Nail Art has been a popular trend for the past 4 seasons at London Fashion Week, and although it may have previously been assumed that this may be another seasonal trend which would soon be forgotten about, nail art continues to mark its stamp in the UK and only seems to be expanding. Now just to clarify: Nail Art and nail designs are two separate directions, these are not the random airbrush nail designs you might encounter in some of the local nail salons on Kingsland Road! Nail Art is about using imagination and creativity by hand to accessorise the nails and outfit. Detail, precision, time and effort go into Nail Art exactly like a portrait painting. Classic French manicure nails and one colour nail coats don’t have the same effect, and as timeless as they are, Nail Art just wins the race for now.

Comparing beauty now and beauty 10 years ago, we have definitely reached a sense of more individualised expression. There’s an open mind for exploring new ideas as current beauty pushes boundaries further and we are gradually catching up with the more fearless fashion world. Beauty today is noticeably less about what’s safe as it moves into a more courageous and confident direction.

Originally being discovered on the streets of Los Angeles in underprivileged neighbourhoods such as Compton and Southern LA, Nail Art was initially used as a social way of expression. Today it’s used as an accessory to add a touch more personality and glamour to a look and thus it hasn’t taken the fashion world long to discover this trend and incorporate it into high-end advertising campaigns and the catwalk.

British Nail Artist Sophy Robson is the woman behind the nail work for Tom Ford, YSL and Marc Jacobs’s campaigns. Bringing to fame her key nail look (called ‘Eek’!) at the Giles Deacon show, this look is a simple pastel nail colour with two peek-a-boo eyes at the tip of the nail, cute yet very cool.

This look has been hot of the press for weeks and remains one of her signature nail designs. The ‘Dalmatian’ design, also a hot topic of conversation amongst the press during Fashion Week, is paying homage  to Cruella de Vil. This nail look incorporates the Dalmatian dog print with a soft, spring petal pink polish. Sophy’s designs are inspired by fashion, bags, shoes, jewellery, fabrics, graffiti, street life, you name it. Whatever pops in to your imagination, Sophy can effortlessly recreate, but the question that should always be asked, will it work? Just like fashion and make up artistry, Nail Art has to be thought through and needs to be appropriate to avoid looking like a hot mess.

As Sophy Robson has just launched her own concession at the Hari’s Hair Salon on the Kings Road, you don’t have to travel to Compton LA to find a nail technician, and having access to Nail Art in London could not be easier. Woman of all ages and backgrounds seem to be playing with Nail Art, and whether you are wearing a Hervé Leger look or a Urban Outfitters dress, Nail Art looks exceptionally cool on everyone. Do embrace Nail Art, there is no rush because this trend is not moving from the runway for a very long time.

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Words by Maryam Asadi


Giles Deacon, Hervé Leger, marc jacobs, Sophy Robson, Tom Ford, Urban Outfitters, YSL,