Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech announces its inaugural cultural programming

In case you’ve not heard, the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech is opening its doors on 19 October 2017 following the opening of its sister museum in Paris. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, the foundation has announced its inaugural cultural programming, and, after a year with little culture in Marrakech I couldn’t be more excited. So let’s have a look through the programming.


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.


Expect more than just a retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent in the main Yves Saint Laurent exhibition hall as 50 pieces from his collection will be on exhibit including the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, ‘le smoking’ and the safari jacket to offer the public a voyage to the heart of what influenced the designer.

The collection, displayed around themes dear to Saint Laurent – masculine-feminine, black, Africa and Morocco, imaginary voyages, gardens, and art deco – contains garments that, until now, have rarely been seen by the public.

The museum scenographer Christophe Martin has highlighted the displayed pieces against a black and minimal background. The garments are seen alongside immersive audiovisual elements – sketches, photographs, runway shows, lms, voices and music – inviting the public in to YSL’s world and revealing his creative process.

Going forward, the garments on display will be rotated regularly to ensure their conservation and to constantly revive the exhibition.


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

Ten 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, Villa Oasis. These photographs shine a spotlight on the artist and his muse in harmonious settings.


The temporary exhibition halls will welcome diverse exhibitions related to fashion, art, contemporary art and design, anthropology and botany with the inaugural exhibition entitled Jacques Majorelle’s Morocco. On display will be thirty important works that reveal Majorelle’s lifelong love for Morocco, his fascination for the beautiful and authentic medina of Marrakech, the surrounding rural areas, and the country’s medieval kasbahs.

Several portraits, generously lent by private and institutional Moroccan collections, painted in his garden [the artist previously resided in Majorelle Gardens] are included in the exhibition.


Also on site will be a bookshop inspired by the first ready-to-wear boutique, Saint Laurent rive gauche; the Pierre Bergé Auditorium where film projections, high definition live broadcasts in partnership with Frapod and L’Opéra de Paris, recitals, conferences and colloquiums will be organized; a library where the general public, students and researchers can access a collection of rare books on Morocco, the history of the Kingdom, its literature and traditional arts; and of course Le Studio Café.

Stepping into the theatre lobby, visitors see the important work done by Yves Saint Laurent for the theatre, ballet, cabaret and cinema. After all, from the beginning of the 1950s until the end of his career, the couturier was greatly influenced by the stage and screen, as seen by a selection of sketches, drawings and photographs of the costumes he designed for them.


musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech
Open every day except Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Admission fee: 100 DH Moroccan citizens and residents: 60 DH

Feature image: Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech © Studio KO Pierre Berge Fondation Yves Saint Laurent

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