Montreal

Julie Couillard's eye-catching dress to be auctioned in spring

Julie Couillard's famous dress may be auctioned next spring, said prominent Quebec personality Michel Girouard.

Julie Couillard's famous dress may be auctioned next spring, said prominent Quebec personality Michel Girouard. 

Julie Couillard, shown here in the dress up for auction, with former Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Bernier. ((Paul Chiasson/CP))

The dress "with a décolleté that made all North American males salivate," Girouard said on his website, was worn by Couillard during the swearing-in ceremony of former Conservative minister and ex-boyfriend Maxime Bernier in August 2007.

"I think it's a fantastic dress, a very, very good dress for her," he said in an interview with the Canadian Press.

"She knows exactly what marketing is. Arriving like that with a dress like that, I'm sure she was persuaded it would be front page."

The paisley, flouncy dress was deemed inappropriate for the staid Rideau Hall swearing-in ceremony by many commentators but a photo of Couillard wearing the dress was run repeatedly by media outlets across the country when the controversy surrounding her breakup with Bernier exploded.

The war-of-words between the two led to Bernier's resignation and a public airing of her biker-filled past.   

Girouard only recently met Couillard at one of the city's hottest restaurants — Le Local in Old Montreal — but he painted her in glowing terms on his gossip-filled website, calling her "intelligent, open but a little cagey, which is normal given the circumstances."

He said of all the beautiful women he's met, from Angelina Jolie to Halle Berry, Couillard is the most naturally beautiful.   

"She's not [at] all the person that we thought," he said. 

"There's a special friendship that was instant between her and me."

He's not as charitable with the former foreign affairs minister, whom he refers to on his site as "the not-too-bright Bernier."   

Couillard and Girouard plan to co-host a fashion show next spring, during which the dress will be auctioned.   

"I host most of the major fashion shows in Montreal," Girouard said, who has been on Quebec TV and radio, and on its fashion scene, for 35 years.

"There's two things that she likes, that girl — business and fashion. And she said to me: 'I would like to host a fashion show."'

"And her famous dress, she'd like to put it up for auction."   

Girouard compared Couillard's ensemble to Monica Lewinsky's infamous semen-stained navy-blue Gap dress.   

Couillard is in the midst of reinventing herself and is co-hosting a show on Montreal's talk radio station CJAD.   

"She needs to change her image right now," Girouard said. 

They hope the auction will raise up to $25,000 for an epilepsy charity, an illness Couillard suffered from in her youth. 

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