That's me (left), Jacquie Correa, and Jan Arnold relaxing at the Spa afterparty.
As a lead sponsor and the exclusive nail partner of GenArt’s Seventh on Sixth Spring 2002 fashion show on September 8, 2001, in New York, Creative Nail Design collaborated with three showcased designers to develop nail looks to complement their collections. Team Creative member Monica Leiper worked diligently for three weeks to create more than 1,000 pre-done nail tips for quick-and-easy backstage application under the bright lights and cramped space shared with hairstylists and makeup artists. Monica kept a diary during these hectic weeks to share with NAILS readers.
Monday 8.03 – Baton Roughe, La.
While on vacation, I received a call from Jan Arnold about designing nail looks for designers at the Seventh on Sixth fashion shows in New York. Immediately, I started brainstorming and sketching some runway-worthy nails. The show is less than a month away. I called my husband back in California and asked him to send my art cases so I of the nails could get started right away Next call: Jacqui Jefford in the United Kingdom for tips and ideas to help me get started.
Today I declared the dining room area officially hazardous and off- limits to anyone else. It’s [designer] Keanan Duffty nail day.
I started working on a set that I’ll call “Damaged Beauty based on Keanan’s medieval-meets-punk theme. This was a lot of work, but exciting to create Jan said Keanan likes to use British iconography and pop art in his clothes so I try some of these — eh, we’ll see.
The next designer — Danenberg Castro — was a breeze- Sophisticated, long Serenity beige nails — I can do that in my sleep.
Sunday 8.29 – Return to California
I became the family drill sergeant and am making my family follow a strict daily schedule until I finish this project This is a way to help ease the activities and meetings with Creative. All days begin at 6.30 a.m.
In the afternoon I meet with Jan, Tom Bachik, and Risé Carter to review the nails, shirts, and bags that the team will wear during the shows. For every model, we’ll create a set of 15 nails so when we apply them backstage, we’ll have extra sizes for the best fit —super time-consuming now, but will be very worth it later Plus, an additional two to four sets of each design for any given situation during the show We have less than three weeks to get everything done.
The search begins; I drive around town to find specific nail tips needed I start making nail boards, and shape and design the “chewed nail” for the Keanan Duffty look. This took more time than planned, filing the shape, cutting, bending, and twisting bits of the tip. Holding the tip removed edges of my finger too — that wasn’t fun.
Worked in the lab salon again. Jan told me that we’re going to do the nail looks for the Betsey Johnson show, too! Wow! Major designer! That means add on another 300 nails. No problemo — I’ve almost got it down to a science.
Creative nail techs apply the nails that I premade and mounted for easy application at show time.
Final touches for the Danenberg Castro nails. I start more color work on the Keanan Duffty nails — adding white streaks and black smears. They look really cool.
Picked up samples of crystals for Betsey Johnson nails. In the middle of doing the second Keanan Duffty look—the big red and white crosses — I started seeing double and had to take a break.
Worked on and finished Keanan Duffty styles and then began shaping nails for Betsey Johnson show.
The third GenArt designer; Liz Collins, changed her mind again about nails and now wants long, pointy golden nails for her “Grecian Goddess” theme, OK, now I am freaking out. because that means 2.0 more models who need nails’ The urgency has set in and the race is on. Nail tips for the backstage press to see have become top priority and their samples must be finished tonight.
Today I finished up the ring fingers for the Betsey rhinestone accent nails and did more shaping of the Liz Collins nails until they were finally completed. 2 am. — must go to sleep!
Woke up at 5 a.m. to leave for the airport to go to New York. At the terminal I started preparing custom-jeweled nails for Jan and Betsey to wear at the shows — they are going to be the most incredible nails when I’m finished.
SHOWTIME! We arrived at the Bryant Park tents early, made our way to the backstage entrance, and slowly started finding models to work on. In the last hour before the show, more models began arriving. It was a circus! We were off and running from one model to the next. At times we were crammed between other working stylists, under tables, dodging elbows, grabbing what we could from each other.
Time flew by and before we knew it they were calling the models to line up for the show. Our job was nearly complete — half of the team stayed to finish the clean-up and help remove the tips from the models after the show, while the other half left to go to the hip nightclub Spa to set up for the after party.
2 a.m. — Back in my hotel room. Exhausted, I gathered the extra supplies and tagged them for the Betsey Johnson show on Monday. That’s it — gotta get into bed!