27 Jul musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech announces cultural programming
“When Yves Saint Laurent first discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the city that he decided to buy a house here, and returned regularly. It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”
So it is with anticipation and excitement that we await the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech opening on 19 October 2017 following the opening of the Paris location on 3 October 2017. Just last week the museum announced its inaugural cultural programming, and now more than ever we are looking forward to visiting the museum following what is sure to be a star-studded opening at the venue located just steps from the famous Majorelle Gardens and the Villa Oasis where Saint Laurent and Bergé once resided.
A VOYAGE TO THE HEART OF WHAT INFLUENCED THE DESIGNER IN THE MAIN YVES SAINT LAURENT EXHIBITION HALL
In Morocco, I realised that the range of colours I use was that of the zelliges, zouacs, djellabas and caftans. The boldness seen since then in my work, I owe to this country, to its forceful harmonies, to its audacious combinations, to the fervour of its creativity. This culture became mine, but I wasn’t satisfied with absorbing it; I took, transformed and adapted it.
Yves Saint Laurent 1983
Fifty pieces chosen from the YSL collection will be displayed around themes dear to couturier – masculine-feminine, black, Africa and Morocco, imaginary voyages, gardens, and art-deco – offering an original interpretation of Saint Laurent’s work using garments that, until now, have rarely been seen by the public.
For the opening exhibition, expect to see the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, ‘le smoking’ and the safari jacket – as the exhibition is rooted in Marrakech and is a voyage to the heart of what influenced the designer.
To bring the collection to life, museum scenographer Christophe Martin has highlighted the displayed pieces with 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.
The garments on display will be rotated regularly for conservation purposes, but also to ensure the exhibition is constantly revived.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY
Every year, the work of a photographer who worked with Yves Saint Laurent will be shown at the gallery. The inaugural exhibition is titled Thirty Years of the Fashion House in Marrakech, and will present photographs by André Rau that were featured in Elle Magazine (France) in 1992.
“One day while shooting, Yves Saint Laurent spoke to me of his love for Marrakech, of the colours and light found there, and its art of living. He also spoke passionately about the Jardin Majorelle and his tranquil villa where he would design his collections. In 1992, when I was contacted by Anne-Marie Perrier – at the time Editor in Chief of Elle Magazine (France) – and asked to record the 30th anniversary of the YSL fashion house, Marrakech immediately came to mind. The element of surprise is very important in photography. One doesn’t expect to see Catherine Deneuve in an out-of-the-way barber shop, or dressed in ‘le smoking’ in the middle of a teeming marketplace.” André Rau, photographer
As part of the inaugural exhibition, 10 photographs by Rau highlight iconic Yves Saint Laurent garments worn by Catherine Deneuve. They were shot in Marrakech, in places dear to the couturier, including the Jemaa el Fna Square and the interior of his home, the Villa Oasis. These photographs shine a spotlight on the artist and his muse in harmonious settings.
THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS HALL
Over in the temporary exhibitions hall, thirty important works from private and institutitional collections will comprise the inaugural exhibition Jacques Majorelle’s Morocco.The exhibit will explore Majorelle’s fascination for the beautiful and authentic medina of Marrakech, the surrounding rural areas, and the country’s medieval kasbahs. Several portraits painted in his garden are included in the exhibition.
Going forward, curators will welcome diverse exhibitions related to fashion, art, contemporary art and design, anthropology and botany in this space.
Like all great museums, the on-site bookshop sounds promising with the actual shop inspired by Saint Laurent rive guache, the couturier’s first ready-to-wear boutique in Paris. As for the selection, expect to find books about YSL, revisited jewelery by Loulou de La Falaise, and a careful selection of books and films that inspired the designer. Then head to the Le Studio Café for a post-visit lunch and reflection. Given Saint Laurent’s love of the theatre, ballet, and cinema, an eclectic programming is planned for the Pierre Bergé Auditorium, including film projections, high definition live broadcasts in partnership with Frapod and L’Opéra de Paris, recitals, conferences and colloquiums.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (except Wednesdays)
Admission fee: 100 DH Moroccan citizens and residents: 60 DH
Rue Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (next to Majorelle Gardens)
YSL HOTSPOTS AND FUN FACTS
Yves Saint Laurent is photographed in archival photographs enjoying Jemaa el Fna market stands and also the snake charmers. For a true YSL look, snap a black and white photo.
Villa Oasis, where Saint Laurent and Berge lived in Marrakech, was designed by Bill Willis and Jacques Grange, and is reserved for exclusive private visits. So for those who are unable to visit the villa, head for drinks in the art-deco bar at La Trattoria on Rue Mohamed el Beqal also designed by Saint Laurent’s friend Willis.
KO Studio, the architecture firm behind the Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, provided the interior design for Marrakech hotspot Le Grande Café de la Poste. Head here for dinner as the lights are dimmed and the candles lit in the colonial style café where you never know who may wander past.
Feature image: Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech © Studio KO Pierre Berge Fondation Yves Saint Laurent