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Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech


IN DESIGNTRAVEL  / 

52 years ago Saint Laurent visited Marrakech for the first time with his lifetime business partner Pierre Bergé. They both were amazed by the Majorelle Garden, a public space surrounded by wild greens and ultra-vibrant blues, created by the french painter Jacques Majorelle. Saint Laurent was so touched by the imperial red city that decided to buy the garden and a private villa to which he would return over and over during his lifetime in search for inspiration.

In 2016, year that commemorated fifty years of the visit that influenced a big part of the designer’s work, the Pierre Bergé Foundation decided to build the Yves Saint Laurent museum as a homage to its work, opening its doors last year in 2017.

While visiting the museum wasn’t the main reason for our trip to Morocco, I would be lying if I told you the museum was a last minute visit. We got up pretty early with a super breakfast courtesy of our Riad, so we could be the first group at 10:00 am and, after buying the double entry (€ 18 approx.) which allows access to both the garden and the museum, we understood why this is a must if you are visiting Marrakech.

Following the locals’ suggestions, we first went into the Majorelle Garden, a space wrapped in an intense and dazzling blue color that gives honor to its name “Blue Majorelle”, along with dozens of cacti, yuccas, water lilies, jasmines, bougainvilleas, palm trees, banana trees and hundreds of bamboos. A garden whose vegetation reminded us intensely of Mexico and which reminded me of the summers I spent in my grandmother’s garden.

Located right next to the garden is the museum building, designed by the French firm Studio KO, taking as inspiration Yves’ work within architectural details that recall the textures of fabrics and the juxtaposition of soft and hard elements, a balance by which Saint Laurent was known. Inside you can find an extensive collection of garments, accessories, photographs and other objects related to the work of Saint Laurent, as well as a temporary exhibition, a bookstore, an auditorium that’s both a visual and auditory delight and a coffee under the name le studio.

We understood why we had been recommended to go into the garden first, because after two hours of walking, seeing, taking pictures and enjoying each stitch of the private collection (which you cannot take photos of, not even with your phone), a mint iced tea at the garden terrace is the ideal end of the visit.

A legacy that’s hosted in an oasis of palm trees, rose gardens, fountains of white lilies and walls inked in vibrant blues, giving home to an important part of his life and work, and thus fulfilling one of his wishes: “I would like my dresses and drawings to be studied in 100 years.” It’s only been 10 years since his passing, and we’re still trying to decipher the complete genius that Yves Saint Laurent was.

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Rue Yves Saint Laurent 

40090 Marrakech, Maroc
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday Closed
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  1. This wonderful post is much appreciated! The dazzling blue garden is truly a place that captures the elegant spirit of YSL. Thank you for sharing your experience there with the beautifully photographed scenes!