Anna Wintour, born 3- November-1949, the editor-in-chief of the American Vogue has been in fashion journalism for 44 years, and has held her current position for the past 22. Magazine editors rarely reach the kind of mythic proportions that Ms. Wintour has. Her name is recognizable internationally; she’s top of the heap in her profession and wields enormous power over the fashion industry.
But what made her a household name was the movie The Devil Wears Prada: the character of Miranda Priestly is allegedly based on her. If you’ve seen the movie (dull and unmemorable) or read the book (god-awful dull and unmemorable), you’ll realize that the only thing that made either note-worthy is fact that the demanding and over-the-top personality of Miranda Priestly is supposedly a portrayal of Ms. Wintour. A recent article in the Mail Online says this, “So I asked one of the American Voguettes whether she had seen The Devil Wears Prada. Sighing, she answered that she didn’t need to see it, she already lived it.”
The movie that made her a household name was released on 30 June 2006. During that time, Ms. Wintour had:
- Transiting Saturn and Chiron squaring her natal Sun
- Transiting Pluto conjunct her natal Venus
- Transiting Jupiter conjunct her natal sun
- Transiting Neptune opposing Pluto
- Transiting Uranus opposing Saturn
All aspects were within an orb of one degree. While the Jupiter conjunction shot her to great fame and had the world talking about her, the Saturn and Chiron square had them saying negative things. That is bound to have hurt. All she said, about the book was, ‘I always enjoy a great piece of fiction. I haven’t decided whether I am going to read it or not.’ Every inch the stoic Scorpio: you’ve got to admire that.
If these works of fiction attempt to color Ms. Wintour’s character black (a color she’s not fond of), then they have failed. She’s very detailed-oriented and demanding, they wail. With her Mars and Saturn in perfectionist Virgo, that would be true. She’s probably more demanding when it comes to herself. It is said that she personally approves each picture that finds its way in the pages of the magazine. This, then, is a woman who is not afraid of hard work and demands the same in others.
She’s said to be chilly and unapproachable, a person who does not get chummy with her staff. Her Sun in Scorpio and Pluto in Leo are squared making her a quite a Plutonian. Since the aspect is a difficult one, she’s likely to be very hard on herself, have an intense need for privacy and be strongly suspicious of others. She scorns being fake-and-nice and that requires great personal integrity and courage. But that does not mean that she welcomes the world into the inner workings of her mind. She’s famed for wearing sunglasses indoors and calls them her “armor,” saying it prevents people from knowing how she’s feeling while she’s a spectator at fashion shows.
I’ve been trying, for days, to figure out her axes and I’ve been unsuccessful. So I’m going to limit myself to only a few aspects in her chart, especially the ones that deal with her career. When you think fashion, you look at Venus (the ruler of beauty), Uranus (the ruler of the new and trendy) and Neptune (the ruler of glamour).
Anna’s natal Neptune is conjunct the south node in Libra and opposing the Moon in Aries. She’s been very clear on what she wants Vogue to portray: and it isn’t the humdrum or the ordinary. The models are thin (she’s known for her dislike of fat people), the clothes cutting-edge, and the photo-shoots cost a fortune. Vogue sells dreams and illusions, and with her Moon (ruler of the masses) opposing Neptune (ruler of glamour and illusions) Anna understands this. Her magazine gives people what they want: a glamorous world. No one cares that it is a world of illusion. People crave fantasies and Neptune is happy to oblige.
Her hair is always in a perfect bob, her makeup impeccable and her clothes faultless. Before you think she is a dull upholder of the status quo, do note that Uranus trines Sun and Mercury, squares Moon and opposes Venus. There is a fiercely independent and rebellious streak in her that showed up early. Wikipedia notes, ‘The young Wintour was educated at North London Collegiate School, where she frequently rebelled against the dress code by taking up her skirts.’ It goes on to say, ‘Charles Wintour arranged for his daughter’s first job, at the influential Biba boutique, when she was 15. The next year, she dropped out of North London Collegiate and began a training program at Harrods. At her parents’ behest, she also took some fashion classes at a nearby school, but soon dropped out, saying, “You either know fashion or you don’t.”‘ No one had to teach her about fashion, she was going to teach them! And the Uranian that she is, she is well-known for promoting the work of young designers in the pages of the world’s most influential fashion magazine.
Her moon in independent Aries trines powerful Pluto in regal Leo. And this is what Cafe Astrology has to say about the trine, “You can be an intimidating woman although you don’t try to be, simply because you possess a level of awareness which is absolutely penetrating. Your embrace of the true essence of feminine power is quite remarkable, and your ability to bounce back in the face of challenge or adversity is directly linked to this power.” Ms. Wintour dresses with great taste in decidedly feminine clothes and she does not see this as diminishing her power one whit. This is what she said about Hillary Clinton in one of Vogue Editor’s letter, “Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying. This is America, not Saudi Arabia. It’s also 2008: Margaret Thatcher may have looked terrific in a blue power suit, but that was 20 years ago. I do think Americans have moved on from the power-suit mentality, which served as a bridge for a generation of women to reach boardrooms filled with men. Political campaigns that do not recognize this are making a serious misjudgment.”
Ms. Wintour is very much in the news right now: a Forbes magazine ranking has listed her as the most powerful fashion editor in America for 2009, and she’s on a publicity spree to promote the fashion documentary The September Issue which focuses on Vogue. She had her Saturn return recently and transiting Pluto has been passing back and forth over her 26 degree Sagittarius Venus. The last few years have seen bad PR generated from The Devil Wears Prada, rumors of her retirement; and more recently the magazine facing budget cuts. Add to this the fact that Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington is said to have stolen the show from her in The September Issue and all in all it’s been a bumpy ride.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t enough admire this woman who expresses herself so honestly and fearlessly. Even if it comes at a great cost. As transiting Uranus heads towards a square to her Venus and I wonder what we’ll hear next. Keep you ears peeled.
P.S. And if you figure out her axes, do let me know!