Nigella Lawson wowed US audiences and critics alike this weekend when she made her first appearance as a judge on new cookery talent show The Taste. But while the New York Times praised Nigella’s “polish and humor” and Time magazine was impressed by her “passionate, telegenic star power”, most of the audience were focusing on something else – her dress.
When the domestic goddess, 53, made her entrance in a curve-hugging red number, the switchboard at US network ABC was immediately swamped by callers wanting to know where they could get their hands on one.
In fact, the dress hails from the other side of the Atlantic, and a burlesque-themed boutique in Frome, Somerset, and was first worn by Nigella in an exclusive Radio Times cover shoot celebrating her Italian cookery series Nigellissima.
Stylist Lucie Dodds, who chose the dress for Nigella’s RT shoot, told us “I had wanted to work with Nigella for quite some time as I think she is beautiful and so was thrilled to style her for Radio Times.
“The Dolce Vita sexy, curvy Italian look is totally right for Nigella – I wanted to make her look young sexy and slightly naughty – which she 100% is! She played the role perfectly on the shoot.”
Lucie explained that her choice of the figure-hugging “wiggle dress” (bought from Deadly Is the Female) was no accident: “The dresses she wore were chosen to highlight her teeny waist and frame,” said Lucie. “The Deadly is the Female dress instantly looked great when we tried it on at the studio on the day of the shoot and Nigella loved it immediately. It fitted perfectly and the red made her hair and colouring more sexy and dramatic – perfect for a cover shoot
“I’m pleased Nigella looks so great in the dress and that she had a great response in the US.”
The Radio Times shoot featured Nigella in a range of outfits, including a black lace Dolce & Gabbana dress which looked equally wonderful but cost considerably more than the scarlet dress that has made her an instant hot property in America. Despite being known as the Billion Dollar Babe, the “wiggle dress” retails for only £175 and sold out just hours after Nigella tweeted the name of the shop to her Twitter followers.