Loved by Nigella Lawson, York boutique Maude & Tommy shows off its bright side as the weather heats up, reports MAXINE GORDON

Photography: Mike Nowill

IT'S amazing what a celebrity endorsement can do for your business.

When Nigella Lawson appeared on screen, enjoying a midnight feast, in a dressing gown bought from York boutique Maude & Tommy, sales rose like a souffle.

The dressing gown was from best-selling brand One Hundred Stars, and featured a map of Venice in the design. Not only did Nigella wear it for an episode of At My Table, she tweeted about it afterwards – directing fans to the York boutique on Grape Lane, owned by York businesswoman Anne McCrickard.

Online sales rose 20,000 per cent overnight as shoppers flocked to the website to snap up the gown – or one of the others in the range featuring prints based on vintage maps of Venice, London, Paris and other destinations.

The gown was showcased in various newspaper and magazine stories and the little York boutique briefly found itself at the centre of a media and shopping frenzy.

Fashion followers will be pleased to know that One Hundred Stars has some new items for spring and summer – available at Maude & Tommy, alongside a whole host of other labels, where the emphasis is on colour.

The boutique teamed up with award-winning North Yorkshire photographer Mike Nowill to show off its spring/summer edit – a riotous, life-affirming mix of print and bright colour.

Fabric is always a key element of Maude & Tommy’s collections and this season is no exception, with those print and brights featured on linen, cotton, organza and silk.

Owner Anne has – as always – chosen her latest collection according to the principles of slow fashion, the opposite of today’s throwaway fast fashion, often made in sweatshop conditions.

Anne said: “This year, we’ve chosen lots of wonderful brights. We’re inviting customers to fall in love with some of our glorious prints – then to team them with toning or clashing bright separates, to make the look their own.”

And if you are looking for something stand-out for a day at the races or a summer occasion, Maude & Tommy may just be the place to find it.

Anne added: “We provide an elegant alternative to the usual dress, jacket and hat combinations that typify ‘eventwear'. You’ll definitely stand out from the crowd in our clothes!”

Key brands for summer include:

Out of Xile: One of Maude & Tommy’s go-to brands for events. They design and make the whole range in England, dying the fabrics themselves and draping to create a soft, unique silhouette.

One Hundred Stars: Following last year’s headlines, Anne has selected a wide range of the brand’s garments for spring/summer. She’s excited about showing people how they’re perfect for poolside or beach lounging. “The scarves are a must-pack summer item,” said Anne. “They’re great as sarongs and pretty as shawls for an extra layer in the evening. Add in the throwovers and kimonos to cover up by the pool and we’re expecting One Hundred Stars to remain our best-seller throughout the summer.”

Ralston: Linda Ralston Ooms is the talented Swedish designer behind the Ralston label. Designing since the 1970s, Linda's clothes are timeless classics very much in line with the slow fashion ethic, made to treasure, in high quality fabrics. Ralston’s spring/summer collection features sugar-candy brights, prints and stripes to lend a little sunshine wherever you are.