why are fashion people so obsessed with astrology?
From Pucci in Milan to Opening Ceremony in New York, the fashion world is more preoccupied than ever with what’s written in the stars.
Emilio Pucci fall/winter 15
Fashion is having a love affair with astrology. Nearly every fashion publication under the sun (or stars) now has a horoscope section, or has used the zodiac cycle as a shoppable opportunity. Refinery29 did a series with Susan Miller, Harper's Bazaar has one with Jennifer Angel, and Glamour went a step further with a video series called Glamourscopes. Several magazines, including Vogue, have published zodiac-themed photo shoots and talk of celestial movement has become a feature of front row chatter at fashion week. "I have six heavenly bodies in my sign right now," Adam Selman, a Pisces, said in a SPIN interview.
That 90s, lo-fi, early days of the internet aesthetic, as exemplified by Susan Miller, is also on trend right now. Just look at Opening Ceremony's "Astrology IRL," a running series by Morgan Rehbock on the brand's blog that has inspired sweatshirts and T-shirts sold in the store. New York magazine's The Cut also runs a series of cheeky astrology GIFs.
And why not? Astrology and fashion have a few things in common. They're both cyclical — zodiac signs change based on the movement of the planets, fashion changes based on the season of the year. They both, to a certain extent, attempt to predict the future (though fashion straddles the fine line between predicting what people will want and telling them what they want). They both worship the beauty of symbols and they both make reference to the past.
In Milan this season, Pucci sent a collection down the runway littered with astrological motifs -- models wore tall boots, short-shorts and a long velvet black cloak covered with gold signs of the zodiac. It was a particularly interesting collection to see from departing designer Peter Dundas, whose future after he leaves Pucci is unknown.
Fashion clearly has a deep interest in the constellations. But the reason for this interest can be as opaque as the starry firmament on a cloudy night.
Susan Miller is fashion's favorite astrologer (the fact that fashion even has a favorite astrologer is worth noting) and her roots in the industry run deep. She has written horoscopes for fashion magazines like Elle and Vogue Japan, is close friends with Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Style Joe Zee. And her daughter is designer and downtown it-girl Chrissie Miller of the clothing line Sophomore.
Susan Miller's cult website AstrologyZone.com has over 6 million visits per month. Her friends and fans are editors, designers and stylists. "Astrology is the ultimate individualistic discipline," Miller told me over the phone, "so the people who love astrology are the most creative people. An artist knows what's coming before the general public knows."
She added, "Certain signs are particularly good at this: Pisces and Libra. You find a lot of Libran editors and a lot of designers within Pisces. Leo has masterful use of color and great confidence in one's sense of what's coming."
Astrology is premised on the belief that things happen for reasons beyond us, but also that the universe offers hints that certain people can detect. In that way, it mirrors the subconscious. Psychic power is a metaphor for creative power. The word consideration literally means with the stars. To produce creatively, to think deeply, is to be one with the heavens.
The occult is certainly back in fashion, and that may have to do with whatever wave of feminism we're on right now, reclaiming the power of the witch. Bushwick seems to be their main haunting ground. Stevie Nicks is a fan of the moon pendant, and newer designers like Pamela Love carry zodiac-themed accessories (our favorite example: "moon age dream necklace"). Her website says she is influenced by astronomy, astrology, alchemy and botany.
In a world where the internet is like a disembodied collective brain with seeming omniscience, the paranormal doesn't seem so fantastic.
And maybe with all the sartorial options we have these days -- the never-ending cycle of shows, the sheer number of clothes produced, we're looking for someone to say "Mercury is in retrograde, don't buy that." Fashion is emotional, and if we're looking for guidance, astrology seems as good a dogma as any.
Text Austen Leah Rosenfeld
Photography Mitchell Sams