The painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter shows the 28-year old empress wearing a gown sewn with diamond stars matching the diamond stars in her hair. Created by the famous Parisian couturier Charles Frederic Worth, this dress made Elisabeth’s beauty famous the world over.
This guide provides images and details to consider when creating an early 19th century ballgown. The examples provide a general guide, not an exact historic timeline. Fashion is flexible: styles evolve and are adopted at a different pace depending on the wearer's age, location, and economic or social status.