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19 years ago, JLo's green dress inspired the creation of Google Images. And now it's back.

Strutting down the Versace Spring-Summer 2020 runway on Friday, Jennifer Lopez outfit-repeated for the best reason possible.

Nineteen years earlier, the actress and singer was one of the first celebrities to break the internet, by wearing a very low-cut, green, jungle-print dress to the 2000 Grammy Awards. Remember: it was a time before red carpet ‘naked dresses,’ Instagram and the Kardashians, so Lopez’s plunging neckline caused quite the kerfuffle.

People wanted, nay… needed to see it. But at the time Google’s search functions were limited to text pages. And so, it was JLo in a green dress that got the big wigs at Google thinking.

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JLo was the first celebrity to break the internet in 2000. Image: Getty.

Writing about the revolutionary moment, former executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, confirmed the story in an essay for Project Syndicate,

“When we launched Google people were amazed that they were able to find out about almost anything by typing a few words into a computer. So our co-founders – like all successful inventors – kept iterating. After all, people wanted more than just text,” he wrote.

“This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammys where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world’s attention. At the time if was the most popular search query we had ever seen, but we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted.

“As a result, Google image search was born."

Reviving an icon: Jennifer Lopez stuns in the 2019 version.

This time around, JLo walked Milan fashion week, in an updated version of the dress. It was a little less low cut, but just as daring and fabulous.

 

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"That’s it. That’s it. Don’t even talk about it": The jungle dress' origin story.

Although Lopez enshrined the dress in our collective consciousness, she wasn't actually the first celeb to wear it.

Versace's Chief Creative Officer, Donatella Versace, wore the design in 1999. And the Spice Girls' Geri Halliwell also sported the gown at the 1st Annual NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, France, in January, 2000 - just a month before Lopez.

It was for this reason that the Maid in Manhattan actress nearly went with another option. And had she listened to her stylist, Andrea Lieberman, she would have.

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Technically Ginger Spice (and Donatella Versace) did it first. Image: Getty.
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Sharing the story in JLo's Youtube series, Moments of Fashion: The Versace Dress, the 50-year-old said that, at the time, she was preoccupied with filming for The Wedding Planner and had left her Grammys outfit to the day of the ceremony.

"Usually if you come to a fitting of mine, there's like tonnes of dresses and tonnes of shoes," she said.

"There's always so many choices. But this day we only really had a choice between two dresses. One was kind of like a white dress, and the other was the Versace jungle-print dress."

She tried on both. And although her stylist opted for the white gown, her longtime manager and friend, Benny Medina, thought differently.

“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,'" recounted Lopez.

"Of course my stylist was mortified."

However, all fears were erased the moment Lopez arrived on the red carpet.

“We hit the red carpet, and it was a frenzy," she said.

"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.”

Jennifer Lopez Versace
Jennifer Lopez walking the Grammys' red carpet with Sean Coombs. Image: Getty.
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The same thing happened later, when Lopez went on stage to present the Grammy for the best R&B Album with The X-Files actor, David Duchovny.

“All of a sudden, again, a slow murmur and everybody starts clapping. We get an ovation for standing there!” she said.

"David Duchonvy then says, 'this is the first [time] in years where I know no one is looking at me'.

“It was in that moment, that that dress became something that people still reference.”

 

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Nearly 20 years since that Grammys red carpet, the Italian fashion house continues to celebrate the iconic fashion and pop-culture moment.

Multiple other runway outfits also featured Versace 'jungle print' in honour of its 20th anniversary. However, once again, JLo stole the show wearing an updated version of that 'green dress'.

And this time, it's all on Google images.

What do you think of JLo's jungle dress? Tell us in a comment below.

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