Virginia Postrel is the former editor in chief of Reason. She is writing a book on the history of textiles, technology, and trade for Basic Books. Her most recent book is The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion (Simon & Schuster).
Latest from Virginia Postrel
A generation later, three major themes still resonate.
In 18th century France, wearing the wrong fabric could get you in big trouble.