>> State the bleedin’ obvious why don’t you, Susie.  Disco Nail?  Why, it’s a veritable mecca for nail art enthusiasts.  Except I’m slow and wasn’t in the know until this trip to Tokyo that Nagisa Kaneko aka “Nagi” and her Disco Nail salon in Shibuya take nail art to a whole new outer-stratospheric level, that I didn’t even know could exist.  Especially considering that this is gel nail art we’re dealing with – ya know, the stuff that doesn’t chip for weeks (lolz, get me… trying to explain the ins and outs of nail know-how).  It’s a know fact that Japan is the epicentre for nail art trends that will diffuse around the world eventually.  One look at the number of nail art magazines that are published here and you’ll get an idea about the level of elaborate 3-D encrustations that can be applied to your nails.  That’s if you don’t intend on lifting anything in your daily life.

As jaw droppingly intrictae as a lot of those typically kawaii nails are, they are a touch too sacharrine and a tad over-festooned with bows, roses and Hello Kitties.  Not to mention that more often than not, they extend to over 3cm in length on each nail and are obviously out to obstruct daily life.  Enter Nagi’s own distinct sensibility that is world’s apart from all that girly frou frou.  Inspired by her own mash-up of fashion, music, art and culture, Disco Nail’s bulging albums of nail art (of course you can design your own together with Nagi) are filled with twisted spins on pop culture icons, nods to recognisable fashion collections and better yet, a bit of dirt n’ grime that the nail art world in Tokyo, nay the world, needs.  Gore, weirdness and trippiness – all skillfully painted out with consumate dedication.

I’m probably not au fait enough with gel nail art but I didn’t even know you could do such intricate designs with UV-activated gel paints.  Watching Nagi work was mesmerising (although Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette on the retro telly was also distracting) as she’d work quickly, in stages, switching from hand to hand, finger to finger to ensure the layers of colours were applied accordingly.  Always on the ball, Nagi had already created a set of Prada S/S 14 inspired nails in her album so I just asked to have more colours and gem stones to reference the razzle dazzle of this what for me was one of the shows of the season.  Word of warning, Nagi’s work doesn’t come cheap nor does it a 10-15 minute quickie.  I stayed the course and watched Kirsten Dunst go from rosy-cheeked debutante Dauphine to gaunt-faced Queen.  Still, nail art on this level deserves patience.  Especially since it’s going to last a month if I’m vaguely careful.  I’m only a wee bit sorry that I wear Prada S/S 14 simultaneously with these nails in a too much/matchy-matchy moment.

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Comments (22)

  1. Jess Roberts says:

    The two of you both have such amazing outfits on! And they’re so coordinated it seems like you could be straight out of a page in a shop’s lookbook!

  2. Those nails are insane. So cool!
    xoxo, Kenzie
    easy-lucky-fr3e.blogspot.com

  3. Www says:

    Stunning nail styles!!!
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  4. Sandra says:

    Its piece of art not only nails :)

  5. Jackie says:

    I’ve seen minimal designs in gel but nothing like this. Be that matchy matchy Susie: Prada can handle it. P.S. Can I just dig on the iconography in the room (!) and what is the furry thing on the floor of the 1st pic??
    I wanna go to Japan.
    http://www.kleidendrew.com

  6. long live the disco!!! eeee, and not to forget , i mega love the nails…. love it!!!

  7. Sarah-Jane says:

    Those nails are AMAZING! Super talented.
    Sarah-Jane xo
    http://www.vintagemagpies.co.uk

  8. FashionSnag says:

    Need to do my nails right now!

  9. The Prada nails with the Prada! So good!

  10. Marie Taylor says:

    Very artistically designed! How long does it takes to finish all nails. The nail art look so marvelous I wonder how can the artist manipulate those little paintings on the nails.

  11. Francesco says:

    I can’t stop looking at these pics! Fabulous! http://www.lavenue.com

  12. Violet Vixen says:

    Those nails are amazing! The amount of detail is stunning!

  13. andi says:

    Off topic, but I recently found a Chinese label/designer that I think would interest you: http://uare.taobao.com/?v=1 I’m not affiliated with them, so I thought I would just leave a link in the comments. Maybe some other regular readers would like it like me anyways :)
    PS love the nails!

  14. Nice experience shared. Its not less than an interview. Great way of posting such good and informative stuff.

  15. Mary says:

    I’m not into nail art myself, but that’s pretty cool.

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