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‘Franning It Up’ at New York’s Most No-Nonsense Party

At a party on Thursday night in an East Village bar, Jane Ashe, 71, paired denim pants with a white collared shirt and a blazer. “It’s one party I knew what to wear,” Ms. Ashe said. Heather Frankel, 51, followed a similar formula, but added sunglasses and a top she bought from a thrift store specifically for the event.

They were among the more than 60 people at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge for FranCon, a free event where people dress up in an outfit (denim pants, a blazer and a button-up shirt) that has become synonymous with the writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz.

“If you’re a good New Yorker or if you’re a working New Yorker, you have a button-up shirt, you have a blazer, and you have a pair of jeans,” said Jane August, 25, who created FranCon after reading “The Fran Lebowitz Reader” for a book club in 2021.

For this year’s event, FranCon moved to Manhattan after two years at Blinky’s Bar in Brooklyn. Past FranCons were held on Oct. 27, Ms. Lebowitz’s birthday. This year, the organizers moved it a day earlier to avoid the fuss of Halloween weekend.

FranCon was all about conversation and a mutual love for Ms. Lebowitz. Credit…Emma Milligan for The New York Times
Ms. Lebowitz is known for a love of smoking, and the event provided candy cigarettes for people who wanted to match her aesthetic.Credit…Emma Milligan for The New York Times
Jane Ashe used the candy cigarettes to complete her FranCon ensemble without violating any of the bar’s rules.Credit…Emma Milligan for The New York Times

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