It looks like Liam Payne is not here for anyone hating on his former One Direction bandmates! Yep, he just spoke out about Harry Styles‘ controversial Vogue Magazine photoshoot, and he had nothing but nice things to say about it.

For those who missed it, Styles made headlines when he graced the cover of Vogue for their December 2020 issue and he wore a dress. At the time, although many people showed their support for him, some people weren’t here for it — including political activist Candace Owens, who said he wasn’t “manly” enough. But now, Payne has shared his thoughts on the matter, and he made it clear that he has his group mate’s back.

“I think he’s enjoying himself and he’s free to do as he wishes,” the singer told Capital Breakfast With Roman Kemp during a recent interview. “And, you know, I just think that people don’t need to be so bothered about stuff. There’s been a lot more stuff going on this year than whether or not he’s wearing the right clothes in someone else’s mind.”

The musician also admitted that although they didn’t speak much after 1D went on a hiatus in 2016, when he reunited with the “Sign of the Times” crooner at Jingle Bell Ball last year, they instantly reconnected.

“He’s never really lost himself, even in spite of everything,” Payne continued. “After the band we didn’t speak for a long time, actually, and then I remember seeing him, it was actually at a Jingle Bell Ball, backstage for the first time in a long time. He’s still the same guy he always was when we left each other in that dressing room as the band kind of stopped for a little bit.”

Liam Payne Previously Shaded The Way Harry Styles Dresses

Harry Styles Watermelon Sugar

Payne’s comments about Styles are a little surprising, especially since he previously threw some subtle shade towards the way the 26-year-old dresses.

“With Harry, there’s so much mystery around who he’s kind of become,” Payne explained to The Face in December 2019. “I was actually genuinely looking at some pictures of him the other day, and I just thought, ​I don’t know what more I’d say to him other than, ​Hello’ and ​How are you?’ I mean, look at the stuff I put out, and the stuff Harry puts out. Polar opposite. I’m like the antichrist version of what Harry is.”

As fans know, when Styles hosted the Met Gala in May 2019, he sent the entire internet into a frenzy by wearing a custom Gucci suit, complete with lace, frills and more. He finished the outfit off with one pearl earring, and boy, did he look amazing. But at the time, Payne admitted that he wasn’t a big fan of the look.

He continued, “For me, it’s a case of fair play to him for doing what he f**king wants. If he wants to wear one earring and go to the Met Gala wearing something unexpected, what of it? Fair f**king play. I couldn’t put myself in that. I’d look f**king… It’d look weird.”

Plus, back in 2017, when Glamour UK asked the pop star if he’d let Styles babysit his son, Bear Payne, he said he wouldn’t be comfortable with it because he didn’t want his former bandmate to influence his son’s style.

“I couldn’t rely on Harry ‘cause I feel like my child would come out dressed in something that I just wouldn’t understand,” he told them.

What Has Harry Styles Said About Breaking Gender Norms?

During the singer’s interview with Vogue, he got real about the way he dresses and why he loves to break gender norms.

“I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it. I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit. Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with,” he explained. “What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away. When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play. I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”

“What women wear, what men wear — for me it’s not a question of that. If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies,’ I think, ‘Okay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though.’ I think the moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier,” the musician also told The Guardian in December 2019.

What Did Candace Owens Say About Harry Styles’ ‘Vogue’ Cover?

When the magazine cover first hit stands last month, Owens was quick to slam Styles for his fashion choices.

“There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men,” she wrote on Twitter at the time.

After Owens made her comment, a ton of stars spoke out and defended Styles, including Olivia Wilde — who, as fans know, is directing the new movie Don’t Worry Darling, which Styles was recently cast in.

“You’re pathetic,” she responded.

Is Liam Payne Close To His Other One Direction Bandmates?

Yep! Payne has hung out all of the guys a few times over the years! Most recently, he and Niall Horan caught up via FaceTime, and when they posted screenshots of it to their Instagram Stories, everyone was pretty excited.

He also revealed to This Morning in December 2019, “I speak to Louis [Tomlinson] a lot and he’s had obviously had a crazy few years, more so than anyone, a very sad few years for him actually, but he’s doing amazing. It’s transformed him into the most beautiful human being ever. I love spending time with him.”

READ MORE:
Harry Styles Saved Someone At A Halloween Party — All The Times He Proved He Was A Legit Angel
Is Harry Styles Starring In New Marvel Movie ‘The Eternals?’ Google Search Seemingly Confirms Role
A Complete Guide To 1D Members Louis Tomlinson And Harry Styles’ Rumored Relationship