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Drew Barrymore: 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'

By Suzanne Zuckerman

"Confessions" costume designer Renee April says Barrymore's skin "is like pure porcelain."

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(InStyle) -- In "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," Drew Barrymore plays Penny Pacino, the longtime love and, according to hairstylist Barbara Olvera, "the one light force in the film and the only sanity" in the life of infamous "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris, whose day job as a network TV producer is a front while he moonlights as a CIA assassin.

As the movie tracks Barris's double life and Penny's steadfast commitment to him from the fifties through the eighties, Barrymore personifies each decade. "I start as a beatnik, then I become a hippie, then a woman of the eighties," explains Barrymore. As any die-hard Barrymore fan could predict, the star confesses, "that's my favorite time."


Barrymore's skin "is like pure porcelain," admires costume designer Renee April. "It looks like she has a lightbulb inside her face." Olvera kept this luminosity in mind when highlighting Barrymore's natural color with caramel accents. Vivid Color Reparative Shine from Graham Webb was used to lock in color while Phytodefrisant Hair Straightening Serum was applied to maintain her natural wave and cut down on frizziness or flyaways.

True to seventies trends, and because "her character had turned into this earthy, free-love chick, the decision was made to let her hair dry naturally," divulges Olvera. Sebastian Shaper hairspray pumped up the volume, completing this classic style, which while faithful to the time, remains timeless.


While the story spans the latter half of the 20th century, "Drew represents, more than anyone else in the movie, where we are at that time as a country," says costume designer Renee April. She scoured flea markets, vintage boutiques and L.A.'s Palace Costume Co., as well as her own private collection for authentic attire.

The only thing Barrymore loved more than sporting fifties hoop skirts was a faux-suede jacket embellished with flowers circa the seventies. It suited her so well that the director -- a certain George Clooney -- bought it for her.

In the 1960s she wears embroidered Levi's bell-bottoms, chunky Bakelite jewelry and broad belts. In this photo "it's the early seventies," reveals April. So, how did the designer employ fashion to delineate this particular decade? "There's more polyester involved."

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