Monday Feb 25, 2019
LOS ANGELES: American artist Billy Porter raised the bar too high for Oscars guests of all genders this year when he graced the red carpet garbed in a gorgeous black dress that looked like a velvety combination of a suit and a gown.
The "custom couture masterpiece" was designed by Christian Siriano, according to Porter and he was groomed and styled, by Anna Bernabe and Sam Ratelle, respectively, with jewellery from Oscar Heyman & Bros.
"When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up," he wrote.
The Tony- and Grammy-winning actor/director/singer also spoke to Vogue about the entire experience as well as how the idea came about with designer Siriano.
He said: "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. It happened to me at the Golden Globes [when I wore a pink cape], and I was like, really? Y’all trippin’? I stopped [the] traffic!"
Porter also discussed his queer identity and challenging both masculinity and femininity.
"When you’re black and you’re gay, one’s masculinity is in question. I dealt with a lot of homophobia in relation to my clothing choices," he said.
However, "this look was interesting because it’s not drag. I’m not a drag queen, I’m a man in a dress. [Siriano] came up with a tux on the top, and a ballgown that bursts out at the bottom. I wore it with Rick Owens shoes," he recalled.
"I felt alive. I felt free. And open, and radiant. And beautiful," when he first tried out his boundary-breaking outfit, he noted.