Deborah Ross: Snatch a bit of milk and you too can get the Thatcher look

If you ask me...

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If you ask me, which is always a mistake – darlings, what I don't know may well be the only stuff worth knowing; I'm not entirely without self-awareness – I would still like to help you achieve "the Thatcher look" which, in the light of the film The Iron Lady, is being promoted here, there and everywhere.

The handbag designer Anya Hindmarch, for example, has dedicated the window of her store in Knightsbridge to Thatcher-ish mannequins clutching the Ebury bag (which Thatcher actually owns), while the Daily Mail claims the film "has set the fashion world abuzz" and Grazia has run a double-page spread under the headline "Fash Goes Thatch!", and I don't think they simply couldn't spell "fascist", although if you are a fashion person all abuzz, who is to say your spelling won't go out the window?

I don't know any fashion editors personally, but if I did I am sure they would tell me that "once you are abuzz, it is hard to focus, or even come down. I was once so abuzz about harem pants, I forgot to notice how horrible and unwearable and dumb they were".

So what are we meant to be "abuzz" about here, exactly? Pussy-bow blouses, for one, and pearls and twin-sets and helmet hair, apparently, but if you ask me, as you did – remember? – before you even think about any of that, you should work on losing at least 99.6 per cent of your soul, or more if you possibly can.

I mean, with respect, all of the pussy-bow blouses in the world aren't going to convince so long as you are still recognisably human and exhibit normal levels of human warmth, are they? And how will you know when you have lost sufficient soul? Wishing to snatch milk from small children would, I suppose, be a good sign, as would not being able to look at a union without wanting to smash it to bits.

You may also feel a strong desire to impose unfair taxes, destroy miners and have General Pinochet over for tea. To achieve such soul loss, do it steadily over time, as crash soul diets can lead to dizziness and low blood pressure and fawning all over your son at the expense of your daughter before you are actually ready.

I sincerely hope this has been helpful, and also hope you will tune in next week when I advise on how to achieve "the Ian Paisley look", even though there is very little to it. All you have to do is be wildly homophobic while wearing big trousers that go up to the neck. As not yet seen in Vogue, but only a matter of time, surely.

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