The 10 Best Nail Art Ideas From Fashion Week

Get inspired by the top runway manicures.
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Get inspired by the top runway manicures.
Nicole-Miller-Spring-2012-beauty-2

I don't know about you, but for me September was one big blur. Keeping up with the 'big four' Fashion Weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) is always daunting—there are the endless tweets to read, livestreams to watch and photo galleries to click through. And that's just to check out the hair and makeup! Now that Paris has wrapped up and we're just about to head into Toronto (come on, you can do it!), I've had a chance to get a closer look at an emerging Fashion Week beauty category: nail art! Here are the top 10 manicures I'm obsessing over right now.

1.The Ombré Mani at Jen Kao:

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This past summer, there was an insane number of girls rocking their roots for the Ombré hair trend... and I’m here to say, dear hipsters, it’s over, done and (fingers crossed) dead. (Michelle did declare its 15 minutes were up way back in January.) But these Ombré nails from Jen Kao are a whole different story. I love the way the electric blue pops on the black base. Plus, I think this could be a pretty easy DIY job—no precision or clean lines necessary.

How they did it:CND mixed BlackJack and Inkwell for the base and then layered Anchor Blue on top.

2. The Striped Mani at Gareth Pugh:

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I’m a total sucker for stripes, so when I saw these digits I was instantly drawn in. They’re extra-large, cover the nail bad AND part of the finger, and have an exaggerated almond shape. In other words, they’re completely impractical. But if you toned down the size, I think this could make for a super-chic mani.

How they did it: Custom Minx Nails.

3.  The Mini Silhouette Mani at Prabal Gurung:

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Okay, so this is definitely one of the looks I'll painstakingly try to do myself—I'm thinking a lot of tape and 3-hole punch reinforcements will be involved. It's as if you've painted your nails once and then double-dipped them, leaving a thin frame around the edge of the bed.

How they did it:Sally Hansen in Lacy Lilac for the base and topped with Loves-Me-Not.

4. The Checkerboard Mani at Nicole Miller:

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The number of colour combos I could do with this mani are endless. How awesome would a checkerboard look with contrasting matte and glossy squares? The pattern is simple, so it doesn't read obnoxious or too juvenile.

How they did it:CND Raspberry Parfait and a custom blue made by mixing Anchor Blue, Dark Ruby, Electric Purple and a blue pigment. Topped with one layer of Ice Blue Shimmer.

5. The Talon Mani at Cushnie et Ochs:

Cushnie-et-Ochs-Spring-2012-beauty

When I think of stiletto-like nails, someone dressed in a bad Lady Gaga costume usually comes to mind. But here, I have to say, they kind of appeal to me. Maybe it's the neutral colour doing it, but this version seems less scary and way more wearable.

How they did it:Dashing Diva in in Mr.Right, mixed with mineral makeup to match the model's skin tone.

6. The V-Shaped Half-Moon Mani at Pamela Love:

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The half-moon manicure has been kicking around for a few seasons now and though it's still a fave of mine, I'm glad to see it with a new edge. Love's collection was inspired by bohemian Morocco and by squaring off the nail tips,  the look feels very tribal.

How they did it: Essie Topless and Barefoot for the base and Little Brown Dress for the rest of the nail bed.

7. The Gold Metallic Mani at Lela Rose:

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Glittery gold polishes were seen on a bunch of runway digits during the spring '12 shows (whether as an accent, half-moon or for modern tips). A shimmering gold-beige metallic mani is universally flattering, because it pulls out both gold and silver tones—making it warm AND cool, at the same time. Besides, who doesn't like to look at shiny things all day?

How they did it:Deborah Lippmann in Believe.

8. The Classic Red Mani at Jason Wu:

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Red will always be a mainstay, but to me the same-old, same-old can get a bit boring. The orangey-tomato hue (it almost looks coral) is so vibrant and bright, I can't help but smile.  I'm also really into the slight almond shape going on here. And if you're digging the matchy-matchy lip colour, check out this similar look at Dior.

How they did it: OPI in Monsooner or Later.

9. The Lucite and Lace Mani at Joy Cioci:

Joy-Cioci-Spring-2012-beauty

Yup, those are clear falsies with lace detailing you're witnessing. While the lattice work is really pretty, for real life not all of us will want to commit to wearing a clear tip.

How they did it: CND clear tips and hand-crafted lattice work.

10. The Nude Mani at VPL:

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The nude mani trend doesn't seem to be losing steam—a good thing for me, because I just hopped onto the bandwagon (for now at least). VPL's collection was all about the bod and in keeping with that theme, nails were simply in the buff.

How they did it: Butter London nail foundation as a base and topped with Tea with the Queen.

Nicole Pajak is a Toronto-based writer. Follow her on Twitter: @nicolepajak.

Tell us:

Are you still feeling the nail art trend?
Which Fashion Week look is your favourite?
Would you give any of these looks a DIY attempt?