Fashion and Art in the Red City: Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakesh
Everything started in 1964 when fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent decided to set aside certain prototypes and accompanying accessories from his every collection, which are housed in the Yves Saint Laurent Museum today. The Museum gives its visitors a chance to get to know the life, works and the creative mind of the 20th century’s iconic haute couture fashion designer who was also a big fan of Mondrian’s art. Located near the Jardin Majorelle, the Museum invites its visitors on a vogaye to artistic creativity and fashion.
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakesh is one of the two museums that house and display Laurent’s fashion collections. The building opened its doors to the public in October 2017. It hosts approximately 4.000 garments, 15.000 accessories and thousands of drawings, pictures and videos with an aim to shed light on the life of the designer and the history of the fashion house. It features many iconic garments that Saint Laurent designed, including the Mondrian dress, le smoking coat and safari jacket. One sees references to painting, literature, the theatre and street fashion, as well as many important objects such as original sketches, atelier worksheets, collection boards, photographs and videos of the runway shows, client notebooks. We also see important portraits of the couturier including one by Bernard Buffet, painted in 1958, and a series of portraits by Andy Warhol from 1972.
The Museum and its collection have an interesting story. Yves Saint Laurent started to preserve important prototypes and accessories (jewellery, shoes, gloves, hats, etc.) from his every collection in 1964. Over the years, he built a rich collection that was created and preserved as passionate as a collector. To preserve his pieces, he founded the Yves Saint Laurent Fondation and hence became the first fashion designer of his age who systematically collected and stored his works. In time, more pieces including drawings, sketchbooks and fabrics were added to the Fondation collection.
Why Marrakesh? This city had a special place in Yves Saint Laurent’s designs and life. The designer first visited Marrakesh in 1966 after which he fall in love with this city’s colors. In 1980, he bought a villa with Pierre Bergé and hence became one of the inhabitants of the city. The Museum building which immortalizes the designer was created by Studio KO headed by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty. While studying the couturier’s archives, Studio KO became intrigued by the duality between his curved and straight lines, and his approaches of cutting fabric. The interior is radically different, like the lining of a couture jacket, it is velvety and smooth.
The museum welcomes diverse exhibitions related to fashion, art, contemporary art and design in its 120m² space. The museum also includes a hall for temporary exhibitions, a research library with over 5,000 volumes, a 140-seat auditorium, bookshop and terrace café.