The New Looks Now: Spring’s Biggest Trends Organized, Simplified, and Explained

Shoes by Prada. Photo: Bobby Doherty
The New Looks Now
The season’s biggest trends — organized, simplified, and explained.
Photographs by BOBBY DOHERTY

Fall collections are currently debuting on New York Fashion Week runways. But spring's clothes are trickling into stores right now, and the Cut has fully digested all the trends from last September. Among them: a free-loving '70s hippie spirit that registered widely. Relaxed, air-dried hair and barely there makeup was the winning beauty look, and sales floors will undoubtedly sell merch that channels Joni Mitchell: Think supple suedes, carefree muumuus, and swirling florals. Scroll ahead to see spring's biggest trends, including these boho vibes, plus Matisse-inspired clothing, designer denim, military styles, and platforms and gladiators to help ease your way through the season.


Paris, Milan, Woodstock …

Festival style has officially taken over.

Maybe it’s because of Glastonbury and Coachella, maybe it’s because Blue is just a really great thing to listen to, but this season, Joni Mitchell and her lady-of-the-canyon compatriots were top muse. Hilfiger show notes read, “Updates for the modern festival muse,” and Jimi Hendrix was on the soundtrack. Dries Van Noten models staged a (sort of) love-in on a fake-grass runway­—his makeup artist said, “It’s all about a modern girl who loves going to festivals like Burning Man.”


Flower Power

Bold and blooming prints.

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“Natural” Hair

Loose and flowing.

All the hippie clothes got hippie hair to match: loose, flowing, gently waved. Models were told to sleep on wet hair and to avoid combs.


It’s a Muumuu Moment

Maximum dressing.


Shady Ladies

It’s a sunglass season.

As Jack Nicholson said of his iconic sunglasses: “With them, I’m Jack Nicholson; without them I’m fat and 60.” It’s a good season for picking a transformative pair; stick with it and go for the Nicholson effect.


Matisse As Inspiration

From the museum to the runway.

Matisse! In the museums, on the runways … but let our art critic, Jerry Saltz, explain: “No one who ever lived got voluptuous blocks of phosphorescent color like Matisse. Luxuriant fever-dream geometric shapes, biomorphic curves, sinewy spirals, and amorphous flotillas on some imaginary Nile thrill in skirts and dresses, all echoing the dreamscapes of Matisse. Golden hats as crowns, abstract adornments, undulating blue nudes, sashaying dancers, ultramarine paisley shapes, flesh-colored hearts all rupture like fire-birds come alive on clothes that thrill the eye, beguile, and bathe us once again in Matisse’s sea of love.”


Platform Heels

For megaheight.

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The Bare Face

Helps to be a model.

In order to achieve the season’s “nude face” on the Gucci runway, makeup artist Pat McGrath used seven products (not counting the moisturizer or lip balm): foundation, concealer, mascara, translucent powder, and three eye shadows.


Go-go Gingham

Like Dorothy, but glamorous.


Lacy Dresses

To continue with the picnic theme.

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Toga-Party People

Flowing, white, Grecian.


Accessorized Hair

Guido Palau, the man responsible for these three updos, says that wearing your hair up “signifies confidence,” as long as it’s not too perfect. He uses a product called Redken Wind Blown and recommends drugstore barrettes.


Gladiator Sandals

Ancient Rome redux.

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Well-Cinched Belts

Defining the waistline.


The Army-Navy Game

Military neutrals.

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Until the mid-19th century, army dressing was bright and bold. The now-ubiquitous khaki first showed up on the English army in India, intended to make the soldiers “invisible in a land of dust.” The American army adopted olive drab—what we now call army green—around WWII, and Suzy Menkes thought it “unsettling” to see military gear on the runway in 1996. (Though by that point, the color had as much to do with the counterculture as with the military.) As for navy blue? It’s basically the uniform of the United States.


A Rainbow of Leather


Insane Hats

Strictly ornamental.


Fringe, Again

The trend that will not die.


Big Baubles

1980s iconic styles.



A.k.a. the Canadian tuxedo.

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The supposedly all-American thing actually has Euro roots. It’s named for the Provençal city of Nîmes (de Nîmes, get it?), and the word jeans is an adaptation of Genoa, the Italian city where they were first produced. Right now, denim is everywhere, and it’s fully acceptable to wear it top to toe.

*This article appears in the February 9, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.