Where the Heart Is: Yves Saint Laurent and Jardin Majorelle

Yves Saint Laurent at his home in Marrakech. Photo by Lord Patrick Lichfield. 

Yves Saint Laurent at his home in Marrakech. Photo by Lord Patrick Lichfield. 

 

Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakech is fantasy made manifest, created with inordinate amount of love by French painter Jacques Majorelle, who arrived in Morocco in the early 1930 and began to build his dream space. The villa and surrounding gardens would ultimately take 40 years to complete, with the painter’s hand guiding the process, the planting of hundreds of exotic plantings, streams, pools, the building of fountains and the construction of a maze of shaded lanes lined with bamboo and palm.

In 1980 the designer Yves Saint Laurent, whom had fallen for  Morocco while on a trip in the 1960s, bought the property. Moving into the adjacent villa and making the gardens one of his permanent homes, Saint Laurent would find endless inspiration here, catharsis and creativity fueled by the deepest of greens, sunny yellows and ever-present indigos.

Throughout his legendary career, Saint Laurent's love for Marrakech and it's surroundings continually found its way into his designs, his work fueled by the markets, the fabrics, the food - by an ancient culture rich with craftwork tradition and the most elegant of art.  

“Morocco taught me color,” Saint Laurent once said and that understanding is perhaps most vividly on display within his beloved Jardin Majorelle, where his ashes are now scattered...