We need to listen to Debra Messing more, because apparently, she has a secret clairvoyant sense that no one knows about. You might even call her the Gay Whisperer. In an article explaining Camp by W Magazine, Debra Messing commented, “I hope Billy Porter is [at the Met Gala]. He will be the person to look to." Oh Debra, how right you were.
Her prediction actually makes perfect sense. Pose’s Billy Porter is no stranger to fabulous runway looks. His custom Oscars gownxedo by Christian Siriano was all anyone could talk about. Even before that, Billy showed us that he can turn all eyes onto him whenever he wants to. Just look at his stunning Golden Globe look from earlier this year that Lainey described as “doing the most.” In fact, if you look at every single runway that Billy has walked, he consistently elevates his look, turning it into a moment as opposed to an outfit.
That’s what makes Billy Porter’s entrance such a memorable event at the Met Gala. Billy Porter entered the way I want to go: decked out in gold and carried by six, gorgeous, shirtless men.
His catsuit, custom designed by The Blonds duo, draws inspiration from Cleopatra, taking her already extravagant lifestyle to an even higher degree, perfect for this year’s theme. Arriving dressed in gold on a bed carried by golden servants would have been enough Camp for the event, but Billy “I won’t be outdone” Porter decided to be even more extra. The details, from the patterning on the wings and the turquoise rings to the gold studded eye make-up and dripping headdress, are exquisite.
His outfit itself is enough to get him on best looks of the night, but his performance and the drama it brought to the carpet were what careened him to the top of that list. Everything he did last night exuded drama: the Ancient Egyptian concept. The golden clad manservants. The elegant pose atop his litter. The spreading of the wings. EVERYTHING! Billy knows that selling a garment is just as important as wearing it.
In her essay, Susan Sontag wrote that “the hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance.” I think we should amend that to say, “the hallmark of Camp is Billy Porter.”