Versace has form when it comes to creating iconic fashion moments.
In 1994, the Italian fashion house helped Liz Hurley go from a relative nobody to a definite somebody after wearing *that* safety pin dress to the premiere of then-boyfriend Hugh Grant’s latest film, Four Weddings And A Funeral.
Fast-forward six years and lightning struck twice, when Jennifer Lopez made front pages the world over after she wore a certain $15,000 navel-flashing, green chiffon gown to the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2000.
Despite the dress having several public outings before J-Lo had it on her back, it wasn’t until the annual music awards bash that the entire world started Googling “J-Lo wearing that dress”, prompting the birth of Google images – and a bona fide fashion icon.
Here’s how it happened...
J-Lo wasn’t the first person to be photographed in the dress…
It was actually debuted by supermodel Amber Valetta in 1999 at Versace’s Spring 2000 Ready to Wear runway show in Milan, Italy.
Amber was also photographed in the same dress for Versace’s 2000 advertising campaign
Legendary fashion photographer Steven Meisel was hired for the shoot.
But it was the dress’ designer who wore it first out in public…
Donatella wore it at the “Rock Style” Met Gala in 1999. This was the first time Jennifer saw the dress, and decided she had to have it.
Sandra Bullock wore the orange version
The Speed star opted for the same gown in orange and red hues when she attended the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards in December 1999.
Even Geri Halliwell wore it on the red carpet before J-Lo...
The artist formerly known as Ginger Spice wore it to the NRJ Music Awards in France in January 2000, one month before Jennifer wore it to the Grammys.
Speaking of which...
Jennifer also made a splash inside the Grammys...
The audience’s collective jaws hit the floor when Jennifer took to the stage with X Files star David Duchovny to present the award for Best R&B Album.
“This is the first time in five or six years that I’m sure that nobody is looking at me,” David told the stunned audience.
The $15K frock became an instant sell-out after the Grammys
Donatella told the Canadian Press in 2008: “It was an unexpected success. The next day Jennifer was all over the place with people talking about her in that dress. It was one of those moments like Gianni had with Elizabeth Hurley and the safety-pin dress.”
The dress was responsible for the launch of Google Images
Speaking in 2015, Google executive founder Eric Schmidt explained: “Our co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin – like all other successful inventors – kept iterating. 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 sure-fire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: ‘J-Lo wearing that dress’. Google Image Search was born.”
Duplicates of the dress are on display at the Fashion Museum in Bath and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles
...but the original is back with its original owner.
“I have that at home,” Jennifer Lopez told Harper’s Bazaar in 2013. “The other day, my housekeeper put it on a mannequin in my spa, where I get my hair and makeup done. She sent me a picture. She was like, ‘You like this dress?’ Um, yeah, but I don’t know if I like it out in the house!”
Yes, J-Lo has mannequins and a spa in her home.
The gown’s legacy has continued to make an impact in the years since Jennifer wore it
South Park co-creator Trey Parker wore a (bad) imitation of the gown to the Oscars, just one month after Jennifer wore it to the Grammys.
Ellen DeGeneres surprised Jennifer by wearing an equally crap version of the Versace gown...
...complete with fake cleavage for a skit filmed backstage at the singer’s All I Have residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in September 2017 .
Until things came full circle...
Jennifer paid tribute to the dress on the runway of Versace’s Spring 2020 show at Milan Fashion Week and created yet another Fashion Moment.
Still don’t think it’s iconic?
How many dresses do you know of that have their own Wikipedia page?