Any self-respecting show-goer’s first destination upon arriving in New York for fashion week isn’t her hotel or her favourite coffee spot. It’s the nearest nail salon.
This isn’t because there’s anything intrinsically better about NY nail salons—it’s just that they’re such a pervasive part of the culture that it seems absurd not to treat yourself to a little luxury. Actually, luxury? Strike that—glossy nails are practically a NY prerequisite: it’s a point of pride to most New York women never to appear in public with chipped lacquer.
Every other block in the city is home to a colourfully named nail salon. A 10-minute walk from my front door could take me to options including Magic Fingers III, Pretty Angel Nails, New Cozy, Dashing Diva, Cindy’s Healing Hands… you get the idea.
Some people swear by the modernity and spa-like feel of TenOverTen or Pinky, where the soundtrack consists of soothing tunes rather than conversational din. But remembering the ‘should I, shouldn’t I?’ days of £50 mani-pedis in London, it’s the cheapies that command my loyalty and devotion.
So it was that after landing in New York on Wednesday, with loads of dry cleaning and laundry and unpacking and invitation-sorting to manage before heading out to the J Brand presentation, I ignored it all and went straight to a local salon nails. For $35 and perfunctory conversation (“short, square, very little cuticle cutting, thanks”), I got an OPI GelColor manicure sure to take me through 50+ shows, and a pedicure that means I don’t have to think twice if I go insane and contemplate wearing open-toed shoes. (PS: it’s snowing.)
I may not know what to wear to the shows tomorrow, but I know my nails won’t let me down. Not too shabby for less than the cost of two London cocktails. Wouldn’t you say?