A French judge is tomorrow (Friday) expected to rule on a battle between the famous seamstresses at Yves Saint Laurent and billionaire Francois Pinault in a row over the couture atelier's future.

Pinault's holding company Artemis wants the Paris court to quash an earlier ruling in favour of YSL's works council made after Artemis took steps to sue it over allegations it was purposely delaying giving a decision on the sale to French fashion giant SLPB.

Under French law, the work's council has to give a view on the deal but despite weeks of talks, has yet to make that decision public - infuriating Artemis and leading to claims its actions have prejudiced the sale.

The seamstresses and milliners are fiercely opposed to the sale as they fear they will be contracted out to other fashion companies or lose their jobs altogether.