It puts others to sleep, but I love studying the history of fashion, art and architecture as a jumping off point to learn about broader issues. Young historian Caroline Weber's book, Queen of Fashion, did this brilliantly. And tomorrow night, those of us in Atlanta have a chance to hear what Diana Reid Haig has to say about France's first Empress, Josephine. Just a reminder, the free talk takes place at the High on Thursday, February 21 at 7 p.m.
Among my own things, I couldn't find any examples with an empire waistline -- well, except for little tops in my closet; this 19th-century American watercolor (a gift meant to remind me of my Virginia roots and the value of education) was as close as I came.
Related link: Napoleon and Josephine's Paris