Green Versace dress of Jennifer Lopez
The silk chiffon dress identical to that worn by Jennifer Lopez to the Grammys in February 2000, this version exhibited at the Fashion Museum, Bath, as part of their Dress of the Year Collection.
|On display at||
Lopez's Los Angeles residence (Lopez's dress)The Grammy Museum
Fashion Museum, Bath (duplicates)
American recording artist and actress Jennifer Lopez wore an exotic green Versace silk chiffon dress to the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony on February 23, 2000. The sheer fabric was printed with a tropical leaf and bamboo pattern, and cut with a very low neckline extending well past Lopez's navel, while the waist of the dress was studded with citrines.
This garment instantly received significant global media coverage, and has been cited along with Elizabeth Hurley's black Versace dress as one of the most high-profile dresses that made the designer Versace a household name. In addition, this dress was described as a turning point in designer Donatella Versace's career after the death of her brother Gianni Versace. It was chosen by the fashion journalist Lisa Armstrong to represent 2000 in the Fashion Museum of Bath's Dress of the Year collection, at which point it was described as a key example of the close relationship between fashions, celebrities and publicity. Another duplicate is displayed at The Grammy Museum while as of 2015, Lopez still owns the original gown. In 2015, fifteen years since Lopez first wore it, the dress is still inextricably associated with her and Versace.
Before becoming famous on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards, the dress was presented on the catwalk by model Amber Valletta and was also featured in Versace's main advertising campaign that year; Steven Meisel also photographed it on Valletta. Andrea Lieberman, Lopez's stylist at the time, remarked, "Versace and Jennifer [Lopez] belonged together. It was really natural."
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. The designer herself also wore it to a Met Gala on 6 December 1999.
Lopez arrived on the red carpet of the 42nd Grammy Awards in the company of then-boyfriend Sean Combs; he was dressed in a gray suit. Although the fashion house Versace had only 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 with Lopez to present the award for 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 and Lopez.
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 and bamboo pattern, 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 cut along the front of the legs like a bath robe. The dress then drooped behind her on the floor, open at the back. Under it, Lopez wore a pair of nude-tone bathing suit shorts and only afterwards it was revealed that Lopez was able to keep the dress on by using double-sided fashion 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.
The Fashion Museum, Bath asked Lisa Armstrong of the Times to choose an outfit to represent 2000 for their "Dress of the Year" collection. While Armstrong initially considered choosing Hussein Chalayan's table dress, she eventually decided on the Versace dress, arguing that due to the media attention it had received through being worn by Lopez, Geri Halliwell, and others, the gown represented "some kind of high water mark in the current symbiosis between fashion and celebrity." Versace subsequently donated a duplicate of the dress to the Museum. Another duplicate is displayed at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. As of 2015, the original dress remains in Lopez's possession.
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.
In January 2015, Google's president Eric Schmidt cited the massive attention to this dress as a motivation for the creation of Google Images search. In 2000, Google Search results were limited to simple pages of text with links, but the developers worked on developing this further, realising that an image search was required to answer "the most popular search query" they had seen to date: Jennifer Lopez's green dress. As a result of this, Google Images search was born.
In 2017 WatchMojo.com's sister YouTube channel MsMojo ranked the dress atop their list of "Top 10 Most Memorable Grammy Red Carpet Outfits", writing: "Some dresses just ooze sex appeal but J.Lo's daring ensemble screamed it from the rooftops and still does even after all these years."
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