Jewish Fashion Icon of the Month: Fran Drescher

The Nanny

Feather trim. Fanny packs. Leopard print — oh, and snake print. Looking at the fall/winter 2018 collections, you could be forgiven for thinking there was only one fashion muse in town: everyone’s favorite makeup-salesgirl-turned-babysitter Fran Fine, as played by Fran Drescher in the 90’s sitcom The Nanny. Right now, it’s the height of chic to dress like the warm, funny, street-smart, unapologetically Jewish girl from Queens.

1She had style, she had flair…

The Nanny

Created by Drescher, The Nanny ran from 1993 to 1999 and chronicled the adventures of Fran Fine, nanny to the three Sheffield children. It’s probably no spoiler to reveal that over its many seasons she winds up as the new Mrs. Sheffield.

Fran was also a shopaholic, regularly rocking Isaac Mizrahi, Dolce & Gabbana, and Todd Oldham. The Instagram account WhatFranWore lovingly catalogs those iconic Fran Fine outfits for its 270k followers. Fans adore the short skirts, nipped-in waists and animal prints of the era. And, of course, the big hair.

2The artist’s muse

While the fashion crowd is just getting into Fran Drescher, artist Cary Leibowitz has been a fan for years. His 2007 work Tondo Schmondo features a circle surrounded by knitted hats with the slogan “Fran Drescher fan club” (the “a” is a Star of David), and he interviewed Drescher for the exhibition catalog of his San Francisco retrospective last year at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Like all of his work, it’s kitschy and heartbreaking at the same time — and how much do you want one of those hats?

3The return of The Nanny?

Right now, the Internet is buzzing with rumors of a Nanny revival. Even better are the rumors that Fran Drescher might be working with the rapper Cardi B, whose Fran Fine homages (animal print, bold color, and black and white checkers) have not gone unnoticed.

Drescher recently spoke at the elite women’s club The Wing in New York, where the assembled millennials gave her a rapturous reception and sang along to the show’s theme tune.

4Get the look

 

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Python Print Skirt Suit by the brand XOXO

A post shared by Fran Fine Fashion (@whatfranwore) on

5Fancy channeling your inner Fran Fine this winter?

Costume designer Brenda Cooper started with a base of opaque tights, turtleneck and mini skirt (all in black), and mixed in Fran’s signature vibrant jackets. It’s a wardrobe foundation that still works today: add in some favorite leopard spots and a good dose of glitter and you’ve nailed it.

Meanwhile, if you’re curious as to how Fran Drescher is dressing these days, Page Six recently revealed her recommendations. Her style has become a bit more LA, but the black turtleneck still figures heavily in her signature look.

Susannah Cohen
Susannah Cohen is a fashion journalist, e-commerce editor (specialist subjects: lingerie and diamonds) and Jewish mom. Recently relocated from London to the West Coast, she’s feeling a lot more spiritual these days.