In 1966 designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lifetime partner, Pierre Bergé, discovered Marrakech. They were mesmerized by its charm that on their flight back from their first trip there, they already had the paperwork for a house they wanted to buy. They went back regularly, and it was in Marrakech that Saint Laurent imagined his collections. Now a museum dedicated to the fashion house is opening in the city that had such a strong influence on him. In the words of Pierre Bergé, who had passed away on 8 September (just a month before the opening) “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”
Yves Saint Laurent started archiving his work since his first couture show in 1962. Thanks to this early vision, his collections consists of 5,000 haute couture garments, including the famous Mondrian dress and Van Gogh-embroidered jackets, 15,000 accessories, such as hats, jewelry, and shoes, as well as thousands of sketches, collection boards, photographs, and objects.
Located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, the museum will open its doors to the public today! The opening actually coincides with the inauguration of another museum dedicated to the designer in Paris. The one in Paris will be housed in the historical couture house at 5 avenue Marceau, a hôtel particulier where the designer worked for almost 30 years.
The museum in Marrakech is designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm established by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier. The outside of the building is intended to evoke the “weft and warp of fabric” while the interior is designed to evoke the lining of a couture jacket, “velvety, smooth and radiant.”
The museum which is 4,000 square meters, will provide a storage space for around 4,000 pieces. The permanent exhibition space will be 400 square meters.
It’s actually far more than just a museum, it has a research library with more than 6,000 books, a bookshop, an auditorium, and a cafe which will offer a fusion of traditional Moroccan and French dishes. The 150-seat auditorium, named after Pierre Berge, will be used for performances and recitals, as well as conferences, film screenings, and lectures. Below is a picture of the beautifully designed auditorium.
For more info visit the museum’s page.
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