I recently unearthed this photo from a stack of negatives that I haven’t touched since I scanned the film that would become Sea Blues. I really love this one, though. Tangier is not a peaceful city on the ground, but from above it can be actually quite serene.
It’s the antithesis of his other homes. Villa Mabrouka in Tangier, Morocco, which the iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent shared with his partner, Pierre Bergé, is the visual incarnation of a breath of fresh air. No collections of priceless paintings, museum-class Asian antiquities, Renaissance bronzes or walls clad in hand-carved wood paneling here. For almost a decade, until Saint Laurent’s death at 71 in 2008, his preference for artfully layered spaces heaped with beautiful rarities gave way to rooms of spare sophistication. The Villa Mabrouka (mabrouka is “luck” in Arabic) is by far his most surprising refuge and an object lesson in the power of paring back.