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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.
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. 

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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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