Billy Porter mixed two classic red-carpet styles while attending the 2019 Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The actor donned a tuxedo dress, which featured a jacket-style top and a ballgown-style skirt. He accessorized with an oversized bow tie and a statement diamond ring.
Peacocking with his usual panache, Porter’s look challenges the typically more restrained dress code at the Academy Awards.
Known for breaking barriers with his signature gender-fluid style, Porter has worn dresses before, he most recently rocked a long marigold Calvin Klein gown and coordinating jacket at the American Film Institute luncheon last month.
Posting a photo on his Instagram page, he noted that he wore the dress to honor “the lives of our marginalized brothers and sisters from the LGBTQAI+ community.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, his ensemble was designed by Christian Siriano, a fashion designer known for his gender-fluid and inclusive runway looks.
Speaking to Vogue, Porter said that he wore the dress to challenge traditional ideas of men’s fashion.
“My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up,” Porter told Vogue. “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.”
And while Porter said that he always wanted to wear a dress, he “just didn’t know when.” As a result, the actor partnered with Siriano to create a look that mixed “the masculine and the feminine.”
“This look was interesting because it’s not dragging,” Porter said. “I’m not a drag queen, I’m a man in a dress. He came up with a tax on the top, and a ballgown that bursts out at the bottom.”
He also said that he expected to make people uncomfortable with his attire.
“People are going to be really uncomfortable with my black ass in a ball gown,” Porter said. “But it’s not anybody’s business but mine.”