Nearly 20 years ago, Jennifer Lopez made red carpet history with an instantly iconic green leaf-print Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards. You know, that dress, the one that caused so much international commotion it even led to the creation of Google Images.
In honor of the dress’ anniversary, Lopez surprised the world by donning it once more for Versace’s runway show in Milan. It was like déjà vu — the world went crazy for it yet again. Celebrities including Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Paris Hilton, and Lopez’s Hustlers co-star Lili Reinhart all turned out in J.Lo’s Instagram comments to react with a fitting amount of heart-eyed and fire emojis.
After the catwalk, Lopez opened up about the dress with Vogue. She spilled some behind-the-scenes secrets (did you know she had to get fitted for it on the set of The Wedding Planner?) and dropped a true bombshell: she wasn’t actually the first person to wear the dress out in public.
“My stylist was like, ‘No, you can’t wear that,’” Lopez recalled. “‘No, you can’t wear that one, somebody else has worn it.’”
Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, and Donatella Versace herself both wore the dress before Lopez. So did Sandra Bullock, though it was in a different colour.
But Lopez had limited dress options at the time and, with the Grammys just around the corner, she made the executive decision to move forward with the dress. “I really didn’t think about it. I didn’t think it was all that risqué, to be honest,” she told Vogue. “I was more excited it was the Grammys. I wasn’t even thinking about the dress all that much. I was just glad I had something to wear.”
Even though she wasn’t thinking much about the dress at the time, Lopez said she remembered a curious murmur in the crowd everywhere she went, from the red carpet to the stage. That buzz spread almost overnight.
“It was just one of those perfect moments...the dress was just provocative enough, I guess, to make people really interested,” Lopez said. It was a real Marilyn Monroe moment, but Lopez assured Vogue there was never a chance the dress would fall or slip — the whole thing was totally taped on.
She may not have debuted the dress, but Lopez definitely owns it now. It led to a lifelong friendship with Versace, changed the face of modern technology, and cemented J.Lo as an unquestionable cultural icon. The rest, as they say, is history.