Billy Porter. Pose star, style mogul.
The 2019 Academy Awards red carpet has kicked off and opening the event in legendary style is none other than the avant garde actor. Hosting the red carpet this evening, bets were on for his next sartorial venture. After stepping out at the Golden Globes in a hot pink cape and bejewelled suit – all in the name of acceptance and tolerance – his most recent look is even greater.
— Emily O'Donnell (@emily_odonnell) February 24, 2019
Clad in a black velvet gown*, a custom creation from Christian Siriano, the personality played on gender and societal norms fusing sharp tailoring with a soft and billowing skirt. Like many of his looks, the choice ran deeper than just outdoing his fellow A-listers on the style front. Speaking to Vogue ahead of the Oscars, he reflected on coming to terms with his sexuality.
“Now I’m in a space where, being on Pose, I’m invited to red carpets and I have something to say through clothes. My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part,” he told Vogue.com.
“I’ve always wanted to wear a ball gown, I just didn’t know when. I was inspired [this past New York Fashion Week] because there’s a conversation happening about inclusion and diversity.”
Taking the stage outside the front of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the 49-year-old then changed into floor-length pencil skirt, continuing his boundary-pushing attire.
Along with new-age designers rising up the ranks of fashion, we are set to see more of these statements as society adjusts to gender fluidity.