Billy Porter Brings His Signature Gown-Suit Back at the Tonys
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Top Broadway stars, playwrights, directors, and more arrived on the event’s red carpet prepared to channel the award ceremony’s signature glitz.
And as a former Kinky Boots star, and current cast member on Pose, Billy Porter was the perfect example of such showmanship. In fact, he revived a daring silhouette that he made his signature back on the Oscars carpet in February: the hybrid gown-suit.
For his latest take on the look, Porter chose a frothy design by Celestino Couture, the eco-minded label he wore to the Peabody Awards last month (designer Sergio “Celestino” Guadarrama uses up-cycled materials). It included a red double-breasted vest with pink satin lapels, paired with a white button-up shirt and red trousers, which had red embroidery and mounds of pink tulle attached as a flowing train (more of a dress detail than a suiting one). It was made from repurposed Kinky Boots theatre curtains, and finished with over 30,000 Swarovski crystals. Given the statement ensemble, Porter then accessorized with subtle, but fitting touches such as an embellished evening bag and heeled mules.
The star’s bold red carpet choice made for an eclectic mixture of the masculine (suiting) with the feminine (tulle, satin)—something he consistently uses fashion to do, as a tool to loosen tired gender constraints. He previously told Vogue of his Oscars look, which included a ballgown paired with a tuxedo jacket, “This look was interesting because it’s not drag. I’m not a drag queen, I’m a man in a dress.” Tonight, his look continued his streak: always fabulously thought-provoking and anything but traditional.
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