Close to Yves Saint Laurent’s heart, the city of Marrakech has always had a huge impact on the French designer’s life and collection of artworks. The designer left us a humongous collection, beginning working in the industry when he was just 17 years old as Christian Dior’s assistant (succeeding the label’s founder at 21 as the head designer). Those who are more than enthusiastic about his life, works and innovative views on fashion, cannot miss the opportunity of visiting two exclusive Yves Saint Laurent exhibitions in Paris and Marrakech, organized by the Fondation Pierre Bergé.
Both Paris and the Moroccan city, where Yves Saint Laurent built a sort of second (and third) home along with his long-time life companion Pierre Bergé (who is now at the helm of the foundation), made it possible for the designer to nurture a lifetime of creativity, which above all helped revolutionize the society with his (at the time) unconventional views about womenswear. The exhibition space in Marrakech, which is now still under construction, is housed on the site of a museum Saint Laurent and Bergé saved in 1980, and will spread across 4,000 sq ft. It will not only commemorate the fashion designer’s passion for Morocco (and the Northern costs of Africa in general), but also 50 long years since he actually first discovered and deeply fell in love with Marrakesh. It will be a permanent artistic space for years to come, and besides temporary exhibitions there will be an auditorium, a library and a café as well. It will be located near the Jardin Majorelle, where Yves Saint Lauren’s ashes were scattered after his death in 2008.
“When Yves Saint Laurent discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the place that he decided to buy a house and regularly go back there. It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country. As for Paris, who needs to specify that it is where Yves Saint Laurent created all his work and built his career?” declared Bergé.
The Parisian space is set to occupy Yves Saint Lauren’s former couture house, on 5 Avenue Marceau, where Saint Lauren worked for 30 years of his life. Home to the Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent since 2004, it will be a space dedicated to the designer’s creative process, where the visitors can come and learn the details of couture fashion and admire the designer’s sketches, photographs, archive of clothes and artworks.
Photo courtesy of Vogue UK