Jaws dropped everywhere when Jennifer Lopez strutted down the runway during the spring/summer 2020 Versace show in Milan, clad in an updated version of that palm leaf-print, jungle dress—nearly two decades after she wore the original design at the 2000 Grammy Awards. In a new cover story with Vanity Fair, Lopez reminisced about how it felt to wear such an iconic number—again—during arguably the highest peak of her career thus far, aged 50.
“The first time I wore it, I actually didn’t have another dress. Usually, I have choices. It was a last-minute thing that caused a sensation that was unexpected. The second time was very planned-out,” said Lopez. The star explained that Donatella Versace called her to let her know she was planning to do an entire runway presentation based on the 20th anniversary of the famed design.
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“[Donatella] wound up calling and said, ‘I want you to walk at the end, and I want you to come out in the dress.’ ‘The same dress?’ ‘The same dress. We’ll make a new one for you,’” continued Lopez. “The second time I wore it and walked out there, it was such an empowering thing. Twenty years had gone by, and I think for women, knowing you can put on a dress 20 years later—it resonated. It was like, “Yes, you know, life is not over at 20!”
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Lopez has detailed the origin story of “the dress” in dozens of interviews over the years and even dedicated an entire video on her official YouTube channel to explaining the story for her fans.
The Hustlers star – who was snubbed for an Oscar nomination this year for her role as Ramona Vega in the Lorene Scafaria-directed film – credited acting as being the love of her life during the interview.
“I always felt like [acting] is what I wanted to do. It was this or nothing. There was not really an option for me. It’s just what I love,” said Lopez. “I would say dancing and music are my first loves, but acting is the love of my life. You have your first love and the love of your life, and acting is the love of my life.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.
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