Alexander Wang, Peter Som, Jason Wu and Oscar de la Renta Collaborate with Nail Polish Brands

The designer + big-box store collaboration is getting so ubiquitous that it’s practically yawn inducing. But now designers are pushing fashion collab boundaries and exploring more beauty mash ups. The latest obsession: nail polish. Designers aren’t just sending their models down the catwalks in old standbys like Essie Mademoiselle and neutral shades of nail foundation from Rococo Nail Apparel anymore. That’s so last year! Instead, they’re working with big-name nail brands to release custom creations that add another touch of their vision to their runway collections. So soak off your gels and get ready for some pret-a-pedis and must-have manis from some of fashion’s biggest names.

Peter Som for Zoya

Peter Som for Zoya

For Fall 2012, Peter Som teamed with nail brand Zoya to create custom colors to complement his collection. Two colors, Evvie (a grayed evergreen) and Audrey (a warm-toned blush pink), walked the runway on models’ toes and hands. The third is a one-of-a-kind polish that instantly turns any favorites into a fall-ready shade. Zoya’s team describes Katherine, a sheer plum, as a “nail gloss.” Use it on its own for a sheer wash of color, or slick it over any of the hues already in your collection to transform even the springiest blush tones into a fall-ready must have. With half the color pigment of a regular polish and special technology that gives it double the shine, we’re doing the math and figuring that it will be on every beauty junkie’s fingers and toes. Available in a limited edition set at

Peter Som for Zoya

Peter Som for Zoya

Alexander Wang for Sally Hansen

Alexander Wang for Sally Hansen (Photo: W)

For the second season, fashion darling Alexander Wang has enlisted the help of nail heavyweight Sally Hansen for his model’s manicures (we spied mega-manicurist Jin Soon Choi at his show last season). Using their Complete Salon Manicure line, which includes nail strengthener, base coat, color and topcoat all in one bottle, Sally Hansen and Wang mixed up three new colors for Fall ’12. The models (which included big names such as Shalom Harlow and Giselle) sported Bandage, a nude, on their tips as they stomped in Wang’s latest designs. But when the color hits drugstore shelves come fall, it will have two bffs: Ion and Pumice. Spring’s colors are on shelves now (if you manage to find them), so we’ll expect another frenzy over this trio of colors in the coming months.

Jason Wu for CND

Jason Wu for CND (Courtesy CND)

Not all polish collabs are ripe for the picking at your local store, though. Professional brand CND has worked with Jason Wu for several seasons, creating custom colors and effects (they’re known for glistening glitters and show-stopping shimmer top coats) like 2011’s Tweed Effect, which gave the illusion of woven fabric on fingernails. Painted atop the blush, beige and fuschia colors he created for Spring, the colors transformed with a multi-dimensional 3D effect.

For fall, they created custom press-on nails for Wu, so each model sported identical oxblood nails with gleaming gold tips. The special effect this time? A Minx-like foil finish on the gold, dubbed Gold Chrome.

butter LONDON for Yigal Azrouel

butter LONDON for Yigal Azrouel

For his Cut25 diffusion label’s Spring 2012 presentation, Yigal Azrouel worked with Butter London for a nail art design that was part tribal and part tropical. Working with colors from Butter London’s arsenal, the designer and the nail company created a unique ombre effect unlike anything we’ve ever seen (and trust us, we’ve scoured YouTube).

“We created bespoke mixes for the look at Yigal Azrouel’s Cut25 – in salmon pink, demi-neon turquoise, and pastel pistachio colors,” said Nonie Cream, one of the original co-founders of Butter London. “[We introduced] the ‘free-hand ombré’ manicure.”

Complementing Azrouel’s brightly colored frocks and easy, casual clothes, the nails were almost fabriclike. Woven and colorful, just like the jewelry that the models wore for the presentation, it was the perfect way to accessorize. “This is about visual texture; a loose, artistic nail art,” Said Cream, “I’m all about ‘fine art for nails’. No palm trees or sunsets, please!”

Oscar de la Renta nail polish New York Fashion Week Fall 2012

Oscar de la Renta nail polish debuts at New York Fashion Week Fall 2012

At New York Fashion Week, Oscar de la Renta decided to skip the middleman entirely. In lieu of a collaboration, he’s debuting a full line of polish under his own label.

A part of the Essential Luxuries Collection (which will include six shades of nail lacquer and six lipsticks), the polishes will debut in October. At his fashion show, models’ fingernails were painted with three of the colors: Essential Carnation, Essential Larimar and Essential Aubergine. The full collection has yet to make its debut. They are cream-finish, classic, covetable and more than anything, completely Oscar.

No word yet on where you’ll be able to find them or how much they will cost, but we can tell you that Oscar’s fans don’t get in a tizzy for just any reason. Though the details are fuzzy, one thing is clear: It will be the most civilized frenzy you’ll ever witness.

Oscar de la Renta Nail Polish

Oscar de la Renta Nail Polish (Photo Courtesy


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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.