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Harmless Looks

THE SHOW: “Dark Shadows"(NBC, Fridays at 9 p.m.) is a resurrection of the cult series that ran from 1966 to 1971. Barnabas Collins(Ben Cross, pictured), a 200-year-old vampire, rises from his crypt in mythical Collinsport, Me., and wreaks havoc among the Collins family.

THE LOOK: Being an updated vampire on the prowl, Barnabas has flung aside the mysterious cape for the more practical Inverness coat. He looks more country squire than town fop. Costume designer Rosalie Wallace says, “We’ve tried to romanticize him by giving him a soft, fluid line.” She uses sensual silks and cottons in very dark olive, maroon and navy blue for his shirts. His charcoal-gray fine wool pants have double pleats. For dallying indoors, he wears a paisley quilted smoking jacket in gray and black velvet or a long, quilted velvet bathrobe in navy. The women of Collinsport wear a variety of styles: Barnabas’ love, Victoria Winters (Joanna Going), wears romantic, soft crocheted sweaters and lacy, feminine blouses; Dr. Julia Hoffman (Barbara Steele), who thinks she may be able to cure Barnabas of his blood lust, wears severe straight skirts and jackets. Carolyn Stoddard (Barbara Blackburn) plays “a little trash, with class,” says Wallace. Her skirts are too tight and too short; her sweaters are cut too low. Jean Simmons plays Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the elegant matriarch of this eccentric brood, who favors silk blouses, sweaters, soft, dark blazers and fine wool pants.

THE LABELS: Although Wallace says she “buys for look and not for the label,” Barnabas wears multipleated pants from Giorgio Armani and an occasional Ralph Lauren jacket. Dr. Hoffman wears Ralph Lauren skirts and Joan Vass sweaters and shirts. Victoria Winters is seen in a Kanji organza skirt and top. Custom designs by Wallace of 1790s period clothing will be seen in future episodes.

THE STORES: Wallace frequented Neiman Marcus, Bullock’s, Nordstrom and I. Magnin. Some of Joanna Going’s costumes came from Kanji, on Melrose, and a lot of Jean Simmons’ wardrobe was bought at Ron Ross in Encino.

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THE PAYOFF: Toss out the cape and lace and save them for Halloween: For a truly stylish vampire look, dig up your old Sloane Ranger tweeds, Laura Ashley blouses, duck-print scarves and turtleneck sweaters. Especially the turtlenecks. You know how tempting flesh above the collarbone is to the toothsome.


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