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Billy Porter knew his tuxedo dress would 'change' the world

Singer-actor Billy Porter. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Singer-actor Billy Porter. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Published Dec 17, 2019


'Pose' star Billy Porter knew his iconic tuxedo dress would "change" the world.

The 'Pose' star wore the impressive suit turned gown for the 2019 Oscars, designed by Christian Siriano, and has revealed it was his own idea after he revealed his keenness to "play" with gender stereotypes and outfits.

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Billy Porter arrives at the 2019 Oscars. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

He said: "It was during fashion week. We went to Christian Siriano's fashion show a half hour after I got the call. I remembered why I love him. He's always been the designer that understands that everybody on the planet wears clothes, whether you're a size 0 or a size 400. We had already been coming up against a wall with many designers because I wanted to do this gender-bending, fluid thing. We just got flat-out no's from a lot of people. 'We don't think you should be wearing that.' 

"That kind of silencing thing that happens. I'm older now so I knew what it looked like. I'll do it anyway. I knew I needed to wear a ballgown and Christian is the only person who would look me in the face and say yes. He did it in nine days. It was my idea to do the top and the bottom, playing with genders. 

"I didn't know what the shot was going to be. I thought if it is shot from the waist up and it looks like a traditional tux, and then you pull out and see it's a ballgown, the world will change."

The 50-year-old actor is known for his bold looks and dressed like an Egyptian pharaoh for this year's Met Gala.

Billy Porter attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

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Speaking to Fern Mallis at 92Y about the look, he added: "I didn't have to do anything. My stylist did it. It was his idea to have that moment. That's a a big deal. Miss Anna Wintour said, 'Yes.' My stylist had the idea and I was like, 'Child, please, that ain't gonna happen.' Two weeks later, he was like, 'Girl! You're getting carried in, darling, by six shirtless men.' We worked with The Blonds on that outfit. Their clothes make me feel like a rock star and I'm about to do that s**t, too. Grandpa's coming back to the music industry, y'all get ready."

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