Jennifer Lopez has been known to shut down a red carpet with her amazing head-to-toe fashion and beauty trends, but her most memorable look was nearly 20 years ago.
Back in the year 2000, the singer decided to wear a jungle-print Versace dress with a deep plunging neckline to the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, and it's still making jaw drops to this day.
Recently, the “Dinero” singer sat down for her new YouTube series, Moments in Fashion, to dish on what she calls “my biggest fashion moment ever,” and that wearing that sexy and daring dress “started Google Images.”
Lopez explained that she was running short on time for a fitting because she was in the middle of filming The Wedding Planner with Matthew McConaughey. In a panic, her stylist, Andrea Lieberman, told her that she waited too long to pick a dress and there were only three or four options to choose from.
“On the day of the Grammys, I’m getting ready doing my hair and makeup. Usually, if you come to a fitting of mine, there’s like tons of dresses and tons of shoes. It’s crazy! But this day, we really had a choice between two dresses,” she remembers. “One was kind of like a white dress and the other was the Versace jungle-print dress.”
Since the jungle-print Versace dress had been worn three times prior, including by the designer, Donatella Versace, J.Lo's stylist suggested that she wear the white dress. Not wanting to settle because she was also nominated for a Grammy, Jennifer decided that she wanted to try on both dresses.
The actress' long-time manager, Benny Medina, made the choice as to which dress Jenny would wear to captivate her audience on the Grammy's red carpet.
She described the moment that her team knew the plunging V-neck that ended at her navel with a strategically exposed back was the dress.
“I put on the green dress and come out and Benny goes, ‘That’s it. That’s it. Don’t even talk about it. That’s the dress,'” she says. “And of course my stylist is mortified. She’s like, ‘No! It’s been worn before!’ But the guys were adamant and we said OK.”
The “I’m Real” singer kept her dress from malfunctioning on the red carpet and stage with lots of tape. “There was never any danger of that. I was so securely stuck into that thing that there was gonna be no mishaps,” she shared.
The then 30-year-old said that she felt that all eyes were on her when she hit the carpet and watched all of the cameras turn in her direction. “All of a sudden you start hearing a little murmur. I’m thinking, it’s the Grammys. It has to be somebody famous behind us,” she laughs. “It was a frenzy. The flashes started going in a way that it’s not usually. There was an extra kinetic energy there. I was like what the hell is going on? I had no idea it was about this dress.”
She was then rushed backstage because she and David Duchovny of The X Files were scheduled to present the first award of the evening. “Me totally unsuspecting, walk out, and as I walk out, my dress, the wind hits it. It blows open slightly, so now I am like bare here and bare here! Everyone thinks my boobs are gonna fall out!” Lopez laughs, pointing to her chest and bottom half.
“All of a sudden, again, a slow murmur, and everybody starts clapping, and we get an ovation for just standing there!” she adds. “And I’m standing there kind of stupidly with a smile on my face and David says, ‘This is the first time in years where I know no one is looking at me.’” Feeling flattered in that moment, she knew, “that dress became something that people still reference.”
Although she did not win a Grammy that evening, she did find herself on the cover of the LA Times and New York papers because of the show-stopping dress. “And small and in the corner was ‘Santana won 11 Grammys,’” she recalls. “This man just broke records but people want to know about this dress! It just goes to show you the power of fashion.”
She also added, “People try to make [fashion] frivolous at times, but what those things do is give people an inspiration and puts a beautiful moment out into the world and it changes the style. One dress can change the trajectory of how people dress for the next 10 years.”
And for you history buffs, Google Images was created because of J.Lo wearing that dress. “So many people went searching for this that they had no way to search a picture at that time on the internet.”
So, what’s next for “Jenny From the Block” besides dropping plenty of bangin' music?
She's set to receive the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on June 3, and she also plans to attend the Met Gala wearing one of her favorite designers, Versace.
Congratulations, J.Lo, an honor well deserved!
(Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images)
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