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Birmingham wedding gown designer Heidi Elnora Baker needs a pen.She has to scratch off the No. 1 "to do" on her bucket list -- to design a red carpet gown for country singer Sara Evans. Evans, who lives in Birmingham with husband and former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, wore a Baker design to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday in Las Vegas.
"I'm incredibly honored and humbled," Baker said of Evans wearing her dress. "I told my mom that it was one of my proudest moments."
Evans met Baker at the February kick-off party for Birmingham Fashion Week, which Baker started. During the event, Evans announced to the crowd and to Baker that she wanted Baker to design her dress. Baker was shocked.
Baker said she sketched 12 designs in February and Evans selected the one she liked best -- a one-shoulder sheath gown, fitted through the hips with a high slit on a princess seam. Baker said she wanted the dress to highlight Evans' legs.
Website chatter was buzzing Monday, saying Evans pulled a "Jolie" on the red carpet, in that she imitated Angelina Jolie's sexy stance from the 2012 Oscars. Evans even joked and did her best Jolie impression during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Baker said the dress was designed well before Jolie's Oscar debut on Feb. 26.
Although the silk taffeta gown appears pink with silver accents in photos, Baker said it's actually coral with gold accents. "Online does not do it justice," Baker said. "If you could see it up close, it's stunning."
After seeing the dress on Evans Sunday night, Baker texted Evans' stylist, saying, "Perfection. Love, love, love."
Evans' stylist texted back: "Phenomenal," Baker said.
Baker said she created the dress in two weeks and had three fittings with Evans, whom she said was a joy to work with during the process. Evans was nominated for "Female Vocalist of the Year'' but did not win.
Baker said she listened to Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger'' during the design process. "I wanted her to feel strong. I wanted her to feel beautiful,'' Baker said. "And I think I accomplished both of those things.''
Up next for Baker is to continue to design wedding dresses and mark off more items on that bucket list.
"I want to one day have my own magazine. I want to win the up-and-coming designer award at my college (Savannah College of Art and Design), which is given by Andre Leon Talley. And I want (my designs) to be in stores ... in each state," Baker said. "We are in 13 stores in 10 states so far. I've got a long way to go."