She had style! She had flair! And more than 25 years later, people are still talking about her fashionable looks.
Headlines in the last few years have gushed over Fran Fine's costumes in "The Nanny," played by the incomparable Fran Drescher. Vogue delved into "Why 'The Nanny' Is Still a Fashion Icon," while Buzzfeed listed "25 Times Fran Fine From 'The Nanny' was the Greatest Fashion Icon of All Time." There's even an Instagram account with more than 315,000 followers dedicated to "What Fran Wore." Now that the series is streaming on HBO Max, her fashion is getting even more attention.
So, what does Drescher think?
"I think it's great," she told TODAY Style. "I mean, you know, there are so many Fran Drescher-themed accounts out there that I have nothing to do with. But the more the merrier. I'm thrilled that people are still into 'The Nanny' and they're still into me."
That's a bit of an understatement. Drescher, 60, sat down with TODAY Style to share the story behind some of her most memorable looks as well as the designers she and the show's costume designer, Brenda Cooper, helped promote.
The pilot outfit
"This is from the pilot episode of 'The Nanny,' and this is what I was wearing when I went for my job interview to become a nanny at the Sheffield house. It's sexy and sweet all at the same time," Drescher said. "That night, we knew when we shot it, we caught lightning in a bottle. People were laughing. They never saw the characters; they never saw the show. So this is iconic 'Nanny.'
"I think she liked leopard prints because, you know, it's kind of racy and sexy. And very Queens," she continued. "And I think that's what her M.O. was."
The "sexy astronaut" look
"This is one of the promo pictures that was designed by Brenda Cooper, our stylist and costume designer. I'm wearing my sexy astronaut look. We were just written up about (how) the fashions of 'The Nanny' are back in vogue. So, I feel great about it, and I'm sure Brenda Cooper does, too," she said.
As for wearing high-end designers like Moschino, Todd Oldham and Dolce & Gabbana, Drescher notes that these now well-known brands were just getting their start.
"It was a very mutually beneficial relationship that we had with all of them because they made their designs available to us, and we kind of put it out there on a global scale. So it was really, really great, and to this day, I'm very supportive of the designers," she said.
The higher the hair ...
"The thing is, if you're from any of the boroughs outside of Manhattan, big hair is where it's at. And I think that's kind of still true to a certain degree. Hair is sexy and the bigger the better," Drescher said. "The bigger the hair, the smaller the hips look."
The military-chic ensemble
"This is our homage to the military, of whom we support completely and love. Everything that we did, we did with a certain 'zhoosh' that made it kind of sexy. And I think that we really kind of made the mini (skirt) synonymous with the '90s. I also had a bra that matched this, too, that we wore in our Israeli kibbutz story, which was our version of the Christmas holiday show," she said with a laugh.
The matching mini and crop top
"I think this was getting toward the end of 'The Nanny' and, actually, in my real life, I wasn't that happy. I wasn't as happy as Fran Fine was," she explained. "My marriage was breaking up, and I think I was beginning to get ill with what later was diagnosed as uterine cancer. So that was probably part of why I was so thin.
"Now, I don't think I could carry this thin (figure) without looking old," she continued. "So I don't mind being a little more, you know, curvaceous, round and voluptuous, because I think that you carry it better at a certain age. So, ladies, don't worry about this. It's all good."
As for her ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, who was also a co-creator of "The Nanny," Drescher said they are "once again best friends and working on projects together" after he came out as gay.
The wedding dress
"So, this is the wedding dress and I swear it was like I was really coordinating my own wedding. We went to a very fancy Beverly Hills bridal shop. I had to go for fittings ... It was absolutely gorgeous. My parents were in the chapel where I was getting married. I mean, my real parents, not just 'The Nanny' parents, the real Sylvia and Morty. And we picked out the flowers. We picked out everything as if it was an actual wedding and it was just so beautiful and it was a very exciting time.
"But, actually, this kind of almost killed the show, but it was the network that wanted us to do it. Because the whole show was that I couldn't get my man and we had this sexual tension and I was the nanny. Once I became Mrs. Sheffield it all kind of changed. But, you know, we had to do what we were told, so that was that."
But what would she say is the difference between herself and her most famous character?
"All of Fran Fine is in me; not all of me is in her," Drescher said. "So she is definitely (from) the world I came from — my family, my friends. But I don't think that she is the type of a gal that could create, write and executive produce a show to star in. So that takes a different kind of acumen that I have that I did not write into that character. I wanted her to be much more simple in terms of what her passions were and much more earthy and much more of a woman that has a lot of street smarts."
This story was originally published July 19, 2018.