Monday Feb 25 2019
Web Desk

Artist Billy Porter rocks stunning 'custom couture' black dress on Oscars red carpet

Web Desk
Billy Porter poses on the red carpet of the 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, US, February 24, 2019. Twitter/Billy Porter (@theebillyporter)/via Geo.tv

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.