The green Versace gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammys will forever live on as one of the most iconic fashion moments we’ve witnessed in the 21st century — but J.Lo herself says that her “biggest fashion moment ever” almost didn’t happen.
In a video for her YouTube series, Lopez broke down the history of the plunging gown — nearly 20 years after she first wore it — and says that the look was pulled together at the very last minute. She explains that she had been filming The Wedding Planner (one of the best J.Lo movies, thank you very much), so her stylist at the time, Andrea Lieberman, only had time to pull two options for her.
“Usually if you come to a fitting of mine, there’s like tons of dresses,” she says in the video. “But this day, the day of the Grammys, we really had a choice between two dresses. One was kind of like a white dress and the other was the Versace jungle-print dress.”
By then, the chiffon gown had already been worn by two other people (Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Donatella Versace herself), so Lieberman encouraged J.Lo to go with the white dress.
In the end, it was her manager, Benny Medina, who told her to go for the Versace.
Credit: Getty Images
“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.”
Sure, the dress may have been worn before, but not until J.Lo wore it did it come to inspire the creation of Google images (yes, really). Lopez didn’t walk away with a Grammy that night, but years later, we’re still talking about that dress — and it’s probably at least part of the reason J.Lo is finally getting honored as a fashion icon at the CFDA Awards this year.
Since that green dress, she says, she’s had a long relationship with Versace as well as the brand’s longtime designer and tailor, Luigi Massi. Massi passed away earlier this month, but Lopez revealed that she’ll be able to honor him by wearing one of his designs to the Met Gala.
“We heard that he just passed away in the middle of making my Met Ball gown. I was one of the first people they called because he always had such an amazing time creating looks for me,” she says tearfully. “They know how much I loved him and how much fun we had. You made me feel so beautiful so many times. Your attention to detail, your talent and your love will never be forgotten. Thank you Luigi, we will miss you.”