September 11, 2002 London
Though there’s no doubting Sage’s wish to support his country’s heritage, he seemed to be at a loss in terms of how to harness all that history. Reverting to his own background as a dealer in antique furnishing fabrics, he added fragments of precious Chinese silks, taffetas and velvetsall intrinsically beautiful in dusty, time-faded colorsto the mix. But he struggled to find a silhouette on which to pin all these marvelous materials. His conceptual thread wandered from vaguely 1960s black dresses to obis fastened with vast padded bows in back to 1950s swimsuit shapes made in brocade.
The designer’s best moment was a series of high-waisted dresses, in a rainbow of coral, pistachio, sky blue and violet, detailed with inserts of reclaimed crushed velvet. For some in the audience, though, the only place to look was forwardto his next project, the interior design of a château belonging to the cognac house Hine (a commission from LVMH). Dressing walls, windows and furniture instead of girls just might be the best use of Sage’s talents.