Nail Trends of New York Fashion Week

By Halle Butler

Whether you love sheer nudes, deep colors, or daring nail art, here’s your guide to navigating the most influential nail trends of NYFW SS17.


Mix & Match

Lead nail artists for these designers showcased individuality by using different colors on each model.

Rag & Bone

Julie Kandalec created a varied palette for Essie by using either a nude Sand Tropez, an edgy black Licorice, or a dynamic red, created by layering Really Red with A-List.



Thom Browne

When Julie Kandalec asked Thom about his thoughts on which colors should go where, he just shrugged. Artistic liberty took charge in creating the mix of pastels for this show, as each model had drastically different combinations of these pale polishes.


Jinsoon Choi premiered her 5 new colors that are launching this spring, with each model wearing a different bright hue.

Sending Nudes

These effortless nails were made to look natural but enhanced, with various skin-tone polishes to subtly complement the collections  Known for their simpler and cleaner looks, Essie dominated this category.


Julie Kandalec painted Essie’s sheer Hi Maintenance, giving a hint of pink to the natural nail. (Red A-List, however, was used on the toes for a vibrant pedicure.)

Scotch & Soda

Julie Kandalec used over four different nude Essie shades to match the skin tones of each model.

Alexander Wang

Michelle Saunders painted a sheer natural Essie color, but topped it with a matte top coat for an added edge.

Deep Color

Jewel tones aren’t just for fall. These designers let dark colors punctuate their spring showcases.


Monique Lhullier

Julie Kandalec for painted Essie’s Wicked, a deep red adding sexy intrigue to the embellished gowns in the collection.


Kate Spade

Deborah Lippmann used Cherries Jubilee topped with The Lady is a Tramp for another deep and bold maroon.

In The Negative

Why paint the whole nail? These designers left some angles uncovered to create contrasting, dynamic art.


TracyLee used Glitter & Gold as “cuticle jewelry” for Morgan Taylor, mimicking the gold chains on the runway.

Proenza Schouler

China Glaze nail lacquer in Liquid Leather was used to create various freeform shapes on each nail.

Vera Wang

JinSoon used Audacity with a matte top coat to paint thin strip of polish down the nail, leaving the sides bare and creating the illusion of a slimmer nail.

The ombre trend lives on. Upgrade your gradient by incorporating new mixes and metallics.

Naeem Kahn

Gina Edwards painted a pink and coral ombré for KISS nails, providing a fresh pop of 70’s glamour.

 Michael Costello

Rita Remark used a dramatic metallic gold by Essie with red-dipped tips.

Phillip Lim

Madeline Poole lightly applied faded silver accents onto a white nail for an ethereal shimmer by Essie.

Getting Graphic

These artists left out no detail in curating these eye-catching nail designs.

Jeremy Scott

Miss Pop used a pencil eraser to place a dot of bright, contrasting OPI color on each nail.


Opening Ceremony

Naomi Yasuda color-blocked with bright primary colors by China Glaze and black at the tips.


Rebecca Minkoff

Michelle Saunders reinterpreted the French Manicure and used Essie reds and nudes, alternating colors for the tips and bases.

The Blonds

Mei Kawajiri created this futuristic and embellished metallic look for Morgan Taylor.


CND lived up to their name of Creative Nail Design, because each model had some of the wildest nails on the runway.