Seven things we know about Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Versace dress
When we hear “never forget” these days — or, more accurately, see the hashtag — it’s usually in reference to a horrific tragedy. But on Sunday night during the Grammy Awards, fans used it in reference to Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Versace dress from 2000. It was the dress heard ’round the world, shocking for its sheerness and plunging neckline that revealed not just cleavage but the singer’s belly button and slit-up-to-there silhouette. But actually the tropical-print gown — styled by Andrea Lieberman who went on to found the Los Angeles-based ready-to-wear line ALC in 2009 — inspired more than 18 years of revealing Grammys fashion that has followed in its wake.
Here are seven things you should know about the J.Lo/Versace dress.
1. It had major tech implications. As former Google chairman Eric Schmidt revealed in 2015, Lopez’s fashion moment inspired the creation of Google Image Search. “[Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin] started with images. After all, people wanted more than just text,” said Schmidt in an essay penned for Project Syndicate. “This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world’s attention. At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: J.Lo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born.”
2. Donatella Versace designed the gown for a Milan runway show in 1999, but it was only after the designer herself wore it that Lopez took notice.
3. The red carpet-altering original silk chiffon Versace is displayed on a mannequin in Lopez’s closet, as she revealed in a 2013 interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
4. Her fans haven’t forgotten either. Dozens of still-obsessed followers posted throwback photos on social media during the awards show on Sunday. One fan captioned her Instagram photo, “Watching the Grammys, and all I can remember is this on my girl @jlo slaying and gets better every year.”
5. Lopez still seems to love the palm-frond print too. Since 2000, she’s worn re-creations and iterations of the show-stopping gown for a concert and “I Luh Ya Papi” music video, styled by Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn.
6. At the time, the triple threat wasn’t aware her dress was so major. She later told Entertainment Tonight, “I just remember walking onto the red carpet, I was with Puffy [Sean “Diddy” Combs]. I walked on [the carpet and] I felt, like, an energy. Like everything started stirring. It was a weird feeling. I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ And my dress was happening and I didn’t know it.”
7. Lieberman knew it marked a turning point. In an interview with MatchesFashion.com, she said she recognized that Versace and Jennifer Lopez belonged together. “When I put Jennifer in that green Versace dress, it was definitely a game changer for both of us,” Lieberman said.
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