The designers are nice, the models are gorgeous, but the real fun is with the beauty team working behind the scenes during fashion week.
New York City has the unique distinction of being the one city that has the most creative aestheticians in the world. That’s right, NYC is the mecca for hair stylists, makeup artists and nail technicians. So it should be of no surprise that their work on runways is just as important as the clothing being presented.
“Having the opportunity to participate in FW year over year has provided me with so many opportunities to improve my profession and passion,” Yankee told StyleBlazer. “As hectic and stressful as the shows are my team of nail technicians are fully aware that the exposure allows them to follow their dreams and who knows they might very well pick up a celeb client along the way!”
Yankee, who’s a 20-year nail technician and salon owner, has been working fashion week for well over a decade. She came into the business as an eager nail technician and has grown into a four plus team of talents who do nails for some of the biggest shows. This year alone she had Jay Godfrey, Naeem Khan and Pamella Roland to name a few. Her nails were even used in the Rihanna for Puma show.
“I have a product that are press on nails, that are really great for backstage,” Yankee says about her process for shows. “They’re one time use, perfect. We just lay those all out on double sided sticky tape and paint.”
In addition to following Yankee to a couple shows, we also took a look at trends featured by essie and Jin Soon Choi.
See Yankee’s work and more manicure looks from Fall 2016 NYFW on the next pages.
For the Georgine show, Pattie was asked to conceptualize a fairy tale on nails. She kept it clean and simple, going with solid colors that represent Red Riding Hood’s journey through the Enchanted Forest.
“Jay wanted to keep it in the same vein as the artist he was inspired by [Lucio Fontana],” Yankee told StyleBlazer backstage at the Jay Godfrey show. “We kept it earthy, neutral and muted. But his collection has a lot of cocktail dresses and he wanted to give it that modern edge, which is why he preferred French. The color used is called Earth which coordinates with the collection– and the light one is Pudding in His Hands.”
“Her collection is based off the Theseus, Greek metrology story,” She said. “So she wanted a Greek key on the nails to coordinate with the designs in the collection. She love stiletto nails, she loves getting her nails done and she love matte. We decided on a matte nail and then did the transfer foil for the key that looks kind of antique-y. The rest of the nails we did a shattered glass look, like shattered pottery.”
The Vera Wang Fall/Winter 2016 collection was inspired by the elongated silhouettes of artists Modigliani and Giacometti. Jin Soon Choi chose a natural, polished nail to complement the streamlined look.
Rag & Bone’s signature is wearable clothing with an edge. Think New York City style meets classic tailoring.
To shake things up for their Fall/Winter 2016 collection, the designers added bright red, “safety” orange and “safety” yellow accents against their mainstay color palette of black, white, navy and army green. Julie Kandalec for essie chose to convey the same aesthetic onto the nails with stylenomics, an opulent green, which stood out on the runway. The hue is both wearable and stylish simultaneously, just like the clothing.
Karen Walker’s muse for her Fall/Winter 2016 collection was Berenice Abbot, whose personal style was a mix of no fuss utility and “joie de vivre.” Functionality and androgyny are characteristics of this collection, complemented by hints of color and shades of khaki. Jin Soon Choi chose a toffee beige shade to further capture the designer’s vision.
Warm cozy knits in shades of navy, light blue, white, beige and ivory are featured prominently in Jonathan Simkhai’s Fall/Winter 2016 runway show.
To carry this sentiment through to the nails, Rita Remark for essie chose coordinating shades find me an oasis, wrap me up, all eyes on nudes, marshmallow and midnight cami on nails. To enhance the cozy feeling she applied matte about you, and then used gel.setter top coat to create a textured cable knit sweater design as an accent on the middle and ring fingers.
To pair with Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection, Michelle Saunders for essie created a soft nail, inspired by pink chalk.
To achieve the look she layered tuck it in my tux over fiji, and then applied matte about you to add a matte, chalky finish.
Jin Soon Choi chose a fresh, sheer pink shade to accentuate the Derek Lam Fall/Winter 2016 collection, inspired by photographer Richard Avedon and model, Penelope Tree.
With colors ranging from black to lavender to nude, the polish shade was chosen for its ability to complement multiple skin tones and fabric shades on the runway.
Wes Gordon’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection is inspired by “downtown romantics and effortless elegance,” and is a celebration of the designer’s favorite things, pieces, techniques and ideas. To pair with the black, white and grey hues, Rita Remark for essie created a nail look that mimicked broken glass by layering set in stones over hors d’oeuvres.
For the Lulu Frost Fall/Winter 2016 Frequency Collection, designer Lisa Salzer was inspired by outer-space and the expansive power of human thought.
The collection references the wave-like forms found in cosmos and the equipment used in space exploration.