Nowadays it is quite popular to post fashion looks on Instagram, showing not only the clothes, but also, more important, the unique (hopefully) way to combine them, expressing your true self. Fashion bloggers have mastered this skill of mixing different brands, textures, which resulted in them creating the style of their own, developing the fashion industry and creating trends. However, shall we consider this as a modern thing?
Doubtfully. I am sure that history can teach us a great and quite expansive lesson if we let it to do so. Moreover, it never fails to repeat itself. Let me present the very first fashion blogger, Matthäus Schwarz, born in 1497. As there was obviously no Instagram back then, he created a book, which consisted of his looks painted in watercolors.
During this time, fashion was strictly regulated. The social rank specified the textiles and the styles which person was allowed to wear. Nevertheless, what was left to the ordinary burghers, who wanted to look stylish and modern as a noble?
Matthäus Schwarz was one of them and he found his way. For example, he wore fancy sleeves if a fancy hose was forbidden. More importantly, he was obsessed with fashion, spending almost all his income on clothes, creating wonderful looks. Let me show you some of them.
For example, here he is portrayed with his new employer. It is easy to distinguish them through their manner of dressing. Matthäus Schwarz, 19 years old on this watercolor, having obviously lower social rank than his employer, looks better and more fashionable than him. He looks almost if he were an aristocrat. However, only almost: he was careful not to break strict dressing law. It is also important how he presents himself. It is clear that he is very proud of his style, and clothes he is wearing make him feel comfortable, allowing him to be himself. I think, it is one of the main things that fashion can do: to reveal your true self, make you feel confident. It is not the clothes that make you look great and fashionable, it is the feeling you get from wearing them.
Now, a little gallery of looks from the book. I hope, it will amuse you, how little has changed through centuries.
If interested, you can download the book here:
Historian of Art&Fashion