STYLE

Jennifer Lopez's Green Versace Dress Launched Google Images. Yep, Really.

10/04/2015 11:36 | Updated 10 June 2015

Remember Jennifer Lopez in that green, sheer, plunging Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards? Of course you do, who could forget? Well, it seems, not only did the world sit up and take notice, but Google did, too: and "Google Image Search was born".

How Jennifer Lopez's Versace dress launched Google Images

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed that the eagerness of the public to see Jennifer in that dress was the inspiration behind the idea of Google images.

More than text, he says, they realised that people also needed to see exactly what they were searching for.

Schmidt explains how the J-Lo-effect worked in an interview on project-syndicate.com.

"When Google was launched, people were amazed that they were able to find out about almost anything by typing just a few words into a computer," he said. "The engineering behind it was technically complicated, but what you got was pretty rough: a page of text, broken up by ten blue links. It was better than anything else, but not great by today's standards.

"So our co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin - like all other successful inventors - kept iterating. They started with images. After all, people wanted more than just text. 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: J­Lo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born."

42nd Annual Grammy Awards - Pressroom

And, according to the Daily Telegraph, the dress also had a huge effect on its designer, Donatella Versace, who was trying to find her feet as the main designer at the fashion house after the murder of her brother Gianni Versace in 1997.

She compared the fashion moment to that of the Elizabeth Hurley safety pin sensation, telling the Canadian Press, "It was an unexpected success. The next day she [Jennifer Lopez] was everywhere and people were talking about her in that dress. It was one of those moments like the one that Gianni [Versace] had with Elizabeth Hurley and clothes-pins."

And Jennifer herself, who attended the awards with her then-squeeze Puff Daddy, said she "had no idea it was going to be such a big deal".

Well, now we know just how big a deal it really was.

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