Until quite recently, the fashion world has pretty much recognized only one shape of fingernail as being en vogue: Neatly filed, short, and downright square. All other lengths were reserved for, in my mind, mythical, longer-nailed renegades like Flo-Jo and my mother. But not me–no, I went cautiously along with the fash pack, clipping my nails (or let’s be honest, picking them) diligently so that the whites barely extended past the edge of my fingertips. Life, including my nails, was simple. But simple is boring, right?
Which helps to explain the reason I was so totally enamored with Lana Del Rey when I first saw her early this year. It wasn’t her overripe lips that intrigued me (though it is hard not to stare), it was her talon-like nails: Super long, pointy, feminine, impractical, amazing–and soon to be plastered over Subway stations, billboards, and shopping malls alike in H&M’s fall/winter campaigns. But LDR wasn’t the only style-conscious celeb to nail this trend: As if by magic (or acrylic), Rihanna, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga all began flaunting what some have deemed “stiletto nails.” And I needed them too.