He’s stepping it up!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
When Devkaran Singh Mattakul strode into the metaphorical – and literal – picture when I met him at Siam Square, I immediately knew that we had picked the right location to capture his inimitable style. Cool and self- possessed for his mere 22 years, he was the perfect contrast to the frenetic energy around us; while in a vibrant crowd of every craze and creed, his bespoke suit and striking sneakers still turned heads. “I take inspiration from places I have been to, people I have met, movies, music, art, and of course, YouTube and Instagram,” he tells me. “The way I style myself and the way I look, people usually add 3-4 years to my age!” he adds with a laugh.
A self-proclaimed “personal stylist, real estate agent, digital marketing consultant, and content creator,” Devkaran talks about his passion for business while effortlessly finding the right angles for photography; a clear indication of someone who moonlights as a content creator. “Since I was about 10 years old, I kept doing deals alongside my studies, like flipping merchandise and trading card games until mid-2018 where I failed miserably,” he recalls. “That was the same time when I thought to myself, let’s try and apply what I’ve learnt so far in Broadways Exclusive Tailors, my family business. My key areas of focus are currently: Broadways Exclusive, the Atlas Estate Agency, and digital marketing consultant projects.”
When I ask how his style has evolved over the years, he says ruefully, “Some of my schoolmates would most likely be shocked to see me in a fashion feature in a magazine, due to the way I used to look and dress back in the day! So without a doubt my style has evolved, given what I have experienced. In the past five years, I have tuned more into my Sikh identity when it comes to style. With my pagh (turban) and daari (beard), I would say that I radiate my roots that I’m proud of, rather than assimilating into the environment that I’m in, and that’s been an advantage over the years when it comes to recognition. If I had to pick my style inspiration, I’d say New York – the city is such a special place for me in countless ways!”
When I ask about what he considers when he chooses an outfit, he responds, “That boils down to the places that I have to go, people that I will be meeting, tasks that I need to get done, how I want to feel, and most importantly, how I want to represent myself! I would usually avoid anything that is too tight-fitting as that just ends up making me feel uncomfortable as the day goes by.” As someone who owns a tailoring brand, he adds, “Surprisingly, I’ve found tailor-made slacks to be more comfortable than even the most comfortable pair of jeans I’ve worn!”
I ask him for more of his insight as someone whose family business is in tailoring, and he says, “tailor-made means customised which ultimately means personalised. What suits others might not look any good on me, and what looks good on me might come out looking like a tragedy for others. For people of all genders and sizes there’s really no right formula, because style isn’t one size fits all – even though that’s what fast fashion might’ve made us believe in over the years. While I’m a consumer of fast fashion myself, what I can say based on experience is that tailor-made clothes are an investment because they last much longer than fast fashion. The key is really to experiment and find out what feels right for you!” He adds cheekily, “Or come see me and we will have an amazing time co-creating your personal style – the whole purpose of shopping tailor-made outfits is the opportunity to explore and create styles that feel most right for you.”
However, he does give a word of advice from his years of experience: “One thing that applies universally is that if you are a person who is chubby, I would recommend you avoid plaids and horizontal stripes at all costs and instead go for thin stripes, as those patterns result in a thinning effect. On the other hand, if you are a person who has a small physique and needs a boost, plaids will be your best friend.” Finally, he ends with, “Be you! There’s no right or wrong when it comes to style, experiment all you want, and once you get bored, explore and experiment again. Your style, much like you, is a constant process of evolution.”
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, HOWEVER, HERE ARE MY STYLE TIPS:
- Layer up
- Wear colours or patterns that complement each other, or vice versa if you want to be striking!
- Don’t wear sneakers that are cut too big for your physique; alternatively, a narrow-front pair of loafers will help you look slimmer if that’s what you’re aiming for.