"Nails have never been hotter," said CND
's Jan Arnold to me backstage at the first-ever Shellac & Fashion Fusion runway show. In our midst, models were multitasking with having their hair done, getting final make-up touches, getting dressed, and, of course, having their nails applied. (For runway shows, the nails are typically done on tips ahead of time, then attached with craft store glue dots for easy application and removal.)
Shellac & Fashion Fusion 2011 had been in the works for about a year, and the show was a landmark event for the nail industry in the sense that it was the first time a nail-focused show has been on The Runway at America's Beauty Show. Typically, the show's amazing runway -- which is a large ballroom complete with a huge stage with a catwalk, two projection screens, plus plenty of audience seating, all away from the hustle and bustle of the main show floor -- is reserved for big-name hairstylists to strut their stuff. That glass ceiling crashed wide open with this nail fashion show, which, Jan told me, sold out in a week and a half. To accommodate the demand, CND added more spots for nail techs to view the show, though those extra techs weren't able to participate in the Shellac hands-on class afterwards. All in all, more than 600 people witnessed the show.
Below are some of my photos from backstage:
Here's a photo of the crowd waiting to enter the ballroom:
Below are some of the photos from the show itself. Each model showcased a full look, from her head to her toes, encompassing both fashion and beauty trends. Some of the trends covered were "flesh forward," which harkens to the '70s look and is the new take on natural; "diplomatic darks," dark sophistacated nails that pair great with bright wardrobe colors; and CND's Jason Wu Colour & Effects collection
, which Jan noted "merges masculine elements with feminine." After each model showcased a runway look, CND education ambassador and Fashion Week veteran Kristina Estabrooks demonstrated (on stage, which was then broadcast to the two large screens) how to create the look in real life.