Jennifer Lopez's Grammy's Dress: An Iconic Fashion Moment, Explained

Although it's likely you've never wondered about the origin of Google Images, you've likely heard about (and seen) the iconic dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards. The green jungle-print dress that dazzled everyone actually served as the catalyst that brought us the tool we know as Google Images. Although other celebrities previously wore the dress itself, it only entered superstardom when Lopez wore it on the red carpet for the Grammys. Over two decades later, the dress is still as bewildering and relevant as the day the world saw it for the first time. 

While there are other historic examples of iconic dresses, which include Marilyn Monroe's infamous white dress, Princess Diana's revenge dress (the ultimate example of revenge fashion), and Princess Catherine's royal wedding gown, Lopez's dress from that night in 2000 can directly be attributed to the development of a piece of technology we use today. Besides its style, the green jungle-print dress marked the beginning of a new history in technology, fashion, and society. With the ability to search for images now available to the masses, society moved one step closer to generating all the information we want in seconds, as we do today.

The dress that broke the internet

Jennifer Lopez's walk on the red carpet during the 2000 Grammy Awards was the talk of the town by the time the show began. Unlike today, you couldn't just get on social media to find more photos or information on it. At the time, when you searched the internet for the dress, you were met with only links and text. Although Google didn't implement their image search tool just because of one dress, the Versace-designed gown did give us a glimpse of an information gap.

Cathy Edwards, director of engineering and product for Google Images, told GQ the exact effect Lopez had on the tool's development. "It is completely true, but it is also not the case that this happened and the next day we said, 'Oh, we should build an image search engine!' And everyone there at the time was like, 'Of course, we need to build an image search engine,' but they weren't sure how much priority to give it." Once Lopez stepped onto the red carpet, however, the folks at Google knew an image search tool was necessary and needed to be prioritized.

When it comes to fashion, Lopez's risqué Versace dress gave us our first look at a low plunging neckline and sheer fabric, marking the start of such trends. Previously worn by Geri Halliwell and Donatella Versace, the dress didn't make a major splash until it was seen on music's biggest night.

The dress' revival

Even though the dress made its first splash in 2000, it's since returned for a modern update. In 2019, Jennifer Lopez donned the dress again for the 20th anniversary of the day she first wore the iconic dress. The celebratory event took place during the Versace Spring/Summer 2020 collection for Milan Fashion Week. To celebrate, the multi-hyphenate closed the show in a dress similar to that worn in 2000. With additional cutouts and a higher slit, there's no doubt that the 2020 version was more risqué than the 2000 dress. Although Lopez is not only known for the infamous Versace dress, it's what made her an early style influencer of the time.

Since the dress' first public appearance on Lopez, it's often been referenced in other works of fashion. Sheer clothing, in particular, is a fashion trend that keeps returning — and can easily be taken from the runway to real life. Along with jungle print, the notion of an endless summer is also in full swing, with many craving a tropical mood. Although there are undoubtedly many more fashion moments to be had, there's no doubt that Lopez wearing that now-iconic Versace dress more than two decades ago marked a before and after in both fashion and society.