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NYFW Spring 2017 Nails: ’90s Hip Hop Flavor at KYE US

NYFW Spring 2017 Nails: ’90s Hip Hop Flavor at KYE US


By David Simpson

The ’90s pushed boundaries, aesthetically and creatively: Hip-hop artists like Biggie, Tupac, Salt-N-Pepa and TLC topped the charts; the “Big Six” supermodels ruled the runways; and beauty trends like the “Rachel” haircut, scrunchies, butterfly clips, skinny brows and dark ruby lips were all the rage. At KYE US, the beauty takes a nod from this memorable decade. For the nail designs, Lead Nail Artist Mei Kawajiri looks directly to the collection for her inspiration, citing the various color fishnet stockings the models are wearing as a point of reference. To craft the netted nail art, Kawajiri paints almond-shaped nails with either red, yellow, green, white or black polish so that every finger boasts a different hue. Once the nails dry completely, she uses a thin nail art brush dipped in black polish to crisscross the fishnet design. “It’s very difficult to do thin lines, [so work] fast and light,” she suggests. And because the ’90s celebrated kitschy excess, Kawajiri uses a nail drill to punch holes in the tips of the nails where she secures uber hip K-Y-E charms. “I had originally thought about making the design 3-D, but I didn’t want to cover the fishnet,” she says. “Now when the models move you can see the charms move; you see the fishnet. It’s more fun!”

A second houndstooth-like nail art design also figures into the look (again, that ’90s kitsch), Kawajiri paints square-shaped tips with two coats of white polish and then uses a thin nail art brush and black polish to draw a jagged design. “It’s almost like a lightning bolt and it’s very cartoonish,” she explains. As for why she chose which nail shape would go with which design, Kawajiri says, “The square shape is more boyish and masculine while the almond shape is more feminine and sexy—and, charms work better on longer tips!” —Molly Church

[Image credits: Molly Church]