis after the War. He took command of the Vlaamse Militanten Orde (VMO) in 1971 after it had been disbanded by founder Bob Maes and turned it towards a more extreme right path.

After the VMO was outlawed in 1984 he became associated with the Vlaams Blok, as well as the Odal Group, which presented itself as the successor to the VMO. As VMO leader Eriksson had been brought to trial in 1981 on charges of leading a private army but, although initially found guilty, he was acquitted by the Antwerp court of appeal in June 1982.

Eriksson had come to attention in 1973 by going to Austria and digging up the remains of Belgian collaborator Cyriel Verschaeve, which he then reburied in Alveringem. He later claimed to have done the same with the remains of (Nazi’s) Staf De Clercq and Anton Mussert.

Remains of Cyriel Verschaeve

Eriksson had been at the heart of the formation of the Vlaams Blok, setting up a series of talks in 1978 between right wing leaders that ultimately led to the formation of the party.

He also went on to be associated with the Wehrwolf-Verbond, an anti-Semitic group based in Antwerp, and addressed their rally in 1996.

He died in Westdorpe, Netherlands from lung disease, aged 73.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Mike Reynolds

Long time UK beret-wearer (and South Pacific Berets customer) Mike Reynolds was born in Kent in 1959. 

Although a long way from New Zealand, Mike is my favourite radio presenter. When writing my posts, filling orders and responding to emails, I typically listen (if not to Bach) to Winchcombe Calling

Inspired by the great John Peel, Mike beams out around the world a great selection of punk, rock & roll, folk, reggae, blues, country, etc, old and new, from Radio Winchcombe Community Radio. 

To me, it was a great discovery, as the music played takes me straight back to my teenage and early adult years. Amazing how many long forgotten memories get reawakened!

Interestingly, it's not just berets and music that Mike and I share; art, history indigenous cultures and trekking to name a few., not to mention being both drop outs of psychiatric nursing!

Discover Winchcombe Calling at any time on MixCloud

Monday, June 28, 2021

Jef Germonprez

“A common thread through my life is the pursuit of freedom and the constant fight against all kinds of injustices. 

This way of life translates into my artworks. The charge against all forms of violence in all its aspects is regularly addressed in my works. Racism, which violently strikes Man in its socio, cultural and deepest being, is a daily thorn in my side."

"Violence that may or may not be hidden within relationships is a theme that is also close to my heart. Violence against nature which is an indirect attack against all Human beings also concerns me."

"I must be able to express this dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in my surrounding world with the means I have: painting and holding it up as a mirror to other people.” 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Capka Logo's

Interesting advertising from the Dalmatian Coast.

I have published before on the work of Dino (Est.1975), who manages to find, or create, berets everywhere.

In Croatian, the beret is typically called a cap or capka - a whole new world of possibilities opens up in Dino's universe! 

Thanks Dino

Saturday, June 26, 2021


I published a post on William Eugene Smith almost 10 years ago, unknowing that a film would be made after his life story.

Minamata is the true story about a 1971 trip to Japan by acclaimed news photographer W. Eugene Smith (Johnny Depp). He’s first seen as an alcoholic, war-traumatised casualty with a bohemian lifestyle betokened by a shaggy beard and ever-present beret.

His days as a star snapper for Life magazine are behind him and, although he thinks nothing of swaggering into an editorial meeting and throwing his weight around, editor Bob Hayes (Bill Nighy, playing it implausibly hard-boiled) ruefully gives him the bum’s rush. 

Then Smith receives a visit from a young Japanese woman, Aileen (Minami), ostensibly for a Fujicolor commercial but really with an ulterior motive: she wants him to bring his camera to the Japanese village of Minamata, to alert the world to the damage caused by the Chisso company’s chemical plant.

W. Eugene Smith Photographing a Fishing Village in Minamata (1973) ©️ 2019 Takeshi Ishikawa

Friday, June 25, 2021

Breck Philip

"Music has the Power to Create POSITIVE Change" is Breck Philip's slogan. 

Backed by a solid group of Northern California's finest, Breck delivers a set of original tunes mixed with some of his favorite blues to get any live music evening started right! 

His style has a funky R & B vibe backed by a groovin’ rhythm & horn section.

“I enjoy surrounding myself with very versatile musicians that groove. These guys are great to be around and we all enjoy it when the music wanders a bit. We always seem to make it back to camp though! They’re pros for sure.”

Needless to say, Breck is a dedicated boinero and get's his headgear here

At USS Midway where 6 Veterans from the Guitars 4 Vets program graduated of which Breck is an ambassador 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Shahrokh Hatami

Shahrokh Hatami began his career as a writer for a major newspaper in Tehran, Iran, switching to photography in 1950.

Self Portrait

Beginning in the late 1950s, Hatami was a freelance photographer in Europe and the Middle East, with many of his pictures appearing in Paris Match and other leading magazines. He befriended fashion designer Coco Chanel and took many behind-the-scenes images of her; he also shot fashion magazine covers and celebrity portraits. His subjects included Elizabeth Taylor, Ursula Andress, Julie Christie, Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and other American and European personalities.

John Lennon, by Shahrokh Hatami

Hatami later branched out into motion pictures, working as a special magazine photographer on the sets of  What’s New Pussycat, Casino Royal, Rosemary’s Baby, Doctor Zhivago, and others. He is known for his rare color photos of the Beatles from 1963, when he was sent by Paris Match to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, to cover Beatlemania. He also took photos of the Israel/Egypt peace talks in 1977 and 1978, and rode an airplane with the Ayatollah Khomeini upon his return to Iran in February 1979.

Sharon Tate, by Shahrokh Hatami

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Borys Mykhailov

Borys Andriyovych Mykhailov (1938) is a Ukrainian photographer. He has been described as "one of the most important artists to have emerged from the former USSR."

Born in the former Soviet Union, Mykhailov lived and worked for several decades in his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine. He received an education as an engineer and started to teach himself photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well known among the photographers who were already active in the Soviet era. His work combines conceptual art and social documentary photography.

"Before sleep, after drinking"

After the KGB found nude pictures of his wife he was laid off his job as an engineer and started to work full-time as a photographer. In Case History, considered an important part of contemporary art, he examines the consequences of the breakdown of the Soviet Union for its people. He systematically took pictures of homeless people. It shows the situation of people who after the breakdown of the Soviet Union were not able to find their place in a secure social system. In a very direct way Mykhailov points out his critique against the "mask of beauty" of the emerging post-Soviet capitalistic way of life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Polito Ullloa

Polito Ullloa is one of the best polo horse trainers in the world.

Lauded horse breeder and tamer Carlos “Polito” Ulloa is also the father of Hilario Ulloa, often named the Michael Jordan of the equine set.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Yuri Kozyrev

Yuri Kozyrev from Russia has covered world-changing events for over 25 years, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Iraq war, where he was a contract photographer for TIME magazine. Most recently he has documented Arab revolutions and their aftermath in Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. 

His work is widely exhibited and has won many international awards.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Betina La Plante

Betina La Plante is an independent portrait photographer who mainly shoots for editorial and personal projects. 

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Plante began her career in film and television production, before focusing on photography in 2009. She now divides her time between Los Angeles, California, Europe and Argentina, working on assignments for different clients in the editorial field, as well as private commissions. Her work has garnered international acclaim, and has become known for her soulful and emotional portrayal of her subjects. Recently she has also returned to the film industry as on set stills photographer.

She has been published in numerous international fashion, editorial and fine art publications.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

People of Brisbane

If you are wandering around the city's CBD you could be the next subject of a portrait series entitled People of Brisbane, Australia.

Photographer Jay Anderson has taken to strolling around the city with his camera snapping shots as people go about their day.

"I'm trying to document the people of Brisbane so in 50 years time, when there's one trillion photos to Instagram that are massively altered and fake, they can actually see some real people who lived some real lives," he said.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Bruno Benini

Italian-born fashion photographer Bruno Benini migrated to Australia from Massa Marittima in Tuscany, as a child in 1935, with his mother and siblings. 

After studying Science at Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT University), Benini worked for a brief period for General Motors Holden, returning to Italy in the late 1940s. On his return to Australia, he decided to pursue a career as a fashion photographer, joining German émigré photographer Henry Talbot at Peter Fox studios, at first working first as a receptionist and salesman, then as assistant photographer. 

He also learnt how to become a fashion photographer by moonlighting as a model with Helmut Newton, Athol Shmith and Henry Talbot.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Ngoc-Tuan Hoang

I am proud to count Ngoc-Tuan Hoang among my beret customers, a fantastic musician with an interesting bio.

Ngoc-Tuan Hoang is one of the most celebrated Vietnamese guitarists. He is also a composer, writer, poet, playwright, literary editor, translator, teacher, and human rights activist. His musical output includes many songs, orchestral works, incidental music for theatrical productions and, especially, solo guitar works. Many of his guitar compositions have become iconic among virtuoso guitarists in Vietnam.

Since his arrival in Australia as a political refugee, one of the boat people from Vietnam in 1983, Ngoc-Tuan Hoang has published and edited many literary works and established Tien Ve, the most prominent online centre for Vietnamese literature and arts.

He has also been involved in various musical activities, working as composer and performer with many organisations, including the Seymour Group, the Citymoon Contemporary Theatre, the Sydney World Music Chamber Orchestra, etc.

Ngoc-Tuan Hoang has participated in many recording projects with various artists and musical groups. His compositions and guitar performances have featured in many live concerts in Australia and overseas, and on many radio and television shows, including ABC Radio National’s “The Music Show”, SBS Televison’s “Masterpiece”, to name a few.

Tôi muốn biết - I want to know

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Joel D. Levinson

Joel D. Levinson received a BA in Communications and a Masters in Visual Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was awarded with the Eisner Prize for "Outstanding Achievement in Photography".

Untitled #47

Levinson is an Art Photographer who has had thirteen One Man Museum exhibitions of his work and is represented in forty-two Museum Collections in North America and Europe. During the past nine years there have been 608 of Levinson's photographs added to eighteen Museum Collections.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy

Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis (née Bouvier; 1929 –1994) was an American socialite, writer, and photographer who became First Lady of the United States as the wife of President John F. Kennedy.

Her popularity as First Lady was due to her devotion to historical preservation of the White House, her fashion sense, and her devotion to her children, which endeared her to the American public. During her lifetime, Jackie was regarded as an international fashion icon.

Jackie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from George Washington University and worked for the Washington Times-Herald as an inquiring photographer. The following year, she met then-Congressman John Kennedy at a dinner party in Washington. He was elected to the Senate that same year, and the couple married in 1953.

After the assassination and funeral of her husband, Jackie and her children largely withdrew from public view. In 1968, she left her children in the United States and married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, which replaced her popular image with one of materialism. Even after her death, she ranks as one of the most popular and recognizable first ladies in American history, and in 1999, she was listed as one of Gallup's Most-Admired Men and Women of the 20th century.

Monday, June 14, 2021

The First Rainbow Coalition

In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party, notably led by the charismatic Fred Hampton, began to form alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the working-class young southern whites of the Young Patriots. 

Finding common ground, these disparate groups banded together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, calling themselves the Rainbow Coalition.

While the coalition eventually collapsed under duress from constant harassment by local and federal law enforcement, including the murder of Fred Hampton, it had a long term impact, breaking down barriers between communities, and creating a model for future activists and diverse politicians across America.