In October of last year, a museum dedicated to renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent opened in Marrakech, a city he discovered in 1966 and visited regularly till his death in 2008.
Laurent’s love of Morocco is well documented and the ‘Red City’ especially served as a major inspiration, him once stating “Marrakech taught me colour”. The museum itself is situated near sites of great importance to the designer, including Jardin Majorelle, a garden that he and business partner Pierre Berge saved from development in 1980, and the villa that Laurent bought to continue his visits to Morocco.
The opening of the new museum coincided with that of Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, which was constructed inside 5 Avenue Marceau, the couture house that Saint Laurent worked his magic for nearly 30 years and which will showcase the creative process used by Laurent to design his most famous pieces.
The Marrakech museum compliments its Parisian counterpart by showcasing a private collection of Laurent’s work with over 5,000 pieces of clothing, including his famous smoking jackets, as well as rotating temporary exhibitions. The museum also reconstructs memories of Laurent’s personal life, with exhibitions including dialogues from the designer himself, magazine clippings, press releases and photographs.
The museum is not solely focused on Laurent; amongst the temporary exhibits are collections from varied – often young and upcoming – designers, such as Moroccan local Noureddine Amir. In addition to the exhibit spaces, the museum building includes a terrace café, research library and auditorium. It also includes a fantastic museum dedicated to Berber culture. Located in the former painting studio of Jacques Majorelle, this section includes more than 600 objects from the Rif to the Sahara Desert, collected by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, which demonstrate the richness and diversity of this still-vibrant culture.
Words by Aranya Tatapudi
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