Louis Vuitton and leather trunks share a revolutionary relationship known to the world far and wide, but the Maison also happens to have an equally significant relationship with the art of travel. And it has produced a series of city guides and travel books, since 1998. One such series happens to be the FASHION EYE series of photography books (debuted in 2016) that give an intimate look at a country, a region, a city or a destination through the gaze of notable photographers to celebrate the spirit of travel. With the recent additions, this photography book series currently includes 21 titles that reveal different regions across the globe – from British Columbia to Iran, from French Riviera to Japan. Each book is crafted with a silkscreen – printed cloth binding and features over a hundred large-format photographs, accompanied by biographical information and an interview with the photographer or a critical essay.
Well, photography happens to be an evident form of expression for Louis Vuitton. And while each book in ‘Fashion Eye’ series brings the soul of travel to life, we have put together six of our favourite titles from the series that’ll set you up for an escape to new horizons right from your coffee table.
GREECE By François Halard
Far from merely an interior and architecture photographer, François Halard sees himself as a soul hunter, capturing places that are alive, infused with the spirits of their owners. And in this latest addition to the ‘Fashion Eye’ series, he shares his journey through a Greece of timeless beauty. Classical sculptures, mineral structures, and landscapes rising up from the earth fill the book’s pages, tinted in blue tones, relishing the shade of villas on the island of Symi, all as if under the watchful eyes of Halard’s mentor, Cy Twombly.
INDIA By Henry Clarke
There’s no one better than the legendary photographer, Henry Clarke who knows how to successfully combine the sculptural elegance of early 20th century fashion photography with the exuberant visions adopted by international fashion in the post-war years. This ‘Fashion Eye’ book zooms in on Indian and 60’s fashion through a series of visually arresting photographs taken by Clarke during his trip for American Vogue.
FRENCH RIVIERA By Slim Aarons
Nicknamed ‘Slim’ because he was tall and very lanky, American photographer George Allen Aarons is known to have boasted of only photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places. So, no surprise that he was naturally drawn to the idyllic corner of France – the French Riviera and that fashion became the art of living in his work. And that’s where this book (published posthumously) brings us all a glimpse of the joyous, sun-drenched French Riviera of the 70s to celebrate the sense of leisure through the distinctive lens of Aarons.
NEW YORK By Saul Leiter
From the ‘Fashion Eye’ series, this book delves into the glamorous and inspiring past of New York through fashion photography and street scenes captured by the colour photography pioneer Saul Leiter. These photographs do nothing if not captivate you with the aura of New York. And well, at the heart of the book, you’ll find a very enigmatic assignment given by Rei Kawakubo for magazine SIX to Leiter in 1989.
UKRAINE By Synchrodogs
Developing a practice that melds aspects of documentary photography with a more conceptual approach, all the while maintaining a strong presence in the world of fashion, the duo of Ukrainian photographers – Synchrodogs (Roman Noven & Tania Oldyork) feel most at ease at home, in the Carpathians which also happens to be the backdrop of the book. This new addition to the series highlights their ‘Slightly Altered’ series where they condemn deforestation and call attention to the plight of endangered species through landscapes, dance, and performance and offer a fresh perspective on the intimate relationship between human beings and nature. It is an original voice populated by dreams and nature – making the Carpathians a canvas for a land art project that ventures into nude photography.
SILK ROAD By Kishin Shinoyamo
It’s no surprise that Eurasia, with the incredible variety of its landscapes and landforms, has long been a magnet for man travellers, including Kishin Shinoyamo and his wandering spirit. From Japan’s ancient capital Nara to land in the West, Shinoyamo has navigated a labyrinth of routed driven by the joy of capturing a fragment of eternity. The images in this book reflect on how people live and have been selected from those in the eight volumes he published in 19821 and 1982. Other than market scenes and the places of worship dotting the Silk Road, this book also gives a glimpse of sites that have now been wiped off the map due to the violence of wars and fanaticism – providing an invaluable record of treasures like the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, the ancient city of Palmyra, or the souks of Aleppo in Syria.
Photos Courtesy: Louis Vuitton
Karishma is an engineer turned fashion stylist and writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, Ranveer Singh, salted caramel ice-cream and lipsticks make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.