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Scene: JLo Keeps it Real

On the eve of her first high-end runway show, WWD looks at the evolution of Jennifer Lopez's style.

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Lopez left from her “In Living Color” days in 1990

Lopez, left, from her “In Living Color” days in 1990.

Photo By Courtesy of Fox/Neal Peters collection

Next Friday night, Jennifer Lopez officially enters the high-fashion business. Sure, she’s been a player in the mainstream game with her JLo line, and buzz has been building since talks of her label, Sweetface, began in 2001. But on Feb. 11, Jennifer Lopez launches her latest collection to the world.

Sweetface, like Lopez, has undergone a bit of a transformation through the years. What began with low-rise sweatpants and tube tops has evolved into a carefully crafted collection Lopez herself might wear. The pop star’s transformation, unlike that of the brand, was very public and played out on red carpets, music video sets and the streets of Los Angeles. As a Fly Girl on Fox’s comedy-sketch series, “In Living Color,” Lopez was the embodiment of hip-hop culture. In 1997, she captured the spirit of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in her breakout role in the film “Selena,” and later went on to tackle the music charts in 1999 with her first solo album, “On the Six.”

“I see the evolution of a woman,” said Andrea Lieberman, Lopez’s fashion stylist and costume designer for the past six years. “Jennifer is steeped in urban life and Hollywood life and she’s lived a sort of gypsy life on the road in between that helped her get to where she is today.”

For Lieberman, the epitome of dressing Lopez is magnified when styling her music videos. “Our approach, in working with music videos, was to take high-end luxury fashion that so many people thought was inaccessible and mix it with a certain street style to make it accessible. We made it fresh, specifically with the video ‘Play.’ I don’t think urban music was going in that direction before that time,” she said.

But from Lopez’s edgy urban music videos came the superglam, red-carpet-ready starlet we see today. One of Lieberman’s favorite Lopez looks was the celadon Valentino dress Lopez wore to the 2003 Oscars. “She took my breath away. That look is iconic,” Lieberman said.

It makes perfect sense to Lieberman that Lopez’s collection, Sweetface, has evolved to its current level. “Everything is just coming together for her right now and those clothes truly represent where she is,” she said.
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