Green Versace dress of Jennifer Lopez
|On display at||The Grammy Museum|
American recording artist and actress Jennifer Lopez wore a plunging exotic green Versace silk chiffon dress to the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony on February 23, 2000. In a poll by Debenhams, published in the Daily Telegraph, the dress was voted the fifth most iconic dress of all time. It has been cited along with Elizabeth Hurley's black Versace dress as one of the top dresses that made Versace a household name and the turning point in designer Donatella Versace's career after the death of her brother Gianni Versace. The dress is currently on display at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
Before becoming famous on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards, the Versace dress was presented on the catwalk by model Amber Valletta and was also featured in the main campaign of the fashion house that year; Steven Meisel also photographed it on Valletta. In 2000, the dress had a market value of about $15,000. Spice Girl Geri Halliwell wore the same dress to the NRJ Music Awards in France in January 2000, around a month before Jennifer Lopez wore it; however, in doing so she failed to receive the same amount of global attention as Lopez did.
Lopez arrived on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards in the company of then-boyfriend Sean Combs; he was dressed in a gray suit. Although the fashion house Versace only had loaned the dress, it subsequently decided to give it away as a token of gratitude for the enormous publicity generated. The singer immediately monopolized the attention and curiosity of the public and photographers at the event. Actor David Duchovny appeared on stage along with Lopez to present the prizes for the best R & B album and declared to the audience, "This is the first time in five or six years that I'm sure that nobody is looking at me", eliciting laughter from the audience.
Designed by Donatella Versace, it has been described as "jungle green", "sea green" or "tropical" green, a green dress with touches of blue to give an exotic appearance. It is a see-through silk chiffon dress with a tropical leaf pattern and bamboo, with a citrine-studded crotch. The dress "had a low-cut neck that extended several inches below her navel, where it was loosely fastened with a sparkly brooch and then opened out again," exposing her midriff and then as cut along the front of the legs like a bath robe. The dress then droops behind her on the floor and is open at the back. Under the suit, Lopez wore a pair of nude-tone shorts and only afterwards it was revealed that Lopez was able to keep the dress on using double-sided tape.
The dress was discussed by those in the fashion and entertainment for weeks after the event, with dedicated television specials and magazine covers featuring her. Images of Lopez in the green dress were downloaded from the Grammy website 642,917 times in just 24 hours after the event. The dress has been cited along with the Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley as being those most iconic dresses which made Versace a household name. Vibe magazine said, "Jen Lo made Donatella Versace's diaphanous green fabric a national call to arms." Others have argued that the dress led to Lopez becoming "one of the most glamorous and publicity-friendly icons of the red carpet."
Lopez was surprised by the enormous media coverage, declaring in an interview: "It was a nice dress. I had no idea it was going to become such a big deal." Versace later revealed that the dress was the turning point of her career, saying that the media now had confidence in her own work, after the death of Gianni Versace. She declared to 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." The dress has been referred to many times as "notorious" and "infamous" because of its boldness.
On October 15, 2002 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, Jennifer Lopez was awarded the VH1 Vogue Fashion Award as the most influential star of the year. The award was presented by Versace herself. The dress was also chosen by Lisa Armstrong of the Times as the 2000 "Dress of the Year" for the Fashion Museum, Bath. In a poll by Debenhams, published in the Daily Telegraph in 2008, the dress was voted the fifth most iconic dress of all time.
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