The city that so profoundly inspired the revered fashion designer welcomes a grand memorial to honour his passions
Words Gabrielle Hernandez
The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech opens it doors this autumn, coinciding with that of a sister museum in Paris. While France was home for the designer, Morocco stole his heart early on in his career.
THE BIRTHPLACE OF INSPIRATION
“Yves Saint Laurent and I discovered Marrakech in 1966, and we never left,” recalls Pierre Berge. Saint Laurent’s lifelong partner and fellow designer continues, “It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”
The time Saint Laurent spent in Marakkech led to the conception of many of his collections. After his death in 2008, the designer’s ashes were scattered across the beautiful 12-acres of land known as the Majorelle Gardens. The pair had assumed the land in order to save it from development. Fittingly, these botanical gardens are just adjacent to the new museum on Rue Yves Saint Laurent.
HONOURING AN ICON AND A CITY
The building is expansive, spanning more than 4,000 square metres. It is comprised of an exhibition space, auditorium, research library as well as a cafe and restaurant. Though some exhibitions will revolve, a permanent display of Saint Laurent’s work will be at the heart of the museum.
The structure itself is a marvel that fully encapsulates Saint Laurent’s love of the country. It does well to not deviate from the composition of its surroundings which brought inspiration to the designer. Terracotta, concrete and an earthen coloured terrazzo with Moroccan stone fragments form the incredible building. Spearheading the project was the French architecture practice Studio KO.
“The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech succinctly mixes two universes which we know well, and which we both hold particularly dear: Morocco and fashion” Studio KO commented about the project. “It is a great pleasure to work alongside the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent on such an ambitious project and contribute in our own way to the legacy of the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century.”
THE LEGACY LEFT BEHIND
The Fondation Pierre Berge – Yves Saint Laurent is dedicated to the conservation of 40 years worth of the designer’s creativity and intelligence in the world of design. Saint Laurent proved to be a diligent archivist of his work since the birth of his brand. This collection’s scale, scope and range is unmatched with 5000 haute couture garments, 15,000 accessories, as well as thousands of sketches and photographs.
The two museums will open October 19, and tickets for entrance will begin at £8. The exhibitions will surely garner fashion and art lovers’ attention. However, the hope is that it will also allow for individual discovery of Yves Saint Laurent’s magnificent work.