On the night of the Met Gala, Pose star Billy Porter shut down the red carpet with one of the most fabulous entrances of all time. Carried in on a litter supported by six shirtless men, he nodded to ancient Egypt with a custom “Sun God” look, inspired by Diana Ross’s character in the campy film Mahogany. It was a custom creation by The Blonds, complete with a bejeweled catsuit, 10-foot angel wings, John Hardy jewelry, and custom Giuseppe Zanotti shoes. Ahead of the grand arrival, Vogue documented Porter as he got ready for the big night.
One week before the gala, Vogue first snuck into The Blonds’s studio for Porter’s third and final fitting with designers Phillipe and David Blond, who worked with Porter’s stylist, Sam Ratelle, to bring his fabulous vision to life. It was there that the fashion superstar first tried on those epic wings. “Get your photos, darlings,” he said, “before she flies away.” After some quick trimming of his headpiece, which was dripping with gold chains, Porter was off.
Flash-forward to 24 hours before the Met, and it was time to rehearse that epic entrance. Along with his six men, many of whom are Broadway dancers by day, the entire ancient Egyptian–inspired crew practiced lifting Porter up and down while marching in unison. “I think you’re going to have fun for days afterwards, talking about it,” Porter said to the camera during the process. (He was absolutely right.)
The day of, Porter kept things quiet ahead of his grand performance. While getting his makeup done by La Sonya Gunter, who did his beauty during his Kinky Boots days, Porter is seen lounging on his hotel bed while Gunter uses Pat McGrath products for a glittery gold look. “I’m trying to conserve my energy, because I know it’s going to be crazy tonight,” he said. While Porter’s getting-ready demeanor was chill, Gunter’s vision for the beauty was anything but. “As Oscar Wilde said, ‘One should be wear a work of art, or be a work of art,’ and when I thought of Billy, I was like, he’s both,” she said.
After slipping on his custom getup, Porter was off to the Met in his own party bus, where he even drove by cochair Lady Gaga, who was walking to the venue along the Upper East Side. Noticing her entourage carrying her long pink train, he quipped, “I have some people carrying me too, Lady Gaga. I’ll see you there.” Above, see how Porter became a “sun god” for fashion’s biggest night.
Director Kevin Tadge
Camera Assistant Olivia Bolling
Sound Kathy Lee, John Thayer, Lea Thomas
See All of the Celebrity Looks From the Met Gala 2019 Red Carpet: