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Yves Saint Laurent Museum 

The renowned French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent’s carefully curated collections of haute couture apparel and accessories cover 40 years of his creative career at this enthralling ysl museum, which opened its doors in 2017. The building’s 150 seats, research library, bookstore, and terrace cafe with light refreshments are all housed in an aesthetically pleasing, wefted and warped structure that resembles woven fabric.

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent’s architecture

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent is, without a doubt, the most exciting example of modern architecture in Marrakesh. It rises from a granite base of Moroccan marble and stone and is covered with a lacework of terracotta bricks. The bricks are arranged in a textured pattern to mimic the weave and weft of cloth. Enter, and it’s a total contrast, with a silky smooth finish meant to seem as good as the interior of a couture jacket.

Yves Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Bergé (1930–2017) conceived of the museum, which was created by Studio KO, with the goal of establishing a repository of the fashion designer’s work that was “profoundly Moroccan.” For this reason, the structure was intended to resemble the traditional riads of Marrakesh by omitting windows facing the exterior. The external brickwork’s terracotta tint is a reflection of Morocco’s “Red City.”

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent’s interior patios are an essential part of its architecture, much like those of a classic medina house. The first is a visually arresting walk-through that connects the internal display areas and the museum’s entrance. This set of stained-glass windows is reminiscent of the creations of French artist Henri Matisse, who had a significant effect on YSL’s designs. The second patio, a square room with a huge circular dish that collects rainwater, is the focal point of the structure. It is covered in zellige, a geometric mosaic tilework that is colourful. The Amazigh and Islamic cultures highly value green, which makes its usage here noteworthy.

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent’s main exhibit

The Yves Saint Laurent Hall, which houses a permanent exhibition of his sketches, revolving haute-couture ensembles, and accessories with colour themes, is the focal point of the museum. The entire background is black, a crucial hue in YSL’s creations, forming a vast cocoon that is only broken up by audiovisuals of the designer’s talks and catwalk presentations.

The show opens with a history of Yves Saint Laurent created from personal items on the wall to your right as you walk in. It features a letter that the then-17-year-old sent to Michel de Brunhoff, the editor-in-chief of French Vogue, in June 1954.

Better temporary shows, which rotate every two to three months, take place in a smaller room next door.

Theatre at YSL

Yves Saint Laurent’s enthusiasm for theatre and cinema is evident in his eye-catching fashion creations. The Musée Yves Saint Laurent uses a 150-seat auditorium with cutting-edge acoustics to further explore this concept. Check the website for the schedule since it is intended for the projection of movies, live shows, and theatrical broadcasts from all over the world. Don’t miss the “Costumiere,” an intriguing exhibit of YSL’s sketches of theatre and movie costumes, which is located outside the auditorium door.

Museum Library

The first-floor library and study room of Musée Yves Saint Laurent is open to visitors by appointment. It is a significant collection of 5,000 books on botany, fashion, and Amazigh and Arab-Andalusian culture. A significant portion of it comes from Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s personal collections.

The YSL’s past in Marrakesh

Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with Marrakesh in 1966 and ended up buying a property in Medina before the end of his first visit. The creativity and colour palette of Morocco captivated the French fashion designer, who was born in Algeria and lived from 1936 to 2008. In honour of his creative output and the inspiration he received from his second home, this museum opened.

The beauty of Morocco, with all its unadulterated colours and raw shapes, served as YSL’s inspiration for a long-lasting career. He was in awe of the women in the medina’s vibrantly coloured caftans and the Marrakesh gardens, where nature is in full swing. The spectacular undulating dunes of the southern deserts, the earthen architecture, and the stark blue skies all served as sources of inspiration for him. His signature accessory designs allude to nomadic trends for collars and cuffs.

A handbook for the Yves Saint Laurent Museum

  • The museum is located just next to Jardin Majorelle. Purchase a combo ticket and visit both on the same day if you intend to visit both.
  • To circumvent the long lineups at Jardin Majorelle, one option is to purchase combined tickets that cover Musée Berbère, Musée Yves Saint Laurent, and Jardin Majorelle directly from the Musée Yves Saint Laurent ticket counter. Please take note that if you purchase your ticket here, your visit must begin at Musée Yves Saint Laurent.
  • It is possible to purchase tickets online.

Places to stay close to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum

The Ville Nouvelle neighbourhood of Marrakesh, the “new town” with contemporary conveniences, is home to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. For atmosphere, hotels in the medina are far superior to those in the Ville Nouvelle, but if you’d rather sleep somewhere more modern, there are plenty of options in the Ville Nouvelle and Gueliz region. The multinational hotels catering to the package holiday sector are located in this area. Though most hotels have larger pools and on-site bars than in the Medina, there’s no better deal to be had here.

Restaurants close to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent

The brightly lit museum Stylistas linger over traditional Moroccan and French cuisine at Le Studio, an upscale canteen. Comfortable Pause Gourmande, across the street from the museum, offers more of a locally inspired menu, including pastillas (savoury-sweet pies), tajines, and European classics.

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