Billy Porter is one of the most fashionable beings to ever grace a red carpet. Others have tried to match the sheer elegance of this man, but all have failed. No shade to our other faves, but once you’ve been carried down the Met Gala carpet like an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, you’re kind of untouchable.
Billy’s been on the scene for a hot minute (read: two decades) but he really stepped into the zeitgeist in 2019 with the success of his show Pose, his historic Emmy win and his now-legendary Oscars gown. For the past two years, Billy has been truly finding his red carpet groove—trading in his dapper suits for the more extravagant looks. In honour of his Golden Globe nomination, and in anticipation of what will surely be another incredible ensemble, we’re reliving all Billy’s most show-stopping looks.
Watch the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.
Billy Porter’s most show-stopping red carpet looks
Those Kinky BootsBack in 2013, Billy wasn’t yet letting his fabulous fashion sense out on the carpet, but he sure was slaying the stage. Here he is performing as Lola in Kinky Boots on The Today Show a week after winning a Tony Award for the role. Getty Images
The Understated KiltIf you’ve been wondering “How have we been sleeping on Billy Porter’s style for so long?” the answer is right here. It was only in 2017 that he started to express himself through fashion in his personal life, and even then, it was mostly through black kilts with suit jackets.Getty Images
Hello, World!The 2019 Golden Globe Awards was the first time Billy truly spread his sartorial wings, so to speak. He soared onto the carpet in a custom Randi Rahm embroidered suit and cape. This look changed lives, people. Getty Images
The GownIf half the world woke up to Billy Porter at the Globes, this black gown at the Oscars woke up the rest. You couldn’t miss the voluminous black velvet Christian Siriano gown on the carpet if you tried. And why would you? Getty Images
Pharaoh of FashionThe only way to win the Met Gala red carpet is to transcend it entirely. And that’s exactly what Billy did this First Monday in May. Why walk down the carpet like a common peasant when you could ride on a litter carried by a team of six strong men? The question answers itself. Getty Images
A Kinky RepriseAt the 2019 Peabody Awards, Billy channeled his Tony-winning Boots character into a frothy red look that had the room swooning. To make the whole thing even better, the designer’s label, Celestino Couture, is deeply eco-conscious, working with upcycled materials and sourcing all labour ethically. Getty Images
Strike a PoseObviously the season two premiere of Pose called for an extravagant black carpet look. With a wide-brimmed hat and a ruffled, ruched train to die for, the show’s star was oozing with style. Getty Images
Red Carpet RoyaltyBy the time the Tonys rolled around, we were expecting great things from Billy and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He evoked the famous 2018 flower wall for the occasion in this red and pink tuxedo-ballgown. Better yet, this Celestino Couture piece was fashioned from the curtain that hung in the Kinky Boots theatre. Getty Images
Lemon LoveNot everyone can pull of yellow (seriously), but Billy Porter certainly can. For the Love Ball this summer, he went for another structured tuxedo jacket with a ruffley, ruched train, this time in an incredible marigold colour. Billy was also one of the masterminds behind the 2019 revival of the CFDA’s Love Ball benefitting those affected by HIV/AIDS after it was stopped in 1991. Getty Images
Cowhide and PrideWhere to even start with this bedazzled WorldPride event ensemble? The disco ball jumpsuit? The cowhide overcoat? The oversized hat? This whole look is an experience from top to bottom. Getty Images
Not Your Average SuitYeah, Billy doesn’t do average suits. If he’s going to take a day off from extravagant gowns and exquisite hats, he’s still going to make sure his lewk involves unique colours and textures. The old Billy can’t come to the phone right now…Getty Images
Sheer BrillianceWho knew a babydoll dress could look so darn haute couture? Billy wore this sheer black dress with leather leggings and a studded jacket to a pre-Emmy party and put all our preconceptions to shame. Getty Images
Peace & LoveBilly Porter makes for the most elegant hippie we’ve ever seen. Even when going for a flower child (feather child?) vibe, he just couldn’t hit a red carpet without at least a few jewels. Comfortable and infinitely stylish—a true king. Getty Images
Accessories FTWHave you ever had an accessory so fabulous, you need to base an entire outfit around it? In Billy’s case, it looks like it was two accessories—a cartoonishly long tie and a cartoonishly big hat—and it's a good thing he went for both since he made Emmys history that night as the first openly gay black man to win the trophy in the Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama category.Getty Images
Fall Fashion FeverBilly had some major fall-chic energy at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2019. On paper, this look is really just a nice fall coat with a hat, but it’s obviously so much more than that. Getty Images
Pope BillyThe comparison to a space-age pope was splattered all over social media and honestly, it’s hard to deny. With so many big names at the the American Music Awards, Billy had to go big to stand out from the already eccentric crowd. And in this Thom Browne ensemble, we’d say that’s exactly what he did. Getty Images
Cookie RealnessTaraji P. Henson would be proud of this one. In a full length fur coat and dripping in diamonds, Billy is wearing exactly what we imagine Cookie Lyon from Empire would put together for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Billy and Idina Menzel sang “I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” to welcome in the season.Getty Images