Even during his roughest days at the house of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent had one perky friend to cheer him up, Nasty Lulu, or Vilaine Lulu, as she was known in France. Saint Laurent drew comic strips detailing the plump heroine’s hijinks to amuse himself and friends, until compiling her adventures into a limited-edition book in 1967 that sold for $40. Next week, during the couture, Colette will re-release the classic, printing only 300 copies — selling for $400 each.

Lulu sprang to life, WWD reported in 1967, the day Jean Pierre Frere, a Dior employee, dressed himself up as a fat ugly girl for Mardi Gras. “I’m Nasty Lulu,” he growled. Saint Laurent was smitten.

This story first appeared in the July 5, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lulu has greasy hair, no neck, loves to take off her clothes and uses expressions that are unprintable in English. She makes the rounds to Deauville, Cafe de Flore and visits her favorite couturier, always with her pet white rat in tow. Sometimes she drinks scotch. Sometimes she takes hallucinogens. But she always avoids acting like a “pluck” — Lulu’s favorite epithet for a square.

Here, Lulu in her many incarnations and the story of how she became a cover girl and teen idol.

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