Billy Porter slays Met Gala red carpet as gold-winged ‘Sun God’
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.”
— seeara (@seearalinds) May 7, 2019
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.
— haribo 🌸 (@rosecolored_boi) May 7, 2019
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.
— hoe? (@yeehawethot) May 6, 2019
If you take Billy Porter’s Oscar tuxedo dress (the clear starting off point for a lot of those jawns), you see that it’s not just the design (which is immaculate), but the way he carries himself. Everybody else is just wearing clothes. pic.twitter.com/YSzcboZpUL
— colette arrand (@colettearrand) May 7, 2019
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .