Sunday, September 24, 2017

Аna Kraš

Аna Kraš was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1984 and graduated there from the University of Applied Arts.
 Now based in New York, Ana works on different personal and commissioned projects, as well as a model.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Beach Life

Beach life in the northern hemisphere has pretty much come to an end, this time of year and for us in the southern part of the world, it hasn't quite started yet.
Of course, nothing stops you from having a good walk on the beach; beret on, shawl, winter coat, but personally, I long for the days that I need the protection of my beret on the bald part of my head again. 
And obviously, I am not the only one making the beret my (summer) headgear of choice.
Vamos a la playa!

Friday, September 22, 2017


The real-life story of a homeless man who built a shack on the edge of London’s Hampstead Heath is scrubbed down, disinfected and prettified for mass consumption.
Diane Keaton plays beret wearing widow Emily, who is struggling to meet the service charges on her portered apartment block. Naturally, having experienced the sharp edge of London’s chronic housing issues, she feels a kinship with Donald (Brendan Gleeson, gruff but cuddly), a tramp who has created an immaculately tended smallholding in the grounds of a disused hospital. 
This bond boils over into a relationship, once the film has addressed the subject of personal hygiene, the slightly niffy elephant in the room. Emily concedes that Donald is cleaner than she expected. In response, he offers her his armpit to sniff. It passes muster.
A score that sounds like it was ripped from a feature-length insurance ad twinkles reassuringly throughout. And the production design pushes an artfully homespun aesthetic so expensive-looking, it’s as if the film is unfolding in a Chelsea bric-a-brac emporium.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Amstel Beer

The Amstel brewery was founded on 11 June 1870 in Amsterdam and named after the Amstel River, the waters of which also served for refrigeration. By 1872, Amstel was annually producing 10,000 hectoliters. For the purpose of storing the beer, winter ice from canals was kept in special double-walled cellars. Originally, the beer was mostly drunk in Amsterdam. From 1883, it was also exported to Great Britain and the Dutch East Indies.
It was taken over by Heineken International in 1968, and the brewing plant closed down in 1982, with production moving to the main Heineken plant at Zoeterwoude.
Not much of a link between Amstel Beer and berets usually, until I saw these pictures sent to me by my Spanish friend Chus (thanks Chus).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sheila Natusch

Sheila Natusch is no ordinary writer, illustrator, historian, naturalist, sailor, cyclist, mountain woman.
She's also a strong character, with a warm and witty personality, who makes light of her many successes and setbacks over a long career of telling New Zealand stories in words and drawings, and getting out in the mountains and on the sea to experience the exhilaration of the 'wild life' to the full.
No Ordinary Sheila tells her life story, from her upbringing on Stewart Island in the 1930s, her studies at Otago University in the 1940s, her teaching and writing career in Wellington thereafter, and her amazing adventures in the wild places of New Zealand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Despicable Me 3

As so often happens, I find berets in places where I least expected them.Going to the movies, watching Despicable Me 3 with my youngest one for example...
Sitting mid cinema with a large Plato Grande on my head, the screen suddenly fills with a whole bunch of country hicks, all fitted with large berets. 
They are clearly based on Basques (complete with neckerchiefs, dances, etc); in the same scene features a very stereotypical Roma (Gypsy) woman (spitting, cursing, wart on the face, long skirts, the whole works...) as if the term 'political correctness' hasn't been coined yet. 
Alas, all attention is still attention; long live the beret!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mercure & Vulcain

One of the many forgotten French beret manufacturers: Mercure & Vulcain from Saint Maur des Fossés (close to Paris). The invoice is from 1934 and is all visual evidence I managed to find of this manufacturer.
The address still exists, but nothing suggests there has ever been a beret factory at this location. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

La Bête humaine

La Bête humaine (The Beast Within or The Beast in Man) is an 1890 novel by Émile Zola. The story has been adapted for the cinema on several occasions. The seventeenth book in Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart series, it is based upon the railway between Paris and Le Havre in the 19th century and is a tense, psychological thriller.
The solitary Lantier, who drives a locomotive between Paris and Le Havre, is liable to go into a murderous fit if alone with a woman he desires. He only feels secure when driving the train with his fireman Pecqueux. However, he cannot fail to notice Séverine, the sexy wife of Roubaud, the deputy stationmaster at Le Havre. She in the past had an affair with the rich and influential Grandmorin. 
The jealous Roubaud forces her to meet Grandmorin on a train, There he robs and kills his rival, but by chance the off-duty Lantier is a witness. Because he is attracted to Séverine, he says nothing to the police, for which one night she rewards him. 
Then she starts suggesting to Lantier that he should get rid of her husband, but he fails the test. Instead, calling on her one night, he has a fit and kills her. Next day, after confessing to Pecqueux, he jumps to his death from the speeding train.
Thanks, Kaar

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stefanie Sargnagel

Stefanie Sargnagel (1986), aka Stefanie Sprengnagel, is an Austrian author and artist.
Sargnagel studied in the Richter class of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her experiences as a callcenter employee forms the basis of her first book "Binge Living - Callcenter Monologues" , which appeared in 2013.
She writes for Vice and the Bavarian Radio , for which she wrote reports of visits to the Bachmann Prize , the Vienna Opera Ball, or the FPÖ Octoberfest. Her trademark is a red Basque beret. 
Thanks Alexander

Friday, September 15, 2017

Leo E. Kok (1923-1945)

Leo Kok was born in Berchem by Antwerp, the son of Dutch Jewish parents, diamond cutter Leon Kok and Kaatje Swaab. During WWII he arrived in the Netherlands, in 1940 where he worked as a freelancer inadvertising in Amsterdam until he was arrested. He was deported to Camp Geesbrug and later transferred to Camp Westerbork.
Image result for Kok, Leo Westerbork
In Westerbork he married the nurse Kitty de Wijze. Both remained relatively long in Westerbork. They were deported on one of the last transports in September 1944 to the Theresiënstadt concentration camp. Kok was then transferred to  Auschwitz. In early 1945 he was transferred to Mauthausen by the Germans and arrived in Ebensee, one of the subdivisions of this concentration camp.
Image result for Kok, Leo Westerbork
Six days after the liberation of the camp, at the age of 22, he died in a lazaret in Sankt Wolfgang. He is buried on the Dutch war cemetery in Salzburg.  His wife survived the Second World War.
During his stay in Westerbork camp he has made drawings, watercolors and sketches that have been preserved, including portraits of fellow prisoners such as Hans Krieg and the artist duo Johnny & Jones. Kok has also made watercolors of the camp and decors for the revue of Westerbork. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Civil Air Patrol

National Blue Beret (NBB) is a National Cadet Special Activity in the Civil Air Patrol (USA).
The event is two weeks long and is set up so that the second week will overlap with the annual EAA Air Venture Oshkosh event. Participants are Civil Air Patrol cadet and senior members who must go through a competitive selection process in order to attend the event.
Participants help conduct event operations, including flight marshalling, crowd control, and emergency services. The most famous tradition of the event is for cadets and seniors to receive a blue beret towards the end of the event. Though the beret is considered to be the most widely known symbol of NBB, it is actually considered by attendees to be less important than the emblem that is pinned on the beret. 
When participants receive the blue beret, they also receive a pin of St. Alban's Cross that pins onto the beret.
Thanks Heath

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Radu Mazăre

The flamboyant Romanian politician Radu Mazăre, known for wearing a red beret (typically in the company of a group of young and beautiful women wearing red berets) has featured on The Beret Project earlier, 5 years ago (see here). 
In many ways, nothing has changed since that post as far as his corruption, beret style and preferred company goes. In 2015, during his fourth term as mayor of Constanța, Mazăre resigned amid accusations of corruption, citing the unbearable stress caused by what he claimed to be politically motivated investigations.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Béret Rafale Labels

The Béret Rafale is a classic French beret with an old label, not seen for many years until re-instated exclusively for South pacific Berets. 
The Rafale label is typical for it's era, the mid 1950s. Over the decades, the label has undergone some minor changes, but essentiually remained the same. 
'Rafale' stands for 'gust' and the Béret Rafale is the right instrument to protect you from the weather, an excellent daily wear beret in 10 pouces (28cm diameter). Satin lined, in black, navy and grey in a one-size-fit-all.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau (1912 –1994) was a French photographer who used a Leica on the streets of Paris in the 1930’s. He was a champion of humanist photography and with Henri Cartier-Bresson a pioneer of photojournalism.
Doisneau was known for his modest, playful, and ironic images of amusing juxtapositions, mingling social classes, and eccentrics in contemporary Paris streets and cafes. Influenced by the work of André Kertész, Eugène Atget, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, in more than twenty books he presented a charming vision of human frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments.
“The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.”
Doisneau's work gives unusual prominence and dignity to children's street culture; returning again and again to the theme of children at play in the city, unfettered by parents. His work treats their play with seriousness and respect.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

La Ramona

More Spanish pop culture: La Ramona by Fernando Esteso.
The lyrics that were undoubtedly meant to be funny relate of a girl named Ramona, fattest girl of the town, with legs like columns and a behind like a tambourine...
Another era.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

La Charanga del Tio Honrio

Strange but true, this was a real hit on the pop charts in Spain during the late 1970's. The group is called La Charanga del Tio Honrio and the song Hay queávalo (1975). They produced three singles, performed over a 100 concerts but (luckily), the band broke up in 1978. 

Friday, September 8, 2017


New portraits in black & white, found on various websites on the internet. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Return of Mr. Superman

Return of Mr. Superman is one of two 1960 Indian movies based on the superhero, the other simply titled Superman. Despite the same actor playing Superman in each film, they were both completely separate tellings of the Superman saga.
Return of Mr. Superman begins with a farmer who witnesses the crash of a strange aircraft. Out crawls a little boy who the farmer and his wife adopt as their own. The boy grows up to become a newspaper reporter in the city and, unbeknownst to his co-workers, doubles as the flying hero when a group of smugglers arrive.
Jairaj plays Superman and he does well enough, particularly when playing his mortal Kent Clark-like character. He was a leading man in the 1930s and 40s but looked young enough still to be playing the lead well into the 1960s. His superhero costume is made up of slacks, a heavy sweatshirt, a skull cap and goggles, looking more like someone getting ready for a mustard gas attack.
The Lois Lane character, here named Usha, is portrayed by Sheila Ramani. Ramani had a promising start in Hindi films in the mid 50s playing the leading lady in Taxi Driver and NAUKARI (both 1954), before her slide down into B movies with films like Mumtaz Mahal and Jungle King. The beret-wearing villain is played by Jagdish Kanwal. He’s the leader of the smuggling gang, and mastermind of all the evil things going on. Which means he spends the entire film getting foiled again and again before he’s finally defeated. 
Return of Mr. Superman is more a curiosity than a real entertainer. The plot is non-existent and the fight scenes are so poorly done as to be almost childish. Even the musical numbers are unmemorable. Special effects are rather crude.