- Billy Porter wore an outfit that fused a suit with a flowing gown to the Tony Awards on Sunday.
- Porter told The Hollywood Reporter that the design was meant as a message of support for women’s reproductive rights.
- Designer Sergio Guadarrama told INSIDER that the ensemble represents his mission to “give a voice to those who are being suppressed in our country and the world today.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Billy Porter is quickly becoming one of the best-dressed celebrities on the red carpet, and his latest ensemble came with a bold message.
Porter wore a flowing Elizabethan-inspired outfit by Celestino Couture to the Tony Awards on Sunday night. The design featured traditional pantsuit elements in the front and extended out into a flowing gown-like train.
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The most head-turning part of the ensemble was the flowing train’s 30,000 Swarovski crystals that were arranged to resemble a uterus.
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She was purched OUT at the @thelowellhotel, henneys. Thank you @celestinocouture for everything. A reminder, fashion can be FIERCE and FUN! ????: @santiagraphy⠀ ⠀ Style: @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative Agency Styling Assistants: @ashleymarienyc & @theetanishawilliams⠀ Custom Dress: @celestinocouture ⠀
Porter told The Hollywood Reporter that the uterus-inspired design was meant to be a sign of support for women’s reproductive rights.
“At the fitting, we spoke about making a pattern on the train that was in the shape of a uterus, but not obvious, of course,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I thought it was awesome because women’s rights are under attack right now. I’m an advocate for all who are disenfranchised. None of us are free until we’re all free.”
He added that he finds the abortion laws passed in states like Alabama and Georgia “unacceptable.”
“I really want to make sure that I’m showing up for all of the disenfranchised people I can so that we can find power in our unity. This government is trying to take away the woman’s right to choose and that’s unacceptable. No!”
Celestino Couture designer Sergio Guadarrama told INSIDER that using fashion as a way to send a message is part of his and his partner Kade Johnson’s goal.
“Our goal is to give a voice to those who are being suppressed in our country and the world today,” Guadarrama told INSIDER. “It was important to us to do the ‘Uterus Motif’ on the back of the train, so that we can start a conversation about how women’s reproductive rights are being taken away from them. We wanted to show that we are standing with them, and that we see them.”
Guadarrama describes the piece as “a gender-fluid evening suit,” and he thinks Porter’s style is the perfect example of where fashion should be heading.
“Billy Porter is one of THE most important trendsetters for where red carpets should be going,” Guadarrama said. “Not only does he have fabulous taste, his stylist Sam Ratelle and the entire team at RRR Creative help him bring it to life and slay the carpets. He is also a very genuine and kind soul. What we see on TV and social media is the exact same individual you get behind closed doors while doing fittings.”
Celestino Couture focuses on using upcycled materials, meaning that it does not create new fabrics for its designs. For Porter’s ensemble, the team incorporated the red velvet curtain that previously served as a backdrop for the Broadway show “Kinky Boots,” which Porter won a Tony for in 2013.
“We took into consideration our system of how our company works, and the boundaries that Billy has been bravely pushing and blurring to better this world,” Guadarrama told INSIDER of the inspiration behind the design. “It was only fitting that we created a massive train moment mixing frilly pink tulle and hand-beaded Swarovski crystals to the beautiful red curtain fabric from ‘Kinky Boots.'”
Porter paired the look with a custom bag made by Emm Kuo, which was also made of the red curtain fabric. He completed the outfit with custom hand-painted shoes by Orel Brodt and jewelry from Oscar Heyman.
Representatives for Billy Porter did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.