The Musée Yves Saint Laurent has thrown open its doors in Paris today, taking over the fashion designer’s former atelier in the 16th arrondissement.
Yves Saint Laurent set up shop in a hôtel particulier at 5 avenue Marceau in 1974, working there until his retirement in 2002 when he closed down his house.
Under the guidance of The Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent – set up to preserve the fashion designer’s legacy – the Parisian townhouse became an archive for 5,000 handmade samples that traced back more than 40 years of historic creativity.
Today, the mansion reopens its doors as the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris and is filled with the emblematic designs that saw Saint Laurent redefine the female wardrobe.
On display are his most radical pieces, including the Le Smoking tuxedo, the safari jacket, the jumpsuit, and the trenchcoat, with which Saint Laurent created a new vision of womenswear for the latter half of the 20th century.
Alongside the archive collection is a recreation of the designer’s studio, filled with drawings, scraps of fabric, boxes of buttons and finished designs, which offers a vivid picture of the life and practices of a haute couture atelier.
The museum’s opening is poignantly timed, coming less than a month after the death of Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s business partner of more than 40 years and co-founder of the foundation. It was Bergé who raised the funds for the museum project, through the sale of his and Saint Laurent’s art collection, which fetched nearly €349m at auction in 2009.
Designed by Studio KO, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakesh is a new 4,000 sq m building adjacent to Jardin Majorelle, a site bought by the designer and Pierre Bergé in 1980 and revived with the help of botanist Abderrazzak Benchaâbane.