Sonia Rykiel, the revolutionary fashion designer has died aged 86. Born 25 May 1930 11.55pm Neuilly Sur Seine, “she defined the whole idea of French chic in all its sexy, sassy, nonchalant, slightly arrogant glory.” She launched her clothes when the students were storming the barricades in 1968, stressing that women’s clothes were about ‘absolute freedom’ and she called it the start of the hippie fashion movement. She popularised fashion and pioneered mail order.
She had a 4th house multi-tasking and populist Gemini Sun square a creative and iconic 8th house Neptune. She also had a sensuous Taurus Moon trine Neptune, sextile Venus in Cancer – so she stamped her mark on the new femininity. She was innovative and tough with a Saturn in Capricorn opposition Pluto square Uranus; and had a do-or-die determined Mars in Aries square Pluto, sextile Jupiter in her attention-seeking 5th house.
Coco Chanel, her forerunner, also liberated women from the old corseted-style though she was much less bohemian in her approach. Born 19 Aug 1883 4pm Saumur, France, she had an 8th house Sun Venus in Leo square Neptune; with Neptune trine Uranus, sextile Jupiter; and an understated Pisces Moon opposition Mercury in Virgo square Saturn in Gemini. Her chart like Sonia Rykiel’s highlighted creative Neptune but her intense Leo Sun would hold her to a more high-end style.
Elsa Schiaparelli, 10 Sept 1890 (no time sadly), Rome, Italy, who was Coco Chanel’s great rival between the Wars, was influenced by the Surrealists Like Dali and Jean Cocteau. She had an interest in psychics and spiritualism, married a psychic conman and only after he abandoned her with a baby did she start to design. She was a Sun Virgo square Mars in Sagittarius; with the hallmark Neptune Pluto in Gemini of the 1890s which was not always stable and would certainly attract her to surrealism. It squared Saturn in Virgo and was trine Mercury in Libra trine Jupiter – so she was a strange mix of realistic and hard-working, and off-the-wall. Her Leo Moon was probably opposition Jupiter square Venus in Scorpio which would make sense of a fashion career.