This Fashion Historian Makes Victorian Dresses From Scratch

Bernadette Banner has a very unique professional title: she describes herself as a “dress detective”. Her job is pretty incredible – she recreates historical clothing from antique patterns.

Bernadettes always had two great passions: history and fashion design. Luckily for her, she lives exactly where those to passions can grow into careers – New York City.

The young historian/designer started her way as an assistant costume designer on Broadway. Slowly, she realized that designing clothes for Broadway shows wasn’t really cutting it – she wanted to make historically accurate clothing, with no modern zippers and Velcro. She left her job and joined a fashion history program and learned about fashion history. She applied her new knowledge to reproduce 18th and 19th-century dresses, based off of real patterns from the era. One day she uploaded a video of her work process on YouTube and immediately gained a massive following of fellow fashion and history lovers.

Today, Bernadette works as a research consultant ad illustrator as well as a fashion historian. She shares her designs on Instagram and explains her process on her YouTube channel, along with interesting facts about old-timey fashion.

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Hello friends Old and New! Merry meet to those who have recently stumbled upon my small corner of the Internets. I am still very much learning about this Instagramming business but am most pleased that you’ve decided to ponder along on this adventure with me. There shall be lots more pretty frocks, yes, and nice little doodles, of course; but there shall also be a good deal of general screaming about how flipPinG exciting it is to uncover the past, to go on thrilling time travelling adventures and to mingle in the pleasant company of ghosts. (That is what historians do, no?) . All of my historical creations are done using strictly period appropriate methods (as far as my own and the general available knowledge permits), and thus my process is slow. But it is my mission to take you along on these journeys, through trials and experiments and inevitable errors, in the hopes that we can learn some cool stuff together. And all this through a pretty lens, because this is Instagram, after all. . If you’re new round here, (or, hey, even if you’ve been kicking around for a while), might you please take a moment to introduce yourself? I don’t much like the idea of faceless numbers. 😊 . Dress made by me, a present-day interpretation of 18th century silhouettes. Photo by the ever lovely @hanasmithspo . #dressmaking #periodcostume #historicaldress #historicalcostume #dresshistory #fashionhistory #dresshistorian #historian #garden #secretgarden #englishgarden #summerstyle #handmade

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