Hollywood star Billy Porter shattered fashion and gender norms after walking the 91st Academy Awards red carpet in a full-length velvet tuxedo-gown.
“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,” Porter said in an interview with Vogue.
His tuxedo jacket and velvet gown were made by designer Christian Siriano.
“When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up. Thanks @CSiriano for creating this custom couture masterpiece,” Porter wrote in his Twitter account.
He added that his decision to wear a dress to this year’s Oscars was also inspired by the shocked responses he got after wearing a pink cape to the 2019 Golden Globes.
“That Globes outfit changed everything for me. I had the courage to push the status quo,” he said. “I believe men on the red carpet would love to play more. This industry masquerades itself as inclusive, but actors are afraid to play, because if they show up as something outside of the status quo, they might be received as feminine, and, as a result, they won’t get that masculine job, that superhero job. And that’s the truth. I’ve been confronted with that.”
“It really is astonishing how much of an affect clothes have on your spirit,” Porter continued. “I felt alive. I felt free. And open and radiant. And beautiful!”
Porter previously sat on the board of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a former New York-based LGBT organization. He starred in the TV show “Pose” and the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots”.