An Ode to Astrology’s Impact on Fashion: A Retrospective Through the Years
Astrology and fashion have always been star-crossed lovers.
“You will suffer poverty,” said the fortune teller, staring at the palm of a young man in a seaside town of Normandy, France. “But women are lucky for you, and through them, you will achieve success. You will make a great deal of money out of them, and you will have to travel widely.” Fortified with mystical reassurance, the budding fashion designer—a young Christian Dior—went on to have an illustrious career as the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses.
Dior is not the only designer guided by the mystical signs; fashion and astrology have been star-crossed lovers for generations. Aside from horoscope columns peppered throughout the pages of fashion magazines, they have more in common than meets the eye. hey are cyclical, highly personalized, and likely to be dismissed by straight men. Much like the distinct qualities of the signs themselves, each fashion house has bespoke traits, signature styles, and creative flair that come to life in different ways with each individual. Similar to the astrological tides and cycles, fashion often revisits the past, reanimating and reinventing the brand's DNA with each passing season.
As is the case with astrology, fashion provides a language to express your individuality. An Aquarius can be identified by their unorthodox style with daring silhouettes, clashing prints, and an aversion to the status quo. The legendary stylist Patricia Field put her Aquarian talents on display with the head-turning looks on Sex and the City. A Virgo wants crisp lines and a no-fuss uniform—can you guess Karl Lagerfeld’s sign? A Leo is easily spotted by their gaudy jewelry, vivacious color palette, and extravagant wardrobe—they may even venture so far as to wear the Schiaparelli Lion Head Dress like Kylie Jenner, a Leo through and through. Your personal style is the quickest way to show people who you really are.
From Schiaparelli to Chanel to streetwear brands, motifs of the divinatory practice of astrology have appeared in fashion, architecture, and design for centuries. As an ode to astrology’s impact on fashion, here is a timeline of the many ways the zodiac has appeared in a supporting role on the runway in the last century:
John Galliano, Spring/Summer 1997
Photo: Guy Marineau
In John Galliano’s wildly maximalist collection “Circus,” he included a delicate, bias-cut, astrological-printed dress with a spider-web of chains and charms adorning the back.
Chanel Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2010
Photo: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Inspired by founder Coco Chanel’s astrological sign of Leo, Karl Lagerfeld erected a gold lion in The Grand Palais in Paris that measured 18 meters high. Under the lion’s front paw is a giant iridescent pearl from which the runway models emerged. Lagerfeld’s muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, accompanied the final model dressed as a lion in a suit and tie. Fun fact: Leo is the fifth sign, and Coco Chanel had a notable obsession with the number five, considering it lucky and weaving it into the brand identity through her line of fragrances.
Emilio Pucci, Autumn/Winter 2015
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images
In 2015, Emilio Pucci’s creative director, Peter Dundas, sent his final collection with the fashion house down the runway with graphic celestial motifs and zodiac symbols. With body-hugging silhouettes, Dundas created a series of looks in dark navy blue, embroidered separates with star signs in gold beads, and large illustrative prints.
Schiaparelli, Autumn/Winter 1938
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Art Resource
For her Autumn/Winter 1938 collection, Elsa Schiaparelli debuted the iconic Zodiac Collection, which featured highly ornate embroidered designs modeled after astrological signs and the Palace of Versailles. The celestial motifs are rendered in embroidery, beaded stars, constellations, and planets in a series of velvety, ornate coats, capes, and jackets.
Versace, Autumn/Winter 2016
Photo: Pietro D'aprano/Getty Images
With the kitschy theme of “Space Camp,” Donatella Versace designed a collection of futuristic, space-age outfits that ranged from militaristic to sporty. With wearable pieces for “the final frontier,” she incorporated astrological nods to zodiac signs and constellations in a few of her garments.
Christian Dior, Spring/Summer 2017
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images
As an homage to the famously superstitious Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri incorporated motifs of tarot, the zodiac, and constellations into the soft silhouettes of Dior’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection.
Vetements, December 2017
Photo: Courtesy of Vetements
Released just before Christmas in 2017, Vetements designer Demna released a limited-edition collection of 12 horoscope raincoats. The industrial, navy-blue jackets sported each zodiac sign on the front with a description of the sign on the back.
Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya, Spring/Summer 2019
Photo: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
With bold, illustrative prints and 70s-inspired silhouettes, Zendaya’s debut collaborative collection featured names of zodiac signs printed in neon lettering.
Zimmermann, Autumn 2022
Photo: Courtesy of Zimmermann
In her autumn 2022 collection ‘Stargazer,’ Nicky Zimmermann constructed coats and jackets emblazoned with intricate prints of zodiac symbols, names of star signs, and other cosmological motifs.
Gucci, Cruise 2023
Alessandro Michele’s latest resort collection, titled ‘Cosmogonie,’ was described by Michele as “previously unknown configurations of reality that can break down the constraints of tradition.” With repeating motifs of constellations, aetherial fabrics, and crystal embellishments, the mixed media complimented Michele’s “old meets new” vision.