Billy Porter, the EGOT-chasing, style-statement making actor is no stranger to a red-carpet grand entrance. At the 2020 Academy Awards, Porter went big again with his Oscars look in a gown by designer Giles Deacon. The main attraction? A piece made up of 24 karat gold feathers.
On last year's Oscars red carpet, Porter showed up in a tuxedo gown by Christian Siriano that set the internet on fire—and deservingly so. In 2020, Porter has taken what we at Esquire called a "combo of gender-defying fashion and high-wattage pageantry" to the next level, adding custom Jimmy Choo shoes and jewelry by Swarovski.
It appears Porter is taking an Ancient Rome-adjacent approach to the 2020 Oscars red carpet style battle—and he's winning in the originality, confidence, and precious metals department. Before his appearance, Porter told The New York Times “this look is all about royalty." Porter also told the Times the skirt attached to his gilded bodice was inspired by Kensington Palace—probably the best PR the British royals have had in a couple months.
Still not impressed? Maybe just bow down to the man's swagger as he arrives on the back of a golf cart.
With this look, Porter has proven once again that he's the New King of the Red Carpet. But his daring streak also offers a reminder that to really make a statement, you can't just wear the clothes, you've got to wear the clothes. Allow Porter himself to demonstrate, per our 2019 profile:
Porter shoves his hands inside the bodice of the dress, pulling it back up over his chest. As though God willed it, “We Are Family” blares from a portable speaker and he immediately starts singing. Parading before us, he’s sending a message. He’s a perfectly complex amalgamation of masculinity and femininity, all wrapped up in one tapestry. The performance of it all is half the point; that’s how conversations get started.
It takes more than A Guy in a Tux to make that kind of art.
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