Yves St. Laurent in Morocco – Iconic Outcome for Collision of Cultures

Posted on December 5, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent at Home in Marrakech, Morocco

BBC is reporting that one of three homes in Morocco owned by the late fashion designer, Yves St. Laurent  is now a museum.

Majorelle with its famous gardens restored byYves and

Majorelle with its famous gardens restored by Yves and Berger

St. Laurent who introduced the trench coat and pants suit for women and who was the first designer to introduce a less expensive ready to wear  label, absorbed Moroccan culture and it informed  his design thereafter.  The rich and unique colors, the native designs in dress – all became part of his repertoire and women worldwide ate it up.

Equally important was  his love for Moroccan architecture.  At the museum, his partner of many years, Pierre Bergé, completed their project to restore a local treasure, the gardens at Majorelle.

With all of the tensions between cultures today, here is one man’s odessy into the heart of a culture diametrically opposed to his own and the art that the journey inspired.  He was a living illustration of an ideal: in a meeting of cultures, one should not dominate or try to replace the other.  They should inspire a new “vocabulary” that represents a synthesis of the two in certain areas.  It is an organic thing, growing from the seeds of discovery and artfully handled produces outcomes that delight, educate and move us forward.