Its interweaving recalls a precious embossed fabric woven with the teeth of a zipper,the ‘skin’ of red brick that dresses themYSLm’s silhouette. That is how Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier from Studio KO imagined the architecture of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, a project thatcame to light on 19 October, just 16 days after the celebrated and celebratory opening ofthe Paris museum. At the heart of these two new exhibition concepts is the great stylist and his forty-plus years of creations, as per the desire he shared with Pierre Bergé, his companion in life and behind the scenes ofthe catwalks, the latter having passed away 8 September, a few weeks after the realisation of a dream that arose many years ago – perhaps even as early as that long-ago 7 January 2002, an event destined to remain in the history of fashion and beyond – when YvesSaint Laurent announced that he would retire from the scene. He, the designer who -more than any other - had revolutionised the very way of living Haute Couture, found inspirationinitially on the streets and in mixingsignature male and female hallmarks(an icon for all, a tuxedo for her), creating aunique and utterly recognisable style, YSL and nothing more. Number 5 on the AvenueMarceau opened to the public in 2004. The home of the maison since 1974 was now the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent,launching a series of temporary exhibitions devoted to the multifarious extravagance of the great couturier, including clothing collections and accessories along with designs,works of art and personal effects. Yet it wasnot enough. Beyond that hôtel particulieron the Rive Gauche was an entire multicoloured,chaotic and rambunctious world from which such profound inspiration was found in Marrakech and the Middle East.Late October this year, almost ten years after the maestro’s passing in 2008, marked another chapter in the history of Haute Couture,another chapter in the history of Haute Couture, thanks to the ribbon cut to launch thetwo YSL-branded museums.
In a kind of dialogue between the two cities that weremost beloved and home to the designer, itis possible to reconstruct the evolution ofhis creative journey, by browsing through literally thousands of sketches and admiring pieces from the most famous collections,as well as discovering the environments of all that comprised his Parisian study on one hand, transformed from Foundationto Museum – now finally opened – and the place to which he retired on the other, theVilla Rouge, the former residence of painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962), likewise hopelessly enchanted by Marrakech. Here, the scenery designed by Christophe Martinplays on a contrast between the geometricallines on the outside, with offerings of almost velvety surfaces like that of the first exhibition hall covered in absolute black illuminated only by the blown-up all-whiteportrait of YSL and the spotlights on the clothing arranged as if in an eternal fashion parade. The opening of the 'defilé' is the unforgettable Mondrian Day Dress, also exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, whilst the grand finale is the Musée Berbère, a collection of more than 600 original pieces, gathered by the couturier and his benefactors during the years of explorational journeys, including extraordinary jewellery and accessories that recount the identity of a people and its creativity, but above all that which was the inseparable bond between such atmospheres and culturesand the hand of the artist.