Ican’t pull off “ironic” fashion. Man, I wish I could, because I love it on other people. I see Chloë Sevigny photographed at an East Village party in high-waisted bleached “mom” jeans, and I want to be her. I go gooey-eyed just looking at Alexa Chung rocking a pie-crust blouse in the front row. But on me, it never quite works. It’s partly an age thing, but not only. (Sevigny is 41.) Maybe I have the wrong hair for irony. Or the wrong eyebrows? Somehow, the ironic, awkward, tongue-in-cheek note I’m visualising as very-Miuccia-Prada just looks plain awkward, on me.
But I am nothing if not a trier, which is why I’m here today in not just any pie-crust blouse, but a pie-crust blouse designed by Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer. It goes on sale on 13 April, a date that will no doubt go down in fashion history as Peak Irony. To be honest, though, it nearly didn’t happen. I almost gave up on this blouse. What you can’t see in the picture is the pile, out of shot, of things I tried on with it and gave up on. High-waisted pale Mom jeans, which brought out the nursery-school-assistant-Princess-Di tones of the blouse, not in a quirky way, just in a weird way. A pair of stiff culottes, whose proportions made me look like a lamb chop wearing one of those white fringed paper hula skirts with which butchers ornament racks of lamb.
Anyway, I persevered, because this blouse is to 2016 what the M&S suede skirtwas to 2015. Everyone wants it, so getting to wear one is fashion’s equivalent of finding Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. What’s more, the pie-crust blouse going mass is proof that dressing-for-irony is not going anywhere. It’s one of those skills, like skateboarding, that one minute just a few hipster kids have mastered and you’re like, have they really got nothing better to do; then a few years later it feels as if everyone except you is all over it. And I definitely don’t fancy my luck with skateboarding, so a pie-crust blouse is the lesser of two evils. Besides, to be defeated by ironic fashion seems just too, I don’t know – ironic?