Milan Fashion Week.
Even these three elements would be enough to boost the imagination of lovers of the glossy aesthetics of runways, of spotlights, of brazen temporality of fashion. However, if it is true that this temporality changes season by season, there is something that overtakes the transience of collections and becomes an icon, a symbol:
JENNIFER LOPEZ AND THE JUNGLE DRESS BY VERSACE
Story of a marriage that has changed not only the history of fashion, but also the history of Google.
Saying “Ok Google” is an everyday gesture, made in front of the white light of a screen, hearing one’s voice resound in silence.
But this time, we can hear the voice of Donatella Versace, among the voices following the last catwalk of Spring-summer 2020 fashion show:
Ok Google, show me images of the Versace jungle dress
It is the magic formula: on the walls of Palazzo delle Scintille, all the photos taken from Google Images are projected, going back to that moment in which Jennifer Lopez weared the Versace dress at the Grammy Awards, on February 23rd 2000.
And if research becomes symbolism, the screen is public, the image becomes icon.
The reference is clear: 20 years ago, Jennifer Lopez enchanted the whole world, wearing the jungle dress that, shortly after, will be named “Fashion of the Year 2000” by the Fashion Museum.
Designed by Donatella Versace, it is a dress in transparent silk chiffon with long sleeves, opening at the back and a deep neckline held in place by a brooch at the height of the navel that leaves the part of the skirt exposed.
The next day, the whole world wanted to see this dress, and the woman who had crowned it as an icon. But it was not easy to find photographies, since Google was only looking for articles around the web.
The most famous search engine in the world was still newborn: when Google was launched, people were amazed that they were able to find out about almost anything by typing just a few words into a computer. It was better than anything else, but not great by today’s standards. The former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, will declare that the one on JLO’s dress
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
This is therefore the story of how a dress has indirectly changed everyday experience, our real life.
While the screens still let the icons scroll, the item comes back to ask, once again:
Ok, Google. Now show me the real jungle dress.
Thus the image gives way to reality:
The real Jennifer Lopez, her 50 years, her body and the (in)tangible cloth that dresses her, without sleeves, with more bare skin on the back and on the hips.
Furthermore skin, back, and hips take over the stage, replacing the pixels and showing how, 20 years later, a dress is much more than the cloth of which it is composed by: it is imaginary, it is revolution, it is the impact on real life of all those who, dreaming of a day when they can wear it, they admire its shapes by scrolling through the photos on Google Images.
For those who doesn’t just want to dream,
the Versace Jeans collection is available on Brandsdistribution.