Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morroco...,

When Mr. Splendid asked me where I would like to go for a special little birthday trip this year I didn't hesitate to respond...  "Marrakech". It's a place I've always wanted to visit and from the Nice airport it's just a three hour flight into RAK, the beautiful new Moroccan airport.

Since it's cold and dreary in many parts of the world right now I thought this would be a good time to take you on a tour of this warm and exotic land rich with colors, culture and traditions. Today we'll visit the amazing Majorelle Garden and study a shade of color that is sure to beat even the deepest  January blues. 

I've been intrigued by this exotic place for quite some time and my inspiration to visit was heightened when I saw scenes of Yves Saint Laurent's home there in the film L'amour Fou, so of course we had to make our way to the Rue Yves Saint Laurent to tour his Jardin Majorelle

The gardens are lush, natural, tranquil and grand, filled with forest bamboo, succulents, palm trees and other exotic planting. The garden was originally developed by French artist Jacque Majorelle. After some unfortunate accidents, the artist moved to Paris and never returned. In 1961 Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé rescued the property from being developed into a hotel after having enjoyed the public grounds for years.

Here is what Pierre Bergé said about the garden they had fallen in love with and eventually made their home: 

We quickly became very familiar with this garden, and went there every day. It was open to the public yet almost empty. We were seduced by this oasis where colours used by Matisse were mixed with those of nature."

As we wandered through the the expanse of peaceful sittings it was easy to imagine YSL and friends like fashion editor, Marian McEvoy lounging in the shade on thick Berber textiles and sipping mint tea of on hot Moroccan afternoons.

YSL & Marian McEvoy

The large verdant plots are separated by tiled walkways and unpretentious water features.

This reflection pond was stunning in it's simplicity and how it magically mirrored the spectacular plantings and Moroccan skies.

I loved square shape and the cool, pale, aquamarine color of the outer pool of this fountain.

Majorelle Blue, named for the artist who created the garden, was the prominent shade throughout the compound. Based on the ancient paint color ultramarine, which was originally created with ground Lapis Lazuli {once more precious than gold}, Jacque Majorelle developed a more affordable modern pigment that mimicked the Lapis tint. 

We bought a jar of it in powder form that can be blended into paints, or glue or water... I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but with this shade, it will be hard to go wrong, right?

The Italians call this shade of blue oltramarino  meaning “from beyond the seas.”

If you love the color blue as much as I do click on shades of blue, for more on this particular shade and most every other beauteous hue of blue you can imagine. 

For even more details on the history of this sought after shade visit Imports from Marrekech .

You may also be interested in exploring Yves Klein Blue.

The Majorelle Blue was accented with tints of pale aquamarines, greens, yellows and terracotta as well as the textural green landscape and the climbing bougainvillea. 

Within the buildings there was a museum of the culture and history of the Berbers, including many pieces Bergé and Saint Laurent had collected over the years. There was also a terraced café and a gift shop, but the living quarters were not open for touring..

...however, if you'd like to take a peek inside these Moorish style walls to the intricately decorated rooms just click on Villa Oasis.

The Galerie Love, just off the gift shop is devoted to the posters YSL created each year, mostly using collage, and sent out as New Year's greetings to friends and clients.

Les Quatre Saisons Yves Saint Laurent

If you have a chance to visit this very special garden, dress accordingly, because there are so many picturesque settings for you to pose with your sweetie, or your bff or just yourself; read on for my recommendation. 

 In general, I avoid publishing faces on Splendid Market, but I'm going to share a few shots of Mr. Splendid and myself, just so you can see what I mean about the settings. Many of the people who work at Jardin Majorelle are actually Berbers, and are very passionate about the gardens. From our experience, they are very happy to take pictures of you, in fact we had a fellow who guided us around the garden and showed us where to pose and took numerous shots of us in each key location. 

Look at the lush jungle setting behind us here, it looks surreal.

If the kids had been present, a shot in front of one of these decorative windows would have definitely graced the cover of our Christmas card. 

I guess one of the benefits of being "free birds" is that we've started taking "couples shots" again. I do love having these special images to remember this wonderful trip, however, had I known of the prominent color scheme I would not have worn the charcoal and white combo.  

Instead, if you go, I recommend wearing something more in the blue and green color scheme, like Mr. Splendid, doesn't he blend in beautifully with the setting? 
That guy.

YSL was cremated and his ashes were spread in the rose garden in Villa Oasis, where they lived.

There is a memorial to the designer at the far edge of the property, it was designed around a stone Roman pillar from Tangier.

If you'd like more information on this amazing garden and a passionate life well lived, you may enjoy some of the following books:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Big Sale is on!!

We're having a big sale on all of the merchandise at Splendid Market Shop, so hop over to save big on all polished horn jewelry, suede shawls and clutchlets. The timing couldn't be better because these chic accessories are ideal for resort ware and any spring travel plans. 

As a special offer to our regular readers we have a free gift for you if you visit Splendid Market Shop to review the sale or help to promote it. To get your free gift just leave a comment about what you have bought or would like to purchase or information on how you have shared the sale information and we will include a free gift in your shipment (if you don't end of placing an order just send your mailing address to ebh@splendidmarket.com after leaving your comment). 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Yves Saint Laurent at the Seattle Art Museum...

So this is how it begins... the incredible display of Yves {Mathieu} Saint Laurent's works at the Seattle Art Museum.  This extensive collection closes on January 8, so if you haven't visited it yet, I highly recommend you find a way to come to see it soon. But, if that is not a possibility, I will share the highlights here and now, also click on #SAMYSL for a fabulous illustrated interview with the designer. 

The display chronicles his life and love of fashion beginning with his childhood hand painted signs for his "shows" of paper dolls wearing his fashions that he put on for his sisters and childhood friends, along with the glamorous paper dolls and fashions.

One of my favorite feature was the addition of the original sketches of the enormous number of collections with fabric swatches around the perimeter of the rooms,

with the coordinating pieces on display in the center of the room. Here is the iconic Mondrian dress.

Here is his colorful Wedding Coatdress... 

and snips of all the fabrics used to create the intricate masterpiece. 

The inclusion of many of his drawings and sketches really enhanced the exhibit and showed insight into this great designer. Here are some of his sketches for the bottle design for his Opium perfume, scandalously launched in 1977. I've always loved Opium perfume, it is such a rich balance of fruits and spices with strong notes of Jasmine and Sandlewood. 

There are also great images of him through the years, I love this shot with his Meuse and "female twin" Betty Catroux, she's wearing the sexy safari tunic shown on the mannequin in the foreground.

And here he is with delightful Jane Berkin wearing the lace up trousers from the same collection, those were the days.

Now I'll leave you to wander around and enjoy the breadth and brilliance of this talented designer at your own pace. 


Yves Saint Laurent Costume Jewelry #SAMYSL

Yves Saint Laurent, 1974, Andy Warhol