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What is Fashion Week, and what does it have to do with nails?

Fashion Week billboard at Lincoln Center, NYC

It occurred to me that Fashion Week might be an unknown to many of the listeners/readers of NTR. Not because you are not people in-the-know, but because Fashion Week might not be something you thought you needed to be in-the-know about.  In a nutshell, Fashion Week is held twice a year (February and September) as a way to showcase the work of fashion designers to the press and buyers. In the US, the official fashion week is orchestrated by IMG and is held in New York and kicks off the other worldwide fashion week events. While many people also hold fashion events in and around this time in various locations, there is only one official week here. For the last five years, it has been sponsored by Mercedes-Benz (hence MBFW) and has been held at Lincoln Center.  That will change this fall 2015 to an as yet undecided location. Prior to this it was at the tents in Bryant Park under sponsorship of Cannon.


Five Fast Fashion Week Facts:

  • The tents are supplied by an east coast office of Karls, headquartered in Wisconsin.
  • You can’t buy a ticket to fashion week. Every event is invitation only, sent by the designer’s team. The venues range in size, but is still limited seating to keep demand for shows at a high.
  • It can take 3-5 hours to prep on show day, over a million dollars to produce, and just 10 minutes to walk the line down the runway. Do that math on that one.
  • The best in fashion show up at Fashion Week. That ranges from clothing designers to the beauty team (hair/makeup/nails) to models. Top tier shows will have models walking you’ve seen in magazines.  This is where it all happens.
  • This is where trends are predicted, with one catch – it’s forecasted for six months in advance.

This last bit of information is the trick to remember.  Before social media and the internet craze, Fashion Week was for the editor planning a magazine spread. Every color suggestion, every fabric swatch, every hairstyle is all a vision of the future.  Magazines needed time to print, and buyers needed to plan orders.  The immediate showings that are now a part of blogging and live feeds sometimes confuses people as to what is “in” right now.  What is in right now is what was shown six months ago.


How does keeping up with fashion week benefit the nail tech?

Just as it is beneficial to the hairstylist, makeup artist, and clothing stylist, knowing the upcoming trends for a season gives you insight to patterns, and what you should introduce to your clients. You’ll be able to weave in styles and looks, and stay inspired with a rhyme and reason.

The nail lead for a show usually works with the designer on a look that is consistent with the clothing to create a story. Sometimes shows will create their own custom accessories and shoes, and the nails are brought in to match. Studying this gives you an idea on how to complete a look for a client, or, you can let the fashion week look work for you and provide that as is for the client.


What if I don’t have clients that want to stay trendy?

I cringe when I hear this. Boredom is a big reason clients salon hop. There is nothing wrong if you’ve got a client only wanting one color every single time, but there is nothing wrong in introducing possible new looks either.  They may be surprised at what they like.


I say the time to try something new is when it is acceptable. That is when it is a trend!  Jump on it, because you will never have permission like the present.

Is it ok to start on next season’s looks right now?

Yes…but you can modify it with this season’s colors to keep things fresh. All teams are taking hints from Pantone on color trends, then working feverishly to show their interpretation.  What the magazine editors end up printing, and what buyers end up buying, are what become the trends. I presented this quandary of early showing to a few clients and they replied, “But I want to be ahead of the trends!”  Enough said. #bleedingedge

Ok, so what is the trend right now and into fw 2015?

For now, the trend is matte everything on nails.

For next fall, gold is everywhere, metals continue to dominate as a whole, and a transition to part shiny/part matte look on nails and fabrics.  It’s all about texture and dimension. Plan accordingly, and stay tuned to this site for some of the top looks that inspire.


~ Hillary Fry

Connect with me on social media under Solessence



1 March 2015 Nails On The Runway by Hillary Fry Read more