Bon anniversaire, Yves Saint Laurent!
The legendary fashion designer would have turned 80 years old today. We would like to pay homage to him by celebrating the city that he loved so much and that inspired him. No, not Paris, but Marrakech. Saint Laurent discovered Marrakech in the 1960s and it became his adopted home. This exotic Maghreb city must have spoken to the man who was born in Algeria. The vibrant colours, the sophisticated design and architecture were an endless oasis of inspiration for the designer. And of course Marrakech also provided an escape from the intense pressure of Parisian life and the fashion industry.
In the 1980s, Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé bought the electric blue Villa Majorelle and its garden in Marrakech to preserve the vision of its original owner, landscape painter Jacques Majorelle, and keep it open to the public. They lived here when not in Paris and YSL often sought inspiration here. After his death in 2008, his ashes were scattered in the garden. Both the villa and the garden are enchanting, the latter a botanic desert garden with exotic plants from all corners of the earth. A few doors down the road on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, a new museum dedicated to the legendary fashion designer is set to open in 2017.
Another place in Marrakech that YSL visited often was legendary hotel La Mamounia. With its alluring Moorish-Mediterranean architecture and sprawling grounds, it’s like a dream of 1001 Nights. It’s both a luxurious grand hotel and intimate at the same time. No wonder Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with it and liked to stay here when he came to Marrakech.