By EW Staff
Updated March 17, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

It must be the ’90s addendum to owning a little black dress. How else to explain the appeal of Chanel’s Vamp, the near-black nail polish that’s become the celebrity tint du jour? Though first eyed on Nicole Kidman’s fingers at the premiere of Interview With the Vampire, Vamp has nothing to do with bloodsuckers. It’s actually the brainchild of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who used the polish to shriek new wave at the fall fashion shows. And ”the name,” says Chanel’s executive director of marketing, Annette Falso, ”is from watching ’40s movies. Women were so vampy.” That may explain the product’s Hollywood appeal: Madonna dons it in her ”Take a Bow” video (Chanel sent it to her); Sandra Bernhard deconstructed the tint for an incredulous Larry King; Faye Dunaway called Chanel from a car phone begging to borrow a bottle; and devotee Demi Moore went so far as to purchase the tester at Barneys in Beverly Hills when the store ran out. In fact, the lacquer has become so popular that it recently has been sold out in New York and L.A. Laments one Chanel employee: ”We can’t even get it.” Until another shipment hits stores this month (at $15 a bottle), the curious can concoct their own knockoff: one coat of black Wet ‘n’ Wild followed by two coats Lancome’s Royale. But proceed at your own risk. ”(Vamp’s) high maintenance,” says House of Style producer Alisa Bellettini. ”It chips off pretty easily. You really have to get a manicure once a week.”

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