March 13, 2000 12:00 PM

As awards show fashions go, it was a new low—literally. At last month’s Grammys, Jennifer Lopez made but a veiled attempt to cover her curves with a jaw-dropping chiffon number by designer Donatella Versace that may henceforth be known as That Dress. (For more Grammys dish, see the following story.) “It makes a woman look so sexy,” insists the creator of the $15,000 glorified scarf, who wore the shock frock herself last December. Lopez clearly agrees. “I saw Donatella with it,” she told Entertainment Tonight, “and I had to have it.”

The reaction was swift—and mostly merciless. “Jennifer Takes Prize for Breast New Artist,” smirked the New York Post. “For Frock’s Sake—Give It a Rest!” trumpeted Britain’s Daily Star. Internet search engine Lycos reported that Lopez was the fourth most popular request that week; the dress itself landed at No. 13.

But what really set tongues wagging was how Lopez managed to, um, keep up appearances. “Maybe she has pierced nipples,” guesses a bemused Martin Grant, a Paris-based fashion designer. “Then you could attach the dress to them.” Andrea Lieberman, Lopez’s stylist on Grammy night, insists that the dress was “made a certain way so it stays on.” In Versace’s one concession to modesty, the dress came with built-in, beaded underpants. “Everything is attached,” says a Versace representative. “You just slip the whole thing on.” As to whether any glue or tape came between Lopez and That Dress, Lieberman won’t say, adding coyly, “That’s why we call them styling ‘tricks.’

Julie K.L. Dam

Steven Cojocaru in Los Angeles, Natasha Stoynoff in New York City and Cathy Nolan in Paris

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