RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS
"The research for this movie was extensive," according to costume
designer Cynthia Flynt. "Most of it was done through old Sears catalogues,
since that's where these girls would have shopped. They were working class, so
they wouldn't have gone to high-end department stores. The character of Fay came
from a better part of town, so she had a bit more money, and her mom would
probably have helped her a little more than Beverly's." In addition to
designing clothes specifically made for the film, Flynt scoured vintage clothing
shops, tag sales, rental shops and fabric stores for usable items and ideas.
The film spans more than 20 years, so Flynt used a variety of tricks to
illustrate the passage of time. For example, by incrementally raising the heel
heights on the actresses' shoes, she was able to give the impression that their
characters were growing taller. The shoe styles had to change as well, with
platforms getting higher and higher as they moved from the '60s into the '70s.
Surprisingly, Flynt located a shoe store in Queens that had kept its entire
stock from that period, so the shoes the actors wore were actually brand new.
The wardrobes also had to reflect both the characters' maturation and the
changing trends over the years. "When you first see the girls as teenagers
in '65, you see them in Peter Pan collars and ankle socks. As Bev and Fay move
into the '70s they're wearing hip-huggers and tight scoop necks. They go from
goody-goody to a more sophisticated look."
To further achieve an authentic look, Flynt fitted the girls with
period-appropriate undergarments like pointy bras and "all-in-ones."
To show the progress of Bev's pregnancy, Flynt made two stomach pads, to
approximate six and nine months. "There were even pie weights in there so
that Drew felt a little of the weight of being pregnant."
Flynt recounts that Barrymore had some ideas of her own about her wardrobe and
even did some shopping on her own. "She was terrific. We took some of the
stuff she found and incorporated it," says Flynt. "Drew even took some
of the costumes home to get used to the feel of the clothes, and to feel like
she could really be Beverly, before she started shooting."
It took some getting used to. "Everything fit differently then," says
Flynt. "In the early '60s, when the movie starts, everything is very
straight. Women weren't in pants much except for little girls. Then came the
mid-'60s when there were a lot of cigarette pants and pedal pushers. Then in the
late '60s and early '70s came wider and wider bell-bottoms."
For the wedding sequence, Flynt had Beverly wearing pink (a concession to her
not being virginal). "The production designer, Bill Groom, and I decided
that the members of the wedding should all be in warm colors and all the
background and extras would be in cool colors, so that they'd really stand
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