The hot topic of the moment is about the masculine versus the feminine with the polarisation and concentration of planets into the Cancer (the mother) opposing Capricorn (the father) axis. I guessed there would be another sun sign series insight coming on as we move from Gemini to Cancer. So a quick scan at the astrology of French fashion designer and photographer Hedi Slimane has something unique to offer. His first name is pronounced Eddy. He was born in Bagneux, France to Algerian and Italian parents. Slimane is a Cancer sun sign, and he highlights a different way to think about about what masculinity might actually be. It is also curious that Venus has just moved in to Cancer and Slimane’s Venus is at 17 degrees, the exact degree where the North Node in Cancer resides at the moment. So he will have a Venus in Cancer return very soon- on the 18th July on the North Node. What people might forget though in this debate is that both Capricorn and Cancer are both cardinal yet also feminine signs- so is this pointing to a blending of the two allegedly opposed energies, or a see-sawing to even greater extremes? We will have to wait and see.
Hedi Slimane, like many male designers at the head of the great Parisian fashion houses that mostly cater to women has pushed a lot of people’s buttons; he is anything if not controversial. He’s been feted, lionised and likewise vilified as selfish, autocratic, racist and even misogynistic – these are the media-ready labels that tend to fly about more often in the 21st century as people politicise what once was the province of art, fantasy and luxury. But Cancer is a true cardinal sign, and he has un-apologetically pushed forward a radical vision of fashion that he created first at Dior Homme in 2002, then at Yves Saint Laurent in 2012, and now since 2018 at Céline, which was traditionally a more women-centred house. He has struck a chord with some with his skinny-boy chic, but has divided others as he has rejected the previous very women-oriented style of Phoebe Phylo at Céline. He has washed her out of the picture and put the Slimane rake-thin boy stamp on the house of Céline.
He is a Cancer Sun with Mars conjunct the MC, with Libra rising. All the angles are cardinal -so there’s no stopping him. The Sun is sandwiched between Venus and Mars making the man/woman thing the defining issue of his career. At Céline some argued that he rejected the feminine, free-woman ethos of Phylo, and even ditched all her work from the website archives –as tetchy as Cancer natives can be- this has alarmed some people. Cancer natives are well known to be temperamental and picky, but on the other hand, some critics claim he has actually delved deeper back into Céline’s archive, just from the seventies. Clinging to the past to move forwards too is very Cancer-like. And with that Mars in Cancer there too, it points to the frustrated masculine, which can prove to be angry with their mothers, and even more difficult in regard to honouring the feminine in others and in themselves.
The classic Slimane look has been hugely influential. It is even embedded in his name Slim-Man. It is the black and white silhouette of the seductive boy circa late seventies London and Berlin; sharp, angled, minimal and thin. If you ever wondered why jeans became almost spray on and anyone over 30 could not possibly wear them? It was probably due to Slimane’s style. Nothing baggy is permitted. The quote ‘Men can have some of it’ above says basically that men too can be seductive- they can have the attraction traditionally assigned to women- and the Moon. There is something feminine and yet very masculine – a kind of blend but without being completely androgynous. It is young boy-ish, alternative, and it would appear that Slimane encourages women to wear his male attire and adopt the male look, the kind that the Ramones had back in 1977. It is interesting while on this topic to note its archetypal dynamic. Germaine Greer characterises the worship of the ‘boy’ attractive to older females in her book ‘The Boy’(2003).
She said “I’d like to reclaim for women the right to appreciate the short-lived beauty of boys, real boys, not simpering 30-year-olds with shaved chests.” Not one to hide away from scandalous statements, Greer outlines the plentiful supply of near-naked young adult males on display in art history and modern photography. Slimane is then almost inviting women to ‘be’ those boys, not just to date them. The archetypical boy he adores is someone like Johnny Borrell of Razorlight or some of his hand-picked from street casting models, but including famous offspring such as Dylan Thomas Brosnan, Charlie Oldman, Dylan Lee and Jake Smallwood. Mars rules his 7th house so it could be that he likes them to take the lead.
Slimane’s Mercury (the young boy) is actually conjunct asteroid Ceres (mother) who went into mourning for the loss of her daughter, so this is an intriguing, perhaps even impish conjunction to have there in Gemini. He is able to articulate this peculiar relationship well through his work. Cancer sun signs are said to have a romantic inner world where their intense feelings come and go like the tides. They could be obsessed with their mother, become ‘motherly’ in relationships or turn their partners into a ‘mother.’ They are easily provoked by emotions and memories of early childhood. Moon children need to be around Mum; they are cry-babies, perhaps not suited to the realities of urban family life. But the moon trine the sun is harmonious and could mean he knows himself extremely well, and tends to attract money. He doubled revenue for Dior Homme and in 2018, he won a legal case against fashion group Kering and was paid a tidy 8,000,000 Euros. People are watching closely if he is as bankable at Céline.
No one savours a grudge better than a Cancer. ‘La Vendetta’ or vengeance is mine, as my Cancer native friend used to say with more than little operatic vibrato. The swirling waters where the crab lives are rocky and being ultra-sensitive, it retreats into its shell before anyone can go on the attack. One particular feud lead to Slimane posting a stinging riposte to a fashion critic Cathy Horyn on social media. She wrote a damming review of his show at YSL. So Slimane banned her from ever coming to any catwalk shows. He called her a ‘schoolyard’ bully, ‘average,’ ‘irrelevant’ and a mere ‘publicist’ rather than a real writer. Horyn’s response was that his remarks are just ‘silly nonsense’. But these open tirades are a warning not to get on his wrong side. Slimane also has moon in Scorpio and as many astrologer’s hint with a giggle, would add a caustic and poisonous edge to any embittered feelings, embroiling you into darker territory where you might choose not to go. He certainly puts all this intensity into his work with that moon in the 2nd house.
Cancer holds on to the past and picks it over with its pincers and holds it close to the heart. In Hedi’s case it is fondness for late 1970s Berlin and Slimane produced a photographic record of an entire decade. Photography is the perfect medium to hold on to memories and to create that romantic inner world, and make the rest of the world conform to it. Neptune too is in the 2nd and they say that non-digital ‘chemical’ black and white images especially suggest dreams, reflections, memories and wistful longing for what has gone. He said “I also like the dream and fantasy of luxury, the exception and rarity of it. I have no interest at all in fast retail.” He created a project that is his Slimane daily diary where even the menu is designed like a calendar. His images depict the alternative masculine, not the obvious muscle flexing hyper-masculine. He preferred black and white photographs which as opposed to colour reinforces that aching nostalgia for the past.
Slimane said it is very hard for a man to look good except in a classic suit and classic jeans, so unless you have the body to fit, look lean young, you basically don’t match up. He poured scorn on the muscle-bound look of the Chippendale dancers. In 2000 Karl Lagerfeld, now deceased, took this to an extreme to make a point about fashion. Rather than opt for a baggy Armani suit in which he would be comfortable, said that he would lose six and half stone in order to fit into one of Hedi Slimane’s outfits, and being a Virgo, he astonished everyone (except astrologers) and did exactly that, slimmed down to fit Slimane. It was an endorsement not many can claim.
Slimane is a designer who promotes a cool chic that may not be to your taste, but it is definitely to his: it is his inner world of fabulous skinny boys. He invites us to share in that, just in a Cancer sun-sign way, with a prickly emotional intensity that attacks with pincers if anyone tries to challenge it. So watch out for those bite-backs, and side-long career moves, keep your distance and enjoy the show.
©Proteus Astrology, July 2019
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