In Pictures: The World’s Most Accidentally Wes Anderson Locations

Pin It
HOTEL OPERA Prague, Czech Republic c. 1891Photo by Valentina Jacks

A new book pays tribute to the director’s dream-like aesthetics, compiling a selection of similar images taken in every continent

From the colourful temples of India to the art nouveau grandeur of Romania, Wes Anderson can draw out the magic of any location. The director’s films – which are shot in all corners of the world – are more like enchanting travel guides, elevating everyday scenes into vivid, pastel-hued dreamscapes.

It is this quality that first attracted Wally Koval to Anderson’s work. Entranced by the director’s lavish locations, he decided to pay tribute by starting an Instagram account – @AccidentallyWesAnderson – dedicated to recreating the same aesthetics. “It began as a travel bucket list for me and my wife Amanda,” says Koval, a Brooklyn-based content marketer.

Launched in 2017, @AccidentallyWesAnderson collects images from all over the world, taken by an array of different photographers (anyone can submit an image they feel matches the Anderson aesthetic). Each picture that is shared on the account comes with a brief history of the location it features, in keeping with Koval’s original ‘travel bucket list’ theme. 

To say it’s taken off would be an understatement: In the three years since it began, @AccidentallyWesAnderson has become a social media sensation, gaining over a million followers and spawning – as of last month – an accompanying photo book. The eponymous latter contains 200 of the best shots, whittled down from over 15,000 global submissions.

So what makes an image worthy of the cut? Well, as Koval notes, Anderson’s films are known for their immaculate framing, symmetry and colour coordination - but there’s also substance behind the style.  

“A place that is Accidentally Wes Anderson is multifaceted,” says Koval. “Physically, it exudes some of the staple characteristics of symmetry or colour palette, but it also holds an interesting story – something unexpected or just plain intriguing behind its facade.”

The Accidentally Wes Anderson book contains some of the best examples of this. The featured photos, taken in every continent, reveal some of the most interesting and idiosyncratic locations on earth. There are dramatic old Italian palaces, towering Japanese rollercoasters, and mysterious, windswept wharves in New Zealand. And like the Instagram account, it’s not just about visuals: each location comes with an unexpected historical narrative, to offer some additional insight.

The project is a worldwide collaboration, with many different photographers, writers and designers taking part. “The community as a whole deserved for these works to be put together into a printed collection that embodied what it had become,” Koval says. And even Anderson himself approves, with the director providing a foreword for the final copy. In it, he calls the book both “alluring” and “entertaining”. (“I think I smiled for a few hours straight after I received that news,” says Koval). 

Ultimately, Koval hopes that Accidentally Wes Anderson will act as an “inspiration for your next travel adventure, but at its core, provide a moment of delight every time you flip through the pages.”

“My hope is that the book will be a bit of a respite for whoever picks it up,” he says, finally. “Some may utilise it to find their next adventure, others – I have been told – may utilise it as a mood board for their next interior design project, but all in all, I just hope it provides a breath of fresh air and a smile to whoever picks it up.”

Accidentally Wes Anderson is available now via Trapeze.