A mud spattered white pickup pulls up to the curb. The driver leans over and rolls open the passenger window. He calls out to me on the sidewalk. “Hey, I’ve got a dead body in the bed of my truck here. Want it?”
“Sure do!” I say, without a second’s hesitation.
He jumps out and races round to the back of his truck. We’re doing this in public, at a downtown intersection. The handoff has got to be quick. I pass him a couple of folded bills. He lifts the torso, hidden under a dark green garbage bag, off the bed and places her gently in my arms.
“She’s lighter than I thought,” I say.
“Ya I know,” says the man. “My wife says she’s in good shape.”
I stand her up beside me, cloaked in her garbage bag, for the elevator ride back up to my office. The businessman beside me looks bemused.
“Any guesses?” I ask. Only her metal support pole and four legged base are clear of the bag.
“Hmmmm, a mannequin?”
“How did you know?” I ask.
He points at two small rises in the plastic. “I can see the breasts.”
I found Lou Lou on Kiijii. I’ve wanted a dress form for years, but it’s never been the right time, place, or price – until now. How did I name her? I couldn’t resist the “de Milo”, taken from the legendary Venus de Milo sculpture. The Lou Lou is in honour of Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisian muse. She collaborated, inspired, and supported him in his atelier from 1972 though to his retirement in 2002.
Just days before the “dead body” incident, I stumbled upon the most amazing movie while channel surfing. It was a quiet, intimate documentary that took fashion lovers behind the scenes of YSL’s spring/summer 2001 collection. Loulou was always by Saint Laurent’s side, draping models with bolts of gorgeous soft silk florals, daring her mentor to stretch his creativity. I can only hope my Lou Lou will do the same for me.