for fall, let your nail polish enter the gilded age.

by rebecca willa davis

The fashion industry can often be youth-obsessed, but for fall 2012 designers went way back for their sartorial inspiration. Circa 1600s gilded clothing appeared all over the runways, from Stella McCartney to Alexander McQueen to Just Cavalli. But if buying a gilded Balmain dress will make you go broke, go baroque with your nails. Many of our favorite polish brands found a way to get the look on just your fingertips with their fall releases. It's a bit of a change from what we had been seeing all summer: Instead of neon, the shades are more regal, like eggplant, copper, and aquamarine; instead of chunky glitter, these shades have a more subtle shine (although still high-watt); instead of the nude shade being in the ballet pink family, it's a gold-inflected khaki. The best part about going with a more refined shade for your nails is that it then makes nail art all the more unexpected. (We're daydreaming about doing an oxblood and gold-tipped french manicure.) Here are a few of our baroque-inspired favorites for fall.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Nail Lacquer in Blue Blood - $20

TenOverTen in Worth - $18

RGB in Copper - $16

Priti NYC in Painter's Palette - $12.50

Essence Colour & Go in Chic Reloaded - $1.99

Bobbie Brown in Desert Twilight - $18

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Khaki Arty - $25

Butter London in Shag - $14