Pierre Bergé and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

CHRISTMAS DECORATION: With the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech set to open in Morocco in October, Pierre Bergé’s longstanding ties with the country continues to deepen. Bergé on Thursday at the royal palace of Marrakech was decorated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco with the Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite for services rendered to the Moroccan state.

Also present at the private ceremony were Madison Cox and Quito Fierro, vice president and secretary general of the Jardin Majorelle Foundation, respectively.

Bergé first traveled to Morocco in the mid-Sixties with Yves Saint Laurent, his companion and business partner for 50 years. A place of refuge and inspiration, the country was to become deeply symbolic for the pair in their work and personal lives.

Following his death in 2008, Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered in the rose garden of the Villa Oasis adjoining Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, which he owned and restored with Bergé. A memorial was also built in the garden, designed around a Roman pillar that was brought from Tangier and set on a pedestal with a plate bearing his name.

The site is also home to a Berber museum, located in the former workshop of painter Jacques Majorelle and housing Bergé and Saint Laurent’s Berber collection. Following Saint Laurent’s death, Bergé donated the gardens to the Fondation Pierre Bergé — Yves Saint Laurent over which he presides.