Adam Rippon Wore a Harness to the Oscars, Breaking the Red Carpet Mold

Posted March 4, 2018 7:41 p.m. EST

What happens when a newly minted gay icon kicks off the Oscars red carpet? Pure, unapologetic edge.

Adam Rippon, 28, an Olympic figure skater who was the first out gay American man to compete in the Winter Games, wore a black harness under his tuxedo to the normally buttoned-up event on Sunday night. He also wore a black bow tie and eschewed socks.

The S&M-inspired look by Moschino immediately spurred support on social media once photos of the outfit hit the internet.

“Somewhere in heaven, Oscar Wilde, Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, and Michelangelo just shared a margarita,” tweeted Chris Rovzar, of Bloomberg.

On Saturday, Jeremy Scott, the creative director of Moschino, posted a photo to Instagram of himself with Rippon and Mirai Nagasu, another American Olympic figure skater who, like Rippon, competed and won a bronze medal in Pyeongchang. In the caption, Scott said that Rippon would be on the red carpet “slaying in Moschino!”

But that Instagram post gave no hints to the kink-inspired outfit Rippon would wear to the Oscars: Both he and Nagasu were wearing pastel Moschino “My Little Pony” sweaters.

Rippon has been a prominent figure on social media in recent months, directly challenging those who insult and criticize him.

On Feb. 13, he tweeted that being true to one’s self and forgetting about the haters is “an awesome and liberating thing whether you are gay or not.”

“Sometimes we the gays need to be reminded more often,” he went on, “but, LIKE, EVERYONE SHOULD TRY IT, FOR REAL. JUST DO IT.”