Amber Valletta, a 90s supermodel, gave the world one of its defining fashion moments when she first walked down the runway in Versace’s plunging jungle dress. But it wasn’t until the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2000 when Jennifer Lopez rocked the same gown that the dress gained worldwide notoriety. In Vogue’s ‘Life in Looks’ series, Valletta remembered wearing the iconic dress first and how it broke the internet when Lopez donned it.
Valletta modeled the floor-length silk chiffon gown for Versace’s Spring/Summer 2000 show that featured a green leaf and bamboo pattern with blue accents, plunging neckline below the navel, and a crotch fastened with a citrine-studded brooch. She also posed for the famed Italian fashion house’s campaign wearing the same dress.
J.Lo turned heads and created a media frenzy when she first came out in the jaw-dropping gown at the Grammy Awards where she accompanied then-boyfriend Sean “Diddy” Combs to the awards show, where she was nominated for her first Grammy. The dress went viral as search queries for images of Lopez skyrocketed within hours of the event.
Valletta said that the dress was “ahead of its time” and embodied “fierce Versace sexiness, blonde ambition.” Despite wearing the famous dress before Lopez, there was never any competitiveness between herself and the pop star. She praised Lopez for wearing the dress incredibly and emphasized that it’s not about who wears it “best.” She said, “I think we’re all uniquely beautiful and have individually something to bring.”
The story of the Versace jungle dress is a testimony that powerful women wear powerful dresses. The dress has become an iconic piece in fashion history and has been able to sustain its place in fashion for over 20 years. The iconic dress shows the power of fashion to transform, inspire, and shape the world in which we live in.
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