YSL MUSEUM – MARRAKECH

Yves Saint Laurent had many muses, but only one Marrakesh, the city where he discovered light and color, draping and caftans. There, in a series of homes — of which his final and most notable was the opulent Villa Oasis — Saint Laurent sketched some of his best designs (and hosted some of his wildest parties).

This October, some 50 years after the designer’s first visit to Morocco, a state-of-the-art fashion museum honoring his oeuvre will open just steps from the Jardin Marjorelle, the villa’s botanical escape-cum-tourist attraction. The new, 43,000-square-foot building, designed by the Paris-based firm Studio KO, will house thousands of articles of clothing and haute couture accessories, all carefully selected by Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in business and in life. Expect to see such iconic pieces as Le Smoking and the safari jacket, but not an exhaustive retrospective. (A sister museum, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, opening in YSL’s former atelier on 5 Avenue Marceau a few weeks prior, will fill that role.)

“Here, we wanted to explore the spectacular and fantasy side of the work,” says Madison Cox, vp of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and director of the Jardin Marjorelle. Confections like a scarlet faille couture cape embroidered with purple and hot-pink bougainvillea and an African-inspired beaded minidress from the 1967 Bambara haute-couture collection will hang in the permanent exhibition hall. Elsewhere, original scenography incorporating “floating voices, quotes, images and film snippets” by the French architect and set designer Christophe Martin will add a sense of “magic,” says the museum director Bjorn Dahlstrom.

No less expressive is the building itself, with both modern and traditional Moroccan influences (locally-sourced terrazzo, red brick latticework, bush hammered concrete) and a curved facade that mimics the folds of fabric. “We designed it like a sculpture; a game of volumes and heights,” Studio KO co-founder Olivier Marty says of the space, which will feature a bookshop, research library, auditorium and a cafe serving French-leaning fare with a terrace overlooking a reflection pool. Inside, light streams through stained-glass windows inspired by Saint Laurent’s love for Henri Matisse — blues and greens on one side of the entrance hall, reds and tangerines on the other. “He’s Marrakesh and Paris. He’s color and black, masculine and feminine, the line and arabesque,” says Dahlstrom. “Together, it’s essential YSL.”

Article courtesy of New York Times Style Magazine 

THE COLOUR PINK (not just for girls)

It’s no secret that pink is one of my favourite colours and when I’m looking through new stock to add to our website, my eye will always be drawn to any rugs with a background of blush pink or pops of a brighter pink tint.  There’s an ongoing trend for blush pink in both interiors and the fashion world and if you’re interested in colour psychology, pink is said to have a calming effect when used in interiors, inspiring feelings of security and safety.   It’s a complete coincidence that my favourite city, Marrakech, is known as the ‘pink city’.  The pigments in the earth in the area create a beautiful salmon pink coloured plaster which decorates the exterior of the majority of the buildings.

Pink is a tint made from a combination of red and white.  Adding a touch of black darkens the tint, and adding a small amount of another colour will give an undertone of that colour to the pink tint.  The name ‘pink’ may date back to the 17th century and may be derived from the Dutch flower ‘pinken’.  In almost every culture there is a stereotypical view that pink is for girls and blue for boys, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that pink was strongly associated with femininity.  The symbolism of the colour could argue that the opposite is true, that pink is derived from red which is active, hence masculine.  In the 18th century it was considered perfectly masculine for a man to wear a pink silk suit.  Pink can be a very contradictory colour with associations to both feminine and masculine, tenderness and shallowness.

Below is a beautifully serene and calming bedroom at the wonderful El Fenn riad in Marrakech.  Don’t forget to check out the pink tints in our new collection of Boucherouite rugs now available in our online shop.

 

 

A TRADITIONAL BERBER HOME

Well worth a read in the current edition of World of Interiors magazine is an article entitled ‘Menage and Menagerie’ featuring a traditional Berber home in the High Atlas Mountains, near Taroudant and some fantastic photography by Roland Beaufre.

The home of El Habib and Fatima has been constructed entirely from natural materials found in the mountains, with rooms arranged around a central courtyard in traditional Moroccan style.  The courtyard contains the building’s one and only tap, where the family do the laundry and washing up.  The whole structure is supported by twisted branches from the Argan tree, well known for producing the famous Argan oil now used widely in cooking, cosmetic products and for medicinal purposes.  The family receive visitors in the main reception room, dotted with palm stools arranged around a low round table, to eat and drink tea.

Man and beast live in harmony in traditional Berber homes, a hole in the floor providing light and ventilation for the cows kept in the basement below, who in turn provide a natural source of heat to the occupants upstairs.  Peacocks are kept and stay indoors during the day and guard the house outside at night.  Dogs, however, are always kept outside.  Donkeys even have their own doorway!

A 1950’s space, with seating arranged around the walls of the room and soft, pastel coloured plaster walls, has the addition of a brightly coloured Boucherouite rag rug.

You can read the full article and the interview with the family by Marie-France Boyer in May’s Edition of World of Interiors.  Photography credit: Roland Beaufre.

 

MODERN BERBER KILIM COLLECTION

We’re loving the trend for modern Berber rugs and kilims here at Marble and Mint.   Spring is fast approaching, the light is changing and soon we will probably be thinking about packing away our cosy pile rugs for something lighter for the warmer months.  So, in addition to our collection of new Beni Ouarain rugs, we are now introducing some stunning new flat weave kilims.  Some designs are already up on our website, with more designs in stock in Marrakech.

Custom sizes are also available to order.  These wool kilims are made exclusively for us, using our own designs, in our workshop in the Anti Atlas region of Morocco.  Their simple, classic designs and paired down colour palettes make them ideal for a contemporary interior, and a perfect partner for a wooden, stone or tiled floor.  A personal favourite is the black and white design (seen here at Maison et Objet in Paris last month) which we know will be popular with anyone in love with monochrome interiors.  Please get in touch or give us a call if you would like any more information.  Tel. 0044 (0)7746 727536  Email  info@marbleandmint.co.uk

COSY BENI OUARAIN RUGS FOR THE WINTER SEASON

We’re into the middle of November, and even though Christmas is everywhere already, it’s still a little early for me to be thinking earnestly about the festive season!  What is nice though, and never too early to consider, is how to make your home warm and cosy, not just for Christmas, but to see you through the long cold months ahead.  A pure wool rug, with a soft deep pile is the perfect addition to any room for the Winter season.

My December issue of Elle Decoration UK recently arrived, and features a beautiful vintage Beni Ouarain rug, which sits perfectly next to the simple Christmas fir trees in this Danish home photographed by Birgitta Wolfgang.  This simple Scandinavian style setting is stunning, but with their classic designs and monochrome colours, Beni rugs sit easily with any interior style.  We have some beautiful vintage Beni rugs available in our stock in Marrakech, but we also offer as an alternative a collection of modern rugs, woven from the finest quality wool using traditional weaving techniques.  Take a look at our sample size sale, a collection of rugs in the perfect size for sitting in front of a sofa, the fire, or underneath a small table.  After weaving, these modern rugs are washed and dried up to eight times, and it’s this repeated washing which improves the appearance and texture of the wool, giving it a luxuriously soft silkiness. Perfect for sinking your feet into!  Buying a good quality rug like this is an investment, and with the right care it can and should last you a lifetime, not just for Christmas!

TRADITIONAL BERBER TEXTILE DESIGN AND THE FASHION WORLD

Fantastic to see this beautiful coat at New York Fashion Week by Ulla Johnson…….Gorgeous or what?

It clearly takes its inspiration from the design of traditional Berber wedding blankets or Handira, embellished with hundreds of sequins and fringing.  It’s not the first time we’ve seen this inspiration recently.  This beautiful jumper is available from Plumo’s Autumn collection, and takes the same inspiration.

Photo credit Plumo Studio
Photo credit Plumo Studio

It’s not unusual to see trends from the catwalk filtering down to interiors.  Colour trends, designs and textures usually follow down from one to the other, but it’s great to see the reverse, the catwalk taking inspiration from traditional textiles.  That beautiful coat by Ulla Johnson appearing at NYFW is a sure sign that something similar will soon be in our high street stores!  Stunning….it’s definitely on my Christmas list.