For many ladies last night, their eyes were not on the delicious cakes that were being judged in the final of the BBC’s great British Bake Off, but the fabulous shirt dress that the eventual winner Frances Quinn was wearing.
The deserving winner, children’s clothes designer Quinn, 31, was given the coveted trophy after beating psychologist Kimberley Wilson, 30, and the odds on favorite former model Ruby Tandoh, 21.
And while her cakes and pies were decidedly drawing in the crowds and admiring glances, it was her shirt dress that also proved to be most popular, as the dress, the Cassandra Shirt Dress by Joules priced at £59 has actually sold out.
The popular shirt dress is typically available on the Joules website, or others such as John Lewis, but is out of stock, with no sign of more arriving in the near future.
Quinn, who is actually a clothes designer for Joules, wore the eye-catching shirt dress for yesterday’s final, while she baked her rainbow-style savoury picnic pie and a three-tier wedding cake, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to wow the judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
Many people thought that the show’s favourite Ruby Tandoh would be the eventual winner, but she failed to impress the judges with a lacklustre wedding cake, that Paul said had an ‘overbaked sponge’.
Tandoh has been criticised for crying too many times on the show and attempting to flirt with the judges, She has since written an angry retort to her detractors in the Guardian, in which she denies any such underhand tactics, and questions why a gentle show like the bake Off should prompt such a vitriolic response.
Fellow contestant Quinn sprang to Tandoh’s defence and dismissed any suggestions of impropriety between the judges, saying: “We were not thinking about any of that in there… There was no flirtation.”
She did admit to some flirtation between the contestant within the Bake Off competition: “We [the contestants] were each flirting with each other if we needed to, for more parchment paper or another spoon if they were still being washed up out the back.”
Despite people’s assumptions of Tandoh, last nights’ final programme drew in 9.1million viewers, a real coup for BBC2.
Now that Quinn is being seen as some kind of fashionista, might her next project be within the fashion industry? She told The Mirror: “I don’t know what the future is going to hold but it does excite me. What I’d love to do is combine both passions, baking and design. The baking market is completely saturated so I don’t want to do a book that’s anything like one that’s already out there. I’d like to create a book that’s got all my rough sketches and ideas.”
Quinn, who got on well with all the female finalists, said of the judges: “We didn’t really have that much time to spend with them. We got to know [presenters] Mel and Sue a lot more. A lot of people said that the judges were quite severe with their criticism but I took it as constructive.”