Julien Macdonald (source: The Times)

March 19 is Julien Macdonald’s birthday.

I’m sort of intrigued by Julien Macdonald. For a while, he had the world in his hands. Hailed as “the British Versace” and appointed as the creative director at Givenchy, he should have been playing in the big leagues for the rest of his career. However, he never really found a way to translate his talent into major commercial success. I follow a lot of UK-based designers, and I know that he barely receives a fraction of the press of relatively-unknown upstarts like Simone Rocha and Matty Bovan.

His natal chart reveals a few interesting details. Even without a time of birth, I can ascertain that he has a Sagittarius moon, and both Jupiter and Neptune in Sagittarius. That’s a pretty powerful combo for someone with a Pisces sun considering that Pisces and Sagittarius share Jupiter as their traditional ruling planet. The emphasis placed upon the sign is considerable.

That got me thinking about a Sagittarius designer who also worked for Givenchy: John Galliano. And that got me thinking about Mr. Givenchy himself, a Pisces, and another Pisces designer who worked for Givenchy, Alexander McQueen.

Before the Leos took over (Riccardo Tisci; Claire Waight Keller), the label was being run either by a Pisces, a Sagittarius or Pisces with major Sagittarius influences in his chart. So what does that mean?

I see creative abandon in both signs: the ability to gallop off wildly in a hundred directions at once while still creating something that eventually finds its way back to a captive audience. Unfortunately for Julien Macdonald, his creative impulses were reined-in by a rather singular focus on red-carpet glamour.

There is some fear of failure in his chart that explains why he has never been able to take his obvious talent to the next level. He possesses an almost-exact opposition of the sun and Pluto. It inhibits the sort of risk-taking that has made stars out designers like Givenchy, Galliano and McQueen. Cafe Astrology describes the aspect like this:

“One of the most prominent characteristics of these aspects is the tendency to be intensely dissatisfied with their personal accomplishments and expressions of self. These people put a lot of pressure on themselves regarding their own endeavors . . . They experience a simultaneous urge to express themselves and to hide themselves.”

Perhaps that explains Julien Macdonald’s career. He had the world in his hands and he wasn’t able to hold onto it. He’s still designing a signature line and still a genuine force in the world of fashion, but he could have been so much more.

I guess that it wasn’t in his stars . . .

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