ELLE (Australia) - - Sensory Overload -

When Yves Saint Lau­rent fell in love with Mar­rakech in 1966, the city was still un­der the radar. A he­do­nis­tic es­cape and cre­ative re­treat where the de­signer could re­lax, recharge and gain bound­less in­spi­ra­tion, it be­came his sec­ond home. He and his part­ner, the late Pierre Bergé, bought Dar Es Saada (“house of hap­pi­ness in seren­ity”), over­look­ing the Jardin Ma­jorelle (jardin­ma­ ang), in 1974. Six years later, the cou­ple also ac­quired the gar­den — a one-hectare oa­sis of cacti, bam­boo, or­ange blos­soms and wa­ter-lily ponds cre­ated by painter Jac­ques Ma­jorelle in the ’20s — and kept it as a pub­lic space to pre­vent it from be­ing razed by a de­vel­oper. (After Saint Lau­rent’s death in 2008, Bergé in­stalled a me­mo­rial here.) Fit­tingly, the Musée Yves Saint Lau­rent Mar­rakech (museeyslmar­, which opened in Oc­to­ber 2017, sits ad­ja­cent to the Jardin Ma­jorelle. El­e­gantly con­tem­po­rary — 4,000 square me­tres of bur­nished brass, mo­saic tile and gleam­ing ter­razzo de­signed by the au fait Parisian firm Stu­dio KO — the build­ing houses a per­ma­nent ret­ro­spec­tive of the de­signer’s work drawn from the vast archives of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-yves Saint Lau­rent. With its sun-splashed cafe, au­di­to­rium, gallery and event space, re­volv­ing art ex­hibits and 5,000-vol­ume re­search li­brary de­voted to fash­ion, botany and Moroc­can de­sign, it’s as much a cul­tural cen­tre as it is a mu­seum. Its open­ing co­in­cides with the ren­o­va­tion of a com­ple­men­tary sis­ter mu­seum in the de­signer’s Av­enue Marceau ate­lier. “Paris rep­re­sents cre­ation, while Mar­rakech sym­bol­ises in­spi­ra­tion,” says Mar­rakech mu­seum di­rec­tor Björn Dahlström. Sadly, Bergé passed away last Septem­ber, just weeks be­fore both sites were poised for their de­buts. But hav­ing over­seen ev­ery de­tail of the mu­se­ums, he surely knew what mas­ter­pieces they’d turn out to be.

CUL­TURAL FIX: Al­low time in your itin­er­ary to take in the Musée Yves Saint Lau­rent Mar­rakech

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