Fashion Meets Beauty: Phillip Lim Talks Us Through His Collaboration With NARS

After collaborating together for 14 seasons, Phillip Lim, and his eponymous label 3.1 Phillip Lim, has teamed up with NARS on a rather special nail polish collection. The man himself gives Marie Claire the low-down.

The colours are personal to me.

‘The collection was a natural step for us; I have collaborated with NARS for 14 seasons and we’re both obsessed with colour. This collective of colours has always been a work in process for me because every single one has been put into every collection since day one. These are truly my favourites, to my mind they are the Phillip Lim colours.’

Solange Knowles was my date for the Met Gala.

‘I admire the way Solange does her nails, she uses them to support whatever character she is going for. I took her to this year’s Met Gala and I dressed her in an orange dress. She matched her nails to the same shade and I loved the affect.’

Offset bright colours with dark accessories.

‘I think that bright fashion is best tempered with darker accessories, and nails are the ultimate accessory. Dark nails give a weight and substance to the brighter colour. The darker shades in our nail collection are not truly, truly saturated – they’re dark but they’re not solidified in a classic black or a classic red. Instead the shades have different depths, and different levels of saturation. It gives you that weight without having that kind of heaviness. And actually when you wear them with a solid black, they become even more of a colour.’

Nails shouldn’t render hands useless.

‘Nails shouldn’t become purely about decoration – for example, impractically long or overly embellished. Beauty has to have a function and purpose, without that it’s merely a trend and will fade away. Dressing your nails is an accessible route into fashion, it’s temporary and requires little commitment. You can be more daring with your choice of colour knowing that it’s not on your face, it’s not permanent – so why not play around with colour’

Nails speak volumes.

‘I’m an observant person and I naturally speak with my hands. Some people speak with their voice, some people speak with the way they walk but I speak with my hands. They do the talking for me. Always. If you’re that person then well manicured nails are a must.’

Beauty is integral to the catwalk look.

‘At their shows some designers prefer to really play-down hair and make-up so as not to compete with the fashion. Personally I think that kind of approach just oppresses the ‘woman’ character. I see hair and make-up as outlets to heighten the overall look. I use the beauty in my shows to push everything further – to complement, subdue or even fight against the fashion.’

3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS Nail Collection are £15 each.

1. ‘Anarchy’ is my version of nude – it has a tenderness about it.
2. ‘Dark Room’ is a raw blue denim and everyone looks good in denim.
3. ‘Crossroads’ was inspired by the African violet Flower and, for me, that flower is so moody and brooding. It blooms at night and it’s then that you can see its vibrancy.
4. ‘Gold Viper’ is platinum champagne – it’s a brand metallic and I use it in all of my stores.
5. ‘Insidious’ is a black bronze inspired by a 70s Camaro American Hot Rod. It’s beautiful, sexy and glamorous.

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