Billy Porter, the actor greatest recognized for his function as Pray Inform in Ryan Murphy’s collection Pose, will host this 12 months’s Fashion Awards, to happen in London on 29 November.
Porter – who can also be a singer, director, author, composer and playwright – has made a identify for himself in fashion, too. The black bustled robe he wore to the Oscars in 2019, the gold wings on the Met Gala and the hat with distant managed sparkly fringing for the Grammies in 2020 (this quickly became a meme), noticed to his standing as a model inspiration. Talking on Zoom, he described his new gig as proof that he has lastly been embraced by the business. “I have been a fashion individual for my complete life,” he stated. “To be within the fashion dialog for actual is a manifestation of what I always dreamed could possibly be attainable.”
The actor takes over from the comic Jack Whitehall, who had hosted the awards for 5 years. Giving the platform to Porter – who usually attire in a gender non-conforming approach – suggests fashion is shifting to be extra inclusive. “It’s based mostly on … this revolution degendering fashion,” says Porter. “You realize, I’m one of many leaders within that dialog. And that’s the reason I get to occupy area.”
Porter says that is nonetheless a new place for him – one that may be dated to that Oscars second two years in the past. “I see my life is in two components,” he says. “I used to be doing my work. I used to be having a explicit sort of success. After which the Oscars occurred. And it’s been stratospheric, family identify stuff.”
Fashion isn’t completely onboard. “I nonetheless have resistance,” he says. “I don’t get a lot of shine from the big homes, as a result of, fairly frankly, I don’t assume they know what to do with me. You realize, as a result of there’s such a binary nonetheless … I’m on the intersection of one thing that folks in positions of energy are nonetheless making an attempt to determine how to discuss within the mainstream.”
Whereas his outfits for the awards are nonetheless to be labored out with him and his stylist Ty Hunter, he guarantees “they’re going be cute”. Porter says he feels an affinity with youthful designers. “They’re those that get what I’m making an attempt to do, which is the masculine and the female collectively,” he says. “It’s not nearly a man in a costume. That’s generally the best way to categorical it in a second. However it’s not simply a man in a costume full cease.”
Though Porter enjoys the work of a new technology, he’s additionally influenced by contemporaries. “I’m first technology submit Civil Rights motion,” he says. “I’m 52. We have been in fits, wherever we went. If we have been going procuring, we had to [get] dressed up with the hopes that the police wouldn’t observe us, and within the division retailer. I went to public [or comprehensive] faculty and wore a collared shirt and a tie and a blazer as a result of my aunt Dorothy stated ‘costume for the job you need not the one you have’. So I dressed up. I’m a dresser higher.”
Porter lately hit the headlines due to a Sunday Occasions interview when he criticised US Vogue for placing Harry Types sporting a costume on the duvet of its December 2020 challenge, saying that each one the singer had to do was “be white and straight” whereas Porter had been combating “my complete life to get to the place the place I may put on a costume to the Oscars and never be gunned down”. Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert final week, Porter apologised to Types saying “the dialog isn’t about you … the dialog is definitely deeper than that, it’s in regards to the methods of oppression and erasure of individuals of color who contribute to the tradition.”
This 12 months, the Fashion Awards can be a dwell occasion as soon as once more, happening on the Royal Albert Corridor. The ceremony can be sponsored by TikTok, who additionally sponsored a venue at London fashion week in September. Nominees embrace Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, Daniel Lee, Priya Ahluwalia and Nensi Dojaka. Members of the general public are invited to purchase tickets. For the 2019 occasion, Julia Roberts and Rihanna have been in attendance, whereas in 2018, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex offered an award.