How long is NYFW? I am so sick of seeing it in my timeline!” A dear friend (who isn’t into fashion) asked me that this week, and I LOLed.

As the name indicates, Mercedes Benz NYFW lasts a week. Thurday September 8 to Thursday September 15. And yes, it seems like FOREVER, if you’re following fashionistas on Twitter or Facebook. The details of every show, every celebrity sighting, every outfit worn, has been recorded for public consumption. It is exhausting even if you’re not there.

I sat out this September’s NYFW – right now the plan is to be there in February! Much to my delight, it hasn’t been hard to keep up to date with the shows thanks to all of the livestreamed NYFW shows, and the unceasing rain of press releases in my inbox.

There has been some PHENOMENAL fashion this year. Phenomenal. But quite a few designers went with really subdued less is more makeup, wet-look hair as a trend, and super nude, natural, neutral nails. Whatever they wanna call it…it makes me sleepy. If you’ve read this blog for even a second you would know that is NOT my bag at all, baby — not when it comes to makeup and nails! But as the fashion gods would have it, there WERE a few designers who took beauty risks, collaborated with the pros and came up with truly innovative looks which I have collated here for you. Behold.

The coolest looks from NYFW September 2011, nail edition.

The Pretty Poison manicure as seen on Jen Kao’s Spring 2012 runway

New York Fashion Week nail trends

Black nails, colored tips were the order of the day at Jen Kao. CND nail artist Wanda Ruiz created “Lethal Love” diffused, gradation manicures that attract the eye with bold shades, but like a poisonous frog, have dangerous undertones.” (I love a good press release!) In an interview with Bellasugar, Wanda Ruiz explained “It’s a very dangerous, lethal person with a feminine, soft side.” Indeed. This mani was shaded using airbrushing tools, using CND Colours in Midnight Sapphire, Anchor Blue, Rouge Red, and Green Scene for the tips, and Inkwell for the rest — topped with Air Dry Top Coat while wet for an ombre finish. Dare to DIY? The Easy Drip Manicure also on Bellasugar could be an easy way to achieve a similar look.

Pierced nails for Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson nails for New York Fashion Week

Every Fashion Week I look forward to the nail art of butter LONDON. Why? Because their founding Creative Director Nonie Creme always comes up with something unique, memorable, and eye catching. This year for Betsey Johnson, Nonie Creme and butter did NOT disappoint. As she explained, “Betsey’s girl this season was influenced by vintage Debbie Harry – sexy, full-blown high octane glamour! We did a reverse half moon manicure, with a “stair step” (meaning the false nail sits slightly higher than the nail plate – creating that extra “pop” for the catwalk) holographic glitter tip, in a pointed almond shape. For the glitter tip, we used Diamond Geezer and a holographic shade that was custom mixed for Betsey, and added a diamond stone to the curved base of each tip. Union Jack Black was used on the actual nail – creating the reverse half-moon that almost had a “bruised” effect. Always wanting one more “wow” factor for Betsey, we added a nail piercing with black baby safety pin. Rock and roll, fun, sex, glamour!”

Now please let the record show that these probably aren’t the models REAL NAILS. For almost every fashion show, nails are brought in and applied to the models’ hands. So I wouldn’t advocate piercing your own nail (how would one do that? That’s a DIY destined for disaster) — but isn’t this concept cool? Nonie Creme and butter LONDON went on to create some other amazing looks this season. Namely:

The Ombre Nail at Yigal Azrouel

butter LONDON ombre nail

Nonie says of the ombre nail — “We created bespoke mixes for the look at Yigal Azrouel’s Cut25 – Salmon Pink, 80’s Turquoise, and Pastel Pistachio. This is a butter LONDON moment of greatness! Introducing the “ombré” manicure – softly layered, fabric woven-like nails that perfectly accent the woven jewelry here, the ultimate accessory. This is about visual texture; a loose, artistic nail art- I’m all about “fine art for nails” no palm trees or sunsets please!”

AMEN and here’s to unexpected nail art!

Multicolored nails at the Erickson Beamon show

butter LONDON New York Fashion Week nail trends

A different color for each finger may have been a look you tried as a child — and now thanks to Nonie Creme and butter LONDON, it is BACK. Big time. And bolder than ever.To create the look, Nonie created a technicolor palette with custom colors, presented by “The story is super duper theatrical – we stuck with a palette of bright colors and painted each nail a different color. No side by side nails with the same color, no two models with the same pattern – a whimsical free for all! We wanted the nails to look almost like little flickering lights while the dancers were moving.”

Love this. And it could also be really cool in a limited palette within the same color family. A range of blues or greens would be super chic!

The Harlequin Manicure for Diego Binetti, by CND nail artist Candice Manacchio

hottest nail looks at New York Fashion Week

Another nail adorned with something extra — this manicure was created with “CND Colour in Raspberry Parfait and Frosting Cream, capped in gold and silver metal for an artisanal finish. Toes were polished in Raspberry Parfait.” Not the most practical at home DIY manicure thanks to the metal caps, but definitely cool for the runway.

custom Magnum Minx at IFB.

Y’all know I love Minx nails! During NYFW, lucky attendees of the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference got manicures by celebrity nail stylist Lisa Logan! Lisa is like, the Queen of Minx – so much so that she’s got her own designer collection, and at IFB, Magnum ice cream sponsored custom Magnum Minx nails. Glittery and sexy and undeniably flashy and fashionable. Love this look, so perfect for NYFW!

There are still 2 days left to go, but these are the hottest nail trends I’ve seen during this September’s New York Fashion Week. See anything you like or are dying to try?


Khadine says:
September 14, 2011, 8:35 pm
Those blue nails and orange lips really POP on that first model!
Mina | Clothing Tags says:
September 14, 2011, 8:41 pm
Fantastic nail arts! I would love to try the multi-colored nails. The Pretty Poison and Pierced Nails are also cool. :D
bella says:
September 14, 2011, 9:55 pm
Right? She's so fierce with it! Wish I could do that look myself. My skills ain't so great LOL
nesta says:
September 18, 2011, 8:57 am
i like the pretty poison and the ombre nails.
IrieDiva says:
September 20, 2011, 2:30 pm
woot woot Jamaica in the house! First model Jeneil Williams from Pulse models Jamaica! And I LOOOOOOOVE the blue manicure she's rocking, im gonna request that when I go to the nail shop next week :D
PlusPrinters says:
July 19, 2018, 12:00 pm
Wonderful color combination.Looking gorgeous. Keep it in the future too and increase your beauty. Best of luck!
PlusPrinters says:
July 19, 2018, 12:02 pm
Color combination just marvelous. Models are looking great. Keep the good look in future too. Best of luck!
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