These days, the concept of a personal fashion blog is something that we’re used to seeing on the internet. Whether you follow your favorite fashion bloggers on social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram or follow their personal website, most of us have encountered a fashion blog at some point in our lives.
However, even though we assume that the idea is something that has only really caught on in recent years, the truth is that fashion blogging (or reporting) has been going on for a very, very long time. The first fashion blogger that we can relate to the modern interpretation of the term, originated from Bavaria in Germany and was known as Matthäus Schwarz – and he wasn’t even a designer, he was an accountant!
Matthäus lived between the years of 1497 – c.1574 and had what we would now consider one of the earliest forms of a bourgeois lifestyle. His wealth and position in society meant that he would often have access to some of the greatest clothes of the era and being the kind of person who took a particular interest in the finer things in life, Matthäus decided to document his experiences with clothes in a book he called Klaidungsbüchlein – or ‘Book of Clothes’.
Matthäus was the kind of man who liked to document everything in his life and because he worked for a wealthy merchant, he had access to a lot of the latest styles and fashions of the era and the money to afford them.
Over the course of his life, Matthäus had commissioned 101 artworks from different artists portraying him in different poses with his outfits on. He was obsessed with style and would have needed a servant to help him get dressed, as in those days having a lot of garments meant having a lot of layers. There were also strict laws that governed what people could or could not wear in public and Matthäus paid careful attention so as not to break any of them by accident. The original book is kept in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig and can be viewed by the general public.