Versace’s longtime designer and tailor Luigi Massi died in early April at the age of 56

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May 08, 2019 10:56 AM

Jennifer Lopez shined in her silver fringe beaded Versace dress at the Met Gala earlier this week, but there was a bittersweet story behind the gorgeous gown.

In a behind-the-scenes video of the night shared to her YouTube channel on Tuesday, Lopez, 49, grew emotional during a dress fitting days before the gala as she remembered Luigi Massi, the longtime Versace designer and tailor who created the sparkly gown.

According to WWD, Massi died on April 2 of a heart attack. He was 56.

“We’re saddened this year and cried during our first fitting, putting on this gown,” Lopez says in the video. “Knowing Luigi was making this gown when he passed away. It’s difficult, but at the same time it’s also a celebration of his work.”

The video also showed Lopez on the day of the big event, wearing a multicolored robe and a face mask as she prepped for the evening.

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“Good job everybody. It only took seven hours,” she said after she was dressed and ready for the gala. Lopez is shown holding a tissue and tearing up, appearing to remember Massi again.

Lopez and fiancé Alex Rodriguez then head out in an elevator to the gala, thanking the fashion, hair and makeup teams for their hard work.

Lopez previously opened up about Massi’s death in a video in late April on her YouTube channel, revealing that the designer was in the middle of creating her Met Gala gown when he passed away.

“I got some really sad news,” she shared in the clip. “There was a gentleman named Luigi who was always there with me. He would fit me, he would help design right alongside — he was Donatella [Versace]‘s right hand.”

“He passed away in the middle of making my Met Ball gown and I was one of the first people that they called because we had such an amazing time creating looks for me and they know how much I loved him and how much fun we had,” Lopez said, visibly emotional as she spoke.

“He didn’t speak any English, he spoke Italian. And I didn’t speak Italian but somehow we always understood each other,” she shared. “And we had the best time working together for 20 years.”

“Thank you so much for all of your love and support, you made me feel so beautiful so many times,” she said to Massi.

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The 2019 Met Gala marked Lopez’s eleventh time at the star-studded ball — and her third time with Rodriguez at her side. It also marked two months since their romantic Bahamas engagement that broke the Internet.

Lopez wore her Versace dress paired with a matching fringe headpiece and a host of Harry Winston jewels, including a purple sapphire-and-diamond necklace, weighing in at 129.48 carats and set in platinum.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

For his part, Rodriguez wore a lilac colored tuxedo jacket to play up the iridescent quality of his fiancée’s dress. He also added some bling, via his Harry Winston Ocean Biretrograde white gold timepiece and zalium-and-diamond shirt studs.

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