I WORE DIOR TO THE YSL GARDENS & NO ONE REALLY CARED
First opening its doors in 1947, Jardin Majorelle was designed by artist and keen botanist Jacques Majorelle. Once he collected hundreds of rare varieties of trees and plants, including cacti, palm trees, weeping willows, bamboo, white water lilies and ferns, he centred them around a long basin and along winding walkways with painted walls.
The artist chose to paint the entire garden in a scheme of bold primary colours, predominantly cobalt blue to “evoke Africa,” set off by a pop of yellow.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the garden in 1966 during their visit to Marrakech, before they went on to buy it in 1980, saving it from becoming a hotel complex. Safe Gs.
They doubled the amount of plants and transformed Jacques Majorelle’s studio into a museum of Berber culture. The museum houses the personal collection of Yvses Saint Lauren and Pierre Bergé and you can pop in as part of your Jardin Majorelle ticket.
After Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, a memorial was built in the garden and the street in front of the Jardin Majorelle’s entrance was renamed Rue Yves Saint Laurent. Bloody lovely.
If I’m completely honest, it’s a shame that this is such a bait tourist spot in Marrakech. The garden itself is so beautiful but it’s hard to enjoy it due to the disgusting amount of human beings. This was the only day during the entire nine-day trip that I’d felt surrounded by tourists and it completely took me by surprise (moron, I know). I usually avoid these kinds of things when I’m away, but I’m KINDA INTO FASHUN so I wanted to take a look.
We arrived in the afternoon and there was queue, but it didn’t take long to make it to the front. Once inside, the array of plants and trees were probably the best thing about the gardens (obvs), but the Berber museum is also worth popping into.
The museum is divided into three sections: raw materials for daily/ceremonial use, sets of jewels of traditional beliefs and knowledge, and the final section showcases costumes, weapons and decorated doors. Overall, it offers a great understanding of Berber history across rural Morocco.
After hating on the swarms of fellow tourists in the gardens, we headed to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, which ended up being the best part of the day.
The Parisian fashion designer was known to have methodically archived his work, holding on to particular samples from every collection. As well as the samples, original sketches, atelier worksheets, photographs, collection boards, press clippings and videos of runway shows were also archived by the couture house.
Fondation Pierre Bergé has preserved more than 5,000 haute couture garms, designed by Yves Saint Laurent between 1962 and 2002. You’ll also find some Dior pieces as Yves Saint Laurent was an assistant to Christian Dior before he found his own fashion house.
Yes, you’ll find YSL’s most renowned fashion designs here, including the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, ‘le smoking’ and the safari jacket, but this Marrakech museum is also host to temporary exhibitions related to art, fashion, design, anthropology and botany.
For me, the YSL museum was easily better than the gardens. This is mostly because the museum had fewer tourists and being up close to some of the most iconic pieces by the Parisian designer was far more interesting than avoiding being in everyone’s holiday pics in the gardens.
I am miserable. The End.