‘My introduction to Marrakech came with a jolt: The city opened my eyes to color,’ said Yves Saint Laurent after his first trip to the fabled Moroccan city in 1966. His partner, Pierre Bergé, later said: ‘When we first visited Marrakech, little did we imagine that it would become a second home for us.’
LOVE is the exhibition that brings Yves Saint Laurent’s infinite passion for Marrakech to the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval. The bonds that unite the French fashion designer and Morocco resonate with endless possibilities and lead to new aesthetic approaches and creative connections. These moments are presented in LOVE in a line-up of three distinct and uniquely narrated chapters.
The first chapter illustrates the unmistakable role of Morocco as the French designer’s muse. Stephan Janson is the curator responsible for transforming the Church of São João Evangelista into the stage for an exhibition that features 14 outfits, on exceptional loan from Fondation Pierré Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and private collectors. Fifteen carefully selected ensembles that reveal the nuances of YSL’s creative imagination.
The second chapter is curated by Mouna Mekouar and it is held in the heart of the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval, taking visitors on a journey to discover Morocco’s contemporary art scene and the shared influences that contemporary artists have with Yves Saint Laurent. The couturier’s creative vision – particularly his daring use of colour and space – can be found in the work of thirteen contemporary Moroccan artists from different generations and disciplines. The springboard for the exhibition are Yves Saint Laurent’s famous annual greeting cards, in poster form, made over a 27-year period, which invariably – and prominently – featured the word LOVE.
The grand exhibition is completed with the third chapter: a tribute to Pierre Bergé, who encouraged and supported the artist and couturier Noureddine Amir by presenting his work at Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent in Paris in 2014 and at Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech in 2018. Noureddine Amir was the first Moroccan designer to present a haute couture collection in Paris at the invitation of Fédération de la Haute Couture, in July 2018. Curated by Alexandra de Cadaval, this chapter of the exhibition showcases Noureddine Amir’s sculptural dresses, which blur the lines between fashion, art, and architecture.
Courtesy of Palácio Duques de Cadaval
The exhibition is on view at Palácio Cadaval, Évora until the 30th of October 2022.