Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Uriage FFI

Young soldiers, trained at the Uriage FFI Executive School, attend a military ceremony in January 1945, in Uriage, near Grenoble. 

The Ecole des cadres d'Uriage, at the Uriage Castle near Grenoble and intended for training the French elites, was created under the Vichy regime by Dunoyer de Segonzac, then dissolved and replaced by the Militia executive school, and finally became at the Liberation the FFI executive military school, under the direction of Xavier de Virieu.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Brother Frans

Faithful followers of The Beret Project have [virtually] known my brother Emile, the Beret Spy, for a good number of years.

It's about time to introduce my (half)brother Frans to the beret community.

Frans is the oldest of us 3 and as dedicated a boinero as the Beret Spy and myself combined. 

Despite the almost 20.000 kilometers between us, Aotearoa-Flanders, we remain close as ever and are in touch most days of the week.
Both being hoarders & collectors, much time is spent on admiring each others novelties (these days via zoom and WhatsApp - thanks to covid our physical reunion is long overdue).
Philosopher, psychotherapist, economist... we have taken different paths, but we continue to amaze ourselves how much we still have in common. Not only berets; fanatic walkers, our love of the outdoors and dogs, books, Bach, meditation and, in the past, pipes... 
What we don't share is [his] obsession with fountain pens and [mine] with badges of the French Chasseurs.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Marlene Jobert

French actress Marlene Jobert is pictured on the set of the film "Le bon et les mechants", directed by Claude Lelouch in Paris on January 19, 1976. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Georges Pompidou

Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou (1911 –1974) was a French politician who served as President of France from 1969 until his death in 1974. He previously was Prime Minister of France from 1962 to 1968—the longest tenure in the position's history. He had long been a top aide to President Charles de Gaulle.

Pompidou's time in office was marked by constant efforts to modernize France's capital city.

US President Richard Nixon and his top adviser Henry Kissinger admired Pompidou; the politicians were in agreement on most major policy issues. The United States offered to help the French nuclear programme. Economic difficulties, however, arose following the Nixon Shock and the 1973–75 recession, particularly over the role of the American dollar as the medium for world trade.

Young Basques wearing a beret and dressed in traditional clothing offer Georges Pompidou a Basque culinary specialty, in Bayonne, France in 1969.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Yellow Vests Protests

The yellow vests protests (Mouvement des gilets jaunes) are a series of populist grassroots weekly protests in France, at first for economic justice and later for institutional political reforms, that began in France on 17 November 2018.

After an online petition posted in May 2018 had attracted nearly 1 million signatures, mass demonstrations began on 17 November. The movement was initially motivated by rising crude oil and fuel prices, a high cost of living, and economic inequality; it claims that a disproportionate burden of taxation in France was falling on the working and middle classes, especially in rural and peri-urban areas. The protesters have called for lower fuel taxes, a reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, a minimum wage increase, among other things.

Yellow high-visibility vests, which French law requires all drivers to have in their vehicles and to wear during emergency situations, were chosen as "a unifying thread and call to arms" because of their convenience, visibility, ubiquity, and association with working-class industries. The protests have involved demonstrations and the blocking of roads and fuel depots, some of which developed into major riots, described as the most violent since those of May 68. The police action, resulting in multiple incidences of loss of limb, has been criticized by politicians and international media; it has sometimes resulted in police officers being charged for their violent behaviour. 

The movement has received international attention. Protesters in many places around the world have used the yellow vest as a symbol.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Portraits from Périgord

Périgord is a natural region and former province of France, which corresponds roughly to the current Dordogne department, now forming the northern part of the administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Clodomir Pasqueraud

Former member of the wartime French resistance Clodomir Pasqueraud sightseeing at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, 15th June 1961. 

He is part of a group visiting Britain at the invitation of the Royal Marines in recognition of their work in helping the two survivors of Operation Frankton (aka the 'Cockleshell Heroes' raid) to make their escape through France in 1942. Pasqueraud took the fugitive British commandos into his home after they had been refused elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Cognac Martell

A FFI (French Forces of the Interior) fighter offers a glass of Cognac Martell to a soldier of 501e Régiment de chars de combat (501e RCC) of the French 2nd Armored Division (2e Division Blindée, 2ème DB) in front of Paris City Hall, on August 24, 1944 during the battle for the Liberation of Paris, during the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Spike Lee in Cannes

 Spike Lee is always a good subject for The Beret Project.

Spike Lee and wife Tonya Lewis Lee attend the "Tre Piani (Three Floors)" screening during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 11, 2021 in Cannes.

Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee attend the "Benedetta" screening during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 09, 2021 in Cannes.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Louis Barthe

Louis Barthe, artilleryman at Tarbes and last of the "poilus", at 106 years old, at home, seated in an armchair in a dressing gown and beret (he died on June 3, 2003).

The term Poilu ("Hairy One") refers to the appearance of the regular French infantryman during The Great War. It became custom for French soldiers to grow their hair and beards long at the outbreak of the war as an expression of their masculinity.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Back to the Roots

The Morvan brothers at home in Botcol in their family home and place of birth: Yvon 76 years old, Henri 79 years old and François 87 years old.

All brothers speak Breton. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Elections in France

Christiane and Jean-Pierre from Nyons (Drôme) posing with fans saying 'A new breath for democracy with Ségolène Royal'.

"My answer is NO!"... "What was the question again...?"
Vote Communist!

Friday, August 19, 2022

Abbé Pierre at the Emmaus Community and Musical

Abbé Pierre at the Emmaus Community in Alfortville in 1999, which has become his place of retirement.

Rehearsals for the musical 'Le Bal Des Exclus' By Daniel Facérias at the Zenith In Paris., written by Abbé Pierre and implemented for stage by Daniel Facerias.

Thursday, August 18, 2022


It is the kind of news item I would make up for my April Fool’s day posts, but no, it’s not 1 April and dead serious – as published in La République of 16 August:

“The Laulhère factory in Oloron Sainte Marie, which has been making berets since 1840, has stopped regular production of the brown beret. From now on, it will only manufacture them on order in batches in sufficient quantity”.

The brown beret is traditionally the festive beret in Béarn. In the Ossau valley, it is traditionally worn by the population during village festivals, such as in Laruns, Béost and Bielle.

Luckily, boineros are not dependent on Laulhère; the very best French made berets are the Auloronesa and Orthesa Universels and both are available in a beautiful brown.

For summer wear, Le Béret Français offers the French made Printemps model in earth-brown.

For a few more days, the Grof (Count) models -also in brown-  by UČA is on Special at $27.50.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Samizdat in 2022's Hungary

In this photo, activist Anna Nemes holds copies of the "You Print, Too!" newsletter at Budapest's Keleti train station. 

The mini-magazine is considered a new kind of 'samizdat', the dissident publications from the communist era. It includes news not usually covered in Hungary's pro-government media and is being distributed mainly in rural areas. 

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban is stepping up efforts to silence civic groups critical of his government. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Karl Lagerfeld

British model Kate Moss (4th L), French Laetitia Casta (2nd L) and other models show off roughly suits, dresses and outfits on October 17, 1997 during the presentation in Paris of Chanel's Spring-Summer 98 ready-to-wear collection designed by German stylist Karl Lagerfeld.

Monday, August 15, 2022


A boinero with a CGT sticker reading "For a proper pension of the 21st century" poses during a demonstration to protest against the French government's plan to overhaul the country's retirement system, as part of a national general strike in Toulouse, southern France on December 17, 2019.

Tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets across France on December 17 over a pensions overhaul that has sparked a crippling transport strike.

9th interprofessional day of strike and demonstration against the pension reform on February 6, 2020 in Paris

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Sometimes I get surprised by finding a beret brand I haven't heard of before, even though these are often not berets in the strict definition of the word.

US manufacturer Noah is such a brand, berets that look very attractive (but at a steep price). The information below is supplied by Noah. 

"Noah is an American men's clothing brand founded by Brendon Babenzien and Estelle Bailey-Babenzien, based out of its store in Soho, New York City. Brendon’s free-thinking vision has long been at the heart of the movement merging the rebellious vitality of skate, surf, and music cultures with an innovative appreciation of classic menswear." 

"As a brand, Noah seeks to take a stand against many of the appalling practices of the fashion industry. Our clothes are made in countries, mills and factories where tradition, expertise and human dignity take precedence over the bottom line. We donate portions of our profits to causes we believe in. We speak out on issues we find important, and try to help give voice to the people and organizations we care about." 

"The interests and influences that inspire our clothing fall under a large, inclusive, cross-generational umbrella. Our ideas come as much from the possibilities we see in fabrics and designs as our commitment to living active, engaged lifestyles. We believe in doing things our own way, with conviction, according to principles we determine ourselves. That’s the definition of punk rock to us, and we’re interested in the endless ways people from all walks of life manifest this attitude. We invite you to join us, both in our flagship store and online, and tell us how you do it."

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Land Art D-Day

Green Beret veteran Leon Gautier poses 01 June 2006 on the beach in Ouistreham, next to a sand work of French artist Roger Dautais in homage to the 'Kieffer Commando', a detachment of 177 Frenchmen, led by French Lieutenant Philippe Kieffer, that formed part of Lord Lovat's 1st Special Service Brigade. 

Land-Art artists from France, Canada, England and USA perform during two days on several Normandy beaches for the 62nd commemoration of the end of WWII. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Weekend Special!

Sadly, I have to concede: a Reality Shield does not protect against COVID-19 (although, I'd like to point out that it took the virus a long time to get me...).


It struck with a vengeance though; rarely have I felt so miserable in my life... Hence, no updates on the website and a very late weekly SPECIAL (which now really means a "Weekend Special").

But, to celebrate my return to the realm of the living, the Flamingo Naturel Series sell at a 27.5% discount;
a range of custom-made, top-quality berets in natural, undyed AAA-grade Australian merino wool.
Ideal wool berets in cold and warm weather.
The manufacturing process involves extended rinsing in the blessed volcanic groundwaters of Mount Aso and brushing for an ultrasoft, pleasant to the touch feel.

Available with a size adjustable headband in a 28cm and 30cm model, as well as a Universel one-size model in 30cm.