Billy Porter Rings in 2020 in 4 Celebratory Looks at 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve' (Exclusive)

Billy Porter - Split 4 Looks- Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve Celebration- H 2019
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As co-host of the ABC show's New Orleans outpost, the award-winning, gender-bending star donned four opulent masculine looks translated by his stylist Sam Ratelle.

Award-winning Pose actor and gender-bending style star Billy Porter stepped out Dec. 31 for his last fashion hurrah of the year as co-host in New Orleans (along with Ryan Seacrest and Lucy Hale in New York City and Ciara in Los Angeles) of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve celebration. The 48th annual show on ABC features Post Malone as a headliner, along with The Jonas Brothers, BTS, Sam Hunt, and Alanis Morissette. 

Porter and his stylist, Sam Ratelle, gave The Hollywood Reporter all the details and inspiration behind his four celebratory evening looks, as he welcomed 2020 in lavish menswear as a prelude to the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5.

"It's interesting that people now always expect Billy to be in a dress, so we're having a lot of fun figuring out how we can make menswear absolutely fabulous and just as fantastic and opulent as womenswear," says Ratelle.

A champion of gender fluidity, Porter has moved the sartorial needle to be ever more inclusive and was the only star to top all four of THR’s recent year-end and decade-end lists: Best Red Carpet Looks of the Decade, Best Fashion Looks of 2019, Wildest Fashion Looks of 2019, and Wildest Red Carpet Looks of the Decade.

Porter's first look of the evening was a fresh take on the tux by Milan-based fashion designer Tom Rebl. A classic white tux shirt, black bow tie and black tuxedo pants were paired with an iridescent silvery-red metallic tuxedo jacket. "We felt like we had to start the evening off with something chic and classic to set the tone," Ratelle told THR. "It is an ode to Kinky Boots, which was very red-inspired, and it feels a bit like being covered in glitter!"

While performing his hit single “Love Yourself,” Porter donned a moto-punk jacket by New York-based fashion label The Blonds, designed by Philippe and David Blond, heavily embellished with pyramid studs and crystals. "It's practically a couture piece; it weighs like 25 pounds!" Ratelle said. "We love working with The Blonds, specifically when it's anything music related, because that's the spirit that they completely own, having worked with everyone from J.Lo to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry."

Porter has had a longtime partnership with the brand; he performed his hit song "Love Yourself" as well as "Lady Marmalade" at The Blonds spring 2020 New York Fashion Week show in collaboration with the Broadway adaptation of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Ratelle continued, "Billy loves to feel sparkly and have that light shine back into the audience. And it goes with the theme of him wanting to revive disco style and what that means in today's age."

Accessories included a Diamond Dolls embellished captain's hat along with the glittery gold Giuseppe Zanotti ankle boots that Porter wore to the Met Gala "because we believe in reusing fashion, not throwing it away — they were the appropriate shoe for this and we had it, we used it!"

The third glittery black-tie ensemble was a runway look from Michael Kors '70s disco-inspired fall 2019 womenswear collection. To promote the show with Ryan Seacrest, Porter wore the fall 2019 menswear version of the look.

"I took the sleeves out of the jacket to give them more of a '70s flare," said Ratelle. "And Billy is wearing the custom pussy-bow blouse that he wore to the Emmys. We exposed it again tonight because we had a great moment to use it!"

For his final look of the evening (and Porter's number one look for 2020), he and Ratelle turned to New York-based fashion designer Reem Acra's spring 2020 bridal collection. The runway look was customized for Porter with black velvet trousers and slippers, and the jacket "intricately embroidered with crystals and beading," according to Ratelle.

"We are overwhelmed with joy as to our reception in 2019," says Ratelle. "It's our biggest dream to be here in the room. On the red carpet, we have that intent to go into it with a political mind and change perceptions. There's now this aura of people actually taking massive risks on the red carpet, and we extremely encourage that. It's a celebration of self-expression."