The YSL Museum celebrates Franco-Moroccan friendship in a unique exhibition

The Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech Museum is presenting, for the first time, an exhibition that explores the friendship and spheres of inspiration shared by three couturiers, namely Tamy Tazi, Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent.

The YSL Museum highlights the common passion of Tamy Tazi, Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent for Morocco, its colors, its exuberance, the abundance of its riches.

This exhibition is the first to confront their gazes and to evoke the key moments of this dialogue which began at the end of the 1960s. It brings together a set of masterpieces among the most representative of their research as well as of their complicity.

All three share a strong sense of friendship, are passionately interested in the decorative and applied arts of Morocco and are fascinated by color, “The violence of agreements, the insolence of mixtures, the ardor of inventions” as the one nicknamed YSL said. They pay particularly keen attention “To the mystery of the streets of Marrakech”, according to Fernando Sanchez. Their passion for this “wonderful unknown” will bring them together regularly.

The exhibition wishes to reflect this friendship and this Moroccan passion which animates them. It is thought in the light of the revealing words of Yves Saint Laurent: “Although accustomed to the light and colors of North Africa, it was later, when I discovered Morocco, that I understood that my own chromaticism was that of zelliges, zouacs, djellabas and caftans . The daring that has been mine ever since I owe it to this country, to the violence of agreements, to the insolence of mixtures, to the ardor of inventions. This culture has become mine, but I didn’t just import it, I annexed, transformed, adapted it ”.

In winter 1966, Yves Saint Laurent visited Marrakech for the first time; Love at first sight is immediate. From then on, he went there several times a year until the end of his career, to recharge his batteries but also to design his collections.

Tamy Tazi, consecrated a year earlier as a symbol of modernity and Moroccan elegance in the influential magazine Vogue, is one of the very first friendships that Yves Saint Laurent forms in Morocco.

A revolutionary friendship for the traditional dress

As for Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent, they knew each other, young men, at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, and have remained close all their lives. While the three friends lived in Casablanca, New York and Paris respectively, they met regularly in Marrakech, sharing the same fascination for the richness of the Moroccan decorative repertoire.

Indeed, the couturier loudly claimed the influence of Morocco in his creation. He knew how to appropriate but also to reinvent the burnous, the saroual, and other traditionally masculine clothes, to draw new feminine silhouettes. He also knew how to borrow from Morocco his colors mixing bright and warm tones with others more sober.

In his work, the dazzling colors of Marrakech confront each other: pink, red, yellow, but also muted colors such as beige, earth tones, navy blue.

Tamy Tazi has reinvented the caftan, giving it a more slender and more refined silhouette, offering women a new ease, while emphasizing their lines. She was interested in cutting and, more particularly, in embroidery.

She broadens its repertoire, playing with both dress codes and the variation of shapes and colors. It will also constitute an extraordinary collection of embroidery and old textiles. This allows her to broaden her gaze and nourish her creation, but also to share her passion with Yves Saint Laurent and Fernando Sanchez, whom she introduces to this very special universe. At the same time, and thanks to her complicity with Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashion house she represents in Morocco, Tamy Tazi will gain access to fabrics exclusively designed by the major textile manufacturers for the French couturier.

Through games of reconciliations and references, the exhibition shows how the visual universes shared by the three friends and couturiers influenced them, how, each in their own way, they sought to reinvent them. Their very personal appropriation as the crossroads between their works are based on this deep community / aesthetic communion which will bring them together, all three, at each stage of their life and their career for more than 40 years. Thus, all the creations exhibited must be seen and perceived in the light of their reciprocal friendship and their permanent play of successive reinterpretations and creative revivals.



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