Bells are ringing
Remember that old, sexist joke about women going to college to earn their Mrs.? Well, don't laugh. Though it's not the place to find a future groom, A Wedding Galleria's new workshop series -- a sort of mini-college for future brides -- does everything but offer a diploma. It's designed to "transfer the naive bride-to-be into an informed, prepared woman of the '90s."
Judging from some of the proposed topics of the series, "naive" is one thing future brides cannot afford to be. A sample: "The Two-Career Family: Time, Space, Energy"; "Communicating: What Happens When the Bells Stop Ringing?" and "Relocating Spouses: Where Do We Go from Here?" There are also more lighthearted tips on such subjects as florists, transportation and photographers.
Alex Karas, a 20-year wedding industry veteran, says the idea for the series developed because he was tired of the "typical bridal convention high-performance sales."
"What I want to do is present meat to these Barbie and Kens that they can use in going through this difficult retail world on how to handle merchandisers," he says. He will be speaking on "One Dozen Mistakes Not To Make On Your Wedding."
The classes will be held the first Monday of every month at A Wedding Galleria, 5933 Belair Road, starting Jan. 7. Call 325-5600 for more information. Some were made in Venice, some in Holland and some in Africa -- the latter often fashioned from melted down bits of glass. The one thing they have in common, though, is their passage through Africa, at some point in their history, as trinkets of trade.
For jewelry designer Susan Gold of Columbia, these African trading beads are more than a medium from which to fashion necklaces.
"I never realized these things existed, I never knew what they were," says Ms. Gold, an audiologist at the University of Maryland Medical School.
But seeing "strand after strand" of the trinkets at her first visit to an African trader in Washington, "was earth-shaking to me," she says.
Not interested in designing what she calls "Bloomingdale's ethnic," Ms. Gold creates jewelry with varying degrees of original components, and some with completely original components.
Many of the original pieces have been accepted into the National Museum of African Art gift shop, part of the Smithsonian Institution. She has also hosted trunk shows at Macy's in Owings Mills and sells pieces locally at Tomlinson Craft Gallery.
The bare facts
Fashion may be fickle, but one thing is certain: There will be a lot of bare shoulders this year. Not only on the beaches and at grand parties, but at lunches at nice restaurants, in theaters, at private dinners: Where women gather, smooth shoulders will be prominent.
Oh, there are other approaches to bareness: Off-the-shoulder tops, bodices supported by shoestring or spaghetti strands and necklines with one covered shoulder all have their advocates. But straplessness dominates, for all hours of the day, at all prices.