Miss Petaluma On…


On my way to work one morning, I sat next to a quintessential ghetto girl – as LL Cool J so eloquently put it, an ‘around the way girl’. Humming along to her iPod, she was kitted out in the most ghetto fabulous of outfits, with,  most significantly, ornate nail-art nails.   They were truly something else, immaculately covered in purples and blues with silver lines and dots.  Hmmm, timely, when I’d only just read a beauty feature in a top supplement on the latest nail art trend, captioned with snap of an A-list celebrity in red carpet ready dress and…ornate nail-art nails!

Every now and then street style hits the fashion mainstream big time…not often, but when it does, it blows up.   The last time was circa 2000 when Chloe launched gold chain tees and those Kylie gold hot pants.  Dior created that repetitive Dior print on jumpsuits and handbags – shout out to all the girls who got their’s from the market.   Now it seems nail art is de rigueur – forget those crazy Japanese nail art exhibitions with 3D Hello Kitties, I’m talking about deluxe nail bars charging £50 rather than the £10 you would pay in your local American Nails.  Nail art is featured in the chicest of Vogue shoots and raved about in Grazia and Elle.  My question is, is it still SWV ghetto ghetto or chic, chic, chic?

I’ll readily admit to having had nail art quite a few times.  Whenever I visited the states, i’d treat myself to something really over the top – it was such a novelty.  However, it was still for Ghetto Use Only.  Nowadays, rather then palm trees and strange air brushed flowers, the look is much more fashion forward.  Nail artists create designs using fashion like prints, such as polka dots and lace,  iconic logos like Chanel and last but by no means least stunning nails encrusted in pearls and gems. The hottest salons in town?  Wah Nails in Dalston, set up by charismatic fashion stylist Sharmadean Reid.  It promises to translate fashion trends into nail art from £25.  The next is at upmarket, celebrity haunt Haris Salon in Kensington.  They create catwalk-inspired nails from £30.  My favourite would have to be Sophy Robson, a true visionary, who understands the perfect manicure just as much as colour-coded talons, price on application.

Dare I bring the recession into all of this, but maybe women are up for a bit of self-expression and personality – that classic 90s ghetto girl’s finger-snapping, just try me, laissez-faire approach to fashion.  Take that  keyboard tapping job – hood nails 4 life!!

To get your nail on, try:

  • Barry M, for a kaleidoscope of colours and normally 3 for 2 (£3.99)  Superdrug, Boots and Asos
  • Rio Nail Art Foils Set, the perfect start up kit £19.99 Amazon and Argos
  • Elegant Touch Detail Therapy Nails, fool-proof pre-art worked nails £8 Boots
  • Minx Nail Armour, flexible polymer veneers (think tartan, floral and cheetah) and the celeb choice of course £20 Ebay is actually the best otherwise 0845 210 60 60

90s R&B girl Coko from SWV sported eye-popping nails to the max

Traditional ghetto-fab nail art

Solange Knowles wears Minx Nails

Hot London Nail Bar Wah Nails' design board

Sophy Robson's designs for Russian Vogue


4 Responses to “Miss Petaluma On…”

  1. emma gibbard Says:

    the nail is really good hw did u do some of tham x

  2. i am working on design nail if you want we can co-operate with each other

  3. thanks for your messages guys – unfortunately these are not my designs, you’ll see on the article who did them – Wah Nails in London being one of them. The best I can do is a simple polish

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