For all the beautiful new handbags, shoes, jewelry, watches, et al, that Louis Vuitton introduces each season, at its soul, it is a company that draws its greatest inspiration from travel. To wit, its recent history-tracing New York exhibition Volez, Voguez, Voyagez, which rapturously celebrated exactly that.
Of course, Europhiles like us had also eagerly anticipated the release of the stellar LV City Guides every year. And as part of its ongoing and stunningly realized Travel Book series, this week sees the introduction of four visually dazzling new titles. Intriguingly, and perhaps showcasing the brand’s keen internationalism, they’ve matched up city and illustrator in a way that could only be described as “creative entente.”
And so for the Rome book, American artist Miles Hyman puts his special visual touch on the electric energy of The Eternal City; colorful Cuba is fittingly imagined by China’s Li Kunwu; Swiss illustrator Thomas Ott takes to America’s legendary Route 66, discovering and depicting its noir heart; and, fifty years after the Prague Spring (a brief, bright moment during Soviet rule), Russian artist Pavel Pepperstein transforms the cultural and architectural romanticism of the Czech capital into a series of strikingly evocative images.
If the most fundamental functions of books are to stimulate our imaginations and transport us out of our workaday worlds, these LV travel books are indeed resplendent little masterpieces in their own right.