… Paris was once again an imperial capital and the setting for numerous state occasions. Napoleon III implemented a grand vision for both Paris and France, initiating changes and modernization that revitalized the French economy and made Paris into a showpiece of Europe. The demand for luxury goods, including textiles and fashionable dress, reached levels that had not been seen since before the French Revolution. When Napoleon III married Empress Eugénie her tastes set the style at court.
(Portrait: Eugenie in 1858 in an early Worth crinoline gown)