Billy Porter stole the red carpet attention and the “whose fashion will be talked about the most” award right out of the gate by appearing at the Academy Awards 2019 in what could only be called a tuxedo gown. Or a tux gown. One Twitter user dubbed it a “druxedo.” Or something like that. You can see photos of Billy Porter’s outfit throughout this article.
On Twitter, Billy Porter’s profile reads: “Tony, Grammy & Drama Desk winning Actor, Director, Singer, Dancer, Writer, Advocate.” Porter shared photos of the tux gown and wrote, “When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up. Thanks @CSiriano for creating this custom couture masterpiece. @OscarHeymanBros you have outdone yourselves with your iconic jewels. Style by @sammyratelle Grooming by Anna Bernabe. @TheAcademy #AcademyAwards2019 #oscars #oscars2019.”
That’s right, the tux gown is custom couture, and it was created by Christian Siriano, who also posted about the outfit on Twitter. “Shutting the carpet down In a Siriano velvet tuxedo gown! #billyporter at the #oscars @theebillyporter,” Siriano wrote.
Billy Porter explained the tux gown choice in an interview with Vogue Magazine, obviously anticipating the predictable buzz that the garb would get when it was unveiled on the red carpet before an Academy Awards-sized audience.
Here’s what you need to know:
Porter Was Purposely Making a Statement About Gender Expectations
To Vogue, Porter explained: “Now I’m in a space where, being on Pose, I’m invited to red carpets and I have something to say through clothes. My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. 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.” You can read the full interview here.
Who is Billy Porter? TMZ calls Porter a “Broadway performer and gender-fluid artist.” TMZ noted that Porter has donned attention-getting clothing before, wearing a pink-lined cape to the Golden Globes.
The entertainment site also notes that women have shown up wearing tuxedos to the Oscars in the past, but a tux gown is a new look.
Vogue Magazine explained, “The custom creation by designer Christian Siriano included a sharply tailored tuxedo jacket overtop a full-skirted strapless velvet gown. A play on masculinity and femininity, the look challenged the rigid Hollywood dress code and was boundary-pushing in all the right ways.”
Billy Porter described to Vogue a desire to wear a gown. “I’ve always wanted to wear a ball gown, I just didn’t know when,” said Porter. “I was inspired…because there’s a conversation happening about inclusion and diversity.”
There’s no question that Porter continued that conversation with the tux gown. Whether it’s going to spark a trend adopted by other artists is an open question.
On Twitter, reaction came fast and furious. Here are some of the comments:
“I’m just getting comfortable wearing skinny jeans and Billy Porter is out there in a damn gown! #Oscars #Oscars2019.”
“Billy Porter looking AMAZING at the oscars!”
“The oscars are over Billy Porter has won everything.”
“Hey what happened to Billy Porter’s Tuxedo Dress? Druxedo? He’s wearing regular pants now.”