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Billy Porter’s Red Carpet Dress Has an Eco-Conscious Message

Billy Porter’s Red Carpet Dress Has an Eco-Conscious Message

Billy Porter understands the power of fashion. Some of the actor’s boldest red carpet appearances to date, from his Oscars tuxedo gown to his recent Met Gala look, have been designed with specific references in mind; he consistently uses clothing to make a broader cultural statement. His Met Gala look, for instance, nodded to Diana Ross in Mahogany and ballroom fixture Pepper LaBeija, one of the earliest pioneers of camp, which was the theme of the evening.

Last night, Porter proved yet again that fashion can carry a message beyond the frilly and the frivolous when he attended the 78th annual Peabody Awards in New York City. (The show Pose, in which he plays a leading role, won an award for Entertainment category.) For the occasion, Porter wore a frothy gown by Celestino Couture. The pink-red creation, which featured intricate embroidery work and mounds of tulle, was a stunner indeed—but even more striking is the backstory behind the label. Designer Sergio “Celestino” Guadarrama works with an ecologically-sound focus, making use of up-cycled materials to reduce waste. In addition to producing all of his clothes here in the U.S., he also donates 10% of all his profits towards initiatives to end human trafficking. Porter’s choice, then, is a prime example that looking good and doing good needn’t be mutually exclusive.