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Autumn Nail Trends Inspired by SS21 Fashion Week

By: Sarah Federico, Beauty and Wellness Writer

For your best manicure, yet.

When the global pandemic struck in March, the style obsessed had a tough time envisioning what a socially distanced #NYFW fashion week might look like. But luckily, necessity and innovation collided, delivering unto us spectacular trends – and an all-access pass to the backstage beauty gods. Among those icons are nail artists, who showcased an array of autumn friendly designs, colors and embellishments.

This season take your cues from nail art inspired by fashion week SS21. From high-intensity metallics to glam-rock vibes, we’ve outlined our favorite options, here.


“A big trend on the runways was appliques, like studs and jewels,” says Rita Remark, global educator and lead nail artist for Essie. “These couldn’t be easier to apply, especially if you’re just adding a couple of jewels by the cuticle.” To steal the style, start by using a moistened toothpick to pick up your gem. “press it into the nail polish when it’s still kind of gooey, and then it dries there, and you have a really fun nail statement.”

Rebecca Minkoff. Inspired by David Bowie’s otherworldly presence and glam rock aesthetic, Rebecca Minkoff used a jet-black backdrop and celestial adornments to bring Bowie’s unique style-vibe to life.

“I placed individual star decals from KISS Salon Secret Nail Art Starter Kit as accents on a classic black KISS nail base in keeping with the minimalistic nail art trends, which I feel will never go out of style,” says Gina Edwards, celebrity nail artist and KISS Brand Ambassador. “Adding the stars gives the nails a celestial rocker feel!”

Christian Cowan. With an aesthetic described as quirky and lively (plus a celebration of underground culture) it’s no surprise that nail artist May y Sol peppered her manicures with distinctly punk-rock influences to match Cowan’s own aesthetic. Swarovski crystals took center stage, while each manicure took on its own distinct shape.

“To create each nail look, I personally custom fit over 300 Après Gel X nail extensions and filed many into a unique shape that resembles a tanto tip Japanese knife,” Sol explained on Twitter. “Depending on each outfit, I then paired colors from defy & INSPIRE to complement each look.”

Basic bolds

Make it pop.

Tom Ford. Tom Ford is going bold for spring, and he says that his vivid choices represent joy and happiness. But if you’d rather not go all in with wardrobe pieces in shades of bright pink, orange and purple, opt for a manicure that goes beyond ballerina pink or muted nude. Instead, reach for neon – a perfect way to pay homage to bright, fall colors, now.

Fendi. Super sophisticated, yet very minimal. Fendi’s runways delivered simple, single-tones colors, which complimented the iconic silhouettes perfectly. We don’t know about you – but we’re always in for a classic, candy apple red.


During the cool weather months, on-trend metallics will take on a softer edge. Think textured, with a little extra oomph. We predict techniques such as gold leafing, metallic brushstrokes and intentionally placed glitter over full-on chrome. Nail expert Leeanne Cooley recommends a powdered chrome mani. “It gives a really cool sheen to the nail but you don’t get this blinged-out [look].”

Christian Cowan. Conversely, some might say that spring nail looks are starting early, as displayed here for Cowan’s NYFW show. “I mean, why not,” asks Sol? “A fun glitter is just that, a fun glitter. Who says that you can only wear it in spring?”

So, next time you visit your manicurist, make a bold choice inspired by SS21. And remember to say a silent thank you to the brilliant minds that made a socially distanced fashion week possible.