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It's quite simply the most fascinating record of a `[fashion] victim' one could hope for... Never has the mould of form been reflected in the glass of fashion so entertainingly as in this scholarly work. * The Spectator * Long before the likes of Tavi Gevinson and Bryanboy made careers of taking fashion selfies, a German accountant was busy documenting his outfits: for 40 years in the 16th century, Matthaus Schwarz commissioned watercolour portraits to showcase his daily ensembles, leaving us with the most extraordinary record of Renaissance style, gathered together in his Trachtenbuch (literally, "book of clothes".) * The Independent * [Rublack and Hayward] have beautifully reassembled the complete series of 137 colour images ... [from Schwarz's] extraordinary book of illuminations. * Times Higher Education * The story of a life in clothes ... [Rublack and Hayward's] historical observations, especially on colour coding, are valuable keys to unlocking the period. * Times Literary Supplement * The First Book of Fashion brings together these two fascinating documents, beautifully reproduced with illuminating commentary, to a wider English-speaking readership, for the first time. University and museum libraries will of course buy this book, but the price and quality make this a worthwhile purchase for any student of Renaissance fashion and cultural history. * Costume * The popularity of YouTube `haul videos,' fashion vlogs, and shoefies is often derided as a sign of the times, if not a sign of the end of times ... But the impulse to catalogue, classify, and, ultimately, communicate one's fashion choices is nothing new ... The illuminated Klaidungsbuchlein, or "book of clothes," compiled by the Augsburg accountant Matthaus Schwarz between 1520 and 1560 is a proto-Kardashian book of selfies ... In this fashion, he assembled 137 images of himself over 40 years-a selfie record unmatched until the advent of photography ... it will reach a wider audience than Matthaus and his son ever dreamed. And it may even prompt readers to reconsider Millennials-with their solipsism and pics-or-it-didn't-happen visual acuity-as the harbingers of a second Renaissance ...The First Book of Fashion serves as a reminder that, like other forms of culture, fashion is a product of its time. -- Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell * The Atlantic * The editors [of this book] have achieved something rare: being both a scientifically sound and aesthetically enticing volume, it not only catches the interests of historians but also addresses manufacturing specialists of historical and contemporary clothing and in addition manages to appeal to a broader fashion-conscious public. * Zeitschrift fur Historische Forschung (Bloomsbury translation) * With its exquisite reproductions of the first (and second) book of fashion, this gorgeous book provides something for everyone: students and scholars of Renaissance and Reformation culture and society, dress historians, historical re-enacters, costume designers, and simply fans of fashion. In its images and commentary, we meet a man who chronicled his life's passing through the clothes that he ordered, purchased, wore, and described in loving detail, and the son who both imitated and mocked him. Matthaus Schwarz sought perfection, but knew it was elusive, in his clothing, himself, or the booming Renaissance city in which he lived. The insightful contextualizations of this unique manuscript by Ulinka Rublack and her colleagues allow us to see connections with our own obsessions with self-presentation and the passage of time, yet also recognize Schwarz's distinctive perspective on his own era of dramatic change. * Merry E Wiesner-Hanks, Editor, Sixteenth Century Journal and The Journal of Global History * The First Book of Fashion tells the fascinating story of Matthaus Schwarz (b. 1497), a bourgeois man in Renaissance Germany, who was as fashion-obsessed as the trendiest teenagers in contemporary Tokyo. Like them, he documented his changing styles in a series of painted "selfies," which he gathered together in a little "book of clothes," which has now been brilliantly analyzed by the scholars Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward. Together, pictures and text provide unprecedented insight into the role of fashion in the creation of one individual's identity. * Valerie Steele, multi-award-winning fashion scholar and Director of the Museum at FIT, New York, US * An exemplary edition of an amazing document, whether we read it as evidence for the history of self-representation or for the history of costume, whether worn or imagined. * Peter Burke, University of Cambridge, UK * The First Book of Fashion provides an extraordinary insight into the sartorial world of the sixteenth century. Rublack's exacting and lively scholarship re-writes our historical understanding of men's relationship with their clothes, and the stunning visual material brings Matthaus Schwarz alive for the twenty-first century. * Christopher Breward, University of Edinburgh, UK * The First Book of Fashion is an extraordinary resource: an illustrated wardrobe inventory that not only lifts the curtain on clothes, but the cultural and personal contexts that shaped their wearing and their wearer. This jewel-bright little manuscript is a tiny treasure and I have nothing but admiration and praise for the authors' commentary. * Susan J. Vincent, University of York, UK * With this publication, Rublack (Univ. of Cambridge, UK) and Hayward (Univ. of Southampton, UK)-both scholars of early modern European history-make available an extraordinary resource for those interested in clothing of the Renaissance. The book includes two insightful introductions focusing on the clothing depicted by Matthaus Schwarz, a style-conscious accountant, and his son Veit Konrad Schwarz...A bonus is the inclusion of a bespoke pattern and instructions, created by Tony award-winning costume designer and dress historian Jenny Tiramani, for reconstructing a Schwarz outfit. Summing up: Highly recommended. * CHOICE *Reseña del editor:
This captivating book reproduces arguably the most extraordinary primary source documents in fashion history. Providing a revealing window onto the Renaissance, they chronicle how style-conscious accountant Matthaus Schwarz and his son Veit Konrad experienced life through clothes, and climbed the social ladder through fastidious management of self-image. These bourgeois dandies' agenda resonates as powerfully today as it did in the sixteenth century: one has to dress to impress, and dress to impress they did. The Schwarzes recorded their sartorial triumphs as well as failures in life in a series of portraits by illuminists over 60 years, which have been comprehensively reproduced in full color for the first time. These exquisite illustrations are accompanied by the Schwarzes' fashion-focussed yet at times deeply personal captions, which render the pair the world's first fashion bloggers and pioneers of everyday portraiture. The First Book of Fashion demonstrates how dress - seemingly both ephemeral and trivial - is a potent tool in the right hands. Beyond this, it colorfully recaptures the experience of Renaissance life and reveals the importance of clothing to the aesthetics and every day culture of the period. Historians Ulinka Rublack's and Maria Hayward's insightful commentaries create an unparalleled portrait of sixteenth-century dress that is both strikingly modern and thorough in its description of a true Renaissance fashionista's wardrobe. This first English translation also includes a bespoke pattern by TONY award-winning costume designer and dress historian Jenny Tiramani, from which readers can recreate one of Schwarz's most elaborate and politically significant outfits.
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