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Interest in ethnic clothing grows

Ada Manke's interest in ethnic clothing flourished four years ago after she and her husband, Philip, adopted their daughter, Ingrid Pawlowski, from Calcutta, India.

"I became interested in learning all I could about the culture," said Ms. Manke. "An Indian friend began bringing me back beautiful Thai silks and Indian sari silks whenever she visited India."

The Buffalo resident soon was adapting ethnic patterns to contemporary clothing -- kimonos, Tibetan coats, Turkish pants and Afghanistan-style dresses. She has sold her designs in shops in Buffalo, Elma and Chautauqua Institution and has received several awards, including the Tri-Color Award at the Erie County Fair for the best garment in the clothing and construction category.

Turns out that 4-year-old Ingrid, however, is more interested in ruffles and lace than Mom's ethnic costumes. "She's into Victoriana," said Ms. Manke.

This, of course, all coincides with the release next month of the movie "Batman," which will star Michael Keaton as the masked hero and Jack Nicholson as the Joker.

"Backwards" was selected as one of the best new games of 1988 by Games magazine and "Best Game of the Year" by the Australian Toy Association. It's sold locally, including at Toys R Us, for about $20.

Florals return to dinnerware

Today's brides and grooms are saying "yes" to traditional and formal china, flatware, and stemware. Florals on the dinnerware. And more intricate detailing on glassware, knives and forks.

Some table-top manufacturers are dipping into company archives for design ideas; others are reviving classic 18th century patterns with their lavish use of gold. The French influence is also popular.

The demand comes from the fact that today's brides, many of whom are older, have used casual fare until now, but are ready to entertain more elegantly. Also, second-time brides -- who may not have chosen traditional patterns for the first wedding -- now want formal patterns.

Bride's magazine invited readers to send in their registration choices to compile information on this country's most popular patterns. The ones that received the Bridal Patterns of the Year awards are: "Embassy Suite" by Noritake, a gold-rimmed floral pattern (shown in the photo); "Monroe" stemware by Lenox, with 24-karat gold banding and a spiral stem; "Golden Kenwood" flatware by Oneida Silversmith, gleaming stainless and 24-karat gold electroplate.

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