Billy Porter’s black velvet tuxedo dress was the talk of the town during the 91st annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California last night.
The “Pose” star defied fashion norms by stepping out onto the red carpet in an fabulous custom creation by designer Christian Siriano which included a sharply tailored tuxedo jacket overtop a full-skirted strapless velvet gown.
Porter admits that he pushed the envelope with his eye-catching gown but is totally unapologetic:
People are going to be really uncomfortable with my black ass in a ball gown—but it’s not anybody’s business but mine.
More photos + details below…
In a red carpet interview with Vogue, Porter explained how his attire was a play on masculinity and femininity, stating:
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?
Porter also explains how he and designer Christian Siriano came up with the concept:
We wanted to play between the masculine and the feminine. This look was interesting because it’s not drag. I’m not a drag queen, I’m a man in a dress.
He came up with a tux on the top, and a ballgown that bursts out at the bottom. I wore it with Rick Owens shoes. Rick is very gender-bending and rock’n’roll. It’s a high, 6-inch chunky boot that makes me feel really grounded. And I rocked some Oscar Heyman fine jewelry with it. They’re known for colored jewels and gemstones.
Billy Porter and date (Adam Smith)