Friday, November 30, 2012

Ralph Lauren

Only 2 months ago, I published a post on the Olympic Beret, created by American designer Ralph Lauren; a pretty sad affair, really.
But, the master must have agreed. El Pais of 12 September reports on some interesting, Spanish inspired outfits, including true Basque berets boinas!
Thanks, Steve

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Suzy Mangion

Suzy Mangion is one of those performers music critics rave about, but not enough people have heard of.
Suzy Mangion looks good with a beret
Starting from a Durham cupboard containing only a piano and a drumkit, Suzy began her public music-making in 1994 as one half of duo George, who released a number of acclaimed secret pop records on Earworm, Bad Jazz and Pickled Egg Records.
In 2006, Suzy Mangion split George and loaded her collection of toy keyboards onto her percussion trolley, and went over the mountain. Which is where we find her now.
Her first solo album, The Other Side Of The Mountain, is a record of old-fashioned length and unfashionable feeling. Distinctively intimate production and melancholic song-writing have created an intense and charming record.
Suzy’s songs explore many styles, but are always unified by her trademark haunting vocals and complex harmonies. She experiements with electronics, old and new, mixed with a bricolage of beats, banjos and beat-up pianos.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ukuleles and Berets

The Ukulele is rapidly growing in popularity, world wise, with ukulele orchestras popping up here, there and everywhere. I personally quite enjoy the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.
Playing Ukulele for two friends, 1931
Interestingly, they seem to be the exception to the rule, as many ukulele players seem to have taken to wearing berets!
The Adelaide Ukulele Appreciation Society, for example. 

And what with Jim D'Ville as one of the major writers on Ukulele?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

They're Back Again: The Peaked Berets!

No logical explanation why it is so hard to source these Peaked Berets, but every time it is a struggle to get a good number in. With the new stock in, all back-orders posted today and on the look-out for more, I hope not having to say "no" for a while. It seems to be the way it goes... 

Made immortally famous by Dutch COBRA painter Corneille, these are true Basque berets (including txortena) with an added peak. Popular among artists after the war, but disappeared in the late sixties from view.

Carl McCoy (1963, London, England) is the frontman for gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim.
McCoy's most recent album, Mourning Sun, was released in 2005. Although it was released under the name Fields of the Nephilim, McCoy has been secretive about the musicians who play on Mourning Sun, though John 'Capachino' Carter is the only named contributor.
McCoy is well known for his mystical and occult-based lyrics and beliefs. His works often make reference Aleister Crowley, although he is not publicly a follower of Crowley's Thelema religion. Clay disc recordings of Crowley's voice can be heard on a handful of Fields of the Nephilim songs, specifically on Elizium; one of Fields of the Nephilim's biggest hits, "Moonchild", shares a name with one of Crowley's novels.
In interviews, McCoy has hinted that he sees his on-stage performances as theurgic, magickal or shamanic workings.
I only learned about McCoy after a customer asking if I stocked berets similar to the one pictured here. I thought it was a French beret with the headband turned outwards - in hindsight, it may actually be a military peaked cap with the visor removed... 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wear your own Green Beret

Wear your own Green Beret, at a cost of only $1.00 + $ 0.25 shipping charges. Admitted, you can't get them that cheap at South Pacific Berets, but at only $ 30.00 - it comes close!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Price Reductions on French Berets

Usually, when I need to adjust prices, it means they're going up, but thanks to the very high NZ$ and Customs not charging me duties this time (the mysterious ways of NZ Customs...), I can actually lower a few prices of the newly arrived French stock. 
Prices of the more luxurious berets: Tarte Chasseur Alpin, NIEBLA and the Grand Foulards Sancho and PeBeO have all been lowered.

Laura McWhorter's Felt Berets

Laura McWhorter learned to knit "Norwegian style" at age 5, and since then, has gradually immersed herself in all things fiber. 
She sells her felt-based textiles under Foundations in Felt, and she teaches in the Nashville, TN, area and around the country. When outside the classroom or her studio, she can frequently be found knitting or spinning in public at one of her kids' many sporting events.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Carlyle Westbrook Barritt

Carlyle Westbrook Barritt was a Professor Emeritus of Roman Languages at Washington and Lee University, where he taught from 1952 to 1991.
In 1952 Barritt joined the Washington and Lee faculty and taught for 39 years. He served as head of the Romance Languages Department during the 1980s and taught Spanish language and literature with a concentration in medieval and Renaissance poetry, fiction and drama. He also served as the University marshal for many years.
He died on Sept. 2 in Spartanburg, S.C. at the age of 91. His trademarks were a black beret and a moped.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sobre la Estepa

The Patagonian steppe sets the stage for this intense drama of 'who done it' where four men, with berets, meet at a crossroads of violence and chance.
Two men, Honorino and Sepulveda, are out hunting guanaco when distant gunshots call their attention to investigate. Arriving the scene, they find a local acquaintance, Rabanito, bleeding and dying. Just before he passes, Rabanito spells a dark secret of Sepulveda. The absent gunman, Cirilo, finally emerges with guilt. Sepulveda, a rural policeman, accuses him of theft and murder.
Cirilo begins to further piece the story together, deepening Sepulveda's guilt in the twisting chaos of the mayhem. A gunshot rings out. Cirilo falls. Sepulveda holds the smoking rifle. Now, he must decide what to do with the last witness, Honorino.
Watch the trailer here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Horacio Coppola

Horacio Coppola (1906 – 2012) was an Argentine photographer and filmmaker, and the husband of the German photographer Grete Stern.
Coppola was born in Buenos Aires, the youngest of 10 children. His parents, Italian immigrants, were well off, and he studied art, music, law and languages. He was about 20 when he began taking pictures.
He traveled to Europe in the 1920s and ’30s. Photography was coming into its own as an art form, with pictures being shot from odd angles and cropped for effect.
In  London, he took portraits of famous artists, and worked on a book about Mesopotamian artefacts in the Louvre and the British Museum. He went back to Argentina in 1936. That year, he was commissioned to photograph Buenos Aires for its 400th anniversary, and produced streetscapes that captured the romance, vitality and squalor of a great city.
He was one of the pioneers photographers from Argentina

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pieter in Bordeaux

One of the best things about this Beret Project is the number of like-minded people I "meet" and with some, even establish  friendships.
One customer-turned-friend is fellow Dutchman Pieter, who has a fascination for anything maroon, or really I should say Bordeaux
Wine merchant (Bordeaux, yes), amateur historian, founder of the Wine Liberation Front and chroniqueur of old wines (handwritten in large parchment books using quills). 
Showing his pictures, with beret and white beard of course, my 8 year old daughter was convinced it was her father - whether that is a compliment for Pieter or me, I don't know... 
From top to bottom: Tunisian Chechia, Spanish Elosegui Super Lujo, Argentinean Tolosa Tupida, New Zealand Hills beret with Wine Liberation Front badge. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This picture comes from the hand of my good friend Jeroen, 'Creative Artist' in the widest sense of the word and much missed here, at the bottom of the world, since he and his lovely family returned to the Netherlands a few months ago. 
How could I not publish it here? Sentimental memories of Dutch autumns  oak forests full of mushrooms and gnomes, the Pinkeltje stories my generation grew up with..?
Thanks Jeroen Yerun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

From the New Yorker:
This cartoon made me think of my post on Mitch Hedberg, 7 April, 2009:

“Sometimes I wake up and I think I should start wearing a beret, but I don't do it. One day I'm gonna, though. You bet your ass, I will have a beret on. That's ridiculous, but it's true. I always fight with wearing a beret.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hannah Höch

The Basque, 1925

Hannah Höch (1889 – 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.
This is her 1925 work: 'The Basque'.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Women with Beret - 1930's

 More vintage photographs of women with beret in the interbellum.
 All these are from the 1930's.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alex Fisher

Berets are a returning phenomenon in Alex Fisher's art, although not always easy to relate to. 
Alex Fischer (b.1986) is an artist and empiricist living and working in Toronto, Canada. A sociologist of digital culture, Fischer mediates the visual and theoretical philosophies that can be accessed through contemporary technology. This extraction and the resulting dissemination are essential in his approach to art-making, where he aesthetically composes characters, scenes, and symbols in order to explore the effects of the present-age.
Fischer graduated from York University with a BFA honours in visual arts.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Swiss Soldier

There is a bit of a discrepancy between the number of Swiss visitors on this blog and customers of South Pacific Berets versus the posts on Swiss berets.
I tried hard, but no, I found very little material on Swiss beret wearers, unfortunately. The picture above is a fine exception: a soldier in winter uniform with a huge beret, similar in looks to the French tarte. No date or further information available. 
In the One Off section of South pacific Berets you'll find a small number of Swiss military berets.  

These berets are made of two pieces of black felted wool, fitted with a cotton lining and faux-leather headband. The size is 58, but easily fits a size 59 or small 60 as well. An unusual military beret.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

1920's (2)

 Following yesterday's post on berets for women in the 1920's:
This vintage beret from the 1920's is made entirely of soutache in black , yellow, green and purple in a paisley and circle motif. Very intricate. The label is Ufland Paris, New York.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Women with Beret - 1920's

 A nice collection of vintage photographs. The 1920's was a good time for berets, not only for men.

 Jobyna Ralston