Three male judges grappled with the subtleties of designer fashion yesterday, then wondered whether women judges could do a better job. The Court of Appeal was trying to decide whether designer labels and buttons constituted 40 per cent of the value of a garment. Russell Coleman, for jean maker Pepe UK, argued a designer label could force up the price, but it was difficult to apportion the value of the label to the final selling price. 'They just charge what the tai-tai traffic can bear,' Mr Justice Gerald Godfrey said. The original ruling was made in the Supreme Court by a female judge. Mr Justice Benjamin Liu Tsz-ming suggested that 'as a lady she could visualise' the product and its value. Mr Justice Godfrey asked: 'Should we have a court of three ladies decide?' The dispute was over a shipment of jeans, shirts and jackets, bearing labels and buttons of the same design as Pepe clothing, seized by customs officials in 1992. China Rising Development Ltd pleaded guilty in the District Court to breach of copyright. Pepe sued last December and the Supreme Court ruled that China Rising owed nearly US$64,000 (HK$495,000), even though its labels and buttons said 'Edward', not 'Pepe'. Johnson Lam, for China Rising, claimed the copy-cat labels and buttons were worth only $55,000. The designer label debate raged for two hours. The judges dismissed the appeal by China Rising and awarded Pepe court costs.