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 went West for fall/winter 2014—the wild, wild West. The show opened with supermodel Karolina Kurkova sauntering down the catwalk in a lacy getup (one of the designing duo’s favorite looks) unexpectedly paired with a cowboy hat. ”It was a city girl’s—err, our—idea of going to Texas,” Michelle Ochs tells InStyle.com exclusively.
At first glance, the overall effect of the collection is unquestionably dramatic, but a closer look reveals a more romantic, fantastical side of the brand, with lush velvets, elegant lace detailing, and rich hues. “We were feeling softer, a little more romantic, but there’s still a bold attitude with statement pieces,” Carly Cushnie affirms. “We’re trying different things now with a lot of elements, like knits, fur, coats.”
Famous for sleek cut-out dresses, the lush (and more covered-up) line-up may seem out of left field, but Cushnie reassures that the Cushnie et Ochs DNA remains intact. “You’ve got to see us do more than just dresses—we do do more than just dresses,” she says. “People are just not used to it on the runway…but our girl is still there: She’s still strong and sexy. This is an evolution for us.” The change is evident in the ladylike lace pencils and velvet jumpsuits, but don’t worry, the brand’s signature cut-outs are still there. For a closer look at past dresses, view Cushnie et Ochs designs on the red carpet.
Forget Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” — the dashes decorating the manicures at Tibi, Cushnie et Ochs, ICB by Prabal Gurung, and Christian Siriano‘s New York Fashion Week shows were anything but hazy. Siriano enlisted the expertise of Beyonce‘s manicurist Lisa Logan to create the beige on yellow color pattern seen at his show, while models at Cushnie et Ochs sported pointy white nails with a silver strip added to each digit. Tibi’s design may look simple, but the inspiration behind the look holds some history. Lead manicurist Jin Soon Choi, who has lacquered up the famous fingers of Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, went off of Tibi’s traveler-inspired lineup to create a crisp white nail with minimalist black lines, using her JINsoon polish in Obsidian ($18; jinsoon.com). The pattern pays homage to American nomads of the 1920s, who placed a horizontal or vertical line on maps to indicate that a road was safe to travel. The manis at ICB by Prabal Gurung also ranked high on our list of favorites — Katie Jane Hughes added holographic foil over a sheer iridescent hue by Butter London to mirror the models’ sparkly eye makeup. “We wanted the nails to be fun and rave-inspired,” she said. “This look is really playful and almost feels like something that the ICB girl would create herself before heading to a party.” We love it!
See more beauty moments from the runways of New York Fashion Week.
For the past few weeks, Lily Collins has been on our radar for the amazing sartorial choices she turns out premiere after premiere for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We’re loving her ladylike edge, not to mention the dark lip and sleek hairstyles she often pairs with each look. From crop tops to cut-outs, Collins has taken on some of summer’s biggest trends and solidified herself as a style star. At Comic-Con 2013 in San Diego, she paired a crop top with high-waisted shorts by Paper London, while her bold, fitted Versace number made for a sleek, fashion-forward ensemble in New York City. We also loved the cut-out Cushnie et Ochs dress she wore in Los Angeles, and the bustled Stella McCartney minidress she chose for a London event. Click the photo to see her best looks from The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones press tour, then catch the film in theaters nationwide right now.
Lily Collins‘ sleek half-updo at the premiere of The Mortal Instrument is the exact look we’re craving right now—fall always calls for more polish. We caught up with her stylist, Mara Roszak and got the play-by-play on how she created the look. “Lily wore an incredible leather, structured dress by Cushnie et Ochs. I knew I wanted the hair to have a graphic feel with lots of shine,” Roszak told us. She started by sectioning her hair deep to the side and then applied Leonor Greyl Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice ($46 at leonorgreyl-usa.com) to Lily’s damp hair and blow-dried it straight. “For an extra sleek look, I flat ironed each section straight down with no bend,” said Roszak. She used Leonor Greyl Gel a l’Hibiscus ($35 at leonorgreyl-usa.com) to slick back the sides of the hair and pinned it in the back, leaving the back section down. As a final step to ensure staying power, Roszak misted hair spray all over the head. We especially love the makeup details like sexy, oxblood lips and Collins’ signature bold brows. Bring on fall!
Talk about a perfect finish: Adult World actress Emma Roberts complemented her rich Cushnie et Ochs sheath with dainty bar earrings and a stack of rings by Dana Rebecca Designs, subtle diamond accents that add just a touch of shine to her oh-so-elegant look. Shop the pieces for $330 and up on danarebeccadesigns.com.
See more of Emma’s best looks!
Now this is how you make a Fashion Week debut! Kate Bosworth casually flashed her square-cut solitaire from the front row of Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs’s Spring 2013 show. The actress, who is engaged to director Michael Polish, ignored ring-coveting glances and snapped shots of the label’s collection on her iPhone. For their part, the Cushnie et Ochs designers were thrilled to host the famous bride-to-be, tweeting, “@katebosworth, you are everything, thank you so much for coming.”
See more celebrity engagement rings!
Celebrities love Cushnie et Ochs! The Parsons-trained design team of Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs launched their sexy, body-con line after graduating in 2008, and quickly became industry darlings, winning the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award and becoming a finalist for the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Fund Award. It’s no surprise then how the pair’s structured, lightweight creations have wooed stylish stars, including Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Malin Akerman, who stood out in a vivid red design at the InStyle Summer Soiree last week. “I’ve kind of fallen in love with Cushnie et Ochs lately,” Akerman told InStyle.com. “All their stuff is just really cool and sleek. I’m obsessed!” And the designers are thrilled: “Seeing stars in our clothes is amazing,” they told InStyle.com, noting that empowering women is their ultimate goal. “Yes, [our clothes] are sexy and body con, but as female designers we construct our clothes to really support women and allow them to feel confident and comfortable when wearing them.” Click through the gallery to see more celebrities who love Cushnie et Ochs, and then shop for your own pieces at shopbop.com and ssense.com.