The Nanny’s Costume Designer Reveals Secret To Fran Drescher’s Iconic Looks

HBO Max fans have been loving Fran Drescher’s The Nanny, and the costume designer talked to Variety about some of those iconic looks. For those unaware, Nanny Fine was serving up some very distinctly 1990s fashion in the sitcom. Brenda Cooper has a book coming out about her work as a costume designer this December called The Silhouette Solution. For a lot of viewers, her outfits for Drescher are imprinted upon them without even realizing it. Weirdly enough, the actresses’ signature looks go hand in hand with her voice as they mark her as an outsider for the Sheffield family. However, they all were better for her bright presence and sitcom shenanigans. Many would argue that a sitcom from 1993 would be basically disposable, but the show’s renaissance on Netflix shows that to be unequivocally false. Nostalgia plays a part to be certain, but there was something really special going on with Drescher and the woman who made her look like nothing else on TV for a number of years.

“Every week, I had to come up with six outfits that are top to toe tailored with accessories, so I came up with formulas. One formula was the turtleneck under a dress,” she revealed. “There are a lot of cocktail dresses out there, but that isn’t going to work for a nanny. How do I solve that problem? With a turtleneck. I found a thin turtleneck, so you’ll see a lot of her in a turtleneck.”

“I would find these great dresses, but they had a spaghetti strap and it wasn’t enough for me,” Cooper explained. “So again, it was about putting the turtleneck under that dress which gives it a completely different vibe. The black turtlenecks would just save you. I could go out and find these cocktail dresses and pair them with the turtleneck.”

“Vests became huge. It became a huge piece because you could put on a black turtleneck, a black miniskirt, black tights and then I would put a vest over it,” the costume designer added. “It would add that sexiness to an outfit, and I had dozens of them. That’s a Donna Karan vest here. [Referencing Season 2, Episode 14] It was the perfect yellow. I added the shirt and tie which formalized it and made it sassy and elegant.”

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