Opulent Modern Nails Celebrate Ancient Egyptian Culture At The Blonds SS16 Show
To call the nails at the Spring 2016 The Blonds runway show “art,” would be to do these miniature sculptural works a disservice — it would be akin to comparing a painterly graphic T-shirt, however pretty, to the grandiose design of the Sphinx. These weren’t just dip-dyed, gem-encrusted, ombre, striped, or color-blocked nails. These were pieces of finger jewelry, often interlocking with rings via elaborate chains and jeweled strands, sculptural finger encasements, winged and gilded tips inspired by sacred ibises, and much more. These nails were operatic, unprecedentedly daring, and simply enthralling.
Twenty-four unique nail looks were created by the CND team for The Blonds Spring/Summer show — all inspired by ancient Egyptian culture and lore. The Cleopatra-like, blunt-cut wigs donned by models and the hieroglyphic shapes accomplished via the glistening gold foil strips adhered beneath their lower lash lines all worked to conjure up images of pharaohs, pyramids, King Tut’s solid gold sarcophagus, thrones adorned with scarabs, and more.
To create the different looks (which sadly, only a seasoned pro could replicate at home, but which brought beauty and fashion lovers boundless joy during NYFW), CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold hand-sculpted the nails and their embellishments, using CND Liquid & Powder, Brisa Gel, and primarily golden tones of of SHELLAC Brand 14+ Day Nail Color, VINYLUX Weekly Polish, and CND Additives, adding the occasional blue, turquoise, red, or green pop of color for greater depth and dimension.
The nails took 600 hours to produce, but the effort was well worth it. Guests marveled at antique gold nails covered with gilded plumes to create the semblance of wings, the length of the feather embellishments one each nail perfectly tailored so that, when the four fingers were placed together, the curvature of an avian wing was beautifully replicated. Another astounding look consisted of sarcophagus nails, tiny tomb-like encasements that extended from the tips of nails down to the knuckles, each intricately detailed and even featuring tiny hinges so that each tomb could be opened, revealing a mummified pharaoh.
Other stunning nail designs included molten gold-colored nails adorned with tonal stones and strands of clear crystals that dripped down from the nails to the perforated midi rings and cigar bands covering each finger, thereby creating elaborate handlets. Yet another look features a golden lacquer base embellished with turquoise gemstones. Perhaps the simplest look was an iridescent, high-shine, burnished gold manicure that captured the changing colors of a scarab.
Sure, you’d have a hard time replicating these looks, but that’s part of what I love so much about them — they feel like priceless creations, as valuable as the relics unearthed by archeologists in ancient Egypt.