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Beyond Pantsuits, Billy Porter Was A Man In The Dress At Oscars 2019


'Pose' star, Billy Porter told the Vogue, 'I'm not a drag queen. I am a man in the dress.' Dressed in a voluminous gown, for Billy Porter, this was the most divine moment. His Instagram feed said, 'Call me Cinder-Fella'. Porter sported a tuxedo-gown by Christian Siriano- the designer, who designed gowns for plus-size divas like Octavia Spencer at the Oscars 2019.

Porter's ensemble featured a quintessential tuxedo bodice with velvet lapels and a bow-tie but the skirt was unapologetically flared. He looked straight out from the pages of a Victorian novel. The actor told the Vogue, that he felt alive and free; open and radiant; and beautiful in this gown. He also added that with this number he wanted to challenge the rigid norms regarding masculinity. It was a reactionary number, which transcended to an important political art movement.

Porter's dramatic gown was also a silent reflection of the fact that how a woman wearing pantsuit is something that can be overlooked but a man wearing a dress can make the eyes pop out from the sockets. When a man dresses up as a woman as Porter did, it particularly becomes a significant fashion moment- a traffic-stopping affair because it shows the perception of remaining men at large. It shows the conditioning of men and reiterates the fact that how femininity and being effeminate is still considered weak. How many other men wore something that is stereotyped as feminine? In the industry, which boasts inclusivity, there was just a Billy Porter in his black gown on the red carpet. Porter's attire aimed at normalising the situation regarding masculinity but it will take many Billy Porters to make it acceptable.

We admire Billy Porter for his courage and his take on blurring the gender lines. There are so many men out there, who feel alive and associate with the way women generally dress up. It is not something funny. This should become a trend like pantsuits.

Story first published: Monday, February 25, 2019, 11:44 [IST]
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