‘My Goal Was To Be A Walking Piece Of Political Art’

The Billy Porter (image via Depositphotos)

Chalk up another title added to POSE star Billy Porter’s list of accomplishments: the Tony Award-winner has been named one of  PEOPLE’s Best Dressed of 2019.

And for so many reasons. The red carpet ninja killed it throughout the recent awards season.

From his stunning Christian Sirano designed black velvet tuxedo ball gown worn to the Oscars; to his embroidered suit complete with pink-lined cape at the Golden Globes; to his ‘Sun God’ inspired fashion for this year’s Met Gala; and his glorious hot pink/red Celestine Couture ball gown for the Tony Awards, Mr. Porter is just beginning to own his fashion statements. 

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Thank you to all who have taken the past six weeks to make this happen. Thank you to my Creative Director & Stylist @sammyratelle of @rrrcreative for your ability to dream big and for being by my side as we explore this new world. I am living my wildest high fashion dreams. @theblondsny @phillipeblond & @davidblond. There is no one like you. Thank you. For being kind. And fabulous. And glamorous. And snatched!!! I truly felt like a kween today. I will never forget it. @lasonyagunter, you beat this face for the gawds today gurl. Thank you for being my woman. @patmcgrathreal – I cant express enough gratitude for sponsoring our make up today. Mr. @giuseppezanotti – the fact that you created these shoes for me just for this night, is a dream come true. @nicolasputvinski thank you for allowing me to travel in style and designing the killer lewks for my escorts and palanquin. And to my sexy men, thank you for holding papa up . . Creative Director & Stylist for all @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative Agency Styling Assistant: @ashleymarienyc Production Assistant: @estershamailova Custom Look: @theblondsny Custom Shoes: @giuseppezanotti Fine Jewelry: @oscarheyman @andreolifinejewelry @johnhardyjewelry @mordekaiofficial Billy Porter's Make-Up: @lasonyagunter Make-Up Assistant: @mikeyclifton Make-Up provided by: @patmcgrathreal Egyptian Litter & Carrier Designs by: @nicolasputvinski Carriers Make-Up: @facebygoran & @ashleyvictoriamua Mr. Porter's Carriers: @julius_anthony @taureanje @kellenstancil @thejoshdrake @lap_nyc @doniejunior

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“As a man, I really want to make a different kind of statement and show up in a way that could also be transformative, that could also be political,” Porter told PEOPLE. “My goal was to be a walking piece of political art. When I show up that’s what my goal is. Put a man in a dress and it’s controversial, doesn’t make any sense, but okay. Let’s keep having this conversation until we can change something.” 

It wasn’t until he began working on his groundbreaking FX series POSE that he “realized how gender fluid” his fashion instincts had been.

“It kind of cracked my brain open and helped me get to a different space and understanding about myself,” said the 49-year-old actor. “The dilemmas I was putting on myself, even just about what I can wear, what was acceptable, what was masculine enough, what was acceptable.”

Porter also noted that he’s not the only public figure exploring gender-fluid fashion like Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness and Grammy Award-winner Sam Smith.

“There’s a few of us trying to do it. But I think it’s really transforming something,” opined Porter. “It’s really making a difference. I’m seeing more and more men playing in that way.” 

With his historic Emmy Award nomination for his work on POSE as ‘Best Actor in a Drama,’ Porter advises we all stay tuned for his upcoming look.

“It’ll be a fashion moment,” he assures. “I don’t know what it is yet, but it’s going to be a moment. It has to be a moment now! I’ve created something where I have to show up, it has to be a moment. I don’t know if it’s going to be a dress or anything like that but we’ll see.”

Congratulations to Billy for blazing his own trail and showing folks we don’t have to fit into someone else’s mold.

Here are a few more fashion statements by the Grammy Award winner.

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BTS outtake from my cover shoot with Gay Times for their June Summer of Pride 2019 issue. Have ya'll subscribed to @gaytimes yet??? If not, hurry and click on my 'link in bio'. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ @gaytimes SUMMER OF PRIDE⠀⠀ In conversation with: @janetmock⠀⠀ Photography: @johnnovotny⠀⠀ Fashion: @sammyratelle⠀⠀ As told to: @wjconnolly⠀⠀ Hair: @nathanjuergensen⠀⠀ Grooming: @melissaadelaide⠀⠀ Fashion Assistant: @ashleymarienyc⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Jacket: @scooterlaforge ⠀⠀ Hat: @jodymorlock ⠀⠀ Necklace & Right Hand Bracelet: @madlymadeofficial ⠀⠀ All Designers of @patriciafield ARTFashion Collections⠀⠀ Pants: @Diesel⠀⠀ Boots: @giuseppezanotti⠀⠀ Ring: @joannalauraconstantine for @W29showroom⠀⠀ Left Hand Bracelet: @taliselements for @the_confessional_showroom_nyc⠀⠀ Gloves: @wingweftgloves⠀⠀ Whip: @theleathermannyc⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

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I am thrilled to be joining the Council of Fashion Designers of America as this year's @cfda New York Fashion Week Men’s Official Ambassador.⠀ ⠀ I have always used clothes as a tool for self-expression and find immense pleasure in celebrating life, love and joy through fashion. I've been a long time supporter of emerging designers from the New York fashion scene so I am most looking forward to amplifying the collections that are inclusive, fresh and innovative. I can't wait to see what comes down the runway. Ya'll better bring on the fashions, children! The category is…POSE. ⠀ ⠀ A huge thank you to the @cfda @wwd @thecastagency @dmariegroup @rrrcreative @showroomseven @seventhhouse and everyone who made this all possible. Photography by @aldoaraujo ⠀ Styling by @sammyratelle / @rrrcreative ⠀ Grooming by @lasonyagunter ⠀ Styling Associate: @ashleymarienyc, @alina.frolova⠀ Production Assistant: @lilycolephoto Fur: @heike_ny⠀ Shirt: @wanhungofficial ⠀ Hat: @esenshel ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

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(source: PEOPLE)

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