Yves Saint- Laurent and the Majorelle Gardens

Yves Saint- Laurent and the Majorelle Gardens

We walked along shady lanes, in the midst of trees and exotic plants, past refreshing, burbling streams and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers.

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The leaves rustled and the birds chirped,  flocking here to take refuge, numerous in their numbers. Tall dark green pipes stretch upwards and curve into the sky. The bamboo trees are scarred by the etchings of previous visitors to Marrakesh’s most beautiful garden and the palm trees enclose you and cacti of all shapes and sizes grow in abundance. The path turned unexpectedly, revealing a building with Moorish charm, painted in astonishingly vibrant primary colors. It glowed with the same intense blue that the artist French artists Jaques Majorelle perceived in the Atlas Mountains in the 1920s when Morocco was still a protectorate of France. This garden is almost old enough to be considered antique, like the lanterns and the carpets for sale in the dusky souks which seem now a million miles away.  Its colour though is bright, as if painted just yesterday, the palette of primary colours exceptionally avant-garde and modern, a great homage to the city which taught Yves Saint-Laurent colour.

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  Yves Saint Laurent was an Algerian born French fashion designer, and is regarded as one of the greatest names in fashion history. One of the most influential designers of the past twenty-five years, he can be credited with spurring the couture’s rise from its sixties ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable.He was known for his use of non-European cultural references and his use of non-white models. After successfully suing Dior for breach of contract, he and his partner Pierre Bergé, started their own fashion house, which in the 1960s and 1970s, popularized fashion trends such as the beatnik look; safari jackets for men and women; tight pants; tall, thigh-high boots; and arguably the most famous classic tuxedo suit for women in 1966, Le Smoking. Yves Saint-Laurent also started mainstreaming the idea of wearing silhouettes from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

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Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Berge bought the garden in 1980 and started the long and costly process of restoring it. When he was not actively supervising the preparation of a collection, he spent time at his villa here in the Majorelle Garden, a place which he often visited to find inspiration and refuge.

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The personal link to the great fashion designer can still be felt and seen here in this beautiful place. As well as his memorial, the garden houses the collection of his “Love posters”, which were designed over 35 years and sent as greetings to his dearest friends and clients. They are largely made of collages centered around the word “LOVE”, with my favorites featured his cute bulldog Moujik!

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Worth a look as well the Love Gallery, housed within the gardens. Here  you can find a collection of “Love” posters Yves Saint Laurent designed over a period of 35 years. Every year he sent them as greeting to his close friends. They are largely made of collages created around the word ‘LOVE’, some featuring his beloved bulldog Moujik! – See more at: http://pillowmagazine.com/2012/04/11/love-affair-yves-saint-laurent-jardin-majorelle-marrakech/#sthash.uKtGJWxQ.dpuf
Worth a look as well the Love Gallery, housed within the gardens. Here  you can find a collection of “Love” posters Yves Saint Laurent designed over a period of 35 years. Every year he sent them as greeting to his close friends. They are largely made of collages created around the word ‘LOVE’, some featuring his beloved bulldog Moujik! – See more at: http://pillowmagazine.com/2012/04/11/love-affair-yves-saint-laurent-jardin-majorelle-marrakech/#sthash.uKtGJWxQ.dpuf

 When Yves Saint-Laurent died in 2008, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered here in Marrakech, in the Majorelle Garden. Bergé said at the funeral service: “But I also know that I will never forget what I owe you and that one day I will join you under the Moroccan palms.”

WEARING

Flounce Geo Print Maxi-Dress – FOREVER 21

Pink glasses – H&M

Evil Eye Jewellery  (Ring Bracelet & Earrings)  – ALI EXPRESS

SILVER BRACELET – AFGHAN CONNECTION (charity supporting education)

Ecplise Thong Sandals – GUESS

 

Keukenhof flower gardens, a mecca for old aged pensioners and me

Keukenhof flower gardens, a mecca for old aged pensioners and me

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So I have just come back from a very short trip to Holland. This was the first time that I would visit the flower basket of Europe in Spring time. The aim of this visit was thus, as well as to celebrate King’s Day, to see the beautiful flower fields and tulips that grow in abundance across the low lying fields around Amsterdam. My Dutch friends had been warned. Why, they asked do you want to see the flowers? The fields are nothing special they exclaimed! Indeed, for many young Dutch people, flowers and flower harvests have always formed part of their everyday lives.

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We walked towards the bus stop that would take us to Keukenhof – the world famous flower gardens. Not a single Dutch person that I spoke to afterwards had ever been, but all had heard about it. Tourists however were clearly flocking here in droves. We had to queue for an hour and wait for three buses in order to finally be able to board the bus. The cost of the park was 23 euros, but that hadn’t seemingly deterred anyone from going.

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As we arrived I noticed that Keukenhof was undoubtedly a favorite destination for the world’s older citizens. The downside is that you will find yourself amongst a sea of blooming flowers and grey haired pensioners and with this come the usual problems associated with old age – endless waiting for pictures to be taken, due to lack of camera or phone agility, pile ups at the best photo spots  and of course old person queue jumping. To see a nimble granny grin from ear to ear after somehow squeezing herself in between yourself and your friends and then quietly trying to persuade others to do the same, kills me every time. However,  where there is age, there is also wisdom. The beauty of Keukenhof and the garden landscaping is breathtaking and unmatched by any other which I have ever seen. So if you are young, be smart, follow and learn from your elders who know life and what is worth seeing and put this on your list of things to do whilst in Holland.

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Keukenhof is the world’s second largest flower garden.  The reason for the price is that this is literally an all day trip. The park is massive, approximately 32 hectares and there are multiple entrances, shops, indoor displays and activities. Restaurants and bars adorn the side of a large lake around which the park extends out into the fields. Watch Dutch people dangle herrings above their heads and then devour them with open mouths, and see the beer tents, wooden clogs and women dressed in traditional costumes. There is a great elevated place which enables the visitors to get a fantastic view across the flat tulip fields (which unfortunately were mostly dead by the time I arrived!). It is said that around 7 million flower bulbs are planted each year!

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Keukenhof features a variety of different gardens and garden styles. For example, the English landscape garden features winding paths and unexpected see-through points (designed by Zocher in 1830, the garden architect of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, among others). The historical garden is an enclosed garden where you can see many old types of bulbs. The nature garden consists of a water garden where shrubs and perennials are combined with bulbous plants. The Japanese country garden is a non-traditional garden in a natural environment. This place looks just like a something from a fairy tale. I could have spent hours wondering around, taking pictures, admiring the colors and beautiful carpets and rivers of colour flowing through the trees. The lake was wonderful, with beautiful sculptures and statues. Unmissable and would highly recommend it!