Two of this winter’s best red-carpet moments came from Pose star Billy Porter, who wore a hot-pink cape to the Golden Globes and a black velvet custom Christian Siriano tuxedo gown to the Oscars. For both of these looks, we can thank stylist Sam Ratelle.
Ratelle was born in Honduras and raised in Miami. A performer himself, he loves a creative challenge and describes himself as a “dreamer” — characteristics that will come in handy when he styles Porter for the upcoming camp-themed Met Gala. Keep reading to read more about the stylist and some of his favorite (and least favorite) things.
How do you thank someone for a gift?
With a gift.
What would you never wear?
Pre-tied bow ties (unless they’re from Tom Ford). And Crocs.
What’s your dream vacation?
The Amalfi Coast.
What’s a good book on your coffee table right now?
Vogue & The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People. It showcases the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute exhibition, the Met Gala, which is coming up on May 6. I’ll be styling Billy Porter for this year’s gala and I couldn’t be more excited.
Last show you binge-watched?
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It really is marvelous.
Secret to hosting a good party?
Carefully curate your guest list, hire a bartender, and top it off with great music.
What is a trend that you like right now?
There’s a fabulous trend of self-expression and empowerment right now, and I absolutely adore everything about loving and being yourself. I encourage my clients to wear whatever rocks your boat and showcases who you are — that will never go out of style. We’re back to bold patterns, colors, and silhouettes, especially in men’s wear. It’s about time that men be allowed to have a wide variety of options again.
One you don’t understand?
Velcro hiking sandals. No.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love the Medieval, Egyptian, and American wings. I like to go alone, listen to music, and find inspiration.
Shoes you wear most often?
Lanvin cap-toe low-top sneakers. I live in them and have them in many colors. You can dress them up and dress them down. My everyday work shoes are Commes-Des-Garçons PLAY x Chuck Taylors.
What’s your favorite…
Dyptique Baies Scented Candle. A classic.
Christian Dior Bois D’argent fragrance. It’s neither feminine nor masculine, and you can also get it as a candle.
Rafele in the West Village. You must try Chef Ronca’s Buffalo Milk Ricotta Cheesecake! It’s the best I’ve ever had.
Uniqlo. I’m all about the high-low.