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The French Manicure is the ultimate classic when it comes to nail colour style. Whether you're heading to a wedding or a job interview, you can't go wrong with the tried-and-true white stripe, n’est pas? But, tried-and-true can also get real boring, real fast.

If you, like us, are feeling the need to up your nail game, fear not. Backstage during the Spring 2016 runway shows, we spotted reincarnations that proved both playful and thoroughly grown up. Here are three new takes on the iconic tip; prepare for a new era of nail elegance.


Forget barely-there ivory or pink. This season, nail artists created a youthful twist on the classic by incorporating bursts of colour or foil accents. At Veronica Beard, for example, a smooth red-orange was applied while electric cobalt and Kelly green on models' lids were mirrored on their digits at Monique Lhuillier. But there’s no need to limit yourself to a primary palette. As a quick look at Instagram reveals, the French tip can be rendered in an endless array of colours—adding hours of self-realized preening on the sofa. 


There’s no reason why a French mani must be finished with a razor-thin rimming. Consider the look at Cushie et Ochs who made a major half-moon statement in a vampy bordeaux. Or, for those more minimally inclined mademoiselles, take your cues from Tibi’s show where manicurists painted along the edge but broke it up into two parallel lines.


Sometimes an inverted riff can yield the chicest results. Take Canadian designers Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 who put a distinctive spin on the standard French mani with not just a pop of pink, but also lacquered on the underside of the nail. Not to be outdone, New York designer Jonathan Simkhai went one step beyond two-tone by applying a sliver of silver to the tips of a nude base, and then outlined the cuticles with a bold slash for a masterful tri-tone effect.