Following years of preparation, this fall will see the unveiling of two Yves Saint Laurent museums, in Paris and Marrakech.
The project grew out of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, which since 2004 has been staging exhibitions to showcase items from its archive of 5,000 items of clothing, 15,000 accessories and tens of thousands of sketches by the late couturier.
Bergé — Saint Laurent’s longtime companion and business partner — revealed the first images of the Marrakech museum at a press conference in June, which he insisted on attending despite being confined to a wheelchair following a recent hospital stint.
Set to open to the public on Oct. 19, it will span 43,000 square feet, including a permanent exhibition space showcasing Saint Laurent’s work, a temporary exhibition area, a research library, a store, a café and a 150-seat auditorium that can host talks, concerts and film screenings.
The Paris museum is located at 5 Avenue Marceau, formerly home to Saint Laurent’s couture house and now the headquarters of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. Visitors will be able to view the former couture salons and Saint Laurent’s design studio for the first time.
Stage designer Nathalie Crinière and interior designer Jacques Grange have spearheaded the renovations. They have worked on a number of the foundation’s art exhibitions since it opened in 2004. The exhibition space will double in size and be refurbished in the style of Saint Laurent’s original couture house.
The museum’s opening on Oct. 3, during Paris Fashion Week, will coincide with the publication of several books and the screening of a documentary by Loïc Prigent on Franco-German network Arte on Oct. 1.
The institutions open at a time when French fashion houses are beginning to preserve their archives with state-of-the-art conservation facilities, and the French government is stepping up efforts to protect what it considers a key element of the country’s cultural heritage.