3.1 Phillip Lim Men’s Collection and the Manly Man-icure

Austerity. Solemnity. Asceticism.

These are not the words that people normally associate with Fashion Week.  However, at the Fall 2010 3.1 Phillip Lim Men’s Collection, these are the very first words that spring to mind.  The runway is set plainly with a concrete slab poured in the middle of a vast empty warehouse.  The stage is simple and clean – a gray background with a single rectangular cutout and a diffuse orange light shining through.

As the models file onto the runway, the theme becomes abundantly clear.  The stage represents the concrete jungle, and Phillip’s walking marionettes are urban adventurers.  Phillip’s penchant for military dress is fairly well known, and this year, he really stresses that connection.  With it’s monochromatic palette, the Fall collection provides a striking contrast to the Spring collection, with its beatnik-inspired look.  (I personally prefer the Fall collection because I’m partial to epaulettes.)

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Of course, you can’t nail down the military look without immaculately trimmed nails (…alright, that segue was a stretch…), so I met with one of CND‘s lead nail stylists backstage to discuss what most guys do wrong with their nails.  Hint: If you’re a guy, you’re probably doing it wrong.

The first rule is that filing is preferable to clipping.  (Strike one. Oops.)  Since I doubt any guy out there is willing to spend the time to follow the first rule, the second rule is that filing after clipping is mandatory.  If you’ve ever accidentally scratched up your face after clipping your nails, it’s likely that you’re forgetting this crucial step.  Additionally, if you’re an incorrigible nail biter, filing your nails after clipping will help you kick the habit, because there won’t be anything for you to latch on to.

Out of sheer practicality, I’m going to assume that this is where most guys will stop, and that’s absolutely fine.  (I’m using myself as the barometer for normalcy here.)  However, exceptional nail care requires much more than that… or at least more than the average male is probably willing to give.

During my manicure, I received a coating of CND‘s once-a-day conditioner, Solar Oil, which is designed to soften your cuticles and strengthen your nails.  (Sidenote: Your cuticles are the area where your nails meet your fingers.)  On top of that, I also received a shiny coat of CND’s Super Matte.  Now, I’m not particularly hopeful that these will catch on with the mainstream male crowd (or even the metrosexual male crowd), since these two products come in bottles that somewhat resemble nail polish — brush and all.  However, I was also introduced to a handy CND product called The Rejuvenator.  It comes in a nice androgynous packaging (see picture below), and it also helps with your cuticles.  Specifically, it helps immensely with hangnails, which become much more common during harsh winters and dry weather.

CND Rejuvenator

And… most importantly… it resembles a tiny (green) container of Neosporin rather than nail polish.

rqk@georgetown.edu'
Robert is a 26 year old Texas transplant to New York by way of our Nation's capital. He's eaten his way through most of the major domestic metropolitan cities and some not-so domestic ones. A self-avowed epicurean, he has fleeting moments in which he wishes he had attended culinary school instead of law school. Post-feasting, he can usually be found lounging at a rooftop bar or chatting up a co-ed in the East Village. Follow him on twitter and Facebook.