We were thrilled when womenswear designer Tanya Taylor booked an appointment for her first ever nail art manicure. We were already fans of the designer—who brilliantly balances playful and feminine with smart and modern in her collections—and couldn't wait to introduce her to our brand of sophisticated nail art. Tanya was in need of a manicure for a special event, and a big one at that. As an invitee to the Celebration of Design evening at the White House, Tanya needed a look that could carry her to the highest office on earth.
After the event, Tanya invited us to her SoHo studio where we got to see the dress she wore, talk nail art, and look at her collections, both past and present.
Tanya wears Divergent from the Paintbox FW'14 collection. (Right) The dress Tanya wore to the White House.
How did you choose what you were going to wear to the White House?
When I was invited to attend the Celebration of Design evening at the White House, I knew I wanted my look to be polished and feminine. It was important for me to wear a dress made of a fabric that I designed and that I could look back on in ten years and feel was a classic choice. We created a custom piece for that evening in our SoHo studio.
Did you ever think you'd wear nail art to the White House? What was the experience like?
I never imagined wearing nail art to the White House because I had yet to wear gel before. People noticed my nails and that they subtly matched my Gianvito Rossi heels. The design I chose showed a sense of playfulness and was an modern and interesting way to complete my look.
To get Tanya's look in polish, use Estée Lauder Nudité as a base, with Chanel Black Satin and Zoya Snow White for contrasting tips.
As a designer, how do you decide what you'll wear on your nails? How do nails fit into your style philosophy?
I tend to do my nails once a week in a different color and I dress around them. My nails are usually a consistent message that fit my mood of the week. Because I wear a lot of color and print, my nail choice needs to be more subtle. Paintbox has such graphic yet sophisticated nail art, and regardless of what you are wearing, the nail art doesn’t distract. The general rule for nails should be to keep it simple.
Do you have a go-to look or a favorite polish color?
I tend to wear many shades of red—my favorite is an Essie color called Jelly Apple, but I also like dark burgundy. I walk into a nail salon and I base the color choice on my mood. I also tend to bite my nails but the gel managed to last me a while!
Tanya sketches a pattern from her current collection onto an old photograph.
The designer photographed in her SoHo studio.
The colors and textures of Tanya Taylor's FW'14 collection.