I love shocking phone calls on Dark Shadows – almost as much as the unfortunate bad-news recipients’ answer-wear.

Learning of Joe’s hospitalization from Barnabas, who, if I am not mistaken, is making his first phone call of the series run (aside: Does the Old House even have a line? Did Willie give him a lesson in rotary phone operation?), Maggie has chosen a simple sunflower yellow blouse paired with an arresting magenta vest/mini-skirt combination, accented by a necktie with a polka-dot pattern incorporating both colors. I’m a little disappointed in the lack of a cap, but might have tipped the look too far into mod for small-town Maine. The show hasn’t even been running in color for that long!

It’s a smashing look either for an unsettling phone call or for her first day stewardessing for TWA. I think Orbach’s might even be a little ahead of the curve with the matching necktie, as I don’t believe they came into airline fashion until the seventies.

Alas, Victoria fares far less well in her preposterously voluminous powder-blue nightgown, though in all fairness, Maggie was the one who had to be dressed appropriately to take a horrifying phone call. Still, with each passing episode, I better understand Alexandra Moltke’s statement on a dvd extra that she didn’t care for anything her in her Dark Shadows wardrobe. (She bravely tried to stay positive by praising the magnificent eyes the make-up artist gave her.) Did she ever advocate for something to wear that broke beyond shapeless and frumpy? I get that her character has a plain-Jane humble past (that fucking foundling home we heard about endlessly for the first year of the series), but couldn’t they let her catch up to Collinsport fashion plates Maggie and Carolyn, just a little? A governess’s clothing can be both smart and demure, right?

Maggie looks like she could be stepping into a world of jet-set Coffee, Tea or Me-like glamour on Pan Am; meanwhile, Vicki keeps dressing like she’s a middle-aged lifer behind the ticket counter at Greyhound, even in her pyjamas.