Gone in 14 days, the must-have M&S dress: 37.50 number flies off the shelves after Denise Van Outen is pictured wearing it

Gone in 14 days, the must-have M&S dress: 37.50 number flies off the shelves after Denise Van Outen is pictured wearing it

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 6 June 2012

Copying a celebrity’s look usually leaves quite a dent in your wallet.

So when the stars began snapping up this rather more modest Marks & Spencer number, it was only a matter of time before everyone else cottoned on.

The 37.50 dress has sold out in just two weeks after becoming one of the most sought-after items of the season.

Sparking a stampede: Denise Van Outen models the M&S dress that sold out in just two weeks

Sparking a stampede: Denise Van Outen models the M&S dress that sold out in just two weeks

The rush began when actress Denise Van Outen was pictured in the green hummingbird print dress at a party, prompting more than 200 calls to the customer service team at M&S from shoppers desperate to buy it.

So great was the demand that within a fortnight, stocks had been exhausted.

Other celebrities, including former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite, 41, are also understood to have snapped up the garment, which is part of the store’s Limited Collection clothing range.

But there is some good news for those who missed out. The dress has proved so popular that another version, this time with an owl print, will go on sale next month.

Retail expert Patricia Davidson said: ‘The Marks & Spencer hummingbird dress is such a pretty colour, right in tune with the season, and worn by someone whose looks and figure many will aspire to. It’s not surprising that it sold out in a flash.’

High street fashion: The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has also been known to wear high street brands

High street fashion: The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has also been known to wear high street brands

Miss Van Outen, 38, originally wore the dress in April at a party to celebrate Twiggy’s first fashion collection for M&S.

The dress has proved so popular that the chain has designed another – this time with owl patterns – due to hit stores next month.

It follows a return by many celebrities to high street fashion – including Kate Middleton, who famously favours Reiss, and Miriam Clegg, who was recently snapped in clothes from Topshop.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits regularly sell out after she has been pictured in them at official events.

Davidson added: ‘We’ve always copied celebrity style. It’s a combination of endorsement, imagining that wearing the clothes will make the wearer look more like that person, and now the fact that the internet has made access to what celebrities are wearing so much easier than before.

‘The fashion market plays on the desire for “celebrity style” more and more, even giving the celebrity wearer’s name to dresses, bags and shoes. This is just not something that’s going to go away in a hurry.’