Colleen Kratofil
August 21, 2017 06:04 PM
Ellen von Unwerth

When chart-topping divas have Las Vegas residencies their on-stage outfits are so sheer, so sparkly and so over-the-top it’s a true wonder they can dance in them for hours without suffering a major wardrobe malfunction. So it’s hard for us to imagine that Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey could wear anything more spectacular than what they wear on the Vegas stage — until now. The divas star on their own Paper magazine covers, as part of the publications Vegas issue which stars the top performers on the Strip right now (also including Ricky Martin and the Backstreet Boys).

Ellen von Unwerth

Lopez was decked out in the most over-the-top glitzy, bedazzled unitards throughout her photoshoot — one outfit was complete with crystal wings and headpiece — which isn’t too far off from the show-stopping looks seen in her show. She performs in designs from Balmain and Versace that come at a high cost. “I get a lot of bruises and it’s a hard show on me. It definitely is,” she said when asked if it’s difficult to move in her outfits.

Ellen von Unwerth

But for designers to hit J.Lo’s criteria they have to follow her three design rules. She says her costumes need to have three layers consisting of a kaftan, a bodysuit and an even smaller bodysuit underneath.

James White

During Carey’s photo shoot, the icon strips down to her fishnet tights and elbow-length gloves, going completely topless on her cover, except for a bejeweled body chain.

James White

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James White

Throughout the shoot she added more layers with an outfit featuring a seashell-shaped bra and a crystal-embellished corset with a voluminous tiered skirt. For the glitzy gold gown she modeled, she said she had “a fairy princess moment” and felt like “adult” Cinderella. “And I took off my shoes to be very Cinderella. Although I don’t know that Cinderella went as plunging in the neckline.”

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In their respective interviews, both stars said they love the performing in Vegas, but don’t necessarily party like you may expect. “I’m here to dance and the wildest thing I’ve done is, oooh, I danced ’til 4. You know, that was it,” said Lopez.

The wildest thing Carey says she does when she’s visiting the strip? Go to the dentist. When asked what she’d recommend visitors do when touring the Strip, she suggests everyone getting a check up. “Well, if they have kids they should take them to the dentist that [my kids] go to, because it’s a kids’ dentist and they have all these games there…I’m sitting here waiting to go to the dentist, like, ‘Let me get to Vegas so I can get to the dentist!'”

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Carey also maintains that she doesn’t think she has “diva moments.” Instead, she says her diva tendencies is something she was born with. “I guess it’s a little intense, because I come from a true diva: My mother is an opera singer. And that’s a real diva, you know — Juilliard diva. And so other people that are like, ‘I’m a diva,’ it’s like, ‘Honey, you don’t know what a diva is, you didn’t grow up with my mom.’ [Laughs] And I mean it as a compliment, or I wouldn’t be the person I am without experiencing that.”

So she says no one should take it seriously when she spews out a few “dahling” in her conversations. “And so when people hear me say, like, ‘Dahling da da da da’ and talk that way, it’s kinda like I’m channeling my mother. Not that she says ‘dahling’ all the time, but like that voice is… it’s like I inadvertently do it, and I don’t do it to be disrespectful, I just do it and it just happens and it’s like, [in diva voice] ‘I don’t even know why.'”

To see more from their glitzy shoots, pick up a copy of Paper’s special issue, or just head to Vegas see their stage costumes sparkle in person. What do you think of the show-stopping covers?

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