"I need money!" said Russell Sage to his sponsor, the
bank Britannic Money, who generously obliged with
10,000 pounds. The designer promptly stitched the bills into
stunning rosettes on a skirt, jacket and dress. "It's
a way to comment on the economic struggles that many
designers face, and also make a statement about the
value of fashion," said Sage. "One of my dresses is
made out of 6,000 pounds. But is it worth more than that?"
We certainly think so. Sage's collection played out brilliantly, turning not only bank notes but recovered antique fabrics and even a common blanket into modern, off-kilter wonders. Linen jackets came with hand-painted details, lace insets peeked out of shirts, and a damask tablecloth became a skirt; think of it as Portobello Market chic. Sage believes that each and every one of his pieces has an important history behind it, which the buyer can make his own. As if to prove his point, he closed the show with a striking, delicately beaded white dress made out of his own mother's wedding gown, which Sage brought back to life after it had been stored for over 40 years.