Friday, March 5, 2010

Black Nails Nothing New Under the Sun (or over the moon)

As you all probably know, I spend inordinate amounts of time surfing the web, and I never cease to be amazed by the fascinating (if sometimes random) things I learn. One of the things I'm particularly interested in learning more about during my virtual sleuthing is the origins of fashion and beauty looks and trends. I derive limitless pleasure from discovering everything old is new again and as Shakespeare put it, "there is nothing new under the sun." Last year, I was fascinated by a 1930s Makeup website I stumbled upon that suggested nail polish in colors like yellow, green, and blue, were actually first popularized in the 1930s.



Building on that information, I bring you my latest vintage beauty factoid: apparently, in 1932, black nail polish was a particular trend. According to a Photoplay article (reposted by Hollywood Heyday) from April 2, 1932, Robert Grandon noted, "The other night at the Embassy I saw Kay Francis with black nails. It’s the newest craze, she told me. You have your manicurist dye them to match your evening dress and remove the stain the next morning. And if it’s an afternoon party, why, silver is quite the latest thing."




Interestingly, according to the September 2009 issue of InStyle, a very 20s and 30s inspired black with white half moon manicure was again "the newest craze" last fall. HA!

black and white manicure


Several websites related to vintage beauty suggest this black nail polish trend was only big in the year 1932? Have others heard of this to be true? If so, why? I imagine it had to do with the demise of the black and white vamp and the rise of the technicolor starlet? One way or another, although I had to share this while it was on my mind, the last color of nail polish I'm thinking of right now is black. Bring on the bright and pretty palettes of spring!

8 comments:

bellisimama said...

omg i want my nails like that!!!

Ms. B @ Millie Deel said...

I remember reading about black nails in the 30s too. Can't wait to check out the website you posted!

Lexie said...

I have always wondered what sort of colors were most popular then. Its too hard to tell in black and white, but having painted nails seemed like such a popular thing (or at least in movies it did). Almost every woman had her nails done. Thats really interesting about the black though, I never would have thought really. I always assumed reds or pinks or something along those lines...

casey said...

Now I feel more validated with my love of weird nail polish colors. lol. I have avoided them a lot in the past year or so, as my style became more distinctly vintage, but I still loves me some oddball colors! lol. Although, I think if I painted my nails black, I would have flashbacks of my last semester in school (I stopped doing it after getting over my "I'm so artsy and I know it" phase. haha!). ;) rofl.

However, as much as I'd love it to, I'm not sure my sparkly blue nail polish would count anywhere near "vintage". haha!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

Dustjacket Attic said...

The were fashion leaders, we need to look back and learn :o
xoxo

Miss Emmi said...

Haha, that's great news to me! As even though I love vintage clothing, I adore my crazy nail polish colours too much to always stick to red or pink. I love putting metallic or contrasting colours in the moon when I'm doing a more 'vintage' manicure.

Lesley Ann said...

I always remember that Barbra Streisand had the "moon" look on her nails in Funny Girl. I like that look but can't do it by myself.

jen said...

thanks for posting that link! i stumbled upon that make-up site years ago and have tried to find it ever since to no avail.

it's funny when things become trendy and the latest craze since fashion seems to recycle and refresh new ideas all the time. but i suppose something that hasn't surfaced in the while seems new and interesting, which is just fine by me.