Meet the online community bringing period dress to a new generation

People outside in regency dress, sheltering from the sun
Image from the Jane Austen Centre Instagram
"There is no such thing as historical accuracy," is the consistent mantra of Bernadette Banner, Youtuber and dress historian. The very niche content of her channel, where Banner discusses costuming and painstakingly recreates historical outfits has attracted 875 thousand subscribers. She certainly knows her stuff, with her content teetering carefully on the precipice between layman's entertainment and the academic. Perhaps surprisingly, she's far from the only person in the period costume community, with many starting up channels teaching young people how to sew, style and recreate their favourite period pieces. Here is a list of just a few of the creators who make Henry Tilney's knowledge of Regency fashion pale by comparison.

Bernadette Banner

Bernadette is a professional dress historian, working between New York City and London. Her meticulous eye for detail and ambitious recreations help her to stand out from the crowd. With seemingly endless wisdom about every period, Bernadette can tell at a glance if a stitch is out of place or the lace isn't quite right in a period movie. She is a particular fan of the attention to detail in this year's latest adaptation of Emma.

Karolina Żebrowska

Karolina, too, errs on the geekier side of costume Youtube,  incorporating fun formats from the wider Fashion community, such as the Get Ready With Me, into her videos.  Karolina likes to delve deeper, answering questions like "What did poor people wear?" or "Why did we stop wearing hats?"

Loepsie

If beauty is more your thing, Loepsie has a style for you, whether it's an attempt at accurate Regency curls or a modern twist on a vintage look. Loepsie has plenty of Austen inspired videos for your perusal, as well as a generally relaxing and slow ambience to her videos.

Zack Pinsent

Zack Pinsent InstagramImage from Zack's Instagram. Follow him at @pinsent_tailoring
You didn't think I'd forgotten the gents, did you? Zack Pinsent found viral fame last year when the BBC ran a feature on his strange lifestyle. Zach, as it turns out, doesn't own any modern clothes, and taught himself how to sew as a child. He now works as a professional tailor. Not only is Zack's style absolutely marvellous, but his attitude is incredibly uplifting. You can follow him on instagram at @pinsent_tailoring

I remember ceremoniously burning my last pair of jeans at the age of fourteen. Maybe somewhere in the back of a drawer that I'm not using is probably a pair of Marks and Spencer underwear. Wearing what I wear, it makes me feel ten feet high. You know it's spectacular, it's a huge confidence builder.

- Zach Pinsent

Interested in cultivating your own period wardrobe? Visit the Attire section of our shop for DIY dress patterns, empire lines, and lace.

 

Ellen White is editor of the Jane Austen Centre blog. She would love to hear from you! Check out our Submission Guidelines and get in touch.

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