Of All Of Jennifer Lopezs Looks – This Stands Above The Rest
By Mike Nied/Aug. 26, 2021 11:17 am EDT
Jennifer Lopez has the Midas touch — everything she touches turns to gold. The insanely talented actor, singer, and dancer conquered every realm of the entertainment industry. She’s also an awe-inspiring businesswoman with a variety of successful ventures to her name including her new beauty line. Basically, J.Lo is the dictionary definition of a mogul. And — as anyone who has ever seen her can attest — her style game is no laughing matter, either.
Let’s not mince words here: the “On the Floor” diva is a certified style icon. Vogue commended Lopez for her distinctive look, which she debuted in the ’90s and spent the last several decades perfecting. In an era when some of the industry’s most famous faces were paring it back and dabbling in grunge, this diva consistently delivered luxurious glam. Little has changed since, as J.Lo and glamour are truly synonymous.
Of course, she’s had a lot of fantastic looks over the years. However, when it comes to Jennifer Lopez, there is only one possible outfit to offer up as her most unforgettable. After all, how many people can claim something they wore led to the creation of Google Images (via GQ)? Better yet, how many of us can say an article of clothing we own has its own entry on Wikipedia? Jenny from the block can answer yes to both of those questions thanks to one truly historic gown.
Jennifer Lopez stole the show at the 2000 Grammys
By now you know we’re talking about the Versace gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards (via CR Fashion Book). If you’re somehow not familiar, allow us to paint a picture. The hitmaker showed up to the biggest night in music with her then-boyfriend Sean Combs, and she wasn’t playing games. J.Lo’s jewelry, hair, and shoes for the event were fairly understated. That’s because her dress said more than enough.
People have taken to calling J.Lo’s look that night The Jungle Dress. That’s because the mostly sheer, long-sleeved ‘fit features a tropical-inspired print of jungle leaves. On top of a signature print that instantly stood out on the red carpet, it was also distinguished by its low neckline. By low, we mean it was cut to below her bellybutton. The dress gathered together with an intricate brooch at her hips and instantly flared out again thanks to a slit, resulting in a bottom every bit as daring as the top.
The bold look was on full display when Lopez took the stage to present the first award of the night. “Well, Jennifer. This is the first time in five or six years that I am sure that nobody is looking at me,” her co-presenter David Duchovny joked (via YouTube). It’s safe to say he wasn’t wrong. After all, Harper’s Bazaar and Insider both named the dress one of the most iconic to ever appear at the Grammys.
The Jungle Dress quite literally changed the world
Although Jennifer Lopez’s look was undeniably a perfect moment in fashion history, it was also so much more. The Jungle Dress was at least indirectly responsible for the creation of Google Images. In 2015, former Google CEO and executive chairman Eric Schmidt explained that the search engine was literally inundated with people searching for photos of the dress after the event. “At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen,” he wrote in Project Syndicate. “But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted.” Thus, “Google Image Search was born.”
Cathy Edwards, director of engineering and product for Google Images, confirmed that Lopez’s look played a key role in the search engine’s development while speaking with GQ in 2019. “It is completely true,” she admitted. However, she added that, while this was a catalyst, the change did not happen overnight. At the time, the relatively young company knew an image search tool should happen but were unsure about when to prioritize it. The all-encompassing hunger for photos of J.Lo from the Grammys further proved to them that it was a necessity.
Impressively, Edwards also revealed that the dress’ popularity has not waned over the years. “People are still doing queries for ‘Jennifer Lopez green dress,’ ‘Jennifer Lopez jungle print dress,’ ‘Jennifer Lopez Grammys dress,’ [that] sort of thing,” she explained. Talk about a look with enduring impact.
Jennifer Lopez wasn't even the first person to wear the jungle dress
Jennifer Lopez’s turn with the dress is utterly iconic. However, you may be surprised to learn that she wasn’t the first person to rock the look. Thanks to a timeline compiled by 29Secrets, we know the dress first appeared onstage in Milan for Versace’s spring/summer 2000 fashion show. Supermodel Amber Valletta took it down the runway at the event and rocked it in the accompanying ad campaign.
Meanwhile, designer Donatella Versace had the honor of being the first person to wear the dress on a red carpet. She showed up to the 1999 Met Gala wearing a sleeveless take on the look alongside Matt Dillon. J.Lo’s next, right? Actually, no. Next up was Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls fame. Ginger Spice wore an identical version of the dress to the NRJ Music Awards in early 2000. She may have worn it first, but ET noted her turn with the dazzling gown didn’t stir up anywhere near the same media frenzy.
She may not have been the first, second, or even the third person to wear the dress, but it will forever be associated with Lopez. Need more proof? In 2021, Hello Magazine declared that a tropical beach coverup by H&M was giving them “JLo vibes.”
The Versace dress keeps popping up
It’s been 21 years since Jennifer Lopez first wore this jaw-dropping gown, but she continues to reference it. In honor of its 20th anniversary, the “Dance Again” siren wore an updated take to close out Versace’s Spring 2020 show at Milan Fashion Week (via Harper’s Bazaar). It’s hard to shake the image of the gown billowing out behind her while she strutted down the runway (via YouTube).
The incomparable hitmaker shared some insight into wearing the dress during a 2019 interview with Vanity Fair. J.Lo revealed that it was the only option she had for the night the first time she put it on. “Usually I have choices. It was a last-minute thing that caused a sensation that was unexpected.” That wasn’t the case for Round 2. “The second time I wore it and walked out there, it was such an empowering thing,” she said. “Twenty years had gone by, and I think for women, knowing you can put on a dress 20 years later — it resonated.”
That’s not the end of The Jungle Dress in Lopez Lore. In fact, she’s stepped out in looks inspired by the print multiple times over the years (via Vogue) and was seen wearing a robe featuring the one-of-a-kind print on Instagram this year. Further proving she recognizes its impact, Glamour reported that Lopez still owned the dress and displayed it in her closet as of 2015. Sounds pretty legendary, if you ask us.
With one dress, JLo earned her status as a future fashion icon
Jennifer Lopez may not have become a fashion icon overnight (Vogue may disagree). However, the daring dress she wore to the 2000 Grammys set her up for greatness. And she’s certainly earned the title by refusing to step out of the house looking anything less than impeccable. In 2019, she finally got the recognition she deserves when she was awarded the Fashion Icon Award at the CFDA Awards.
The honor puts her in an elite class of fashionable people that includes the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna. Talk about an exclusive group! “Jennifer Lopez’s style is bold, uninhibited, and always memorable,” Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA, said on CFDA’s website. “Jennifer Lopez uses clothes as a way to express confidence and power,” CFDA chairwoman and designer Diane von Furstenberg added.
Hopefully. you won’t be surprised to learn that the article also mentioned her most iconic look of all time.
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