Virgo A La Mode

Virgos are overlooked when it comes to style. Wedged between dramatic Leo and preening Libra, pragmatic Virgo is often seen as neat and nimble but not a fashion leader. But in reality, fashion has a strong Virgo placement.

Distinguishing details count in fashion’s endless cycles. If, for example, circle skirts come back every three to five years, the new batch will only sell if they’re significantly different from the old models, and it takes a Virgo-like approach to get such nuances spot on.

Similarly, seasonal collections are strongly influenced by Virgorean notions of eloquence and continuity: each brand wants its collection to be coherent and make a statement.

But more importantly, Virgos have often been able to challenge and even overturn old hierarchies in fashion and beyond. Their witty, no-nonsense attitude can help prune back fashion’s excesses and inspire elegance and an ethical approach to consumption.

With this Virgo Sun and New Moon opposing Neptune, it’s time to take inspiration from some Virgos who, unlike Beyonce, fabulous though she is, are truly their sign. Here are my top three:

The lately deceased Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall was born with brains versatility and beauty. I love the story of how on the set of To Have and Have Not, aged eighteen, she turned vulnerability into power. Legend has it that when she asked for a match to light her cigarette, the seasoned Humphrey Bogart threw a box of matches at her. The mortified Bacall shook from head to toe until she realized that ‘one way to hold my trembling head still was to keep it down, chin low, almost to my chest, and eyes up at Bogart’.

This was the beginning of ‘The Look’ that earned Bacall a sultry reputation, a throng of film roles, and Bogart as a husband… I think there’s something so distinctly Virgo about Bacall’s canny ability to turn terror into grace and seduction. I also love how she shunned frou-frou and bling and let her luscious hair and feline, wide-set eyes be her main jewels.

The celebrity fashion stylist and editor of Violet and previously Lula magazines, Leith Clark, is another Virgo who stands firmly by her style ideal. As a teenager, Clark felt alienated by the uber-sexualized, glamorous images of models in magazines, who seemed to be posing for an invisible man. He had nothing to do with what she found beautiful and felt about clothes.

So Clark pursued a more woman-orientated vision and styled her models and celebrity clients in a more expressive, Bohemian manner. Like Bacall, Clark prefers to keep hair and make-up natural so that the model appears as herself and not as a mask. Interestingly, Clark’s magazines have grown up with her. We’ve seen her gravitate from the scrapbook style Lula, with the by-line, ‘Girl of My Dreams,’ to the more sophisticated Violet, a magazine inspired by creative women of all ages.

Finally, my yoga teacher Nadia, who revealed she was a Virgo when she insisted that another student should straighten their wonky mat, has enlightened me since I began yoga almost a year ago. In my first class, all traumatic memories of school P.E. faded because a rose candle was burning, and Nadia walked in all soft-voiced and Audrey Hepburnish in a deep blue knit jumper.

The opposite of my P.E. teachers, Nadia has that rare combination of eloquence, attention to detail, and a lightness of touch. All super-Virgo traits, wouldn’t you agree? She can spot a saggy plank pose from a mile away and insists that the offender redeems themselves, but at the same time encourages her students to be as organic and flowing as trees in their poses and transitions.

True to her Virgo Sun, she shuns branded exercise gear in favor of olive greens, sapphire blues, and the occasional slogan t-shirt.

For me, these women are inspiring in their earthiness because they show us how to be beautiful on this planet and not in some alternate, amplified universe. Their ability to work with reality (whether a tricky work scenario or the fallible human body) is truly magic.

Katerina Pantelides is a dress historian and writer living in London. A Libra with Neptune rising, she is interested in the relationship between fashion, beauty, and the occult.

Image: Carmen Kass – Yelena Yumchuk – Vogue Nippon

38 thoughts on “Virgo A La Mode”

  1. I’ve been more stylish, more adventurous and more bold with choices and combinations seemingly despite myself – thrown together, intuitive dressing – since that new moon in Virgo. Also, not sure what this is about but less blacks and reds for some time now, more colour like blues, oranges, greens. It’s nice!

  2. The Kaiser himself- Karl Lagerfeld is a Virgo! Yes, and so is tom ford (the über Virgo) . Carine Roitfeld is also a Virgo. One thing I notice they seem to have a formulaic – uniform approach to personal style. They seem to find something that works and stick with it. Instead of trendy it’s luxe fabrics , tailoring and dark colors…quality fabrics. I agree, there is plenty of Virgo in fashion, they also have staying power ( Karl, Tom ) not caught up in drugs, depression ( ysl, galliano )

  3. You’re forgetting one of Virgo’s other virtues: impeccable tailoring! Virgo is the zodiac’s seamstress and clean lines and a cut to kill are her hallmarks. It’s all about precision and the right fit.

    Designer Stella McCartney is an Uber Virgo…..I think she has a good 4 planets there if memory serves me correctly.

  4. Love Sophia Loren’s look and looks. I remember seeing a pic of her looking so glamorous in her sensual black clothes, she was such a contrast to the american white bread tv fare I grew up on – I was smitten.
    Virgo gloriousness.

    1. She is totes gorgeous, love her style and type of looks. One of my feminine ideals of beauty and glamour. Also Marisa Berenson. I grew up looking at pics of them and thought them so glamourous, with the elongated eye makeup and clean lines of hair and clothing, and pure colours of 60s -70s style.
      I’ve got a significant lot of Virgo placements, I like precision, good cut of jackets and dresses, good shoes. I feel better if my hair is right, hard to go to work if my hair is a mess. Need my armour!

    2. Yes, there is the nun and there is the other roles where she is standing there, elegant pose, possibly arguing with a man., but this time the strap on her dress has slipped. 2 inches down her shoulder, she notices that he notices,… O M G she has just intravenously mainlined a million images of bliss straight to my head. If someone designed the dress, that’s very nice but Sophia could be wearing a humble field workers dress that would make most women invisible. Combine this outfit with a simple bra that is about 1 ? maybe 2 sizes smaller than a fit. Any red blooded male is now totally under her control. Viva Italia !

  5. Yes.. I was happy to see that comment about Lauren Becall and her reaction to Humphrey’s action to throw matches at her. People do that to me all the time. Try to get me to react. It must be a Virgo thing.

    I have never followed the fashion trend. Even growing up in a high incoming area I couldn’t because my Mom ended up dressing me up in my brother’s clothes. I always wanted to be wearing the richy rich clothes. But I never did.

    The comment about Leith Clark being natural with hair and make-up.. ding, ding, ding… I can’t stand wearing make-up. I wear it now lately because of acting and just because, but I try to avoid the foundation part. Hair also, if it’s warm outside I am happy to let my hair air-dry.

    Virgo Sun with Uranus, Pluto, Mercury

  6. I keep getting the 4 of cups in the tarot and it is driving me insane. how on earth am i supposed to be seeing something that i am clearly blind to?! my life is such a randomised set of events and themes, it’s not like there is an anomaly somewhere that i easy to pick up. it is ALL noise. no signal. or maybe: all signal. help me obi-wan kenobe, you’re my only hope.

    1. Hi Gorgeous,
      I remember a friends hippy parent doing a reading for me once where this card was drawn (he was Virgo !) and said ”Stop feeling sorry for yourself”…it was a bit of a slap because i didn’t realise i was. I see it as focused on the wrong things. xx
      PS not suggesting that you hon, purely a different angle. xx Blessings

    2. I think this is Pi, no? If not, sorry!

      How do we pick up signs? For me, it is really based on what is pulling me the strongest. For example, a friend posted a charity function for a clothing drive for abused women. I reacted to it. Not sure why because I normally don’t react to charity events. I sometimes think that the money we give to charities aren’t utilized like we want. So, I decided to help and committed myself to go. I went and did not know what to expect. I actually removed all expectations and just went with it. It was an amazing event. I met fabulous people and felt like I made a difference. I also met a relationship counselor. I had always told myself that I would never work with a counselor again. But with Mystic’s page and the venting of my relationship scenarios the relationship counselor showed up. I liked her, she seems to have a unique approach to helping people so I was intrigued. I called to schedule an appointment.

      So, what does this all mean. My gut feeling to the charity function got me to react and participate and look what happened, I met a person who can help me with relationships. I had been so blind to my need for help and this person showed up.

      I hope this makes sense and can help.

      Signs are honestly every where. !!!


      1. Also, yes it is a good feeling to “just go” to a thing with an open mind. It’s nice to hear of your openness to new experiences. Especially in this case for such an important reason. 🙂 Pi x

    3. Funny you should mention that. I was also pulling that same card eerily often over a period of maybe 3-4 months lasting until very recently. Felt the same way — what the heck am I stillllll missing? Finally I did a 3 card spread asking what I was missing and pulled the 4 of Cups again (along with the Fool and the Hanged Man… took that to mean that whatever I was missing, I was supposed to miss).

      I still don’t know, and I don’t know if I have gotten it yet, but now the card that’s following me around is the Lovers. Definitely slightly more pleasant to look at/think about, but I am totally single without a ship in sight and it’s a bit puzzling.

      I do have an ex that I still miss a lot and I do keep having to choose myself over and over and over again, choose the possibility of a truly mutually loving partnership over this person I love who can’t give me that. It’s been pretty grueling, but I know I am right to choose myself and to choose to hold out for something better, grounded in strictest reality. And to know that just because I am alone right now doesn’t mean I always will be.

      I think that the cards mess with us fairly frequently, just to make sure we’re serious about our goals and dreams and vows. The Lovers feels like a test — am I still so literal in wanting romantic love that pulling this card over and over again will disrupt all the other stuff I’m trying to do, the way it has so many times in my life?

      And I just gotta keep living out my answer to that, and meaning it.

      1. hey thanks mutable M, that’s some interesting words and wisdom there. yes i see the fool as ‘yah don’t worry about it’
        the ‘theme’ cards are wierd because they pop up in different places in the readings too. so … yes maybe general msg from universe?..

  7. And then there is the King of Style and Lyric.
    Monsieur Nick Cave.
    Moon conjunct Mercury in Virgo.
    Sun conjunct Mars in Virgo.
    Pluto in Virgo.

    Blood red velvet curtains with gold tassles backdrop on stage.
    Classically beautiful and understated always.

    Leonard Cohen also springs to mind – Virgo Sun, Neptune conjunct Venus Virgo.

    I sometimes forget Virgo is ruled by Mercury – until i run into one / listen to one sing…true wordsmiths.

      1. There are actually a lot of bad-ass Virgos out there due in particular the transit of Uranus & Pluto thru Virgo back in the late 50’s to early 70’s – those of the Great Conjunction vintage being especially noteworthy if their Suns are anywhere near this duo, as they tend to be quite atypical of that “wholesome” image one would normally associate with this sign. Charlie Sheen comes to mind as a prime example of what I’m talking about – he’s hardly the model for “clean living”, modesty, and chastity. With Mercury as his chart ruler & ruler of his Sun in ego-centric Leo PLUS a Mercury/Sun mutual reception in his chart as well, this lion clearly needs a bit of taming even if he insists that “tiger blood” flows through his veins. I’m pretty sure he’s been hitting the Space Dust hard with transiting Chiron & Neptune fuqing w/ his Virgo placements….he’ll either fall off the wagon hard (again? Was he ever really on it to begin with, LOL?) or join an ashram. Knowing our Good Time Charlie as we do, though, which of the two would you be willing to put money on?

  8. Four planets in virgo I do not seem to be that gifted in fashion…but reading this article I felt good about my career choice: graphic design. It’s not an often listed ‘virgo’ career like nursing or accountant or whatever else is typical!

    You do think of more traditionally creative signs (such as Leo) when you think of careers in design…however attention to detail is a really awesome thing for graphic design, when tiny things like kerning (spacing between individual letters) matter. Also in graphic design, you are more behind the scenes and helping people. And good communication is the main goal of design. These are all virgo things too. Design may be artistic, inspired, etc, but I think you need to have left brained and logical side to really succeed…and stand out, like the people you’ve listed.

    1. I can’t imagine a classic Leo in a design role, unless they owned the firm. too much detail and stupid software to submit to … pernickety ungracious clients who don’t get it… and meeting a tame brief prescribed by Someone Else? preposterous! and where does the world get to see their name? they’d need a bunch of virgo in there for the service / practical use orientation in their work. I contend.

      1. Haha, that’s true…hopefully all the artistic Leos are in the arts program instead. There’s a guy in my classes who is very Leo, he doesn’t take direction or criticism well and it does not do him any favors. You’re right, virgo’s personality is actually more suited to design.

        1. 🙂 i think my perspective comes from my father, who while an aqua with Leo rising [and didn’t we know about it], i finally worked out he must have had a 6th house sun, which was where his innate pragmatism and meticulousness most likely came from. Toro moon too,

          other virgo designer types too, but will stop there.
          this is neither a sledge against virgos nor Leos though. just that it takes all sorts 🙂

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a wonderful article, it’s made me for the first time truly happy to have Virgo rising. I’m working towards getting a line of yoga clothes for the older, more mature practitioner off the ground, so it looks as though my Virgo rising is going to be coming in handy.

    1. the virgo risings i know (toro and a scorp, men both) are impeccably styled, down to the stitching finish of the lining of the pockets that you will never see. they are dandies who do not need an audience. it’s the soul-satisfaction of being able to , from the ground up, successfully exert one’s will over the process of perfecting one’s appearance. with no morons to interfere, for once. I think.

  10. Domestic Triffid

    Ah I have my Inner Virgo by the throat at the moment 😀 I have spent six or more months being classical, refined, and pulled together on her say so.

    But no, Saggie sun and scorpio everything else want ferocious colour, blinding bling, turquoise, swirling skirts and gypsy accents; beads in my hair and bare feet…

    I gave classical style a really good go, and I can put my hand on my heart and say it isn’t me.

    I admire pared back minimalism (in fashion NEVER in Interiors) and a good grasp of colour, cut and shape and detail in the accessories is something hat gives me great pleasure to look at; but when push comes to shove my tastes are more Gaultier than Prada…

  11. “I love as well how she shunned frou-frou and bling, and let her luscious hair and feline, wide-set eyes be her main jewels.” yes!

  12. Detail, so agree, makes or breaks. It Takes A Virgo. I feel a bit constrained (Aries Venus) in full “neat” mode, or in an outfit some might describe as “coordinated”, but I get it. My Virgo BFF is like an Intuitive Fashion Healer but some of my Pisces elements will always have the last word, if I am trying to resolve an outfit. Their pragmatism is so hot. That pragmatism also including allowance for the most harlot-red sky high stilettoes, if the occasion calls for it.

      1. Exhibit A1: when Loren arrived in Rome as a young lady, and impecunious, she dyed all of her clothes black… here is the quote from her book, “Women and Beauty” (within arm’s reach on my bookshelf of course!):
        I simply didn’t have the money to spend on clothes. Jewels and furs were things to dream about. Still, I needed something appropriate to wear when I met people and auditioned for work. So I discovered, by necessity, that simplicity is at the heart of elegance. I forgot this when I became very successful but I remembered it later and live by it today. … In order to have something to wear in those early days that would cost practically nothing and could be worn all day long and into the evening and on every sort of occasion, I took my clothes, my navy skirt and white blouse, and dyed them black. Even my handkerchief became black. … and it worked.

        but it looks like she also has moon-saturn in Aqua trine jupiter on her Scorp MC, so maybe all-black simplicity really worked for her outer AND inner game, back then 🙂

        1. libra dress historian

          Thanks so much for the quote Pi. I’ll be scouting out for that book. One thing’s for sure, Virgos are impeccably turned out and strategic, whether they have a plan or not…

          1. They are, aren’t they… Their mercury mind plans for everything! God, I’d love to be a Virgo for a week.
            The book is so gorgeous, the conversational tone of her advice is exactly what you’d want to hear from your cool, secret-girls-club nonna 🙂

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