The Queer Eye star picked out his own costume for Taylor Swift's new music video — and he went all out
Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski may be an inspiration to LGBTQ youth, but he was channeling one of his own queer idols when he selected his outfit for Taylor Swift‘s Internet-breaking “You Need to Calm Down” music video.
“It was a very special day,” the Canadian-born chef, 35, told PEOPLE about the video shoot, chatting over espresso and Balthazar pastries at an event for Saeco, with whom he is a partner, in New York City on Thursday. “We met with the stylist and we started going through wardrobe and I was shocked at how much freedom they gave us,” he says. “I quickly realized this was not a jeans and t-shirt moment.”
The food and wine expert, who knows his way around a set from his experience as an actor and model, soon decided he was going to go all out with his costume. He started piecing together a bright and bold outfit after falling in love with a pair of pink faux-leather pants.
“They were like, wear whatever the hell you want,” he says, “and I was like, let’s go bold. Bright pink Margiela pants, burgundy Gucci boots—the shirt was meshy and embroidered with felt and velvet pieces, mohair stitching and flowers. I had just seen Rocket Man a week before, so I was very inspired by Sir Elton John.”
He says he felt confident his look fit the music video’s vibe once Swift came out with her rainbow ombré hair.
“I’d met Taylor before, but to see her in her element, she’s just so excited to be there,” he says. “You meet a lot of people in the public eye, especially icons like that, and some of them aren’t so nice. So to see someone who’s truly themselves and so grateful to be there—I mean, whether she knows it or not her mood affects every single person on set. And she carries herself like a real frickin’ queen.”
Because Swift’s next album, Lover, hadn’t been announced at the time of filming, Porowski says everything about the video was under tight wraps. He had to keep his lips sealed for about a month.
“Everyone was so protective,” he says. “We had to walk out of our trailers with an umbrella because the helicopters were watching, trying to see who was on set. And we weren’t allowed to talk about it. I didn’t tell anybody until the video came out.”
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Even though it was hard to keep the secret—especially from his best friend Anya, “a die-hard Swifty”—Porowski says he is more than thrilled to have been a part of Swift’s project, especially with the way it spoke to LGBTQ representation.
“There was something that was so loving about all these awesome LGBTQ+ personalities that she had on her set, and the sense of family and unity that comes with Pride month,” he says. He was joined in the video by his Queer Eye co-stars, as well as a variety of other LGBTQ-identifying stars, like Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Adam Rippon, Todrick Hall and more.
“Ugh, I really love her,” he says of Swift. “She goes all out. She’s made it because of the person she is.”