The Only Thing Whiter Than the 2020 Golden Globes Was Billy Porter’s Outfit

Billy Porter attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

“You don’t see us, we don’t see you,” seemed to be the resounding sentiment of the 77th annual Golden Globes—at least, as far as black talent was concerned. The kickoff to the 2020 awards season started with a whimper, rather than a bang, and while the carpet wasn’t entirely melanin-deficient, it was definitely “unseasoned,” as The Root’s entertainment writer, Tonja Stidhum noted while covering the ceremony live on Sunday night.


Case in point: over at The Glow Up’s Facebook page, our usually robust and hours-long live red carpet critique barely lasted an hour...and it was a struggle-hour at that. The only place there were less black people than the red carpet were in the nominated categories, so if you were tuned in to this year’s show to root for everybody black, you were bound to be disappointed. (Well, except for the surprise appearance of Beyoncé...and her husband. Alas, even the Queen’s “Spirit” hadn’t a chance against a jury of Elton John fans.)

But what should we have expected from a year in which the spectacular When They See Us was shut out from contention (not to mention Melina Matsoukas’ contention that Golden Globes’ voters wouldn’t deign to see Queen & Slim)? Well, of the few of our folks in attendance this year, one never disappoints: Billy Porter once again showed us a tux’s unlimited potential with a custom white shantung suit by Argentinian-born designer Alex Vinash, complete with boots by Jimmy Choo, jewels by Tiffany, a bag by Emm Kuo that featured 4,000 Swarovski Crystals, and a lengthy white-feathered train that conveniently detached for the post-awards festivities. Porter’s name for the look? “Blaque Swan.” Explaining why he chose white for the festivities, he wrote the following on Instagram:

It’s such an honor to return to this year’s 77th annual @goldenglobes in support of @poseonfx. A show that has completely changed my life and created visibility for our marginalized #lgbtq family. Our show is particularly important as currently our human rights are still under attack and our political world is in shambles. The world has gone absolutely mad and when we started to think about what I would wear today, the first major appearance of the new decade, we decided to go all white. The color symbolizes peace, hope, and new beginnings. My @tiffanyandco dragonfly brooch is symbolic of transformation and self-realization. All of these themes and symbols encapsulate my hope for all people in 2020. We must continue to strive for life and kindness. Especially when our world is on fire


Who else was there? A few—very few—of our faves, including Tiffany Haddish in Galia Lahav, Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Gucci, Zoë Kravitz continuing to rep for Saint Laurent, an uncharacteristically revealing Kerry Washington in Altuzarra, Wesley Snipes and nominees Eddie Murphy and Cynthia Erivo in Thom Browne, and the aforementioned Beyoncé in Schiaparelli Haute Couture (skipping the red carpet and reportedly arriving an hour late with her own bottles of Moët in tow—presumably so as not to shut down the ceremony before it began).


But the evening wasn’t flavorless, to say the least. If you know black folk—and California—you know both love to party. Though the ceremony may have left much melanin to be desired, all the black folk were to be found at the Golden Globes afterparties...hosted by HBO, InStyle, and Netflix (which was clearly the place to be—how can we be down?) There, all the stars we were missing on the red carpet showed up and showed out in their finest, demonstrating that we are the component that makes every party that much better.


Here’s hoping that this awards season gets more colorful as we progress ... otherwise, it’s going to be a long one.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.