Jennifer Lopez knows how to make a statement on the red carpet. But when the megastar showed up to the 2000 Grammy Awards wearing a plunging, tropical-print Versace gown, she had no idea the look would become such a major moment in fashion history. In fact, Lopez recently revealed she almost wore a completely different dress to the show.
In the first episode of her new YouTube series “Moments of Fashion,” Lopez says that the look came together last-minute, quite literally. Around the time of show, she was busy filming The Wedding Planner and hadn’t set aside time to select a dress until the day of the Grammys. Because she and her team were cutting it so close, there were only two workable dresses left to choose from.
“There’s nothing out there, you guys waited too long. I’ve been trying to do a fitting with you for weeks,” she recalls her stylist Andrea Lieberman telling her. “We just didn’t have time … it kind of crept up on us.”
“Usually if you come to a fitting of mine, there’s like tons of dresses. But this day, the day of the Grammys, we really had a choice between two dresses,” she continues. “One was kind of like a white dress and the other was the Versace jungle-print dress.”
But because a couple of other celebrities and Donatella Versace herself had worn the tropical gown, her stylist was pushing for the white dress. Ultimately, J.Lo tried it on and just knew it was the one. Those around her agreed: “I put on the green dress and come out and Benny [Medina] goes, ‘That’s it. That’s it. Don’t even talk about it. That’s the dress,” she remembers her manager saying.
Once Lopez stepped out onto the red carpet, she says she could feel the response from onlookers: “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 goes onto to say that when she walked onto stage to present the first of the award of the evening, the moment was solidified. “All of a sudden, again, a slow murmur and everybody starts clapping. We get an ovation for just standing there!” she says. “In that moment, that dress became something that people still reference.”
Reflecting on the gown’s lasting impact, Lopez explains that it is credited with the creation of Google Images. Who knew? "It just goes to show you the power of fashion, and the power of those type of moments. I know people try to make it frivolous at times, but what those things do is they give people an inspiration. It puts a beautiful moment out into the world. It changes the style." she says, "One dress can change the trajectory of how people dress for the next 10 years."
Not only did the iconic dress make a mark on fashion, but it made a mark on the singer. “I’ve had a long relationship since this green dress with Versace,” she says at the end of the video before paying tribute to the late Luigi Massi. The longtime Versace designer died on April 2. "There was a gentleman named Luigi who was always there with me. He would fit me. He would help design. We had over a 20 year relationship,” she adds.
Lopez finished by announcing that she will be wearing a custom Versace gown, created with Massi, to the forthcoming Met Gala in May.