The new Louis Vuitton Travel Book, Floc’h Edinburgh, takes you on a quirky tour of the Scottish city, illustrated by French artist Floc’h.
If you think it’s odd for an travel picture book on Edinburgh to be illustrated by a Frenchman, you’re right. But where every Louis Vuitton Travel Book are concerned, that’s the whole point. For each Louis Vuitton Travel Book, the brand pairs a contemporary artist with an unfamiliar territory – sometimes remote wildernesses, sometimes faraway cities. The result: beautifully drawn commentaries that are not so much guides as they are explorations.
Out this month: the latest Louis Vuitton Travel Book, Floc’h Edinburgh ($86, Louis Vuitton stores), which pairs French artist Floc’h with the Scottish capital. The style is unmistakeable: Floc’h, whose illustrations have been featured in the likes of The New Yorker, favours the ligne claire style popularised by Herge – yes, he of the Tintin books.
Though the artist was born and raised in France and lived there for most of his life, he is British in his dreams. His characters are often cool, aristocratic British dandies, strolling with unsettling ease through every situation and landscape.
Typical of Floc’h’s work, the plot of Floc’h Edinburgh is easy and unconstrained – almost stream of consciousness – and the characters are laid-back, careless and disturbingly friendly with strangers. Tartan abounds, Scottish history much discussed, and seagulls are accosted. Conversations are long and encyclopedic but nearly always riveting. (Here’s another philosophical fictional character we loved in our childhood).
But if you read Tin Tin as a kid (and let me be first to admit I’m still a big fan), you’re used to this. Remember how much you learnt from the monologues of a drunken sea captain.
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