With Christmas right around the corner, who better to deck the (fashion) halls with than the undisputed diva of the season herself? Get ready for an overdose in glitz, heavy glam and oh-so-many sparkles with Mariah Carey’s epic style evolution.
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Mariah Carey works her angles and tries to find her style persona in 1990
Fresh off signing with record label Columbia and about to release her debut album, young Mariah was a fresh face in the industry and definitely working to find her voice — and signature style persona — in the music scene.
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Mariah Carey wins Best New Artist of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1991
Rocking some serious hardware, Mariah dazzled in a black mini dress with embellished straps and her signature ringlet curls while attending the 1991 Grammy Awards in New York City. With a fresh face and minimal accessories, this stripped-down version of the would-be diva was a good look.
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Mariah Carey sparkles at the American Music Awards in 1992
In shimmery stockings and a sparkly mini dress, Mariah’s award at the AMA’s wasn’t the only bling on deck. This full-on glam styling was definitely a sign of things to come for the billboard-climbing diva on the rise.
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Mariah Carey says “I do” to producer Tommy Motola in 1993
Nineteen-ninety-three was a busy year for Mimi, who not only released her third studio album, Music Box, but also got hitched to her music producer Tommy Motola. The dress — oh, the dress! — was a Vera Wang creation fit for a princess, and, in fact, said to have been inspired by the one and only late Lady Diana. We love how over-the-top and distinctly Mariah the whole look was, from her dress and headpiece, down to the overflowing bridal bouquet.
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Mariah Carey gives us all we want for Christmas in 1994
Shrunken sweater? Check. Belted Levi’s? Check? Candy canes? Check. Best Christmas album ever? Double check. Nineteen-nighty-four will forever go down in history as the year fans were gifted with the greatest holiday gift ever: Mariah’s Christmas Album. We are not worthy, Mariah!
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Mariah Carey steals the show at the opening of the Armani flagship store in 1996
Mariah may recall her chart-topping track hit with Boyz II Men as the highlight of her year in 1996, but we’re still gaga over this amazing dress she wore to the opening of the Giorgio Armani flagship store opening in New York City.
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Mariah Carey is single and ready to mingle at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1997
Newly-separated from Tommy Motola, Mariah stepped onto the red carpet for the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards and made it very clear she wasn’t going to be shying away from the spotlight anytime soon. In a daring tummy-baring two-piece outfit, Mimi ensured all eyes were definitely on her.
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Mariah Carey rocks a metallic mini at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in 1998
Collaborating with Whitney Houston and performing alongside the biggest divas of the day on VH1, there’s no doubt 1998 was a good year for Mariah, who was making metallic mini-dresses her signature style.
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Mariah Carey is all about the Rainbow effect in 1999
Swapping the glamorous gowns and sequins for low-rise jeans and crop-tops, Mariah took a more casual stance in her style during the reign of her Rainbow album n 1999. While we loved the casual-Carey phase, we knew it couldn’t last…
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Mariah Carey sparkles on stage in concert in 2003
A few more albums in, with some hits — and some highly-publicized misses — Mariah pulled out all the stops (and sparkles) when she opened her tour for Charm Bracelet in 2003.
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Mariah Carey is among legends at an Oprah Winfrey event in 2005
Attending Oprah Winfrey’s Host the Legends Ball in 2005, Mariah stepped out in a strapless ballgown with a dramatic fur trim detail. Over the top? Totally. Flattering? Not quite… but did she pull it off? She’s Mariah — so of course!
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Mariah Carey is in sync with new-hubby Nick Cannon in 2008
This couple loved to coordinate — from red — carpet ensembles to Halloween costumes (that epic milk and cookies duo costume!) and all the off-duty outfits in-between, Mariah and then-new hubby Nick Cannon seemed like a perfect match. The two were married at Mimi’s vacation house in the Bahamas in 2008, and while Carey didn’t say “I do” in a bikini during their tropical wedding, she did opt for a surprisingly understated white dress.
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Mariah Carey swings into 2010
With each passing year, Mariah’s style and sense of drama has only grown bigger. In 2010, she performed in concert at Fox Theatre in Detroit, opening her performance in an elaborate tiered gold gown, and appearing on stage sitting on an embellished rope swing — because, why not?
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Mariah Carey bounces right back after babies in 2011
Having given birth to twins just six months prior, a no-longer-pregnant Mariah stunned in red while announcing her role as the new Jenny Craig brand ambassador. Having spent the majority of her pregnancy ducking the spotlight, Mimi looked radiant as ever, and was all smiles while back in her element on the red carpet.
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Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon renew their vows in Paris in 2012
As in love as ever, new parents Mariah and Nick Cannon attend a photocall for their wedding vows renewal ceremony in Paris in 2012. Keeping it as glamorous as ever, Mariah opts for a white satin fishtail gown with belted bow detail to mark the occasion.
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Mariah Carey styles her sling in 2013
Sustaining an arm injury in 2013 while filming a music video, Mariah decided to make the best of things and jazz up her cast with this studded leather sling. Only Mariah… We should tell you, the sling-styling didn’t end here. Think: sequin sling, fuzzy faux-fur sling… the list goes on.
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Mariah Carey forgets her pants while debuting her DJ set in 2016
After her ex-hubby Nick Cannon filed for divorce in 2014 (finalized in 2016), Mariah went on to date, become engaged to — and then split from – Australian billionaire James Packer. Through all the relationship ups and downs of the past few years, none of it seemed to influence Mimi’s dramatic sense of style, which only seemed to amplify in wow-factor. In Vegas to premiere her DJ set at nightclub venue 1 OAK, Mariah wore thigh-high stockings, a leather jacket and not much else.
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Mariah Carey nails it at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2017
Staying true to her signature style while absolutely nailing the level of glam for the evening, Mariah wowed in a super-low-cut and super-high-slit Philipp Plein gown.
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Mariah Carey won’t share her spotlight with Brian Tanaka in 2018
Making very clear about who runs the show, Mariah steals the spotlight while posing for photographs with dancer and on-again off-again boyfriend Brian Tanaka at the post-Golden Globes party in 2018. In full glam and highlighting her hourglass figure, Mariah is in her prime — and all smiles, as usual — on the red carpet.
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Mariah Carey rocks out at Heidi Klum’s Halloween party in 2019
Mariah may make a living playing dress-up, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t give Halloween her all. This diva for the ages is never anything but a thrill to watch, and this past Halloween was no exception. In full rock star glam, Mimi attended Heidi Klum’s famed annual spooky bash and definitely nailed it.