Vintage Claws

Jean Harlow - by George Hurrell 1933


Jean Harlow (above)

You may have noticed the vintage manicure (bared half- moons, claw shaped tips) made a come back in the past few seasons on the runway. More than ever nails have certainly become a fashion statement, thanks to the blogging world, Tumblr, Instagram full of nail art inspiration. It’s now easy  for all to access on the high street. Brands selling nail art kits containing multi coloured varnish, matt or cracked finishes, extreme shades, glitter, nail art stickers and glue on jewels.

The Vintage manicure, however is so much more untimely and  sophisticated. For me, once I fell in love with the vintage/glamour era’s a few years ago, and the world took notice of the Burlesque and Pin-up revival. The likes of Dita Von Teese introduced me to the perfect red vintage manicure. Her book ‘Burlesque’ gives a wonderful description of vintage nails from the 1920’s era to the 1950’s. The key to a vintage nail is the bare half-moons (see images). The 1930’s shown in the photographs of Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow, the Deco eras had a distinctive shaped nail, tapering off to a sharp point with both tips and moons bare. Colours mainly where more muted in colours such as silvers, corals, rose pinks and deep burgundy.


1930’s/40’s nails image via

The 1940’s style as ritually worn by Dita Von Teese, where always long, tapered  and oval-shaped manicured with bared moons, either the moons are painted white or left bare. The polish can be any colour red, however authentically and preferably should be a TRUE RED.  Dita sees a manuicurist and probably has full manicures or gels. Just take an image to your nail bar, if you want the full works. If your good with nails and have the nail length it can be done at home. Betty Bee’s blog shows an easy DIY example on her blog

Dita von Teese also launched her own line of ready to wear nails by Kiss can be purchased from her site www.dita.nettumblr_l7hc06bU0s1qa3c4go1_500

Carole Lombard (above)



Dita Von Teese Launches Her New Signature Cocktail "The Cointreau MargaDita" at Los Feliz, NYC4142298510_82deeeb940

The 1930’s fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli sponsored cutex nail polish for spring.


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