The French Fashion Icon’s Marrakesh Yves Saint Laurent Museum

“Marrakesh taught me color.” – Yves Saint Laurent

The Marrakesh Yves Saint Laurent Museum is dedicated to the life and work of French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, curated by Saint Laurent’s former partner, and French culture maestro, the late Pierre Bergé. The museum, designed by Studio KO recently opened a short distance away from Jardin Majorelle, where the designer found inspiration and where his ashes were scattered.

Studio KO based the building’s design on the Yves Saint Laurent oeuvre and “…by the duality between curved and straight lines and between loose and precise approaches to cutting fabric.” The façade of the building includes intersecting bricks placed in aesthetic patterns, inspired by …” the weft and warp of fabric”. The museum’s interior is designed like the “lining of a couture jacket … velvety, smooth and radiant.”

Not just a retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent classics: the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, ‘le smoking’ and the safari jacket; the museum houses unique pieces rarely before presented in public and arranged around the themes of Masculine-Feminine, Black, Africa and Morocco, Imaginary Voyages, and Gardens and Art, offering an original interpretation of the couturier’s work.

 

The museum’s “scenographer”, Christophe Martin included “…immersive audiovisual elements – sketches, photographs, runway shows, films, voices and music – that, by offering a sort of dialogue with the garments, reveal the couturier’s creative process and invite us into his world.”

In addition to the rotating permanent Yves Saint Laurent collection, the museum offers temporary exhibition spaces, a research library and archives, an auditorium, bookstore, and terrace café. It will also warehouse and restore garments and accessories lent by the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, as well as non-exhibited pieces belonging to the Jardin Majorelle’s Berber Museum.

It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.” – Pierre Bergé