11 Times When “The Nanny” Showed Us What True Style Means
The Nanny is a series that has not only marked those who watched it between 1993 and 1999 when it aired on CBS. Subsequent generations have also been mesmerized by the show’s witty humor, its characters, and, of course, fashion. It is difficult to picture Fran Fine without her most striking and spectacular outfits coming to mind. What few people know is that these outfits worn by a nanny from Flushing, Queens became an inspiration for other designers, and many were from renowned brands.
1. The designer of the series chose 50 outfits per episode.
Emmy-winning costume designer Brenda Cooper is the one who carefully selected Fran’s outfits during the first four seasons of the series. She sought to create a style that, in her own words, “had to be fun, witty, sassy, and elegant. It was a sassy elegance that was important to me, and pushing that to the edge without tipping it.”
Cooper would put together about 50 outfits per episode for the cast, six of which were for Fran Drescher.
2. Todd Oldham got to dress Fran Fine many times.
One of the top designers on the show was Todd Oldham. According to Cooper, he was “a huge influence from the beginning.” Later, they all became friends, and he would offer them some outfits, or, if not, they would buy them.
3. Certain elements were added to make the nanny’s outfits look fashionable but in tune with her job.
The cocktail dresses we frequently saw on the show weren’t appropriate for a nanny, so Cooper decided to fix that by adding a turtleneck sweater, which became a classic in Fran Fine’s wardrobe.
4. C.C. wore a collection of jackets from the 1940s.
Chastity Claire “C.C.” Babcock, Mr. Sheffield’s partner, had a somewhat more understated style than Fran, and she regularly wore manly jackets, which belonged to Brenda Cooper’s jacket collection from the 1940s.
“That red jacket was my jacket. I had a collection of 1940s jackets, and I used to put C.C [Lauren Lane] in all of them. She was a different character. She was town and country, very proper, but she couldn’t be town and country boring,” the designer recounted.
5. Fran Drescher still keeps some of the garments she wore in the series.
Fran wore the famous multicolored Moschino vest in several episodes. In 2021, the actress surprised everyone when she posted a photo on Instagram showing that she had kept the garment. She still wears it and looks spectacular in it.
6. The nanny also wears a lot of Versace clothes throughout the series.
Fran Fine wore haute couture brands on multiple occasions, all of them matching her fun and risky style. Versace was one of the designers that regularly dressed the nanny, and that became part of her iconic style.
7. They didn’t have much budget for wardrobe at the beginning.
When the show premiered, they didn’t have much budget, so Brenda Cooper managed to create a series of outfits combining a turtleneck sweater, a black miniskirt, and black tights with black suede heels.
“The heels had to be suede, so that they didn’t reflect the light. Because if it had been leather, you would have seen the break on camera. I wanted a solid silhouette. Then we’d change the look by the jackets and pieces that are put over it,” she revealed.
8. Fran’s wedding dress cost $12,000.
In the fifth season, when Fran and Maxwell finally make it to the altar, her dress became the center of our attention. This garment was made by the Argentine designer Norma LeNain, who gave it a romantic and feminine style with a voluminous silhouette. The dress had a 1.20-meter train and a 4.5-meter veil, and it cost $12,000.
9. Fran Fine and Madonna wore the same dress.
In February 1991, during a photo shoot for a magazine, Madonna wore a strapless silver dress completely embroidered with diamonds by designer Bob Mackie. It was valued at more than $25 million. The singer loved the garment so much that the designer made a replica for her to wear that same year at the Oscars.
Later, Fran Drescher wore the same dress, or perhaps another replica, by Bob Mackie, who has also dressed other celebrities like Cher, Elton John, RuPaul, and Diana Ross.
10. The bath robes were customized to match Fran’s style.
The robes, which Fran frequently paraded around the house in, were anything but simple — the costume designer added small details to make them more appropriate to Fran’s flamboyant style.
“Whatever robe we had, my team of seamstresses, who used to work for Bob Mackie, would put shoulder pads in it, and that became the signature robe that people loved,” explained Cooper.
11. Her outfits have been a source of inspiration for others.
Designer Vero Díaz, from Yucatán, Mexico, found inspiration in The Nanny for her fall-winter collection for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
“The collection is inspired by the 1990s. We took a lot from Fran Fine’s style in the series. I remember when I was a little girl, they used to call me ’nanny Fine’ because I was always shouting. So that brought back fond memories and was a great source of inspiration,” she said.