Sassy, regal, high-fashion. Billy Porter may well be the elegantly flamboyant Pray Tell in real life. We remember when the actor turned heads and defied expectations at the Oscars last February as he dominated the red carpet, donning a floor-length Christian Siriano tuxedo gown. Which is why, it came as no surprise when the actor once again upstaged everyone else in a voluminous and bodacious ensemble at the recent Season 2 premiere of Pose.
The best part? His show-stopping matador-inspired look was designed by none other than Filipino fashion designer Francis Libiran, who Billy thanked on his Instagram post. He writes, "The Category Is: @poseonfx Season II NYC Premiere Realness. Thank you @francislibiran8 for this stunning custom couture piece you sent all the way from the Philippines. I feel like a Matador Kween! Coming for all the bullies and killing them with love and slayage."
According to Francis, the collaboration happened after he got in contact with Billy himself, who was more than happy to wear his designs. "I initially designed two outfits for him, which he loved and [so I] sent them to him. Then, he chose to wear the black and white art deco matador number on the premiere night of Pose Season 2. I almost fainted when I saw it in the news," Francis tells Preview.
Highlighting his fabulous persona, Francis provided the actor with an intricate ensemble that was made to draw out not only his effortless grandeur, but both his masculine and feminine sides as well, accompanied, of course by the signature Francis Libiran art deco craftsmanship. "The custom-made ensemble I made for Billy draws inspiration from a Matador, except that we had to make it couture and androgynous, hence the voluminous layered train made with layers and layers of duchesse silk," Francis reveals. "I incorporated my signature Art Deco design to totally accentuate the ensemble and applied intricate embroidery with fine crystals. His train is really grand. It weighs at least 25 pounds and takes up at least 10 feet. For someone as iconic and fabulous as Billy, we either go big or go home. The ensemble is a wearable work of art that perfectly fits The Billy Porter!"
Having also recently dressed up Darren Criss, Aladdin star Mena Massoud, and now, Billy Porter, it looks like Francis is starting to become a Hollywood favorite, and we can't wait to see who he designs for next!