Q&A: Nail artist Helena Marimon touches on intricate designs for LA Fashion Week
U.K.-based nail artist Helena Marimon discussed the inspiration behind the nail looks for the Humans and JimmyPaul shows on the final night of LA Fashion Week. (Sakshi Joglekar/Assistant Photo editor)
This post was updated April 4 at 1:54 p.m.
The final touch for every show is at designers’ fingertips.
As the lead nail artist for all three nights of LA Fashion Week 2022, U.K.-based Helena Marimon planned or painted the finishing touches of each look to cross the runway. Working closely with individual designers, she said she created mood boards and color palettes to conceptualize intricate designs that complemented every collection’s interpretive story.
Marimon spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Zinnia Finn and Natalie Brown about her creative process, the intricacies of specific shows’ nail designs and her overall experience working in the fashion industry.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Daily Bruin: How did you first get into doing nail art?
Helena Marimon: The beauty world has always been my thing. Back when I was in Spain, I started doing a little bit of makeup and took a beauty course that had all sorts of beauty things. But nails and makeup were my (biggest) interests. I actually wanted to be a makeup artist. But when I moved to the UK, nails got in the way because I was hired in a salon, which triggered my love for nails. I’ve been doing that for seven years now, almost eight.
DB: How was the process of coming to LA Fashion Week? How did you hear about it and get hired?
HM: I work for this brand – it’s called The GelBottle – and it has the sister brand called Peacci, which they (make) right here. I have these types of opportunities because the brand wanted to sponsor an LA Fashion Week with the nails, so they asked me to be the leading person with the nail team. It’s both my skills, representing the brand, and the brand giving me this opportunity, which I’m very grateful for.
DB How has the experience at LA Fashion Week been for you thus far?
HM: It’s been an experience, for sure. It’s been amazing. I’ve learned so much in three days. Because I’ve done a few seasons in London before, I have knowledge of how the backstage works a little bit, but there’s definitely different systems in different places. There’s always some challenges coming from working backstage because it’s very unpredictable. So you need to be prepared to come up with changes or be creative all the time, which is a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m enjoying it.
[Related: LA Fashion Week 2022]
DB: Do you have any stand-out nail looks or ones that you admire the most?
HM: All of them are very exciting, but I love colorful nail looks. Today for Humans, we are using three different nail polishes – so depending on the outfit we’re using, we have a hot pink, we have a light blue and then a very nice lilac. (JimmyPaul) has some amazing colorful outfits today and we’re using a baby pink, which is very springy and amazing, and I’m really excited about that.
DB: What was the process of conceptualizing the looks for the nails?
HM: Basically, I was back in the U.K., so (all communication) had to go through email. Normally if you live in the same city or you have a chance to meet with designers, then you will have a meeting where hair, makeup and nails are revised and decided. It was a bit tricky because there was only so much that I could show them through emails. Some of the designers already have a very strong vision of what they wanted on the nails, but some designers give you a little bit more room to be creative and experiment a little bit.
Yesterday with Andrew James, we had a very long nail talk, and he was one of the most open to being creative. But then some other (shows’ nail designs) today were not confirmed – so I had to run and speak with them. Looking at the outfits and with the (designers’) decisions and my suggestions, we came up with the design in the moment. So you never know – it looks very different sometimes.
DB: With Andrew James’ runway, we noticed that the nails were black and green – how would you describe the aesthetic of these nails?
HM: We would describe it as alienesque. There were only five models who were in those looks. (James) has a very interesting collection with very out-of-the-box thinking motions – not conventional at all. He wanted to show that (experimentation) as well in the nails of a few models. He had quite a strong view on the colors, but the nails perfectly matched his vibe and energy.