Rubies & Denim
When I was in seventh grade, I wore black nail polish because I thought it was beautiful. I could only find it at grocery stores in certain brands that sold for about .97 cents a polish, which was perfect for me. One autumn day, after school, I was at my best friend’s house working on a project. Her dad noticed my black nail polish and reprimanded me for it. He addressed his distaste for a young girl, like me, wearing nail polish that was linked to stereotypical representations of attributes that adults didn’t approve of (drugs, fast life, rebellion, etc.). He wanted to make sure I wasn’t in the wrong crowd. I told him that it wasn’t like that… black was one of my favorite colors (well, we all know it is truly a shade and not a color). He said that it didn’t matter; his wife’s favorite color was black and she would never wear black nail polish. I appreciated his concern, but I continued to wear black nail polish despite his disapproval.
A few years later, Chanel would come out with a color called “Black Satin.” It was all the rage–so much that it sold out every time a new shipment came in. Shortly thereafter, Chanel debuted “Noir Ceramic.” With that, black nail polish no longer defined a particular group, affiliation, stereotype or lifestyle– it was in the safety harnesses of fashion. I purchased the polish, and I still have it even though it is clumpy and crusty now. I keep it as a little memento, a funny reminder of how it became acceptable for me to wear black nail polish.
I tell that story because I think it’s important to know that it is OK to be different. For me, wearing black nail polish was about breaking barriers and stereotypes. I was showing everyone that an honor’s kid could have an appreciation for art and creativity beyond her years.
I think, at any age, it is important to express yourself (in a harmless way, of course). And what better way to do that than with inspiration from your own creativity? I believe that art and creative inspiration are what make fashion. As long as you are not doing something that truly offends people at their core, you shouldn’t worry if society is ready to embrace you, because the truth is, sometimes society is running just a little bit behind. What I’m saying is, you don’t always have to wait five years for some big breakthrough to validate what you were always doing. Instead of waiting for everybody to catch up, maybe you should set the standard that will later become the trend for everyone else.
With all of that said, as a tribute to creativity, I wanted to share some creative inspiration from a nail concoction a la me: Essie’s Jag-U-Are, and Nina’s Silver Slippers. This duet of fire and ice exudes confidence, radiance, and that eye catching hot-fun-in-the-city look. It reminds me of a fresh, ice-cold can of Coca-cola at the pool in the middle of August, fireworks, the life of a rock star, or those summer nights where you feel wide awake and alive, like never before.
To create the look, I coated my friend’s nails with Jag-U-Are, and then iced them off with Silver Slippers. Even though this mix of glistening red and silver shimmer is made to celebrate the aura of sun-kissed summer days and sparkly summer nights, I quickly realized that this combination would also work really well—almost too well—for winter. Oops. But that’s OK. We’ll just call it, Christmas in July.