Barima is a dapper peacock who resides in London. He chronicles his personal wardrobe building and sartorial sensibilities on his blog, Style Time.
Mr. Peacock: How would you describe your own style?
Barima: “Offbeat formality”—an idiosyncratic interpretation of traditional Western gentleman's dress.
Mr. P: What's your favorite item in your wardrobe?
Barima: A double-breasted dark blue Lanvin suit with white pinstripes handed down from my father.
Above: Barima proudly wearing his Junya Wantanabe jacket with panache.
Mr. P: Do you have a particular item of clothing you're obsessed with?
Barima: I'd say odd jackets and sport coats—a variety in those particular pieces allows me to cycle my looks rather effectively.
Above: Summer elegance ala Barima style.
Mr. P: Do you wear vintage clothes or only "new" clothes?
Barima: Why not both? I follow certain contemporary fashion collections and purchase their offerings through discounts. I'm also committed to second hand and vintage shopping, I inherit some very well kept garments from my father dating back to the early 1980s, and I also throw in the odd attractive piece from high street stores, which I believe are referred to as "mall brands" in America.
Above: Barima customized his Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcon Spring/Summer 2008 (at left) bright pastel safari jacket (made of recut Lacoste polo shirts) and dyed it a more versatile purple (at right).
Mr. P: Do you make any of your clothes?
Barima: I don't, but I've begun customizing various pieces with my friends, as occasionally detailed at Style Time. I'm also learning to sew in order to replace buttons and make minor repairs. I may just undertake a clothes-constructing course, since various people keep intimating that I should.
Above: Style time—Barima channeling Fred Astaire while clubbing.
Mr. P: Who or what has influenced your style?
Barima: My father, the "Gilded Age" of the early 20th century, the 1970s, the 1980s, Doctor Who and any particularly egregious errors made by hipsters, celebrities and pop stars using traditional clothes—I love a cautionary tale.
Above: Junya Watanbe's Spring/Summer 2008 collection particulary struck a chord with Barima—it's his ideal summertime aesthetic.
Mr. P: Do you have a favorite menswear designer or brand?
Barima: Junya Watanabe. He focuses on a different male archetype each and every season, but the subtle adjustment in his collections of late in presenting similar-but-different visions of gentlemen has indicated an emphasis on wardrobe building that is always key to developing a style.
Mr. P: Tote bag or satchel?
Barima: A Billingham camera bag.
Mr. P: What would be your dream purchase right now?
Barima: Anything from Stefano Pilati's Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Autumn/Winter 2008 collection—a celebration and reinvigoration of the playboys and mods of the 1960s and '70s is always going to appeal to me (see above).
Mr. P: Any sartorial disasters you can share?
Barima: Plenty, I'm certain. My grunge phase as a teen in the 90s morphed into a geek phase and then into a hip hop phase, although the last one was at least more accurate to the source material than the others. And shoot me if I ever wear open shirts exposing t-shirts underneath them with bright coloured cords again.
Mr. P: Any menswear trends you adore or abhor?
Barima: As a man of an allegedly athletic build, the skinny trend is deeply irritating and its ubiquity is pretty dull. When the stars align in the correct manner, I'll have trousers custom made so that I can give certain older pairs a rest and continue to walk in comfort.
I'm pleased that smart garments are still produced, but they're worn so haphazardly by the masses. Terrible jeans and sport coat ensembles; fellows trying to make scarves out of neckties; the prevalence of square-toed shoes, even by people you'd expect to know better. It all makes for amusing people watching.
Mr. P: Has any film or song influenced your style?
Barima: A great many! Iconically speaking, Michael Jackson's promo video and Motown 25 performances of Billie Jean; Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance and Easter Parade in particular (see video below); James Brown's live shows; When We Were Kings; the original The Thomas Crown Affair; The Bitch, which stars Joan Collins; videos of 1960s bands such as the Kinks (see montage video above); The Great Gatsby, and too many to mention from the future-kitsch, hyper produced and heavily eclectic music genre of Japanese picopop.
Above: A fella with an umbrella!
Mr. Peacock is inspired by Barima's flair to pull together his stylish wardrobe with his own panache (and look fantastic in a fuller cut pant too). Be sure to stop by Style Time to see more of Barima's flair and musings. Thanks Barima!