Billy Porter slays Met Gala red carpet as gold-winged ‘Sun God’ | TribLIVE.com
Art & Museums

Billy Porter slays Met Gala red carpet as gold-winged ‘Sun God’

Shirley McMarlin

Why walk the red carpet when you can be carried in on a litter by six buff, shirtless hunks in shiny gold trousers?

Always pushing the boundaries of gender and genre, actor Billy Porter thus made his entrance at the 2019 Met Gala in an ancient Egypt-inspired “Sun God” ensemble: a glittering gold catsuit with 10-foot wings, 24-karat gold headpiece, gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and jewels by Andreoli and Oscar Heyman.

Theme for the May 6 event, if it wasn’t obvious, was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts the Costume Institute Gala, popularly known as the Met Gala, every year on the first Monday of May to kick off the opening of the Institute’s popular fashion exhibition.

This year’s exhibition references Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “Notes on ‘Camp,’” which explores the artifice, stylization and exaggeration that define the term.

Fashion bloggers Tom and Lorenzo asked if it was possible for any gala attendee — even Porter — to adequately embody the concept.

“Is this camp?” they asked. “Oh honey, yes. This is as camp as a Met Gala red carpet can get.”

The Pittsburgh native and Carnegie Mellon University graduate’s ensemble was designed by New York-based luxury fashion brand The Blonds. The buzz on social media says Porter upstaged even the four costume changes of Lady Gaga, who knows a thing or two about camp herself.

Porter has been known for pushing boundaries since his star turn in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway, in which he played a cabaret performer and drag queen called Lola.

About his dazzling look, he said he “just wanted to show up and be appropriate for the moment,” but also wanted to bring respect back to a term that’s often used as a pejorative.

“Honey, I’ve built my career on playing campy characters,” he said.

Porter similarly owned the 2019 Academy Awards red carpet in a Christian Siriano-designed tuxedo ball gown, saying, “I didn’t come to play, I came to slay.”

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .


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Billy Porter attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York.
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Billy Porter is carried on the red carpet as he arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York.
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Billy Porter attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York.
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Billy Porter attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City.
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Billy Porter attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City.
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Billy Porter attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City.
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Getty Images
Billy Porter arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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