Articles > Nails > The Hottest Nail Trends From Fashion Week
September 20, 2016

The Hottest Nail Trends From Fashion Week

close formula

Jan Arnold, CND Co-Founder and Style Director, backstage at Alice + Olivia.


CND is known for being the brand that pioneered nail artistry at Fashion Week. Before CND Co-Founder and Style Director Jan Arnold started showing up backstage and talking designers into letting her team do models’ nails, those 10 tiny canvases were kind of an afterthought. But now…nails REALLY make the look. So we caught up with CND backstage at two of New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017’s hottest shows to get a close-up look at how two totally different approaches to nail art can take a designer’s clothes to the next level.


Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet

The palm fronds around the nails at top are a take on “contouring,” and the bottom nails show off this season’s new way to wear a French mani.


The clothes at this show were inspired by 18th century tarot cards and mystic gardens, embodying the power of positivity and the beauty of nature. For nails, CND artists chose bold, simplistic styles that can be easily recreated by nail technicians in the salon.


“The Alice + Olivia girl is all about blending prints, mixing and matching and looking effortless,” Jan said. “So we did graphic nails that are flattering on every nail type!” One cool technique was this nail contouring look (yep, it’s not just for your face or hair—contouring is EVERYWHERE!)—dark green palm fronds were painted around the perimeter of the nail, making the center “luminous.” “It has a very slimming effect,” Jan added.


A third nail look at the Alice + Olivia show combined a
pale pink with a dusting of crystals.


Another trend we spotted: A new take on the French manicure. CND painted a crescent swoop of dusty rose down one side of the nail and a single palm leaf down the other side, turning the French on its side, literally.


CND is known for their avant-garde, 3D nail designs, so the looks at this show were unexpected and beautiful. “We love the challenge of harnessing our creativity and translating it into precise, wearable nail art,” said CND Education Manager Roxanne Valinoti. “These nails are flirty yet refined, perfect for a beach getaway or a summer soiree.”


Watch the behind-the-scenes action!





The nails at Libertine were high-contrast in both texture and color!


And now for something completely different…the nails at Libertine were statement-making for sure. It was the Libertine show last year when CND debuted the famous “fur” nails, gluing actual faux fur to nails, so we were ready for anything at this show. This is CND’s fifth season collaborating with Libertine’s Johnson Hartig, and the closeness between both was apparent—the designer didn’t even see the final nails until right before the show! But when Jan revealed the 25 super intricate, totally show-stopping designs, Johnson was in LOVE!


Libertine founder Johnson Hartig was OBSESSED with these nails.


The fashion was all rebellious punk rock, and the nails played with ’70s and ’80s throwback elements tied with unexpected Victorian and New Wave elements. Some models donned sets embellished with seed beads, graphic 3D shingles, neon studs, tassels and golden chains. Others rocked nails with the words “Chic as Hell.” Even Johnson’s bellowed rescue dogs, Pocket and Terence, made appearances as nail art! This year’s fuzzy nail was the flocked nail, a more wearable take on fur with the texture of a fuzzy slipper. Above all, Jan said, “the accent nail is OUT! Now it’s the split-style mani, featuring one unique look per hand.”


A peek at how the nails are laid out backstage.


The artists of the CND Design Lab Team put in nearly 300 combined hours to produce these handcrafted nail looks using SHELLAC Brand 14+ Day Nail Color and VINYLUX Weekly Polish. “The nails are a punk rock collage like you’ve never seen before,” Johnson said. “The inventiveness of the CND team blows my mind every single season.”


Watch the behind-the-scenes action!