There's a new review by me in the LRB.
- Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre by Dana Thomas
There’s a science-fiction short story, I can’t remember by whom, which has a New York journalist on a hiking tour, lost in the Appalachians. He comes across a ramshackle house lived in by a family of hillbillies and they give him a bed for the night. In the morning at breakfast he notices that one of the girls has her headscarf tied in a manner he’s never seen before – it’s strange but very elegant. One by one he discovers that all the other members of the family are wearing an article of clothing in an unknown way, or have run up a frock or made a sweater or decorated their dungarees to look startlingly different. When he asks about it, they each tell him they just sort of thought they would, no big deal, gotta milk the cow, chop some wood, see ya. He stays a while and it emerges that he has discovered in this one family the actual source of fashion, the single place from which all new trends spring and stream out to couturiers, glossy magazines and eventually the city streets. No one, not even the family themselves, had any idea that was how it worked....
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