Dev Thomas is the ninth featured boy in my Breaking Bold blog series. His rosy bomber jacket and black knotted longline T-shirt that exposes his abs make him draw gazes from all directions, thus, he is one bold fella.
While sipping on a glass on sweet rosé in the pulsing dungeon-like club that is Great Dane in Braamfontein, Dev and I chat about gender based fashion and what it means to be a stylish individual in an ever changing city like Johannesburg.
Discussing gender based stereotypes in Dev’s community causes him to get rather emotional, he opens up to me about how men are forced to be a “real coloured man”, and if you don’t conform to their hypermasculine ‘street’ ways you are either ostracized, ridiculed or physically hurt. Dev explains that he sometimes feels unsafe to be true to himself while he is in his community – his sexuality is expressed through allowing himself to experiment with fashion which sometimes gives off an effeminate vibe that causes him to draw barbed comments from men and women in his conservative coloured community.
To combat his community and their hypermasculine ideologies, Dev consciously dresses in particular ‘street smart’ outfits while he is walking through his neighborhoods. Oversized hoodies, jeans down to his ankles, no jewelry and accessories make him more of a man in the eyes of the majority of his community’s residents. Once he is in the clear and feels comfortable to be himself and express it visually, he takes off his hoodies or jackets to show his edgy ripped T-shirts, he rolls up his jeans and puts on absolutely fabulous accessories to shine like the individual he is.
On a lighter note: Dev draws style inspiration from several well known individuals who he thinks are “pretty dope”. Rihanna, FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean, Prince, Lady Gaga and three designers – Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford and Karl Lagerfeld who he looks up to. Dev explains that he doesn’t try to dress like them, but rather emulate their fearless approach to fashion. Below are some photos from our brief photoshoot in an alley in Braamfontein that had some rad graffiti.
Pay Dev a visit on his color coordinated Instagram page @_devthomas
Thank you for reading this blog. Come back next Monday to see the tenth and final feature blog in my Breaking Bold blog series. Xx