As far as the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends go, simplicity was on display, especially when compared to previous years. Manicurists focused on creating wearable, quick nail polish designs, with a lot of bare nails, short nails, and solid, glossy colors. This meant that the more avant-garde nail polish styles of the season stood out and astounded much more effectively.
Regardless of whether you like to go all out with your manicure, or prefer to take it easy, you will find something to like in the fall 2017 nail polish trends!
Before browsing through the best nail art and nail polish trends for fall 2017, you definitely want to know what length and shape to stick to in the upcoming season. These are the common lengths and shapes of the fall 2017 nails spotted on the runways:
Short Nails: In a fierce decision to deny traditional gender requirements, many manicurists filed the nails of the runway models down to a short, practical square shape. This didn’t stop them from covering these lovely short nails with all manners of crazy nail polish colors. We saw shorter nails on the runways of Alice + Olivia, Christian Siriano, Altuzarra, Temperley London, Stella Jean, and Nicole Miller.
Squared Oval Nails: This classic shape is a little edgier and fiercer than a traditional oval, and it was a joy to see it all over the runway. It is a perfect shape for day-to-day life, because it is still totally work-appropriate, but still a little unusual.
A woman with squared oval nails is exuding careful thoughtfulness, and an undeniable sense of fashionability. We saw squared oval nails as part of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends on the runways of Marc Jacobs, Alexis Mabille, and Philipp Plein.
Almond Nails: This classic shape was all over the runways as part of the fall 2017 nail trends. It’s fair to say that almond nails will always be a safe choice that will never look out of style. Manicurists kept this traditional shape rocking at Leitmotiv, Jenny Packham, and Byblos.
Stiletto Nails: Why have nails when you can rock claws? The fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends included the kind of nails that could seriously hurt a man. Edgy, stiletto nails were painted all the possible colors, and were even adorned with a variety of different appliques. We saw stiletto acrylic nails at Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh, and Gucci.
#1. Opaque Metallic Nails
Every season, a few solid nail colors end up totally ruling the runways. For the fall 2017 nail polish trends, the most exciting of the standout choices was all of the metallics.
A shimmery or metallic nail is easy to achieve, but it just looks so fun. Metallics exude glamour and class, but seeing them totally covering the nail is actually a little bit whimsical.
At Alexis Mabille, the gold nails were specifically meant to match the gold eyeshadow, gold boots, and statement gold jewelry the models were wearing. The manicure was also bright at Oscar de la Renta, where the models wore a gleaming champagne toned nail polish.
The manicure colors at Byblos varied, and we loved seeing a gleaming warm silver on some of the models. At Badgley Mischka, we saw a subdued dark metallic grey manicure on shorter nails. At Roland Mouret, the nails were a slightly iridescent metallic grey.
#2. Taupes and Greys
Cool, classy, and just a little severe, taupes and greys just make sense for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends. On the nails, grey tones are anything but boring. They are defiantly unfeminine yet subdued, especially since they were mostly applied to shorter nails this season.
The models at Eudon Choi had a light grey shade applied to their short nails. At Jill Stuart, a glossy dark grey with a bit of a green undertone made for an unassuming look. The nails were a classy, rounded shape. Classic almond shaped nails were painted a taupey grey at Michael Kors.
#3. Red Nails
An eternal sex symbol, it is no surprise that red nail polish made it to this list of fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends. What is really fun about all the blood red nails this season is that we’re seeing them in all shapes and sizes!
It’s not just the long, classically almond shaped nails sporting this fiery shade, but also shorter nails. What has been extra fun is seeing these nails here and there decorated with different elements.
At Leitmotiv, for example, we saw opaque shorter nails with a glossy finish, many of them in a cool shade of red. Even shorter were the dark red nails on the Paula Ka and Pamella Roland catwalks.
At Jeremy Scott, the blood red nails were sharp and long, with some adorned with gold stars, and others unadorned and simply regal in their red, shiny beauty.
#4. Classic Black Nails
Some of the fall/ winter 2017 nail trends seem to purposefully ignore the upcoming cold weather by showcasing bright and lively nail art. Other manicurists and designers were fully ready to embrace the cold and darkness, with classy black manicures.
The nails on the Marchesa catwalk remind me of my baby Goth days, but considerably more successful. They were kept short, painted a glossy black, and somehow looked ultra clean and chic.
At Leitmotiv, some of the models sported similarly short, black nails, which worked wonderfully with the edgier makeup and damp hair. At Zang Toi, we also saw black nails, albeit with a matte finish, decorated with a glossy blue square in the center.
#5. Timeless Nudes
Another manicure choice that will never go out of style is the nude colored nail, in shades of soft pink and peach. It is easy to maintain, it looks natural, and it is always appropriate. In other words, we are happy to see this style in the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends.
At Au Jour Le Jour, the warm, pale shade was applied to a longer, almond shaped nail. It was interesting to see on a longer nail, where the lack of a white tip made sure it looked a little unique. At Cividini, a short, nude nail worked seamlessly with a feminine collection, and dewy makeup.
#6. Chunky Nail Polish
At Naeem Khan, thick layers of gold, bronze, and silver glitter stood out with a glamorous rock and roll vibe over a black nail polish base.
The models at Christian Siriano wore layers upon layers of thick nail polish over short nails, for a look that was significantly unfeminine and very textured. Three layers of polish and a final layer of glitter made these nails memorable.
At House of Holland, a mosaic patchwork effect was achieved through the use of little square nail stickers with an opalescent shimmer.
#7. Color Blocked Nail Art
Eschewing tiny, delicate designs for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends, manicurists instead created nail art with block or thick swipes of color. Playing with color in such a way can be easily achieved with a bit of tape, so it’s a relief to anyone lacking a steady hand. These looks are more graphic, and very adult.
At Jenny Packham, the color blocked nail tips were all the rage. With the help of a bit of tape, and just two swipes of color, a graphic triangular tip in a softer and darker grey was achieved.
At Monse, a fade into a silver pinky was achieved by painting the ring finger half silver, over black polish. It was subtle, artistic glamour.
Lastly, the models at Novis wore a black base of nail polish, and each of their nails was topped with two blocks in bright colors: yellow, red, pink, or gray.
#8. Gold Accents
A hint of gold is a great way to glam up a nail, and it’s also a very safe way of creating a more interesting manicure without having to worry about it being too crazy. We saw a few different ways in which manicures were upgraded with just hints of gold, some more subtle and others more out there.
At Laura Biagiotti, the nails showcased two of the fall 2017 nail polish trends. Bare nails were accented with alternating thick horizontal stripes of gold polish, along the side of the nail and just below the tip.
At Jeremy Scott, some red nails were stamped in the center with a gold star, perhaps in a nice nod to the soviet flag. At Marc Jacobs, it was all about showcasing the brand, with a golden logo carefully applied to each darkly painted nail.
At Nicholas K, the accent nail painted a solid gold was the pinky, while the rest of the nails were adorned with a diagonal golden stripe along the tip, with the rest of the nail painted a nude shade. The accent nail was gold at Lanyu, as well.
#9. Glitter & Shiny Nails
Glitter and shine always add a bit of joy to any boring old look. I think glitters especially make sense for winter, what with the coming holidays, the snow, and the overall need to find a way to ward off drabness.
The nails at Tadashi Shoji were painted gold, and then topped with clusters of pink and multi colored glitter for a messy patchwork effect.
At Michael Costello, manicurist Rita Remark applied a shimmery bronze shade to the tips of the nails, but the look was messy in an interesting way. The tips were totally opaque, but towards the base of the nail the polish did not fade nicely into the white base polish, instead looking a little chipped.
At The Blonds, the models were ready to fight with their golden fishscale fortified nails. It was a powerful manicure, with a fantasy warrior touch.
#10. Over the Crescent Moon Manicures
Also known as a reverse French manicure, half moon manicures are a way of doing nail art that is totally appropriate for the office. As part of the fall 2017 nail polish trends, most of the half moon manicures seemed to feature one subdued color like white or nude, and one brighter color.
For Tanya Taylor, manicurists from Essie created three different crescent moon manicures of different shades on shorter squared off nails. The moon at the base of the nail was nude, with tips in different shades.
At Sachin & Babi, models walked the runway with distinct blood red and glossy cream crescent nails, showcasing two of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail art trends.
At Prabal Gurung, negative space was a running theme, being a part of both the makeup and the nail looks. Gray nail polish was applied to most of the nail, but the half moon at the base was left totally bare.
Lastly, at Moschino, brown and white half moon nails were meant to represent cardboard tape.
#11. Small 3D Precious Jewel Appliques
Every season we can expect designers and manicurists to go a little nuts with the unique things they decide to glue to the nails. Surprisingly, for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends, the appliques were delicate and reasonably sized.
The manicure for Manish Arora echoed the pearly makeup perfectly. Much like the pearls glued to the models’ faces in beautiful patterns, pearls were also glued in cute shapes to the models’ iridescently painted nails.
At Antonio Marras, only the accent nail was decorated, also with pearls! Three pearls, in different colors, adorned the accent nail. The nails went from smaller to bigger, in a thoughtful stylish choice. The rest of the nails, along with the base of the accent nail, were painted a glossy grey.
Breaking the delicate theme, we can always rely on Gucci, where massive talons were studded with multicolored jewels.
#12. Line-Based Manicures
Whether it was by playing with striping tape, or simply applying precise swipes of color, line manicures were a thing all over the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends. These graphic manicures showcased artistic creativity under pressure, and how something marvelous can be really simple.
Glamorous stiletto nails were the excellent choice at Cushnie et Ochs. The sharp nails were painted a creamy white, and adorned with stripes of silver. On some nails it was near the base, for others near the tips, and a few even sported double stripes. It was classy and high fashion.
Thick lines were also utilized as part of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends. At Tracy Reese, blood red stripes decorated a French manicure, going in a different direction on every nail.
At Delpozo, each bare nail was adorned with a single line down the center for a high impact manicure.
#13. Long Hanging Bits & Pieces
Whereas most designers and manicurists opted for subtle and quick manicures this season, some of them decided to go as far in the opposite direction as possible. We loved these impractical nails that were the very definition of nail art – beautiful, but not functional. Whether by gluing or by piercing the (faux) nail plate, manicurists attached large tassels and fringes that swung wildly, making the nails quite literally larger than life.
At Libertine, brightly colored nails in shades of red and pink were covered with all the possible 3D appliques, including beads, jewels, and even a big tassel. At Baja East, oval faux nails were painted a uniform color, and an accent nail was pierced at the tip with a long and heavy-looking chain of pearls.
The looks were especially chainy and metal at Philipp Plein, where the tips of the index, middle, and ring finger had all been pierced, and had the rings of a golden check attached to them. To make sure you do not miss on the gothic subtext, the nails were long, sharp, and painted a solid black.
#14. Polka Dots
Polka dots are usually one of the precious nail polish choices that end up looking girlish and youthful. However, as part of the fall 2017 nail trends, we’re seeing a more mature take on polka dots, which are carefully placed in darker, monochrome shades.
At Alice + Olivia, black polish was the main color used on the nail, with two gray dots creating interest at the base of the nail. At Lela Rose, the nails were almost the reverse, with gray nail polish making the base of the nail, and black dots dotted throughout.
#15. Chipped Nails
Messy and smudged were big themes in this season’s makeup looks, so it’s no surprise to see the nail polish equivalent of smudged makeup, chipped nail polish, make it into the fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail polish trends. I’m not sure whether such a look can catch on for day to day, but if it does, those of you who find it difficult to maintain your nail polish can rejoice.
At Desigual, on top of the season’s signature bare nail look, chipped looking spots of black and gray nail polish had been applied. At Mulberry, the look seemed much more organic, with black nail polish showing a hint of chipping at the tips and near the base.
#16. Bare Nails
Seeing as bare skin was par for the course for makeup this season, it is not surprising to also see bare nails all over the runways for the fall 2017 nail trends. This nail trend wonderfully showcases a move away from extreme femininity, along with the shorter nails we’ve been seeing.
At Vivienne Tam, the nails were left totally bare, without a hint of nail polish. At Zadig et Voltaire, most nails were left bare as well, with the exception of a solid blue ring finger, and a small piece of tape applied to the base of the pinky.
At Tibi, the index finger was painted a solid color like pink or red, while the rest of the fingers only received a clear topcoat. The nails at Jenny Packham were dressed up with a diagonal strip of grey, while the rest of the nail was only covered with a thin layer of clear topcoat.
At Mary Katrantzou, we saw bare nails, covered with just a hint of clear topcoat.
How do you feel about these minimalist fall/ winter 2017-2018 nail trends? Do you miss the opulent nail art of previous years, or are you ready for some easy and low key looks? Share your thoughts!
Photos via Livingly