The French architectural firm, founded and headed by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty has completed the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Morocco, charting the visual legacy of the designer in a city he first visited in 1966.
They have overseen numerous residential and public projects in Morocco, Great Britain and the United States. The museum is located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, next door to the Jardin Majorelle – a 12-acre botanical garden that formerly belonged to artist Jacques Majorelle, but was bought and restored by Saint Laurent and Bergé in the 1980s.
While studying the couturier’s archives, Studio KO became intrigued by the duality between curved and straight lines, and between loose and precise approaches to cutting fabric. The facade of the building appears as an intersection of cubes with a lace-like covering of bricks, creating patterns that recall the weft and warp of fabric. As with the lining of a couture jacket, the interior is radically different: velvety, smooth and radiant.
The museum's 400-square-metre permanent exhibition space, is designed by scenographer Christophe Martin, and showcases 50 couture creations. Christophe Martin has highlighted the displayed pieces against a black and minimal background. The garments are seen alongside immersive audiovisual elements – sketches, photographs, runway shows, films, voices and music – that, by offering a sort of dialogue with the garments, reveal the couturier’s creative process and invite us into his world.
More than just a retrospective featuring the essential work of Yves Saint Laurent – the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, ‘le smoking’ and the safari jacket – the exhibition, rooted in Marrakech, is a voyage to the heart of what influenced the designer.
Fifty pieces chosen from the collection will be displayed around themes dear to Yves Saint Laurent – Masculine-Feminine, Black, Africa and Morocco, Imaginary Voyages, Gardens and Art – offering an original interpretation of the couturier’s work using garments that, until now, have rarely been seen by the public. The garments on display will be rotated regularly, in order to ensure their conservation and to constantly revive the exhibition.