NEW YORK – Mariah Carey will ring in the New Year in a glittery Marc Bouwer concoction when she becomes the first musician in the show’s 34-year history to perform live in Times Square during “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve 2006” show Saturday.

Instead of kicking back a bit as many Manhattanites have this week, Bouwer has been busy finessing the crystal-covered, thigh-baring dress with an elaborate train. Carey, whose album “The Emancipation of Mimi” garnered eight Grammy nominations and sales nearing the 5 million mark, is capping off a stellar year. Fresh from a Paris shoot last weekend, she asked Bouwer to swing by her downtown apartment at 1:30 a.m. for a two-hour chat about her New Year’s Eve outfit. He happily sketched away.

Despite the late hour, the Long Island-born musician was enthusiastic. “She was really into it,” said Paul Margolin, president of Marc Bouwer. “She said, ‘Let’s go into the shoe closet and get inspired by some shoes.'”

Bouwer and Margolin are being true-blue fans by listening to more Mariah Carey music. “We’re definitely in Mariah mode. It’s funny how that happens,” Margolin said. “After Shania [Twain] wore one of our dresses to the CMAs [Country Music Awards], we were listening to more of her music.”

This was not their first collaboration. Bouwer also dressed Carey for the Billboard awards. He has designed some faux fur pieces and evening gowns for the songstress to wear New Year’s Eve.

Bouwer and Margolin will be on hand before and after the ball drops in Times Square. “I will be right there, zipping her up or sewing it on her. It’s quite a complicated outfit.” Bouwer said. “It has thousands of Austrian crystals.”

Mention of Saturday night’s predicted fairly mild temperatures was welcome news to the designer. “That’s great. It’s kind of skimpy.”

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