Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dr Who's UNIT

UNIT, or Unified Intelligence Taskforce (formerly United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) is a fictional military organisation from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Operating under the auspices of the United Nations, its purpose is to investigate and combat paranormal and extraterrestrial threats to the Earth. In the original Doctor Who series, several UNIT personnel (such as the Brigadier) played a major role in the programme.
Following the broadcast of the 2005 Doctor Who series, executive producer Russell T Davies claimed that the UN were no longer happy to be associated with the fictional organisation, and the UN's full name could now no longer be used. However, the "UNIT" and "UN" abbreviations could be used, as long as it was not explained what the letters stood for. In 2008, he announced that the organisation's name had been changed to the "Unified Intelligence Taskforce". This new name was first mentioned on-screen in "The Sontaran Stratagem", also in 2008, in which it was indicated in a line of dialogue that the United Nations still supports UNIT with funding.
The berets of UNIT are for sale at a good price here

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Peter Magubane

The story of Peter Magubane, from the Guardian:
"Working as a black photographer in apartheid South Africa was not easy. You had to always know where you were and who was around you. If the police were there, you couldn’t take photos – and the police were always there. If it was difficult for me to get a shot openly, I’d have to improvise: hide my camera in a loaf of bread, a half-pint of milk, even a Bible. When I got back to the office, I had to have a picture with me no matter what. My editors at the Rand Daily Mail would not take any nonsense. But that was fine – they wanted the pictures and I wanted to become one of the greats."
"I did not want to leave the country to find another life. I was going to stay and fight with my camera as my gun. I did not want to kill anyone, though. I wanted to kill apartheid. My editors always pushed me. “Work as hard as you can,” they’d say, “to defeat this animal apartheid. Show the world what is happening.”
I never staged pictures. They were moments I came across. I took this in 1956, while driving through a wealthy suburb in Johannesburg. I saw the girl on the bench and stopped. The woman worked for her parents, most likely a rich local family.
These labels – “Europeans only”, “Coloureds only” – were on everything, by order of the government. When I saw Europeans only, I knew I would have to approach with caution. But I didn’t have a long lens, just my 35mm, so I had to get close. I did not interact with the woman or the child, though. I never ask permission when taking photos. I have worked amid massacres, with hundreds of people being killed around me, and you can’t ask for permission. I apologise afterwards, if someone feels insulted, but I want the picture.
I took about five shots and went straight back to the office. I processed it, then showed it to the editor and he said it was wonderful. It was published worldwide: for a lot of countries, apartheid was the news of the day. Ever since, I have been trying to find the woman and child. I have no leads, but I would love to say: “Thank you very much, for not interfering with me when I took this.”
I was arrested many times and the police would beat the hell out of me. They fractured my nose once because I refused to expose my film and ruin my images. In 1974, they arrested me and I was put in solitary confinement for 586 days. You weren’t told you’re going to solitary in apartheid South Africa: you only found out when you reached your cell.
You didn’t get visitors. The only person you saw was the guard, who would say: “Don’t talk to me.” But I knew there were people in worse shape than I: Namibians in cells downstairs were beaten every day, every night. Fortunately I was not beaten, because they knew my newspaper was looking out for me. All they could do was lock me away. A bird would come and sit on the windowsill. When I stood up, it would fly away. All I could think about was how much I wanted to be that bird.
Towards the end of 1975, I was released but banned from taking photos for five years. I couldn’t leave my house without the police knowing. When they released me, I said to myself: “I am not going to abide by the rules of these people. I am taking pictures, not committing a crime.” So in 1976, when the Soweto uprising happened, I went with my camera and a vengeance. Because of my photos, the entire world saw what was happening."

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Beret Project is Back!

Yes, The Beret Project is back from (southern hemisphere) summer holidays!
And after enjoying beautiful Waiheke Island and Kennedy Bay at the Coromandel Peninsula, all revived to "go berets" again at full speed.
Much to do, on my return to Wellington. All the orders placed over the last 10 days have now been shipped, but there is a lot of new stock to get into.
Barretines from Catalonia (!), custom made Super Lujo's and two-tone berets from Tolosa; responding to all unanswered mail, ordering stationary, work on the Newsletter...
Much to look forward to over the next few days!
Thanks for staying with me and let's go for a great beret year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Southern Hemisphere Summer Holidays

Yes, that time of year again, when the northern hemisphere dresses up, fighting the cold, working hard at staying warm and we, down here at the bottom of the world, spent our time in shorts and T-shirts (and cotton berets!), lying on the beach, splashing ourselves in sunscreen and ensuring we drink enough...
And although South Pacific Berets and Boneteria Aotearoa remained open over the Christmas/New Year's holidays, we do close shop for 10 days from today.
But don't despair; the website remains open 24/7 and all orders placed will be shipped on or before 16 January!
Meanwhile, every day an interesting, fascinating, shocking, sexy, beautiful, contemporary or vintage photograph.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Xavier Cugat

Xavier Cugat (1900 – 1990) was a Spanish-American bandleader and native of Spain who spent his formative years in Havana, Cuba.
A trained violinist and arranger, he was a leading figure in the spread of Latin music in United States.
In 1931, Cugat had taken his band to New York for the 1931 opening of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and he eventually replaced Jack Denny as the leader of the hotel's resident band. For 16 years, Cugat helmed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's orchestra, shuttling between New York and Los Angeles for most of the next 30 years. One of his trademark gestures was to hold a chihuahua while he waved his baton with the other arm.
Cugat was also a cartoonist.  The personal papers of Xavier Cugat are preserved in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Steven Onoja

Steven Onoja was born and raised in Nigeria in 1989 and now resides where fashion reigns king. At my tender age I discover my love for art, where I immediately started developing my interest toward painting. I worked in a gallery developing my skills then did several competitions In Art. Now living In New York City with the explosion of menswear and Art, what I do is provided the vision from an urban perspective, Effortless Style and look to connect with creative Individuals.
 Since the inception of Ostentation and Style in April of 2011, Steve Onoja has worked with amazing companies like Nike Sportswear, Levis, Herschel Supply, Kato Brand, Raen Optic, Boast USA, Glamour Kill, and many more! Ostentation and Style looks back at 2011 as a “warm-up” phase and is now ready to crank the heat up, we want to write and take photos like no other and truly become an individualist in the blogosphere.
Today Ostentation and Style has grown to be a source of inspiration to many readers worldwide.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Super Lujo-Grande in Havana

The béret du jour is my Super Lujo-Grande in Sahara and on a drizzly day in Wellington, it feels right at home at the Havana Coffee Works!
The quest for a good coffee has taken Geoff Marsland and Tim Rose, the founders of Wellington’s Havana Coffee, around the world; mingling with Cuban spies, tagged as terrorists and welcomed by Havana’s Communist elite.
Geoff and Tim introduced New Zealand’s to its first (self-build) fluid-bed, hot-air roaster. The result is a roast that preserves both the integrity of the beans’ natural flavors and their high caffeine content. Though not for the faint of heart, Havana Coffee is good and strong.
They’ve come a long way since the 1980s, now the largest boutique roaster in NZ and supplying most cafes in Wellington, the world’s coffee capital, with their beans.
It’s the official supplier of South Pacific Berets and does awfully well in the Attitude Coffee Cups!
Timor Leste president Taur Matan Ruak with Havana Coffee Works managing director Geoff Marsland.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fano Messan

Fano Messan (1902-1998) was an artist devoted to sculpture who is famously remembered as the hermaphrodite in Un Chien Andalou (1929) the first film of Luis Buñuel. Because her participation in this movie and by her habit of wearing men's clothes, she's often mistaken as a man. She was photographed by Man Ray and participated in the Parisian cultural scene of late 20's.