Bernadette Banners

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Bernadette Banner is an American historian who specializes in the fabric and clothing used in the past.[1][2]

Banner first started her research into clothing design when she worked as a costume designer for theatre.[2] Subsequently she has served as a consultant. Glamour used her to narrate a video examining the accuracy of the costumes in the Mary Poppins movie.[3]

Banner posts videos to YouTube and Instagram.[4] These include both vlogs summarizing her creation of newly designed clothing, inspired by clothing from the past, constructed using the techniques of the past, and videos that comment upon and criticize the costume design of movies.

In one of her videos Banner buys a knockoff of a historically inspired dress that she constructed using traditional techniques, and then subjects it to a detailed comparison.[5] She knew the modern dress was a knockoff because it was illustrated with an unauthorized screenshot of her wearing her finished dress, from.

Banner is critical of the throwaway esthetic of modern clothing manufacture. The knockoff of her work that she analyzed was made from synthetic fabric and was intended to be worn for Halloween, or a costume party - so worn once, and then thrown away. She noted that traditional fabrics, like cotton, wool, silk, linen, would not become toxic waste in a landfill, even if they were thrown out, and could be put to other uses when they were too worn to be used as clothing.

Several writers, who follow Banner, noted she was one of the celebrities who helped do-it-yourselfers design facemasks to help prevent infection from the Covid 19 virus.[6]


  1. Jen Hyde (2020-01-03). "Learning Mindfulness From the Art of Victorian Dressmaking: YouTube dress historian Bernadette Banner talks to Hyperallergic about slowing down and putting oneself in the mindset of the past". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2020-10-11. "At 25 years old, Banner is a self-described dress historian with 480,000 YouTube subscribers and over 100,000 Instagram followers. She is regarded an expert in her field." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jessica Mason (2020-10-02). "YouTuber Breaks Down Five Movies That Nailed Their Historical Costumes". The Mary Sue. Retrieved 2020-10-11. "How do I know so much about how inaccurate the costumes were? Because I’m a huge fan of costumer, seamstress, and YouTuber Bernadette Banner." 
  3. Bernadette Banner (2019-09-24). "Fashion Expert Fact Checks Mary Poppins' Wardrobe". Glamour magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-11. "Dress historian Bernadette Banner fact checks the historical accuracy of the costumes and wardrobe in the musical film Mary Poppins. She analyzes the Edwardian Period that the film is set in and the various costumes of Mary Poppins, and explains every layer of historical dress from 1910s upperclass English women, from corsets and shoes to gowns and hairstyles." 
  4. Aliza Rahman (2019-12-05). "Dressed for the past". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2020-10-11. "Watching her detailed and meticulous work is oddly relaxing and engaging at the same time. She tells you about the adjustments and mistakes she makes and lets you know what she is thinking as she is preparing the dress. When you see the end result, i.e. the completed dress, it’s even more satisfying because you were on the whole journey of watching it being made." 
  5. Emma Grey Ellis (2020-02-21). "Companies Are Stealing Influencers' Faces". Wired magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-11. "One morning around 6 am, she found her DM inboxes—Facebook, Instagram, Etsy—stuffed with messages from fans. They were all telling her that a fast fashion company was advertising one of her dresses—a 15th century gown she had copied from a painting and hand-sewn over the course of over 250 hours—with her (headless) image for $40.98, which is not even half of her materials cost." 
  6. Morgan Sung (2020-04-04). "YouTube and TikTok creators pivot to DIY face mask tutorials". Mashable. Retrieved 2020-10-11.