Nail Trends from Fashion Week Fall 2012

Even though I’ve been a bit in denial that summer will soon be coming to an end, the positive side of that is that there’s a new season of fashion and beauty trends to try. What better place to look for inspiration for your next manicure than the runways of New York Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2012. If the catwalk is any indication of this season’s nails, expect to see trends in the following color palettes: dark burgundy or oxblood reds, deep layered shades of almost black, metallics, and pale nudes. For nail art, we’ll continue to see modern versions of the french tip and the half-moon mani. Take a look at the trends as seen on the runways of some of the most trendsetting designers.



Deep, dark burgundy and red will be an “It” color for clothing, lips, and nails this season. Designers chose the bold polish shade and made quite the fashion statement on the runway.

Designer: Salvatore Ferragamo


Designer: Catherine Malandrino
Nail Color: Custom blended with CND in Plumville and Dark Ruby


Designer: Yigal Azrouel
Nail Color: Sam by Zoya


Designer: Naeem Khan
Nail Color: CND in Bloodline




Many nail colors from NYFW may have looked black, but take a closer look. They were created by layering dark shades of green, blue, red, and brown.  To achieve this look, keep your nails short and square with rounded corners. Apply generous layers of dark polish finished with a glossy top coat.

Designer: Milly by Michelle Smith
Nails: A navy color by CND


Designer: Karen Walker
Nail Color: CND in Midnight Sapphire


Designer: Wes Gordon
Nail Colors: CND Eclectic Purple, Inkwell and Blackjack were mixed together to create a custom midnight blue shade with a matte finish to contrast the jewel-toned collection.


Designer: Correll Correll
Nail Color: A bold blue polish to compliment the burgundy and rustic hues of the collection


Designer: Rebecca Taylor
Nail Color: OPI’s Road House Blues


Designer: Doo.Ri
Nail Color: Essie Little Brown Dress




Mirrored metallics, dark glitter top coats, and jewel attachments created the ultimate nail statement.

Designer: Behnaz Sarafpour
Nail Color: A mercury metallic shade by CND


Designer: Betsey Johnson
Nail Color: Black and striped for a metallic sheen. To achieve this look:

1. Start with a clear base coat
2. Apply two coats of OPI ‘Black Onyx’
3. Apply two off-centered stripes of Betsey Johnson for Sephora by OPI ‘Sparkling Personality’
4. Apply top coat and dry


Designer: Tracy Reese
Nail Color: by Sally Hansen


Designer: David Koma
Nail Color: A silver mirrored metallic shade


Designer: Alexandre Herchcovitch
Nail Color:  CND in Gold Chrome


Designer: Diesel
Nails: Rainbow bling


Designer: Alice + Olivia
Nail Color: Dark  burgundy with gold glitter




Many designers had understated manicures that looked chic and effortless.

Designer: Theyskens’ Theory
Nail Color: A light sheer pink by CND


Designer: BCBG
Nail Color:  OPI in Passion


Designer: Herve Leger
Nail Color: A clear regular lady-like pink


Designer: Tibi
Nail Color: Opaque white


Designer: Jason Wu
Nail Color: OPI’s San Tan-tonio color


Designer: Cynthia Rowley
Nail Color: Zoya Nail Polish in Dea with an accent nail in Cynthia (blackened teal) or Christina (shimmery white)


Designer: Nahm
Nail Color: A nude shade by CND


Designer: Christian Cota
Nail Color: Ombre terracotta nails by CND
DIY: Coat nails in CND in Putty, and using a makeup sponge, apply CND in Chocolate Milk at the base of the nail to create the neutral faded ombre look.


Designer: Pamela Love
Nail Color: Golden ombre effect using 3 Essie colors




The moon manicure is basically an upside down french manicure at the cuticle edge.

Designer: L.A.M.B.
Nail Color: Sheer with a moon in dark red and black shades.

Designer: Antonio Berardi
Nail Color: Teal with a neutral moon


Designer: Emerson
Nail Color: Gray moon with purple nails


Designer: Ruffian
Nail Color: Velvet textured nails by MAC




The typical french manicure has been updated and reinvented with a modern twist. Rather than the standard white tips, manicurists painted jewel tone stripes, applied metallic foil , and even glued lace/fishnet for a textured look. Some went for a barely there tip now referred to as the French Edge Manicure.

Designer: Badgley Mischka
Nail Color: The French Edge Mani in Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer Dark Side of the Moon and then edged the look with gold


Designer: Rebecca Minkoff
Nail Color: Double French Tip

  • base coat: Jazz
  • top stripe: Midnight Cami
  • bottom stripe: Wrapped in Rubies

minkette.rebeccaminkoff Image; Credit The Greyest Ghost for the Cult of Pretty


Designer: Donna Karan
Nail Color: Deborah Lippmann painted a red tip


Designer: Thakoon
Nail Color: A butter cream shade with a shiny black edge


Designer: Behnaz Sarafpour
Nail Color: Foil Metallic Tips
DIY: For how to instruction visit

cndfashionweek Image; Credit Katy Winn for Jennifer


Designer: Joy Cioci
Nail Color: The Fishnet French
DIY: For how to instruction visit


Designer: 3.1 Phillip Lim
Nail Color: The side double french mani: Paint nails with one coat of Essie Licorice, then draw a thin line around the outer edge of the nail in Chinchilly, and then highlight with Blanc.




Designer: Kate Spade
Nail Color: Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer in Fade to Black and I’m Not Innocent.  Nails were left long with a slight stiletto point.


Designer:  Rachel Antonoff
Nails: Starry Night by CND


Designer:  Rachel Antonoff
Nail Color:  CND in Flashpoint, Brilliant White and Anchor Blue


Designer:  Jeremy Scott
Nail Art:  Nail Bliss Bling Nails Rainbow appliqué


Designer: Nicole Miller
Nail Art: CND in Plumville, Electric Orange, Bicycle Yellow and Anchor Blue


Designer: Mara Hoffman
Nail Art: Multiple colored pattern tips


Designer: Mara Hoffman
Nail Art: Zig Zag metallic/black


Designer: Gretchen Jones
Nail Art: Custom nail wraps by Cinnamon Bowser to mimic the look of the natural stone turquoise


This fall the nail trends are pretty straight forward: dark layered shades, deep reds, high shine metallics, and effortless, neutrals. If you’re looking for a little extra, give dimension to your nails with the modern take on the French Mani or try a half moon design. For the ultimate fashion statement, be inspired by the designers who matched the nails not just to the color of the outfit, but to the pattern, texture, or exact finish of the clothes.

Which trend are you most excited to try?

I’ll leave you with a recap of the trends in a video by BellaSugar.


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