Written by Julia Szabo
Produced by Doris Athineos
VIRGO / Aug. 23–Sept. 22
Finding oneself irresistibly drawn to visit or put down roots in a particular place may be explained by discovering that location's zodiac sign. (Yes, cities and countries have signs just as people do). If a destination's sign is compatible with (or the same as) yours, you're good to go; and you probably do go, as often as possible.
Athens—capital of Greece, one of the world's oldest cities, and the cradle of Western civilization—happens to be a Virgo with a powerful influence on designing minds. In the late 1930s and ’40s, British-born T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905–1976) was America's most sought-after, high-profile decorator, with clients including cosmetic innovator Elizabeth Arden and publisher Alfred A. Knopf. A passionately purist defender of the Greco-Roman design heritage, Robsjohn-Gibbings combined classical Grecian elements (think sphinxes and Ionic capitals) with art deco silhouettes to forge a uniquely timeless style all his own. To this day, the trendsetter's creative concepts continue to hit home, and original examples of his furniture designs for the Widdicomb Co. of Michigan fetch high prices on 1stDibs, eBay, and elsewhere.
In 1960, the designer collaborated with the Greek cabinetmaker Saridis on the Klismos line of furniture, which is still in production. The clean, classical lines and woven leather straps of the klismos chair, especially—Robsjohn-Gibbings' update of a hot seat with curved, tapered legs that appears in classical art everywhere, from painted urns to The Iliad —make themselves right at home in a wide range of interior settings.
After many years in America, Robsjohn-Gibbings, Star Stylist, finally realized his ultimate design destiny: His spiritual home became his actual home when he relocated to Greece to become the designer to Aristotle Onassis. (Other Virgo locales include Boston, Paris, Brazil, and Turkey.)
The Other 11 Signs
What and where is your design destiny? Perhaps a peek at the other 11 zodiac signs will hold a clue!
LIBRA / Sept. 23–Oct. 22
Rare is the Libra who doesn't care for design. Many of the world's most successful design professionals were born under the sign of the scales, and they enjoy visiting architectural landmarks around the world. Especially compelling to traveling Libras are the traditional castles of Japan and China, as both are Libran countries.
SCORPIO / Oct. 23–Nov. 21
Eric Cohler helps educate the next generation of designers with the Eric Cohler Internship and Travel Award at his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Each year since 2005, one rising senior gets to travel anywhere in the world for two weeks, then spend a two-week internship in Cohler's New York design studio.
SAGITTARIUS / Nov. 22–Dec. 21
Travelers to the Sadge city of Budapest, Hungary, may enjoy traditional Magyar fare (including the chocolate-drenched crêpe called palacsinta) served in the opulent interiors of the world-famous Gundel restaurant, opened in 1910 by culinary trendsetter Karoly Gundel.
CAPRICORN / Dec. 22–Jan. 19
In the Capricorn city of Brussels, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium houses a dazzling collection of Flemish paintings, including an entire Rubens Room displaying works by Cancerian Peter Paul Rubens, and Brueghel's “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” (subject of the poem "Musée des Beaux Arts" by Piscean W.H. Auden).
AQUARIUS / Jan. 20–Feb. 18
A stay at the Kuriftu Resort and Spa in Addis Ababa, Debre Zeit, or Bahir Dar (with two more locations opening soon) is one way to get acquainted with the Aquarian country of Ethiopia. Lakeside bungalows were designed to combine native Ethiopian architecture and decor with modern conveniences. (That's so Aquarius.)