Fran Drescher, the star of the 1990s sitcom The Nanny, has become something of a cult fashion icon in recent years. Bloggers the world over have pointed out that season after season, fashion designers today are churning out clothes that look an awful lot like something the “flashy girl from Flushing” would have donned in her heyday.
Now, a popular new Instagram account, @thenannyart, is pointing out another trend that Fran Fine, the character Drescher played, pioneered: dressing like famous works of art.
Long before contemporary Instagram influencers like @paridust started matching their outfits to works of art, @thenannyart shows us that Fran was ahead of the curve. One post shows Fran wearing a mini-skirt that resembles a Piet Mondrian painting, for instance, and another a blouse that looks uncannily like that worn by the subject of Picasso’s Harlequin with Glass (1905). A more contemporary juxtaposition shows her donning a garish orange feather coat next to one of Stefan Tcherepnin’s Muppet-like sculptures. In one particularly inspired composition, a detail of a Katherine Bernhardt painting of watermelons is paired with a shot of Drescher wearing a bathrobe with a very similar pattern while gleefully holding a copy of the Yentl soundtrack.
Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte, an independent curator based in Brussels, created @thenannyart this past October. He arrived at the idea after happening upon a still shot from The Nanny where Fran was donning a polka-dotted blouse that reminded him of Gerhard Richter’s 1988 painting Betty. He stitched the two images together online and the @thenannyart was born.
Fran is a “metaphor for the arts,” he says. “She is the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan.”
More than 6,000 followers later, Van Eeckhoutte is still in the throes of a deep dive into Nanny reruns. They remind him of when he first watched the shows a teen, he says, when he “learned all about Barbara Streisand, Jewishness, and Broadway musicals. There’s beauty in the artifice of this over-the-top sitcom.”
See more pairings from @thenannyart below.
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