Fierce

It Turns Out Ginger Spice Wore That Iconic Jennifer Lopez Dress First

Jennifer Lopez’s iconic green Versace dress is the reason we have Google Image search today, but that doesn’t mean she was the first to wear it. Geri Halliwell, also known as Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls, wore the look about a month before, meanwhile, Donatella Versace sported it nearly a year before the 2000 Grammys — it just didn’t have the same impact. 

The tropical patterned dress made of silk chiffon with a plunging neckline and sheer fabric was considered provocative for the time. Perhaps, no more provocative than Jennifer Lopez’s voluptuous body which was considered out of the norm. This was the same era of waify actresses with jutting hip bones and visible rib cages, Lopez was an outlier. 

This is why Jennifer Lopez specifically in that dress became a moment in fashion history. 

Ginger Spice rocks it first allegedly 

Bestselling author Juno Dawson pointed out the fact that Geri Halliwell wore the dress before Jennifer Lopez on Twitter. The Spice Girls singer wore it a month before J. Lo, to the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes on January 22, 2000.

“Not to diminish J-Lo, but history remembers that @GeriHalliwell WORE IT FIRST,” Dawson wrote. 

“Very long, very straight hair extensions is a LOOK also,” she said in another tweet. 

While I’ve never seen anyone claim that Lopez wore it first, it is also ahistorical to suggest Halliwell did. 

Actually, my guy, Donatella Versace wore it first

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedRewind/status/859029651255160832/photo/1

Donatella Versace actually first wore the dress in 1999 to the Met Gala. Who wore the dress first seems irrelevant to the fact that it exists in our collective memory because of Jennifer Lopez. 

The dress is famous because of how Lopez appeared in it not because of when it was worn. The “I’m Real” singer’s curvaceous body uniquely filled it out. Moreover, her tan complexion suited the vibrant green best.

For years, Lopez was advised to lose weight because of her curvy body. The Versace dress showed the world there was nothing wrong with it, that in fact, a body like Lopez’s should be admired.

“But I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry. They’d say, ‘You should lose a few pounds,’ or ‘You should do this or do that.’ It finally got to the point that I was like, ‘This is who I am. I’m shaped like this,’ ” Lopez told InStyle

“Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I still don’t!”

 It’s why they call it a “fashion moment,” it’s because a piece of clothing is only as good as the person wearing it. 

Jennifer Lopez inspired Google Image search

I am not shading Halliwell or Donatella they looked great in it, but sometimes the right person can elevate a look because of what they exude in it. When she appeared on the red carpet of the 2000 Grammy Awards, J. Lo inspired a record number of searches that triggered Google to invent Google Image search. This isn’t only a fashion moment, it is fashion history. 

“People wanted more than just text. This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world’s attention,” Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said

“At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no sure-fire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: JLo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born.”

J. Lo tells the story of the iconic dress

Before the Grammys, Lopez wasn’t sure of what to wear. Her stylist, Andrea Lieberman presented her with tons of looks, but nothing was quite right. When she spotted the green Versace dress, she knew it was the one. It didn’t matter that it had been worn twice before. 

 “This is what we’re going to wear; this is it,” Lopez recalled to Vogue. “I didn’t think it was all that risqué, to be honest.” 

The singer believes the image of her in the dress transcends even her own career and accomplishments. 

“The dress was just provocative enough to make people interested,” she said. “That was a moment that captured people’s imaginations, I think . . . in terms of my career, this dress really marked a moment in time. Even if you don’t know my music and you don’t know my movies, people know about that moment and that dress. That was it.”

Almost 20 years later, Lopez rocks it again

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2pNt7ulT9M/ To commemorate the historical ensemble, last week, Lopez wore a sleeveless version of the dress to close the 2020 Spring Versace show. As she strutted down the catwalk, the crowd went crazy. The 50-year-old looked as glowing and transcendent as she did 18 years ago.    “You know when I do something, I really do it,” Lopez said that night. And that’s that on that. 

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