Versace returns to Paris haute couture

(AFP)Italian fashion house Versace will rejoin the exclusive club of haute couture houses after an eight-year hiatus, showing a spring-summer collection in Paris in January, organisers said on Tuesday.

“The Versace fashion house will be listed in the January 2012 schedule of Haute Couture collections,” the French couture federation, which organises the three days of shows from January 23 to 26, said in a statement.

Haute couture exists only in Paris, where it is a legally protected appellation subject to strict criteria such as the amount of work carried out by hand, the limited number of pieces and the size of a house’s workforce.

Versace sent out its last couture collection under the label “Atelier Versace” in January 2004.

Only a handful of major French houses show under the haute couture label — Chanel, Dior, Gaultier and Givenchy — joined by a number of smaller houses, as well as Italians Valentino and Armani, or the Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz.

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