I had the great privilege of going and meeting Michael van der Ham 2 days before his LFW show at his Stoke Newington atelier, thanks to CND nails (Creative Nail Design) who have partnered with Michael over the last 2 seasons to create beautiful nail art for the show.
In an intimate conversation with Michael and the oh so Charismatic Jan Arnold, the co-founder of CND nails, I was told, what was the process behind the collection and then how it led to such a successful and creative collaboration between the 2 art lovers.
CND nails, has been on a mission to bring innovation with creative art and technology for the last 30 years in the nail industry, and as a result is the force behind many runways shows for the past 18 years with collaborating with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Herve Leger, Alexander Wang et al, so it was but natural to team up with the talented London based designer Michael.
After last season’s rustic metallic nail, this collection reflected derelict yet a feminine woman. Inspired by the photographs of African women working in fields, captured beautifully in Jackie Nickerson’s book Farm, the pieces and the fabrics were hand embroidered, and were fragile in texture, layered with brocades, which Michael is known for. The key words were hand made, layered and richly textured.
The fabrics once sent to CND nails’ team were taken up by Jan and her team of creative artists who decided to call this collection as Michael’s Garden.
Colours were inspired from a dream like garden, all tied together in Monet-like French impressionism VERY glossy mini nail canvases.
Each of the nails were hand painted, and I was told 270 hours of intensive labour has gone into pre painting and application of the nails on the model on the day of the show!
“We can execute whatever he dreams of..” says Jan brimming with confidence, which is a boon to have when collaborating with another creative.
“Jan gives me confidence to dream whatever I want, and she just gets it..despite the time zones and the fact that we actually meet only a day before the show!” says Michael.
This is a very wearable look, and despite the CND Nails artists working hours on each nail with a thin wax film to ensure consistency to maintain the fluidity of the pattern, the key factor to keep in mind is gloss.
Jan recommends short nails, with über details of sponging with dusty colours as a base, with one pop colour like Coral as the highlight with coats of their Super Shiny top coat (which I must admit I have, and it is indeed a work of art..see my instagram here)
The venue, Cafe Royal, was grand just as Michael had described it, and with all the mirror reflecting infinite world of layered opulence, the pieces seem to fit in making the dream like story complete.
To see the rest of the collection, click here