Published on Afrocraze.com in March 30, 2018
“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”, Pierre Bergé.
Set on the “Rue Yves Saint Laurent”, only a few steps from the world renowned Jardin Majorelle, and the home of the late Yves Saint Laurent and his life partner Pierre Bergé, is the new comer of fashion museums; Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech. A true homage to the love story that the departed fashion designer had with the Moroccan city. A love that turned into an inspiration for many of YSL’s designs. And a love that Marrakech, Morocco; the land of kaftans has reciprocated, regarding the artist’s major role in putting it on the fashion map.
Stepping into the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech was like entering a holy place to me. Not just because I have always considered the late Saint Laurent to be one of the Gods of fashion, but it is mostly for its ambiance, its feel. Almost a shrine to the legendary designer’s works over the years, everything to celebrate his talent was there for the “lucky” world to see.
From a mural of different iconic documents; a letter sent to Condé Nast in Paris in the 1950’s regarding his work with Christian Dior, different major magazine covers with iconic supermodels wearing his designs, and other photographs illustrating design pieces that changed the course of fashion. Then, come the actual designs, chronologically exhibited throughout the space. The legendary Yves Saint Laurent tuxedos and suits, the colorful pieces from the famous Russian collection, and so many gowns and other creations that I honestly couldn’t describe in plain human words.
The video installations, the sculpture-like dressed mannequins, the projected iconic Saint Laurent quotes accompanying actual audio testimonials, the auditorium with broadcasted fashion shows, the gift shop. The colors, the sounds, the lights… You would think I might run out of words to describe the beauty that is Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, but you would be wrong! No words can actually translate the experience it is to visit the museum.
So, I can go on on about the actual building, and everything that fills it, but I also don’t want to spoil it for anyone thinking to pay a visit to Marrakech, and the museum of course. Dah! But, if you are a fashion enthusiast in general, and an African fashion fan in particular, this you should know. Yves Saint Laurent was deeply attached to Africa. Born in Algeria, North Africa, then as mentioned before spending years in Morocco, North Africa again, African influences have been noticed in many of his designs. Not only the flowy, colorful kaftan-like dresses, but also accessories as the ones inspired by the Bambaran art of Mali. Part of his famous 1967 Spring-Summer collection.
Finally, before I go, I want to leave you with this YSL quote; “Over the years I have learned, that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it”.