Capricorn Fashion Idol: Diane von Furstenberg

December 31, 1946 Brussels, Belgium 3:00 am (*unconfirmed)

Capricorn Diane von Furstenberg is undoubtedly one of the most significant figures in womens fashion in the past 40 years. Born in Brussels, Belgium on New Year’s eve 1946, Diane’s life took a turn towards exceptional when she fell in love with young German Prince Egon von Furstenberg as a student at the University of Geneva. They married and divorced quickly, having two children together, and by 1973 Diane was a single mother and fashion icon all before the age of 30. But if anyone can do motherhood and careers at the same time it is a she-goat. Capricorn women are serious, hard-working and patient. They are also deeply ambitious so it is not surprising that Diane once said, “The minute that I knew I was about to be Egon’s wife, I decided to have a career. I wanted to be someone of my own, and not just a plain little girl who got married beyond her desserts.” Even when they have everything they could ask for, a Capricorn will always keep working, for they take a great deal of satisfaction in accomplishment.

The Capricorn influence has been perhaps the most important story in womens fashion in the past 100 years. Capricorn is a feminine sign (receptive, nurturing) yet in astrology it rules the career, the corporate world, public reputation, success and ambition, all thoroughly masculine fields in the collective consciousness. Thus the Capricorn woman is a fascinating study of contrasts, of masculine sensibility mixed with feminine grace. In the case of fashion, this means traditionally masculine elements woven into the the female wardrobe. Even 100 years ago it was unacceptable for women to wear pants, and now few women would think of trousers as a ‘masculine’ garment but at one time they were strictly just that. These days, the Capricorn influence is seen in more subtle ways, with vests and ties, tuxedo details, nods to utilitarian combat gear and of course, the blazer. Indeed it was Leo designer Yves Saint Laurent (whose moon sign was Capricorn) who first glamourized the silhouette of a woman in pantsuit, “Le Smoking”.

For Diane von Furstenburg, the Capricorn influence on womens fashion has been even more radical and interesting. By 1970, when she launched her fashion business in New York, masculine elements had begun to seep their way into the American womans closet. In fact the massive numbers of women who were over-throwing the constrictive mores of the 1960s, eager to rush out and reclaim their power by wearing whatever they darn-well pleased, had very limited options. Most clothes for women were still reflective of the earlier era, so thus these women had little to reach for but ill-fitting knock-offs of mens clothes.

It must have been in encountering this well-intentioned yet utterly un-chic mass of women, that young Diane von Furstenburg first imagined her now famous wrap-dress. The revolutionary thing about the dress itself is that it requires no zipper, so it is easy and comfortable to get in and out of. And, in its original incarnation, it was long-sleeved and hit above the knee, with a tie-wrap waistband, so it was conservative enough to be worn to work yet still feminine. And that was exactly the point, this dress was made to give career women (Capricorn) an alternative to mens clothes. As the slogan used to say “Feel like a woman, wear a dress”. [It might as well have said at the beginning.. “Go to work but…”] So while most of the present Capricorn influences on womens fashion have been about encorporating masculine elements into womenswear, Diane’s contribution was to encorporate feminine elements into the career wardrobe. Brilliant.

On New Year’s eve 1946, the moon was in Aries. While Capricorn is cautious, conservative and patient, Aries is impulsive, fiesty and courageous. Capricorns are wary of jumping in with their head first and Aries says “Just do it!”. Aries are risk-takers and trend-setters in the world of fashion. They also love to be comfortable. Diane’s Capricorn/Aries combination is the perfect breeding ground for an invention like the wrap dress. Aries are quick and creative, they see the possibilities and when somthing strikes them as a good idea, and it hasnt been done yet, they have a wellspring of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the Aries enthusiasm only lasts so long. This is where the Capricorn perserverence, tenacity and hard work come in. It is an unstoppable combination. [It is also worth noting that many of the most successful Aries women in Hollywood have their moon in Capricorn, such as Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker.]

The rest of von Fursteberg’s birthchart is simillary compelling. She has Venus, the planet of beauty and art, conjuct Jupiter, planet of abundance and luck, in sensual Scorpio. How fitting. She has Mercury, the planet of communication, in outgoing Sagittarius which describes how she has always been celebrated for her friendliness and joie de vivre. The globe-trotting Sagittarius influence is also seen in the casual, ethnic-style resort wear that is a trademark of her own personal style as well as of her more recent collections. Mars, the planet of action (and ruler of her moon sign, Aries) is conjunct her sun in Capricorn, making her even more hard-working and action oriented. And if her reported 3 am birthtime is accurate, she has powerful Pluto, the planet of transformation, at the very top of her chart, in the 10th house that is related to career, and… you guessed it, Capricorn. Pluto is in Leo, the sign of fame, and conjunct Saturn, the planet that rules Capricorn and symbolizes lasting influence. Indeed she has had a powerful, glamorous and public career that has been, and continues to be, deeply transformative to her industry.

And lest anyone should think that this early accomplishment was enough to satiate the ambitious Capricorn, they would have pinned her all wrong! Though she eventually branched out from fashion into other arenas, Diane kept working and eventually relaunched her womenswear label in 1997 to resounding success. There are dozens of new variations of the wrap dress marching down Fifth Avenue at this very moment. Enough? No, no. Diane von Furstenberg is now the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the most important trade association in high fashion. Together with Vogue magazine, the awards, accolates and financial backing that the CFDA doles out to designers and other fashion insiders have tremendous influence on the entire industry. Presiding over the corporate, as well as the creative, aspects of life and work, has always been yet another one of this talented Capricorn womans many strenghts. And to top it all off, she is married to billionaire Aquarian media-mogul Barry Diller.

After making early waves with her very clever creation, she has slowly, in her Capricorn way, made it to the top of the class and now enjoys her status as one of the most powerful women in the fashion industry. Diane von Furstenberg has undoubtedly worked very hard for her own desserts, as she once stated was her goal, and made millions of women more comfortable, and fashionable, in the process. She has managed to keep a smile on her face through it all because after all their efforts, few people can truly enjoy their successes the way a Capricorn can.