In pictures: 16th-century fashionistas

Arguably the Renaissance's first fashion trendsetters, Matthäus Schwarz and his son, Veit Konrad, dedicated their lives to documenting their fashion triumphs and faux pas

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The First Book of Fashion – The Book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg includes nearly 200 remarkable portraits and illustrations of the pair who loved to dress to impress.

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Alongside the detailed images are some annotations and comments that Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz made about their outfits, revealing their personal thoughts about clothes and style in the Renaissance era.

The book also includes instructions from TONY award-winning costume designer Jenny Tiramani on how to make your very own 16th-century outfit at home.

Here, we bring you a selection of our favourite images and the comments Matthäus Schwarz made about his fashion choices…

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“In June 1518, I wanted to learn fencing. The doublet was silk satin from Bruges. Around 21 2/3 years old.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 32)

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“On 22 November 1499, I suffered cramps for nine hours, so that everyone thought I was dead. I was sewn in and carried to Sant Ulrich. Do the same as me – I moved one foot! Age: 2 years, 9 months.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 2)

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“In February 1521 – At a gathering at Steffan Veiten’s wedding – or rather the after-wedding. It was not from silk. Just 24 years old on 20 February.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 47)

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“In August 1518, the hose trimmed with silk satin. At this time I greatly enjoyed archery. Around 21 ½ years old.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 33)

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“20 February 1538 – When I decided to take a wife, the gown was made with green trims of half silk. 41 years old.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 113)

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“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. Hose with much green […] small bells all around, with Matheus Herrtz, Andreas Koler, and Wolf Breitwiser. 26 years, ½ month.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 60)

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“In June 1524 – Three types of Prussian leather as hose and over-hose, everything as shown, without doublet, but three kinds of shirts. The middle one [has attached to it] an 8 minute hour-glass on the thigh. 27 years, 22 weeks.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 68–70)

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“30 July 1525, in Innsbruck, at Laux Schaller’s wedding in Schwaz. The bonnet embroidered with velvet. This is when I began to be fat and round. 28 years, 5 months, 8 days.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 72)

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On 2 June 1527 – In this manner: the doublet from silk satin, a riding gown from camlet, the bonnet edged with velvet. All of this [was] to please a beautiful person, along with a Spanish gown. 30 years, 101 days. © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 88)

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In November 1529, during the ‘English sweat’, everything woolen except for the doublet, which was silk satin. 32 years, 8 ½ months.” © The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig. (Image 95)

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The First Book of Fashion – The Book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg is on sale now. To find out more, click here.