When it comes to living the high life, nobody does it better than Mariah Carey. While giving Vogue a walking tour (and we do mean walking) of the multi-room closet within her Tribeca triplex, the singer showed plenty to reinforce her reputation as the queen of decadence — a room of shoes, trays of sunglasses, beaded gowns on display (or as she puts it, “positioned... simply because they’re there”), and yes, eons of clothes, all color coded with backlights.
But somewhere between the silver-framed self portraits and endless accessories — which include Birkins, more Birkins (one, a special pink, reptilian gifted from Floyd Mayweather) and Chanel — the tour takes an intimate turn that even the lingerie room can’t trump: Carey shares that she has a white piano that belonged to Marilyn Monroe when the screen siren was a child. “It’s my prize possession,” she says.
More than the La Perla, the racks of “Agent Provocateur, darling ... darling!” it’s the piano that holds true meaning for Carey. But then she drops the mother of all memorabilia for a glamorous beauty buff: a square, black lacquer compact that was also once owned by Marilyn Monroe. There is no longer makeup inside. Instead, its gold-and-mirrored interior holds a singular card, sized just to fit. According to auction house Christie's, the card’s typewritten prose is an acceptance speech, thought to have been penned for the actress’s 1961 Golden Globe for World's Favorite Female Star. It reads:
“I’d like to thank you, but what am I doing here? I would have been here sooner but I was down in Florida. Fungos (whatever they are). This is a wonderful surprise for me, being named the most popular in the world. Until last week I never left Redlands... I’m moved — thrilled.”
Christie's notes that the item sold at auction in 1999 for $34,500, far above its estimated selling price of $2,00-$4,000. Of course Carey doesn’t discuss a winning bid or cash value. Instead, she’s refreshingly earnest as she delicately removes the heirloom from a protective sleeve.
“It seemed like a really sweet thing to have, and if I had written a speech and had kept it, I would want someone to keep it for me,” she says. Can you hear the sound of our cold hearts melting? Yeah, we came for the opulence — for maximum glamourpuss Mimi — but it’s the the genuinely sentimental Ms. Carey, and her deep respect for iconic beauty history, that has forever won our hearts.
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