Sunday, April 27, 2008

Donna Ricco - Life feels different in a dress

I recently found this lovely site with the most amazing, gorgeous and fashionable dresses. The name of the designer is Donna Ricco,

In Europe and America, dresses are worn by females of all ages as an alternative to a separate skirt and blouse or trousers. Dresses are often used by young girls and as more formal attire by adult women.

There is something so feminine about wearing dresses. It seems that the look has finally been discovered again. But for much more than evening, prom, and cocktail hour.

The following is from her web site. Check out the dresses and more.

“For years, the word ‘dress’ was something girls associated with their mothers and grandmothers. Now I have people coming up to me and saying ‘Wow, Donna! What a great idea, a dress company.’ I just laugh. I’ve been wearing dresses since I opened the company 20 years ago. But I think it’s so great – not just that women like me are loving the idea of wearing dresses again, but that a whole new generation is discovering them, too. I mean, the dress is totally new to them. But suddenly, it makes such perfect sense…”

A conversation with Donna Ricco at her New York studio (a studio that, far from corporate, hums with the quiet chatter of assistants and the sounds of sewing machines) reveals that there is a great deal about the woman herself that also makes perfect sense. “I think growing up in the Midwest has helped keep me grounded,” she says, dodging a dressmaker’s dummy before sitting down. “I’m focused. My values haven’t changed. They’re still about keeping things straightforward and simple.” Defining herself as an “optimist,” and a woman for whom the design process remains “intensely personal,” she adds, “I have students coming into my studio who think that my life is like some episode of Project Runway. It isn’t, of course. When I first taught myself to sew as a teenager, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a fashion designer. I wasn’t making clothes for my Barbie at age 3 or reading Vogue or anything. I did it for my own pleasure and because I was good at it.”

After three years spent pursuing a Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Ricco moved to the fashion department of a small liberal arts college nearby, Mount Mary College. “I didn’t know if I wanted to be a commercial artist or a teacher,” she says. “And I wasn’t sure I could support myself as an artist. But I had been sewing all those years and experimenting. Just being creative.” Her hands-on experience with some of the more technical aspects of design such as draping, pattern-making and illustration transformed the teenage pleasures of sewing into the passion that would shape her career. “I finally subscribed to Women’s Wear Daily, the bible of fashion, and would page through it every week at home. It seemed so exciting, the amazing stories about New York. It really did inspire me.” For some, her decision to “drop everything and move to New York” with her husband and partner-to-be might seem reckless or impulsive. For her, it was “just common sense. We were both ready to do something different and he knew I had some talent. So we went.”

Three children and 20-odd years later, Donna Ricco is as committed and alive as ever to the challenges of running a successful dress design company. “I am my customer,” she explains. “And I’m doing this to make women feel good about themselves. After all this time, I’ve learned that if I know what works for me, if I can wear it and feel great in it, my customer will, too.” As for the world’s recent love affair with the dress? Ricco believes that it has more to do with women than with the ins and outs of fashion. “Women are re-thinking their lives and how they want to present themselves. They exercise and take care of their skin. They work at it and they’re feeling confident about who they are. Wearing a dress is a natural expression of that confidence.” Pausing for a moment, she laughs. “It’s also part of keeping things straightforward and simple, you know?”

andrea nicole baker

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just Published: My Portfolio in book form

To my readers, friends and colleagues:

My portfolio is now available in book form (hardcover or softcover) from Blurb. The book contains 60 full pages of fashion layouts covering the past 10 years. Many of the photos you have seen on my Home Page are there in addition to others that are not posted there. The best of the best have been saved for the book. Click on the link and follow ordering instructions. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

By Andrea Nicole Baker

andrea nicole baker

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Supermodel: Gisele Bundchen

Gisele Caroline Nonnenmacher Bündchen (born July 20, 1980) is a Brazilian model. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment world, having earned $33 million in 2007 alone, adding to her estimated $150 million fortune. She is also listed on Guinness Book of World Records as the world's richest supermodel. Gisele is the face of more than 20 brands internationally.

Since her debut, Bündchen has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including several seasons of Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Mervyn's, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versace, Céline, Givenchy, Bvlgari, Lanvin, Guerlain, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Earl Jean, Zara, Chloé, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and Victoria's Secret. She has appeared in advertisements for Nivea lotion and is the face of several Brazilian brands including Vivo, Multiplan (Shopping Malls), Colcci and Credicard (Citibank). After C&A Brazil hired Bündchen as a spokesmodel and began airing television commercials, sales increased by 30%.[15]

In May of 2006, Bündchen signed another multi-million dollar deal, this time with American giant Apple Computer. She starred in an advertising campaign to promote the new Macintosh line through the Get a Mac advertisements.

Her debut on the cover of the July 1999 issue of Vogue magazine, and the accompanying editorial entitled, "The Return of the Sexy Model" is widely viewed as marking the end of the fashion's "heroin chic" era. She graced the cover again in November and December of that year. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999, and a January 2000 cover gave her the rare honor of three consecutive Vogue covers. In 2000, she was the fourth model in history to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, when she was named "the most beautiful girl in the world".

Bündchen has been on the covers of many top fashion magazines including W, Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Allure, international editions of Vogue, as well as style and lifestyle publications such as i-D, The Face, Arena, Citizen K, Flair, GQ, Esquire and Marie Claire. She has also been featured in broader market publications such as Time, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Newsweek, Veja, totaling almost 500 magazine covers throughout the world.

Gisele for Victoria's Secret 2004
The girls of Brazil

Andrea Nicole Baker

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Legs and Shoes

Have you noticed lately many of the ads for shoes lately? You wonder if the gorgeous legs are the accessories instead of the shoes? An interesting approach to marketing. Where is your eye drawn to when you look at the ads?

Report Footwear
Click on the link above and see the splash page. Looks similar to the ad to the left? Doesn't it?
Enter the site and click on "Report Signature". Lots of gorgeous and classy heels to choose from. A wide variety of styles and colors.
Unfortunately I did not see those gorgeous strappy sandals on the left. But I'll keep my eyes open for them next time I am at the mall.

Nine West
Nine West has its own store locations at most major malls. In addition every major department store (Nordstroms, Macys, Bloomingdales, etc) seems to carry Shoes, Handbags and clothes from Nine West. I like the way the online store is organized: Red Carpet Selection, PromShop, Sandals, Exclusives, Boutique 9, Dress, Pumps, and many more fashion categories. As long as you are online take a look at the gorgeous dresses from NineWest.
Yes, I did see the sexy sandal on the right at the online store.


If you have ever walked into a Dillards then you know they have a fabulous shoe department. It is second, in selection and service, only to Nordstroms. Dillards shoe department is a definite "must visit".
See the sexy Antonio Melani styles. Lots of classy heels to choose from. Dillards also carries Steve Madden, Taryn Rose, Max Studio, Cole Haan and many other brands. The selection is truly amazing.

This is my own version of the legs and shoes ad.

Shoes by Taryn Rose, miniskirt from French Connection and cute top from Alfani. Legs by Andrea Nicole Baker.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Flowered Dresses for Spring

A wonderful selection of gorgeous spring flowered dresses as featured in February Allure

 Cocktail Dresses

Belted silk taffeta dress and lace-and-leather pumps with wood heels by Elie Saab. Slik dress and patent-leather belt and sandals by Gucci. Makeup colors: Kohl eye pencil in black gold, cheek color in Azelea, and lip stain in Shy Pink by laura Mercier. Nail lacquer in Orange You Cute? by Sally Hansen.

Pleated Bodice

Silk dress by Missoni . Tulle Hat by Louis Vuitton. Slik Taffeta flowers from M&J Trimming. Brace bracelet with vintage beads and rhinestones from Subversive Jewelry bu Justin Giunta. Makeup Colors: Colorscope eye color in Marine, Blush More or Less Creamy Cheek Color in Thai Orchid and ColorScope Lipcolor in Pink Dahlia by prescriptives.

Ruffled Layers

Wool Turtleneck and silk georgette skirt by John Galliano. Silk Polyester hat by James Coviello. Silk taffeta flowers from M&J Trimming. Silk gorgette dress by John Galliano. Silk-and-satin-organza hat by Christina A. Moore. Makeup Colors: 5-color eyeshadow in Night Dust, DiorShow Powder in Catwalk Pink, and Dior-Addict Ultra-Shine lipcolor in Shiniest Beige by Dior. Enamel in Orange-A-Peel by CND. Nail Lacquer in Bobn Bon by Orly

Andrea Nicole Baker