The Renaissance fashion blogger who selfied way before you did

“The most extraordinary record of Renaissance style.” Independent on Sunday


Text reads: In June 1518, when I wanted to learn fencing. The doublet was silk satin from Bruges. Text below: Around 21 ²⁄³ years old.
Image © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig (p.32)

Meet the original style blogger.

Renaissance accountant Matthäus Schwarz and his son meticulously recorded their outfits for over 60 years via commissioned miniature portraits in a ‘Book of Clothes’. Not simply a visual diary, their ‘selfies’ are annotated with personal captions that give us a direct insight into merchant class life, and more specifically what it was like to be a man five centuries ago.

The First Book of Fashion is the first English translation of this incredible primary source, integrated alongside a full colour reproduction of the ‘Book of Clothes’ and complemented by historical commentary and contextual notes.


Text reads: In March 1523: an evening dress, the short cloak with taffeta, the doublet made from silk satin, the gray over-hose can be fitted over any hose. Text below: 26 years, ½ month.
Image © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig (p.60)

You can see more of these brilliant paintings in the book preview:








But to experience the full glory you might have to ask for this fashion intellectual’s classic for Christmas!