Jennifer Lopez made fashion history when she hit the 2000 Grammys red carpet in a plunging green Versace gown — but she wasn’t the first person to model the iconic dress.
The tropical-print showstopper made its debut on the Italian label’s spring 2000 runway in Milan, where it was modeled by Amber Valletta. Designer Donatella Versace then wore it to the 1999 “Rock Style”-themed Met Gala, marking the gown’s first off-catwalk appearance.
In January 2000, the dress landed on Spice Girl Geri Halliwell for the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, France, but barely registered on the public radar.
Proving that sometimes the fourth time’s the charm, it took J.Lo’s larger-than-life public persona (and killer curves) to truly bring the dress to life at the Grammys.
That night, Lopez presented the award for Best R&B Album alongside actor David Duchovny, who quipped, “This is the first time in five or six years that I’m sure that nobody is looking at me.”
Online searches for Lopez’s cleavage-framing, slit-up-to-there outfit began pouring in, inspiring the team at Google to launch a groundbreaking new tool.
“At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen,” Google’s former executive chairman Eric Schmidt wrote for Project Syndicate. “But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted — J.Lo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born.”
And as with any viral outfit, there were parodies. Matt Lauer modeled a knockoff of Lopez’s look for Halloween later that year, while “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker wore one to the 2000 Oscars. In 2017, Ellen DeGeneres even brought back the dress for a segment with Lopez herself.
Nearly two decades after shocking the world in Versace, Lopez continues to pay tribute to the look: She sported a jumpsuit in the same palm-print fabric in her 2014 music video for “I Luh Ya Papi,” and revisited the outfit in bodysuit form at her first-ever hometown Bronx concert that same year.
And while replicas of the dress have been displayed in museums including LA’s Grammy Museum and the Fashion Museum in Bath, the Versace original reportedly resides safely in Lopez’s closet to this day.
The question is: Will it make an appearance when the star takes the stage at Monday night’s VMAs?
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