The Best Nails of Fashion Week 2014
Nail art isn't dead, and the intricate manicures we've been seeing on the New York Fashion Week runways are proof! While the classic beige lacquer is a catwalk staple season after season, many designers have been nailing it in the literal sense by decking their models out in creative manicures, and many of the looks can be easily translated into the real world. Case in point: The iridescent nails we spotted at the Cushnie et Ochs show. The shimmery holographic effect isn't immediately obvious thanks to the deep base color, but the shade changes from inky noir to a shimmery green depending where the light hits. In addition to Cushnie et Ochs, Prabal Gurung, Charlotte Ronson, Tadashi Shoji, and many more designers have been getting in on the nail art game, and we've rounded up our favorites so you can take a closer look, and maybe even try your hand at a pattern. Click through our gallery to see Fashion Week's hottest couture claws in detail!
Cushnie et Ochs
To complement the label's trendy designs and the gorgeous cat eyeliner, manicurists at Cushnie et Ochs shaped models' nails into a soft stiletto point before layering on a oil slick-esque lacquer, which transformed from deep asphalt to holographic green depending on where the light hit.
Minimalism at your fingertips! A crisp line was drawn over a buff-toned base at Prabal Gurung's show.
"The collection was inspired by Ferran Adrià, a Spanish Catalan chef who creates food masterpieces. His dishes are each sketched before created and use a variety of different textures," says Butter London's global color ambassador Katie Jane Hughes. "This inspiration has translated into a collection of whites, gold, silver and black with textures such as pearls, beading and feathers." To nail the inspiration, Hughes started by applying a base coat of Butter London's Nail Foundation ($19; butterlondon.com) and followed with a diagonal sweep of Alabaster Glaze, a pearly white hue that hits stores in April.
Manicurist extraordinaire Miss Pop put a spin on Fetherston's charm school inspiration with feminine monogramming and sweet half-moon patterns. "I refined the half moon-a nail art trend started by flappers-into a more delicate stroke," she says. "Then, I added a hand painted monogrammed E using KISS Nail Artist Paint ($7 for a set of three; walgreens.com), alternating between white and black."
With a set of vampy red imPRESS Nails ($7; walmart.com), manicurist Gina Edwards used a black nail art polish to paint a scalloped pattern onto the lower half. "The two tone look is a must-have for fall," Edwards says.
Manicurist Jin Soon Choi gave the French Manicure new life by swapping the tried-and-true color scheme for a crisp white tip on a metallic black base.
File this under the cutest nail art we've seen all week long! Models at the Degen Fall/Winter presentation lacquered up in fun cloud-printed manicures and a rainbow statement nail.
Butter London's Katie Jane Hughes played off the metallic tones in the collection for the layered tones spotted at Dannijo. She began with a base coat of Goss, then used a makeup sponge to apply the hue in Posh Bird at the tips ($15 each; butterlondon.com).
While Deborah Lippmann has created fun nail art looks for Kate Spade season after season, sometimes seemingly-simple looks have an even bigger impact. "Originally we were going to do strong colorblocking, but then we tried nude colorblocking, and eventually we decided on a nude nail," Lippmann tells us. "I think this makes a statement, and maybe it’s a good statement to make, because maybe we’ve done enough nail art." A few layers of her lacquer in Naked ($18; deborahlippmann.com) and a generous swipe of shiny top coat was applied to the models' mile-long talons.
Creatures of the Wind
Hughes mirrored the agate stones from the Creatures of the Wind inspiration board onto the models' marbled nails for the label's show. She used a water marbling technique, where you pour drops of nail polish into a bowl of water, create rings of color, then dip the nail in to apply the pattern.
Lead manicurist Honey applied a stripe of Maybelline's Bold Gold nail polish ($4; drugstore.com) over a clear base coat to give the old-school French mani a Midas touch.
Som's models worked a half-moon pattern in a black and white color scheme.
Miller's collection was inspired by strong women warriors, so an equally-strong nail look was the only thing that would do. Hughes applied Butter London's Union Jack Black ($14; butterlondon.com) first, then swept on a layer of matte topcoat. She then used a thin striping brush dipped in the red Knees Up shade ($14; butterlondon.com) to paint a flame-like design starting at the cuticle.
Drawing upon the bewitching theme of Jackie Fraser-Swan's American Horror Story: Coven-inspired line, manicurist Miss Pop used Essie's Licorice and Master Plan ($8.50 each; essie.com) to paint up a negative space pattern.
Gold half-moons and tips on a nude base added a gilded accent to Shoji's elegant designs.
Lead manicurist Michelle Saunders applied a few layers of Essie's Bahama Mama, then used the metallic navy hue in Midnight Cami across the tip ($8.50 each; essie.com).