'Nostalgia is everywhere this season, with designers looking to the past to create the future," explains Brown Thomas Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery.
"Designers exhibit regal opulence where trends are inspired by art, museums and royal retrospectives and, in doing so, weave dreams and joyful childhood experiences into collections.
"Take layers of silk embroidery with dancing dolls or sumptuous satins adorned with royal jewels and garden florals and you have the picture," says Shelly. "The idea of extreme individuality is encapsulated within ensembles that celebrate opulence and a flair for the unexpected."
Shelly says to watch out for "generous lashings of texture, by way of sequins, over-the-top print, fur trim and eclectic fabric juxtaposition".
Key designers excelling at this trend are Dolce & Gabbana (main photo, above), Erdem, Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Maticevski and Valentino.
Reconstructed tailoring shines through at Céline, Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney as they all deliver their take on transformed traditions.
This trend is all about modern shapes created with considered precision and executed with splicing, dicing and an eye for tailoring.
At the heart of this trend is "a breaking of traditional rules and decoding sartorial sensibilities with both technique and precision," says Shelly. "It's about beautiful tailoring done with dropped, asymmetric hemlines, oversized jackets and shoulders, raglan shoulders and midi skirts using tweeds, checks and softer materials."
Victoria Beckham offers a perfect example of this trend with its artisanal sensibilities with her midi-length pleated skirt in soft pastel hues, while Céline works asymmetric pleats skilfully in a memorable yellow skirt. Silhouettes are constructed sculpted with unexpected shapes that are curvilinear.
Expect to see the classic trench make a big statement for SS18 but it's done with a twist, says Shelly, who points to the tailored under-coat at Céline (below left ) which is a fantastic architecture piece, and Phoebe Philo looped up the hem to create cape backs.
Victoria Beckham executed her sleek trench in a silky fabric, while other highlights to emerge in the trench dressing trend, says Shelly, include the exquisite rose brocade trench seen at Alexander McQueen and a quirky denim spliced trench from Balenciaga.
"All in all, the classic trend will take you from winter to spring and become a staple for the season ahead," says Shelly.
The springtime whimsical theme evolves from the garden party trend of pre-summer in which femininity and eccentricity are a leitmotif, explains Shelly.
In the hands of Australian super 'crush' designer Zimmerman, whimsical dresses are created in flirty fluid sheers while pretty florals are sprinkled over delicate materials. "This season, transparency emerges as an important message inspiring a need for elegant layering. Flirty and feminine shapes in exquisite silks donned the runways at Zimmerman and also at McQueen, Preen, Self Portrait, Ulla Johnson, Pilotto and also at Rosie Assoulin, an exciting new label to arrive at BTs this season. Before launching her own glamorous, romantic label, Rosie Assoulin worked with Oscar de la Renta and Alber Elbaz.
Other new labels to look out for this season at BTs include the Italian brand MSGM by Massimo Giorgetti and the LA street-lux brand Palm Angels, the brainchild of Francesco Ragazzi, art director at Moncler. Ragazzi, the high end streetwear label, is heavily influenced by the California skateboarding scene.
The wild west is tamed and tempered in this season's western heritage trend, by "a sophisticated sensibility" and that is carried out at Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein and Sies Marjan.
To get to the core of it, think rodeo dresses in the classic midi length, western shirts and the trucker jacket.
"Collections magnify a sense of refinement and sidestep the pitfalls of pastiche cowboys by using high-end materials and details," explains Shelly. Think street cred elevation by way of shimmering silks, cute pastel-hued suede, embellishment, print and texture. Key designers for this western trend are Dior and McQueen, Chloe, and Calvin Klein 205W39NYC. Formerly known as Calvin Klein Collection, the Calvin Klein luxury ready-to-wear line was reconfigured under the brand's Chief Creative Officer, Raf Simons.
The common trend among the super popular Italian powerhouses this season was the exaggerated and often overstated meta referencing which, in short, means highlighting what they do best. Brands like Gucci, Dolce, Prada as well as Saint Laurent and Dries Van Noten did it to perfection.
Alessandro Michele, now celebrating three years at Gucci, has this season continued driving the enormous success of the Florentine brand.
Eclectic, colourful maximalism that embraced clashing prints, 1970s references and old-school branding, he even went so far as to modify spelling on accessories, moving from 'Gucci' to 'Guccy'.
"Alessandro Michele showcases another eclectic, colourful season with clashing prints, lurex, bejewelled denim jackets, Prince of Wales checked suits and track jacket with playful slogans," says Shelly.
Dolce & Gabbana, meanwhile, achieved "the same ends through slightly different means," explains Shelly. "Rather than deviating wildly from season to season, the design duo stuck closely to a signature, quintessentially Italian aesthetic: the bold prints, the crowns and of course, those little black dresses."
Arty types will totally adore this season's trend, Picasso baby, executed with verve and wonder by Prada, Céline and Dior, amongst others.
"Designers are most definitely feeling nostalgic for the season ahead, with many taking inspiration from Pablo Picasso for their collections. Seen at Prada, Céline and Dior, art-infused magnificent prints and colourful graphic designs come to life on striped cashmere knitwear (Dior) and embellished bomber jackets.
The positive approach and joyous nature of the season is showcased through an articulate appreciation of individuality derived from the newstalgia trend which looks to past memories, iconic people or places, fusing the decades and keeping it very feminine and very pretty.
Unveiled at Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, other designers excelling are Chloe, Gucci and Miu Miu. "They infused collections with their interpretations of nostalgia, revisiting and celebrating past eras and melding them with the new," says Shelly.
"There are lots of references from the past brought forward like shoulder references from brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, and over-embellished glamour coming through in a strong way. Style synonymous with the 1970s appears in ladylike pieces while the 1980s and 1990s provided drama and empowerment," says Shelly.
"Colour in all its magnificent shades is seen throughout the collections," she says. "Dramatic, powerful and alluring red dominates in head-to-toe colour. Energetic and vibrant brights are balanced with luminous pastel hues in pink, lilac, blue, mint green and yellow which underscores a youthful and positive energy," says Shelly.
Céline, Victoria Beckham, Preen and Sies Marjan all rocked pastels. Victoria Beckham wore lilac court shoes at her SS18 show in New York and instantly triggered increased attention on the shade.
Shelly says, "Think beautiful gelato hues in unexpected structured tailoring (Céline), and feminine pencil skirts and wide-legged trousers at Victoria Beckham. Sies Marjan showcases magnificent silk dresses in ice cream tones and beautiful whites add a touch of purity and evolve as a key colour and gives a pure ambiance to a colourful, energetic season ahead."
Lots of movement around the couture houses. Jonathan Saunders has left DVF and SS18 is the last Christopher Bailey collection for Burberry. Phoebe Philo has left the French fashion house Céline after 10 years and is tipped to go to Burberry where Marco Gobetti, ex Céline, is now the CEO