Billy Porter: ‘No one can tell me what to wear’

Billy Porter has never let anybody stop him from wearing what he wants. The Pose actor has become something of a red carpet sensation this year, hitting headlines for wearing dresses to glitzy events such as the Oscars and Tony Awards. While Billy ma…

Billy Porter has never let anybody stop him from wearing what he wants.

The Pose actor has become something of a red carpet sensation this year, hitting headlines for wearing dresses to glitzy events such as the Oscars and Tony Awards.

While Billy may have become known for his daring and unique style recently, he has now insisted that he has always been into fashion and unafraid of wearing bold outfits, no matter what anybody thinks.

“I’ve always had a fashion thing,” he told ES magazine. “I’ve always loved fashion; I grew up in the black church and the black church is a fashion show. I never let anybody deter me from the things I wanted to wear.”

The Tony Award-winning actor, who starred in Broadway musical Kinky Boots when it opened in 2013, credits his grandmother and great aunt with giving him advice which inspired how he dresses.

“My grandmother and my great aunt taught me to dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” the 49-year-old recalled. “I remember getting Kinky Boots, and I decided to go ‘geek chic,’ I was calling my look… People literally thought I was crazy. It was like, I have a job I want, it’s beyond this, I gotta show up for that.”

Revealing the next gig he was dressing for, Billy said, “I got that job I wanted by the way. Which is being a fashion icon, darling!”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June, his stylist Sam Ratelle revealed that they are now being “hounded” by designers who have refused to send the star clothes in the past.

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Billy Porter wore curtain from Broadway’s Kinky Boots to 2019 Tony Awards

Billy Porter wore an outfit made from the red velvet curtain from the final performance of Kinky Boots to the 2019 Tony Awards. The 49-year-old, who fronted the Cyndi Lauper musical when it opened on Broadway in 2013, walked the Radio City Music Hall …

Billy Porter wore an outfit made from the red velvet curtain from the final performance of Kinky Boots to the 2019 Tony Awards.

The 49-year-old, who fronted the Cyndi Lauper musical when it opened on Broadway in 2013, walked the Radio City Music Hall red carpet on Sunday in an Elizabethan-inspired red-and-pink tuxedo top, tulle skirt, and matching cigarette pant made from the curtain.

The eye-catching ensemble was a sweet tribute to the musical, which landed Porter his first-ever Tony Award.

According to The New York Times, designers at handbag company Scenery Bags purchased the red velvet curtain after Kinky Boots closed in April last year and contacted the Pose star to see if the wanted it fashioned into a bag.

His stylist Sam Ratelle came up with the idea for the look and went to designer Sergio Guadarrama and creative director Cade Johnson of Celestino Couture to create the gown.

“I want to flip the question of what it means to be a man,” Porter told The New York Times ahead of the Tony Awards. “This question of masculinity, this sort of microscope of heteronormative masculinity that we are very often held up to, especially as leading men, needs to be shattered.

“You know, it’s toxic and I’m over it and I’ve lived it and I’m not doing it anymore.”

The dress also included an embroidered uterus as a nod to “empowering women’s reproductive rights,” and more than 30,000 Swarovski crystals.

“This is exactly what I was looking for – pants but drama,” he added.

The over-the-top star stunned in a custom Christian Siriano tuxedo gown for the Oscars back in February and was carried on a golden palanquin through the Met Gala pink carpet in a bejewelled Egyptian-inspired catsuit last month.

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