Elle Woods might have been onto something in Legally Blonde when she always rushed to get her manicure fixed in times of crisis. Probably not the healthiest (or inexpensive) coping mechanism, but given the many standout fall/winter 2022-2023 nail trends from the runways, her need for a fresh coat of paint when she’s panicking is something that many will most likely start to understand more.
With bright and bold nail designs taking a back seat to soft and sophisticated manicures this year – one of the few style elements of fall and winter that could even be considered calm – this season’s nails are something to get excited about. Many designers went for the simplistic nude manicure or a pale coat of polish, but when it came to branching out, designers painted the tips of French manicures in bright and eccentric colors. Of course, some manicurists for designers simply couldn’t stay away from bright and bedazzled designs, so if you’re looking for a bold fall nail idea, we do have a few options for you as well.
#1. Short and Square
One of the easiest-to-manage nail shapes, keeping a short and square style to your fingertips will never be frowned upon this season. Simplistic in its approach and particularly easy when it comes to embracing trending nail polish colors, designers from the likes of Bottega Veneta, Claudia Li, and Elisabetta Franchi all found that erring on the shorter side was the best move.
#2. The Littlest Almond
Almond-shaped nails came back with a vengeance this season. Last season, it seemed that they had been kicked out of popularity by the sharp stiletto nail shape, however, as more and more designers from all styles grew to embrace this nail shape, I can say with certainty that all seems right with the world once more. And if you don’t believe me, then head to every fashion house from Dior to Christian Siriano and take a peep at how their models’ nails are styled.
#3. Mirror, Mirror
Sitting somewhere between almond-shaped nails and sharply edged square nails comes the softly flowing curve of the oval nail. Probably one of the easiest shapes to paint, Balmain, Brandon Maxwell, and Dion Lee used it as the base shape before adding any other details to the models’ nails.
#4. Extreme Lengths
Despite stiletto nails fading to the background, incredibly long nails haven’t gone anywhere. In every shape, from almond to oval (and even a few squares), a hefty tip was applied to many nails. Christian Cowan easily took the cake in this arena by somehow managing to add extra few inches to his models’ nail beds. But if this doesn’t interest you, slightly longer – and still workable – options can be found on both The Blonds’ and Fashion East’s runway.
#5. Naked Nails
If you’re reading this article and only finding nail trends that you don’t want to participate in, there’s no need to fret about not being ‘on trend’ (an illusion in and of itself) because nude manicures or simply no manicures at all have also been increasingly popular this season. With runways from Jason Wu to Johnathan Simkhai and Balmain leading the way, there truly isn’t any reason not to test out this perfectly DIY-able nail trend.
#6. Balancing the Embellishment
Heavily detailed nails often play a central role in certain collections, with designers using them as a statement piece if there isn’t any jewelry, or perhaps as just an excuse to fully embrace the ‘go big, or go home’ sense of style that has been a mainstay for the 2020s so far. With Markarian leading the way with their partnership with Impress-on nails, an Old Hollywood look was played up with crystals and pearls studding the manicure. Other designers that found it fun to fully play up and embellish nails were Tia Adeola, who messed around with pastel details, and Christian Cowan, who fell hard for the look of heavy glitter.
#7. All the Rubies
Starring as the front runner for winter nail colors comes the tone of deep ruby red. Often semi-popular year-round, this classic nail color has continued to maintain its grip on the fashion sphere – only just a few shades darker than the color we saw for spring and summer. Featured mainly at Proenza Schouler, Alberta Ferretti, Giorgio Armani, and LaQuan Smith, each model’s fingertips were graced with the classic film noir nail color.
#8. Joining the Color Wheel
From Kim Shui to Halpern, swapping the classic white tip of the French manicure for something a bit different captured many manicurists’ hearts. At Kim Shui, the color palette was far from dull, with a plethora of bright colors dancing across the tips of the models’ nails. Halpern went in a different direction, though embracing the trend of earth tones by using subtle browns at the tips instead.
#9. ‘Earth without Art Is Just Eh’
As mentioned above, rich earth tones have been featured in many fall collections as the choice of nail color. Perfect for the colder seasons and easily blending in with the many popular color choices of fall 2022, rich browns, earthy grays, and deep greens provided a landing pad for the manicurists. These tones were more prominently featured with designers Brandon Maxwell and Hermes, however, slight touches of the various hues can be found on many of this season’s nail art looks.
#10. Silver Statements
If you need an excuse to paint your nails in an extravagant and fun metallic tone for fall, opting for silver is an excellent choice. From Sergio Hudson to Dion Lee and Markarian, picking this stainless hue is certain to give that trending rich b*tch energy that is all over TikTok and Instagram.
#11. Swirls and Swirls
From vibrant blue swirls at Christian Siriano to red and black at Markarian and a few elements of swirling nail art at Marrisa Wilson, this throwback to the ‘60s and Pucci patterns seems to be here to stay, especially in the nail art. Perhaps a bit too complex to do at home, this could be your excuse for heading to the salon and getting your nails done. Did anyone hear ‘girl’s day’?
Photos via Vogue, Livingly