As is the case with most award shows, the red carpet is a chance for celebrities to either blend in or stand out. But, if your name is Billy Porter, there truly is only one option, and the Pose star came to slay Sunday night at the 71st annual Emmys.
Known for his gender-expansive fashion sense, the Emmy-nominated actor took the idea of a suit to the next level. He strutted onto the carpet — which was dyed a luscious purple fit for royalty — in a custom pinstripe suit created in collaboration with designer Michael Kors. And because “extra” is his middle name, the couture outfit is embellished with over 100,000 crystals.
The look is finished with a custom hat created by British milliner Stephen Jones, who has created toppers for the runway shows of Dior and Vivienne Westwood, among others. (Porter attended the designer’s hat presentation during London Fashion Week.) Think gay Yeehaw Agenda, but make it high fashion.
And then there are the sky-high Rick Owens heels he’s rocking under the suit. I stan!
Fashion has become one of the many ways that Porter bucks the Hollywood system. Earlier this year, the legend of stage — and soon-to-be screen — wore a black velvet Christian Siriano tuxedo-gown Cinderella herself couldn’t pull off. In making the decision of what he’d wear, the multi-hyphenate knew he wanted to make a political and social statement — as any Black queer person granted the privilege to move in such rarefied spaces should.
“I thought, this is the space to create the conversation of what is masculine? What is feminine? What is everything in between?” Porter told Entertainment Weekly. “Why is it a woman can wear pants and nobody bats an eye and a man wears a dress and people are disgusted? Why is that? What is that saying in our culture: Man is better and female is disgusting? I just wanted to shatter that.”