21 Minimalist Manicures From New York Fashion Week That Are Far From Boring

All you need is a touch of glitter or subtle graphic detail.
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Backstage at Prabal Gurung. Photo: Courtesy of Zoya

Backstage at Prabal Gurung. Photo: Courtesy of Zoya

Nails at New York Fashion Week's Fall 2019 season spoke to autumn's best qualities: The color palette was rooted in creamy neutrals — think light mochas, taupes and nudes — reminiscent of warm lattes and and thick cable-knit sweaters. Manicurists embraced the cold-weather notion of doing less by creating minimalist fingertips, with only a touch of glitter or an easy-to-replicate geometric shape. It was certainly a departure from the kitschy hands we'd seen on the runways in recent seasons. 

At Kate Spade New York, manicurist Julie Kandalec (for Essie) applied bronze glitter to a nail prepped with a base coat for a naturally shimmery look. Tibi also took an understatedly sparkly route: Jin Soon Choi painted the top half of the nail in a rich toffee beige shade and filled in the bottom half with a mélange of holographic silver flecks. To tone down the shine, Choi finished it with a matte top coat.

Elsewhere, tips were more artful, architectural and in some cases even 3-D. Lead artist Mei Kawajiri (for OPI) matched the manicure to Adeam's chunky pearl jewelry and eye makeup, glueing pearls in a variety of sizes onto bold blue and soft pink-colored nails. Similarly, Gina Edwards (for Kiss) complemented Alice + Olivia's vibrant floral prints with hand-painted 3-D acrylic butterflies, which rested on deep burgundy nails. Fingers were also front and center at Christian Siriano, where Swarovski crystals bedazzled freshly buffed tips. 

Miss Pop (for Essie) made literal headline hands at Jeremy Scott in an effort to keep up with the graffiti-inspired textiles. She lent her expert brushstroke to write out "New York" in black-and-white lettering, creating a newsprint effect over seven fingers. The lettering trend continued over at Khaite's runway debut, where Rita Remark (for Essie) mirrored the logo stamped on the label's accessories by crafting a "K" on each model's left index finger. 

At Prabal Gurung and Rebecca Minkoff, the manicure magic was about throwing interesting graphic punches. Miss Pop (for Zoya) employed this technique by drawing a diagonal line starting from the top left part of the nail to the bottom right. She then colored the top in with a cheery red hue and left the rest of the nail bare. For Rebecca Minkoff, Edwards (for Kiss) painted a wash of light green beginning at the base of the nail, fading up toward the tip, and then added a silver accent line to cut across the nail on a diagonal for a graphic detail.  

So, there you have it: plenty of runway proof that minimalist nail art is back in action. Click through the gallery below for a closer look at the simple — yet eye-catching — manicures from the Fall 2019 runways.

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