It wouldn’t be too great a stretch to say that the plunging green Versace gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammys is the most iconic dress of the 21st century. For most, “green Versace” is enough to evoke images of Jenny from the Block smizing her way down the red carpet (P. Diddy optional), and “J. Lo at the Grammys” is the mental equivalent of pulling up the dress’s Wikipedia page (yes, it has its own Wikipedia page).
And though in our collective memory, Lopez and the silk chiffon gown are inextricable, the Versace piece lived many lives before it met Jen.
Amber Valletta first wore the dress down the runway in 1999. That same year, Donatella Versace herself wore a sleeveless version of the gown to the Met Gala. And in January, just one month prior to J. Lo’s history-making Grammys moment, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell wore the Versace gown to the NRJ Music Awards in France.
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But nothing could compare to the frenzy that would ensue when Lopez arrived at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 23, 2000.
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Enter: the dawn of Google Images.
Nearly 19 years later, and the dress remains a pop culture touchstone, so much so that Versace is still mining inspiration from the design.
The brand closed its pre-fall 2019 runway show in N.Y.C. on Sunday with a return to the silhouette, presenting a plunging black gown with a colorful heart pattern. Fittingly, Valletta was chosen to showcase the design, allowing the dress a sweet full-circle moment:
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Interestingly, this isn’t the only iconic fashion moment Versace pays homage to in its latest collection. Large gold safety pins decorate many of the garments, an apparent nod to the racy black gown Elizabeth Hurley wore to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994.
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