In Marrakech, bustling souks, sinus-clearing spice markets, and tranquil palm groves await discovery. But visitors to the Moroccan city would be remiss if they didn’t make a pilgrimage to a fashion oasis, Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle.
“The city taught me color,” Saint Laurent once said of Marrakech. There’s no scarcity of color at Jardin Majorelle, beginning with the cobalt-blue structure in the center of the sprawling garden, purchased by the couturier and Pierre Bergé in 1980 and renovated ever since. On the other side of the grounds, nestled in a peaceful patch of bamboo, sits a quiet memorial to the master.
The couple nurtured the garden into its current state, opening the nation’s first Berber museum in the process, drawing nearly 700,000 visitors a year. That number is set to surge when Jardin Majorelle opens the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech in late 2017, further evidence of the lasting impression Morocco had on Monsieur.
If his Le Smoking jackets and Mondrian dresses had little in common with the wares of a souk, look instead to the cape silhouettes of the burnous and the djellaba he showed in the 1970s and 80s. These interpretations will be on display in the upcoming museum, along with 200 other couture creations shipped from Paris.
“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,” said Pierre Bergé. “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”
YSL memorial in Jardin Majorelle
A rendering of the upcoming museum by Studio KO