Thierry Mugler’s Star

The designer Thierry Mugler was inspired by sci-fi, exotic insects, Golden Era Hollywood, superhero comics and intergalactica but he had a thing for a particular blue star: it was sculpted into a huge talismanic golden ring he always wore, the subject of his first bit of body art and the concept behind his bottle design for Angel perfume.

Describing his difficult early years to Fashion, he said that as a child, he often slept outdoors but felt supported by the constellations.”I would watch the skies at night to look for the blue star and know then that I had to hold on.”

Nobody appears to have asked Thierry Mugler the name of this star or sought to identify it and sadly, the iconic creative passed in January 2022. However, I’m confident that the star was Regulus aka Cor Leonis – the heart of the lion.

There are not many blue stars and Regulus is the brightest – it’s also the only one on the Ecliptic – the most prominent part of the night sky. Regulus is at 29° Leo, Mugler was born with 1° Virgo Rising and a 29° Sagittarius Sun. With Regulus conjunct his Ascendant and exactly trine his Saggo Sun, he would naturally have resonated with this star.

Regulus Rising is the King (or Queen) of grand expectations and flamboyant scenes. Excess can be their undoing but if you channel it into performance or invention? You lead a large life. Mugler was born on a Galactic birthday – his Sun was conjunct the Galactic Center and the South Node – he whirled into this cosmic centrifuge like he was out clubbing.

The magical star sustained him through an era where was considered so “bizarre” in the provincial town he grew up in that people threw rocks at him. He pulled off an escape via ballet school and began his career as a party-animal workaholic proto-influencer designer.

Neptune was in Sagittarius and Mugler was in Paris  – this worked. What’s more, he was a triple Saggo – the Sun plus Venus and Mercury – and the latter two were opposite Uranus. This is a fab formula for artistic success and while the designer has too many iconic moments to cover here, consider the following style phenoms that he originated:

*Super-extreme shoulderpads, a la the Eighties ‘power-suit’ vibe.
*Theatrical catwalk shows with live musicians & a performance element.
*Refillable perfume bottles – he wanted people to be able to refill at the store.
*Faux fur – he was against animal fur from the start – and experimental synthetics/metamorphic materials.
*Pan-generational casting – Mugler was the first big designer to feature models in their 60s & 70s.
*Physical+ cultural/class diversity.

The Thierry Mugler 1995/1996 Autumn collection is considered by many industry people to be the most brilliant fashion show ever – the “Woodstock of fashion” – and his live-wire Venus-Uranian aesthetic still crackles through culture like an electrical current.

Mugler did the plot-point/dress Demi Moore wore in Indecent Proposal, Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi + Telephone looks, Cirque de Soleil costumes, the art direction + wardrobe for Beyonce’s I Am tour, stage outfits for Grace Jones, Cardi B’s “birth of Venus” dress for the Grammy’s when she became the first female to win best rap album, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman wardrobe for The Dark Knight Rises, Kim Kardashians 2019 ‘wet look’ Met Gala dress, David Bowie’s mermaid gown for the Boys Keep Swinging video and so many more.

Besides his Sagittarius trio, Mugler was blessed with a triple conjunction of Mars, the Moon and Pluto in Leo. Neptune in Sagittarius (1970 to 1984) and Uranus in Sagittarius (1981 to 1988) were fantastic for him.

Here is an astrological success insight: the designer was born with a brilliant trine from his Uranus in Gemini to Neptune in Libra. From 1990, these two outer planets began to converge ahead of their rare (once every 172 years) conjunction in 1993.

While the alignment degree of 18° Capricorn was not necessarily great for Mugler, the convergence of two planets that he had in fab natal aspect was beneficial and in 1992, everything stepped up….

1992 was the year Thierry Mugler broke into mainstream consciousness with his styling and direction of the iconic Too Funky video for the musician George Michael and Angel, a perfume themed around his talisman star.

George Michael was a triple-Cancerian and Mugler’s Saturn in Cancer sat smack-bang on the musician’s Ascendant/North Node combo. Mugler’s Jupiter in Libra squared (aka aggravated) G.M’s Ascendant/Node and G.M’s Mercury + Venus in Gemini were opposite Mugler’s Mercury + Venus in Saggo.

This is an almighty clash with each seeing the other as crazy/restrictive/impinging on their vision.The creative control tustle concluded with there actually being two versions of Too Funky – one featuring George Michael as a voyeuristic cameraman which Mugler calls “de-queered” and the director’s cut Mugler did that was deemed too lascivious – it’s fabulous, naturally.

Both men had Mars conjunct Pluto so they could rapidly torque up from neutral to full-throttle loathing and then stay at an adrenal Grudge Flashpoint for a long time – 17 years in this case.

The feud lasted for 17 years and was apparently only broken because George needed emergency P.R. access to Beyonce and Thierry was producing her I Am tour at the time.

The scent was and is something else. Perverse, polarizing and undeniably unique, Angel initiated a new fragrance genre – Gourmand. The original has top notes of praline, chocolate, cotton-candy and patchouli: Fragrance critic Tania Sanchez describes it as being in a “high energy state of contradiction. Many perfumes are beautiful or pleasant but how many are exciting?”

The perfume fluid and the asymmetrical five-pointed star bottle that Mugler designed are both his favorite icy-blue with a hint of purple. The backers, advisors and business partners were convinced it would flop after a micro-flurry of attention.

The name, the bottle, the color, the smell – everything was a fight,” the designer said. It was, of course, a crazy success and still sells millions of bottles a year. Angel was also possibly the last mainstream perfume created without the input of a marketing department. In 1999 it became the first scent eligible for copyright protection, probably because it’s also one of the most ripped-off scent products in the world.

It’s also the smell of Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn:  Esoteric – the Uranian violet hue of the liquid contained in a pentacle-like five-pointed Venusian star – and eccentric (earthy, hippie patchouli made to merge with super-synthetic candy notes) with big finance dramas beneath.

Angel immediately made mad money, enough to ensure Mugler a personal wealth trove and for that cash stash to be constantly replenished by quantum sales. This was handy because in 1997, as Pluto arrived in Sagittarius and squared his Ascendant, the French beauty giant Clarins bought out Mugler’s company.

Shortly afterward, the new owners shut down the (fabulous but unprofitable) fashion division and while they kept the scent line going, Mugler himself was sidelined so far as control or input went. There are worse problems to have than to be wealthy yet out of the picture but Virgo Rising likes to work and for a Moon-Mars-Pluto in Leo person to not be the creator? Unthinkable.

It was also the era of waifs or grunge, not glamazons and the designers triple-Sagg candor – he’d say things like “these clothes will get you fuqed, honey” on live air or “elegance is guts, it’s nerve” – was not a good fit with corporate messaging templates.

He resigned or was eased out when Pluto was on his Venus so naturally he went for a radical transformation, bulking up his muscle, sporting a handlebar moustache and evidently some facial cosmetic surgery.

The Hiss Squad accused him of aspiring to a (NSFW) ‘Tom of Finland” look while others assumed he was hitting some human growth hormone or having a three-quarter-life crisis.

But as he put it to Tippi Hendren – one of his long-time models – “After years of being a thin, charming dancer, I wanted to be a warrior. I’ve done so much in my life. I’ve fought so much. I’m a superhero, so it’s normal to have the face of one.”

But this was just the beginning of the plutonic fracas…

In an ultra-plutonic move, he also changed his name back to the original “Manfred Thierry Mugler.” It was to reclaim his identity, as he said, but being able to design for the clients clamoring for his work without violating any agreements must have been a factor as well.

Mugler the company then dropped the “Thierry”, hired a new designer and relaunched the fashion part of the designer’s business. Neptune in Pisces seemed suitably nebulous for Mugler the man – he went back to the company but it’s unclear what role he had and co-existed alongside a series of ‘artistic directors’ who ran the look and vibe of the brand.

He did a nude photo shoot with the edgy Steven Klein but kept his face veiled because he was evidently not happy with the results of the various surgeries and even those had shifting sagas around them. It’s sad because you get the feeling that if he’d been able to hang on to the brand and business he originated, he would have been more secure and grounded.

FYI – Neptune opposing your Ascendant, squaring your Venus + Uranus is not a good time for cosmetic surgery to alter your appearance.

Still, he had a fantastic 2019 – dressing Solange, Cardi B + Kim Kardashian – and launching a Mugler retrospective exhibition that he wasn’t aligned with (Saggos don’t do retrospectives – they’re People of the Now) but which enraptured an entirely new audience.

Clarins sold the Mugler brand to L’Oreal over late 2019 and early 2020 and while there is no confirmation of this, scent-lovers forums like Fragrantica have been full of frantic fans alleging that the Angel formula has been altered. They’re getting granular with batch numbers to try and determine which ones are still the original.

While this could have been stressful or infuriating to Thierry Mugler – the man, not the brand – it also affirmed his instincts. He had huge plans and collabs lined up but the pandemic disrupted his life, as it did everyone’s and then sadly he died “of natural causes” at his home in Vincennes, on January 23, 2022.

I don’t know what transpired, obviously, but Regulus – the protective blue star of his childhood and keeper of kings – was overhead where he lived in the early hours of that day and it rose that evening at about 7pm, so I’d like to think that whatever happened it was nightime, peaceful and he had sight of his stellar guardian.

31 thoughts on “Thierry Mugler’s Star”

  1. No one does cultural analysis like you, Mystic. If I ran a cool magazine or some kind of publishing situation I would absolutely commission articles from your fabulous self

  2. Also: speaking of stars. Did you know the one with Dior? A costume designer friend here in Paris was just telling me about it… right up your (our lol) alley. From the Dior website: “Everything is a sign. Everything makes sense.Christian Dior believed in his fabulous destiny, in his lucky star, like on that evening of 18 April 1946. He was 41 years old and working at Lucien Lelong.””However, while walking up the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Christian Dior hit his foot on an object on the ground and almost tripped, as though it was the object itself that wished to attract his attention. He turned, drew nearer, realised that he was right in front of the British Embassy and this made him think of his childhood in Granville, Normandy, opposite the British Isles, and his friend Georges Vigouroux. He also remembered the dilemma that he was to face the following day with Marcel Boussac. Christian Dior leaned over and picked up the object that had nearly made him fall over: it was a star, the one that was to propel him into the upper echelons of haute couture and luxury, his evening star indicating the path to follow. It was to be “yes”; he knew at that very moment that he could no longer escape his destiny. But it was a conditional “yes” as the next day, sure that his star was not mistaken, Christian Dior announced to Marcel Boussac that he would not take over Philippe et Gaston. Instead, he was ready to open a fashion house in his own name “where everything would”Chance always comes to the aid of those who really want something”, he wrote in his memoire. Christian Dior certainly inherited his maternal grandmothers taste for the art of divination..” His story of stars and connection too, it’s amazing! There’s much more in this! Be well 🙂

  3. Omg this is so amazing. (Also, I have sag sun Venus and Mercury and Saturn in cancer 🤓) As always, your research and care for so many aspects illuminates this talented soul. Thank you for the insight and wisdom 🙂

  4. I didn’t have space to dwell on this but I would have loved for the ‘George phoning Thierry after 17 years non-speakers to score a duet with Beyonce’ conversation to have been somehow leaked. It would be a magnificently weird short film.

  5. ! Loving your interest in Saggos lately, Mystic ( Sinead and now Thierry) and finding them seriously inspirational and heartening. I’m one of those Galactic Centre conjunct-os and have been trying to recover my personal Leoine courage this Venus Retrograde. Learning about other nimble Saggos with the devil-do to reinvent and claim their most authentic selves is the best down-the-rabbit-hole reading I could hope for! have also purchased “In Defensive of Witches” and am finding it (pardon the pun) spell-binding and hugely empowering. It’s also incredibly well written as are these posts. Thankyou!

    1. Thank you! And to others also…I didn’t realize there was a Sagg theme developing but yes of course…I won’t opine on Britney’s Piscean fiance then!

      Other than to say I think this is a gambit on his part, he’s after equity in Britney Inc & she’s now – presumably – got better management whose job will be to ‘silo’ Sam and his financial schemes or needs from Britney inc.

      But Boyfriend’s got Jupiter + Pluto + North Node in Scorp – ie he’s well, let’s say he has an affinity with sex and money. He also has the Sun conjunct Saturn – this is his Saturn Return – and Mercury Retro conjunct Mars in Aquarius…the ‘dumping’ occurred with Venus Retro opposite these points.

      He’s on strike just like those writers in L.A. and while I don’t judge him for seeking his bliss, Britney needs to run a tight ship, adhere to pro management, reject any suggestions that she renegotiate the pre-nup on sentimental grounds, stop with the tipsy stripper dancing and hold out till Neptune in Aries and ideally, artistic/spiritual renaissance.

  6. Great post! I wanted to go to bed, but the creative director in me made me watch the whole show with another glass of wine. I want the sound track! Wonder who mixed it? Did I see Mae Musk in the show?

    1. I love it, it’s hypnotic. I think Maye is in the show, yes. And Thierry hovered around the sound desk doing things himself – like there would be a concept and djs or whatever but he liked to add sound effects – a whoosh here or some thunder – when he was feeling it.

  7. Loved my bottle of Angel, purchased in December 1996 on first trip to NYC. So unique and perfect for me wanting to break out of a mould I felt like I had been in for so long. Always remember one of my favourite lines from the fabulous Pret a Porter film a couple of years earlier, telling Kim Bassinger’s Kitty Potter reporter character ‘it’s all about getting a great F*** honey’. Feeling very nostalgic right now…

  8. I’ve always loved star motifs and I particularly adored the Angel bottle. I didn’t know about Regulus before reading this. My sun is in late Sag like Mugler and trines my South Node at 25 Leo so that explains it.

    Sadly I never bought one of the iconic star bottles of Angel back in the day because I was recently divorced and couldn’t afford it. Now I can, but I’d heard the brouhaha about the formula change and am reluctant to if it’s not the same.

    At one time there were also variations called Angel Rose, Angel Peony and one other – perhaps Violet? Lovely color-coordinated starry bottles but alas no longer produced.

  9. Wonderful piece. I’ve admire him (and George) for a few decades now. This was as astrolgocialy informative as it was moving to read. Thank you, Mystic!

  10. What a beautiful, beautiful piece of writing, Mystic! Thank you so much, Fashion, astrology and perfume in one lovely article. My favorite paragraph starts with ‘It’s also the smell of Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn … etc. ’ (about Angel). I love this way of looking at the way the planets make themselves felt in the creation of (beautiful) things
    In the same way, I think Dior’s Poison (1985) and Montana’s Parfum de peau (1986) are true Pluto in Scorpio (1984-1995) scents, very uncompromising, non conformist and strongly seductive. They were never my cup of tea, but I really appreciated them for their character and daring

    1. I loved Dior Poison! In my college days, I vividly remember walking down the street in Baltimore early one Saturday morning past a little garden and the scent of Poison was heavy in the air. There was no one around so I liked to imagine that someone had a romantic liaison in the shrubbery the night before. Poison was so intense that it could easily have lingered for hours.

      1. Ah, what a beautiful memory!
        And nothing brings you back to a time and place like scent 🧞‍♂️

      2. Yes, Dior Poison is PURE Pluto in Scorpio. I remember being at a party where the hostess accused me of flirting with her boyfriend – she was quite venomous.

        Retiring to the toilet to consider the semi-injustice of this statement, I noticed a huge bottle of Poison on the bench and decided to have a sniff –

        Somehow the bottle slipped out of my hands into the sink, smashing on impact and splashing all over me, shards of glass etc -even a little bit of blood – my cleanup attempt got more of the fragrance on me

        I still remember the look on her face when I emerged reeking of poison, picking glass out of my decolletage and trying to compose a suitable apology. She was so furious that i think I just said something like “I’ll pay for your poison” and lurched out. It lingered for days, even despite showers – a spicy coriander aura.

      3. No perfume conversation is complete without Poison stories! Genius marketing. Mine relates to my Cancerian mother-in-law who disapproved of my marrying her precious only child. Her tears at the wedding I hoped were due to sentiment, but her gift of Poison really drove home her true feelings! I could never wear it, it felt like a curse. She’s resigned herself to our complete devotion to each other, thankfully.

      4. Very Poison, this story too! Glad to hear that your mother in law has resigned herself to your union with your husband!

      5. Wonderful story and SO plutonic! The jealousy, the drops of blood and little shards of glass in the decolleté, the anger…
        My mother received a small but precious bottle of Poison from a friend in 1986. It was a gift to console her for the fact that her husband (my stepfather) was having an affair with a younger woman… And all these years later, whenever she thinks of or smells Poison, it is a bit painful. The dark purple bottle and piercing quality of the scent match the difficult memories attached to that period.
        And apt enough she has her Moon in Scorpio and Pluto was transiting over it in 1986. The friend is a Scorpio too. There were certainly no malicious intentions on the friend’s part in giving Poison as a gift, I think she just resonated with the situation and wanted to give a precious something to express her care

      6. Ages ago, I worked with a malicious, manipulative woman who was excited about a new fragrance called Poissont. I told her the fragrance is Poison. She said, my friends pronounce it Poissont. I replied, so your friends smell like fish?

  11. Wonderful post, and so interesting about the blue star! I was just in a deep rabbit hole last night reading about Asteria, goddess of falling stars, mother of Hekate. Night sky stars on the brain.

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