16 May 2012

The Muse: Victoria Winters

My name is Victoria Winters.....

 The immortal words that characterized and opened  the first few hundred episodes of the 60's cult soap opera "Dark Shadows." A word about me and my twisted history with the series. When I was younger, perhaps 10, maybe earlier the SciFi network used to show episodes of the show periodically on weekdays and it was always a treat for me to watch with my mother who had watched it after school when she was a teenager, I loved it, weird story lines and all. t was a good show to dip in and out of because it had the pace of a soap (long and drawn out always with a cliffhanger) coupled with the unexpected story lines of both horror, science fiction, and mystery. It wasn't on TV long, and when episodes stopped being available it slipped my mind for many years until my mother saw that it was the only soap ever released on DVD and we ordered some. My freshman year at college those DVD's saved me from going crazy. I wasn't made for college, I missed my friends and had trouble making new ones on my floor or in my classes. I didn't party and activities only took part of my time, so I escaped to Collinwood enjoying the nostalgically creepy world of forty years before, both elegant, urbane, and once Barnabas the family vampire shows up, macabre.
This photo of Alexandra Moltke (as Viatoria Winters)
 and John Karlan (as Willie Loomis) shows a dress similar to mine
The sheer sleeves of this wrap blouse
have a very Gothic shape and pattern


  Bows always have a very prim feel, just what a governess would wear

Bella Heathcoate in the remake as Maggie Evans/Victoria Winters
(too separate characters on the orignal show) not my favorite casting choice, she was too meek and unassuming. Also her character was never onscreen letting her further fade into the background. I did very much like the way she was styled. 
I'm pretty sure my roommate thought I was, at best, a real weirdo, at worst crazy, either way I'm pretty sure she slept with a knife under her pillow in case I got any ideas from the show.  The next year I moved home, and worked three days a week to keep myself bust ad with less idle hours Barnabas and the gang fell by the wayside. Not that it diminished my affection for it, I still watch it to escape, its not perfect and is more than a bit cheesy, but overall the acting is fairly solid and while its horror story is downright dull compared with the likes of "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries" it reminds us why Dracula got us hooked on vamps in the first place, just because they look like us, and dress like us, doesn't mean they're really one of us. After all isn't that the attraction?
 That being said after a rainy, dull, day warehoused in the cafeteria because my classroom was being used for state testing I braved atmospheric dark and stormy weather to see the film remake of "Dark Shadows." My friend Alyssa is perhaps the only one brave/crazy enough to go with me. She also gladly accepted ridicule for my behavior when I discovered a velvet chair in front of cardboard cutouts of the cast that you could sit in, which of course I did.
This brooch from the 1980's was meant to turn any
blazer into a Ralph Lauren style prep school look,
I think it mimics Barnabas' style rather well though, don't you?

The actual portrait of Barnabas Collins, with all his bling
Dark Shadows is all about family and the importance of legacy,
this ring is as close to a family heirloom as I can claim. Its 18 k gold, and
has an old fashioned heftiness to it along with a great Art Deco motif
Dress: Banana Republic
Wrap Blouse (worn under dress): New York and Co.
Brooch: thrifted via Pastimes
N.A.HS class ring, circa 1949: inherited from my grandfather
White oval ring: found in a box of junk jewelry
Shoes: Nine West via Marshall's

I have always thought of this as my "Barnabas Collins ring,
and worn it on my index finger as Jonathan Frid did
(you can see his below and in the portrait above)
Even though it is white rather than black the shape and size are very similar

Jonathan Frid, as Barnabas Collins and
Alexandra Moltke, as Victoria Winters
circa 1967. I think my look is more suited to the
original Vicki, not that Barnabas called her
that, he preferred Victoria.
Bella Heathcoate as Victoria WInters with Johnny Depp as
Barnabas Collins, circa 2012. Johnny was able to bring the
character into the sunlight with the help of some awesome
goggle-shades, while Frid never appeared in the daytime.

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