Google’s most searched red carpet star of the past year wasn’t a Hollywood bombshell, but a 50-year-old man.
Billy Porter, a Broadway veteran turned breakout star of the TV series “Pose,” took the style scene by storm in 2019, blurring gender lines and consistently making headlines.
“How we enter the carpet, at least during awards season … it’s a performance,” Porter’s stylist Sam Ratelle tells The Post. “He’s an actor. He really tells stories through clothing. We come from theater, so the carpet becomes a stage.”
His next stage is the Golden Globes on Sunday night — Porter is nominated in the Actor in a TV Drama category. Ratelle can’t reveal much about what Porter will wear to this year’s show, but he does say the get-up will be “quite royal” and “will symbolize hope and triumph and humanity.”
Ratelle, a 31-year-old Upper West Side resident, began working with Porter about two years ago through Ratelle’s husband, Porter’s former publicist.
“It’s extremely collaborative,” Ratelle says of the pair’s process, which he says resulted in more than 400 looks in 2019 alone. “Your clients aren’t always excited by the [fashion] business itself. He is.”
Ratelle creates mood boards and Porter sometimes sends him links to runway looks he’s interested in before they bring in a designer for any given event. Many designers began clamoring to work with them after Porter’s Golden Globes ensemble went viral last year.
“It started getting easier and easier,” says Ratelle, who now plans Porter’s outfits about six months in advance.
Ratelle says Porter’s off-duty personal style is really what you see on the carpet — he’s never not decked out. He became the most influential star on the red carpet by being himself.
As the world waits with bated breath for Porter’s 2020 Golden Globes look, Ratelle breaks down Porter’s five most iconic fashion moments so far.