Q&A: Björn Dahlstrom Pulls Back the Curtain on the New Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

A sneak peek inside the highly anticipated museum devoted to one of fashion’s most iconic designers.

Bjorn Dahlstrom

Disciples of Yves Saint Laurent know the couture master’s affection for Marrakech, but now they have a new reason to visit the Ochre City: The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech will open this month. Museum director Björn Dahlström explains.

Tell us about the design.

Pierre Bergé [Saint Laurent’s partner and cofounder of Yves Saint Laurent Couture House] wanted a building that would be contemporary and Moroccan at the same time. Contrasting curves and cube-shaped volumes are harmoniously combined. The proportions are pleasing and of a human scale. Local materials such as brick have been used to adorn the exterior walls, evoking the warp and weft of fabric.

Is there an underlying theme to the exhibitions? 

We will be underlining the bond between YSL and Marrakech. The influence of Morocco within his work is tangible: the use of traditional hats like the tarboosh, known as the fez, reinterpreted by the couturier; the accumulation of jewelry the way Berber women wear it; and the use of stunning colors—for example the beautiful bougainvillea haute couture cape inspired by the Jardin Majorelle.

What do you expect will be the biggest attraction?

We enlisted scenographer Christophe Martin to design the main exhibition hall, which features iconic work from throughout the couturier’s career. There, vintage pieces will be showcased against an audiovisual screen. It will no doubt leave a strong impression.

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