Marc Jacobs' Spring/Summer 2020 show was over the top — in the best way possible. The clothing and hats were an explosion of colour, feathers, flowers, and sequins. The hairstyles, created by Guido, referenced over-the-top artists and personalities — from Andy Warhol to Jane Fonda. And every model had a different makeup look, hand-crafted by Pat McGrath, that took a page directly from Euphoria, right down to the glitter tears.
But out of all the opulence coming down the catwalk, there is one thing you probably missed: the nails. But, trust us, they deserve a second look.
Celebrity nail artist Mei Kawajiri hand-painted 13 different custom designs on 130 fake nails (a feat that took her and her team more than 24 hours to pull off). According to Kawajiri, Jacobs wanted it to appear as if each model had gone to her own nail salon the night before. “All the inspiration is based on street style, because in fashion, the nail is more simple. But on the street, everyone has crazy nails.”
Of course, Kawajiri also pulled inspiration from the clothing. Some of the nails mimicked the knitwear and tweed that bounced down the runway, and a few of the sets borrowed actual lace from the collection. Many of the designs incorporated polka-dot rhinestones, for what Kawajiri dubbed the “Marc Today” nail (it’s the same nail art Jacobs wore for his victory bow).
But the must-see designs were the 3-D pieces that are true to Kawajiri’s unique artistry and a nod to her culture, like the pastel bears and rabbits that she made in traditional Japanese kawaii style. The jewel-toned cameo nails with miniature 3D busts, which she sculpted with acrylic powder, were her personal favourites.
But not every street-style girl wears over-the-top nail art — so, to keep things real, runway manicurist Jin Soon Choi also created a series of simpler nail looks to complement the wild ones. A few of the models got long, oval-shaped nails coated with a nude colour in a nod to ‘80s glamour. Some of them got clear, buffed looks. And several even got chipped designs — yes, chipped on purpose. Jacobs wanted it all to feed into the theme of individuality, and his go-to nail artists worked overtime to provide just that.