The iconic Yves Saint Laurent Museum just opened in Marrakech

The iconic Yves Saint Laurent Museum just opened in Marrakech
Fifteen years have gone by since the last Yves Saint Laurent runway show at the Centre Pompidou and the closing of the couture house that bears his name. Fifteen years during which the couturier’s heritage has been preserved by the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, whose mission is to safeguard and share a unique collection: Yves Saint Laurent’s creative work.

During forty years, Yves Saint Laurent developed a style that was his own. By accompanying the liberation of women, the many iconic garments he designed have become part of the history of the 20th century. The pea coat, trench coat, ‘smoking’, pantsuit and safari jacket became integral to a woman’s everyday wardrobe. At the same time, Yves Saint Laurent was the last of the grand couturiers who dominated the extraordinary epoch of haute couture.

 In his sublime evening dresses one sees references to painting, literature, the theatre and street fashion. The two museums bearing his name reveal he was indeed a great artist of his generation.
Located very near the Jardin Majorelle – acquired by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 – Le Musée YVES SAINT LAURENT Marrakech occupies a new 4,000 m² building. It includes a 400m² permanent exhibition space devoted to the work of Yves Saint Laurent and designed by Christophe Martin.

The iconic Yves Saint Laurent Museum just opened in Marrakech

The museum also includes a hall for temporary exhibitions, a research library with over 5,000 volumes, a 150-seat auditorium, bookshop and terrace café.
A real pioneer, Yves Saint Laurent was the only fashion designer of his generation to systematically archive his work, beginning with the founding of the couture house. The heritage safeguarded by the foundation is a treasure-trove allowing us to discover the creative universe of Yves Saint Laurent.
A real pioneer, Yves Saint Laurent was the only fashion designer of his generation to systematically archive his work, beginning with the founding of the couture house. The heritage safeguarded by the foundation is a treasure-trove allowing us to discover the creative universe of Yves Saint Laurent.

The iconic Yves Saint Laurent Museum just opened in Marrakech

From garments to works of art: the history of a unique collection
Beginning in 1964, Yves Saint Laurent decided to set aside for safekeeping certain prototypes from every collection. A prototype is a model, designed by the couturier and fashioned by his workshops under his direction, then revealed to the public at the runways shows.
A prototype is not the same thing as a garment fitted to a particular client according to her measurements and desires, usually in the weeks that followed the runway shows.
The couturier’s prototypes have been conserved by the foundation along with its accessories (jewellery, shoes, gloves, hats, etc.).
Other than the prototypes, important elements relative to each collection were also set aside to be eventually archived by the couture house: original sketches, atelier worksheets, collection boards, photographs and videos of the runway shows, client notebooks (by model or by client), press clippings, etc.

The iconic Yves Saint Laurent Museum just opened in Marrakech

Textiles and accessories
The Foundation’s holdings include more than 5,000 haute couture garments. The heart of the collection, enriched by ongoing acquisitions and donations, is based on the choices made by the couturier, season after season.The holdings include every entire haute couture collection made by Yves Saint Laurent between 1962 and 2002.
The foundation also safeguards 65 Dior garments designed between 1955 and 1960 while Yves Saint Laurent was Christian Dior’s assistant, before becoming the couture house’s creative director.Aside from his haute couture collections and ready-to-wear clothing, Yves Saint Laurent’s creative genius was expressed in costumes he designed for renowned actors and actresses, among them: Arletty in Les Monstres sacrés (1966), Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour (1967), Anny Duperey in Stavisky (1974) and Geneviève Page in l’Aigle à deux têtes (1978).
He was a close friend of the cabaret dancer Zizi Jeanmaire and the choreographer Roland Petit, for whom he designed many costumes and stage sets. The foundation’s collection includes over a hundred costumes and dozens of accessories that bear witness to Yves Saint Laurent’s extraordinary talent when designing for the stage and screen.
Also, sourced from the couture house’s ateliers or press department, the archives provide us with a wealth of additional information concerning the prototypes and other garments held by the foundation.
Important portraits of the couturier are held by the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, including one by Bernard Buffet, painted in 1958, and a series of portraits by Andy Warhol from 1972.
The collection also includes more than 1000 vintage prints by some of the greatest fashion photographers of the 20th century: Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, David Seidner, Arthur Elgort, Jeanloup Sieff and Marc Riboud.
Whether photographs commissioned by leading French and international newspapers and magazines, portraits of the couturier, or advertising photographs for the launch of perfumes, these images were instrumental in forging the history and prestige of Yves Saint Laurent and his couture house.

Photos via www.designboom.com