There's very little you can say about an Elie Saab couture show. Really we all know everyone just wants to pore over the pictures (click above for a gallery). This is not a designer known for his high-concept ideas and edgy trends. Elie Saab concentrates on doing one thing exceptionally well, and that is creating the kind of couture gowns and cocktail dresses that elicit gasps when they're worn. From far away they look stunning, from close up they look almost impossible!

Saab is the king of heavily embellished red carpet glamour. He can cover a gown in the most dramatic detailing you've ever seen and it will still look beautiful and timeless, not cheap and trashy. For Autumn Winter 2012, his couture collection was a celebration of all colours he does so well; black, all shades of peach, gold and nude, a few flashes of teal and eggshell.

Interesting, split skirts and plunging necklines were in short supply - perhaps Saab knew Donatella Versace would have this look all sewn up - and the designer concentrated instead on long-sleeved gowns with high necks, sheer panels and long, full skirts, slightly reminiscent in places of last season's Valentino Couture show.

The result is sophisticated, if little modest (in a good way). Let's take a look at a close-up of one of the dress bodices, so you can see the level of detail in the embellishment.


And how about this for beading...


This is why couture costs thousands of pounds. You won't find this in your local branch of Coast!