Like the orange light over the mountains and volcanoes of her childhood home in a national park in Iceland, Saga feels an affinity towards color, matching a water-colored jumpsuit with a tribal necklaces of giant red beads and coral tights. “Magical” is how she describes the energy of nature that surrounded her, with no cars and no sounds– and few people, a place where one’s inspiration came from the pitch-black darkness of the night. “You can almost feel the history in the air,” she says. Saga herself comes from just such a heritage, including a grandfather who was one of the last Icelandic cave-dweller, to which Saga attributes her own comfort when surrounded by the “organized chaos” of her own things. It was a family deep in the woods, solitary and deep-thinking, in which books, creation, and one’s imagination was the only escape. Saga’s mother — a feminist, park ranger, and seemingly someone from the pages of a gothic novel with her long gray hair, black clothing, and silver jewelry — encouraged her kids to take creative paths throughout their lives.
The Never-Ending Story inspired the fantastical bracelet and necklace designed by Clare Bickford-Smith that Saga wears and which, she says, is very her. They are extraordinary pieces, and recall the unusual things that would happen to her as a kid in the forest, a place so beautiful she was sometimes visited by the Icelandic royal family. In a tribal-print ankle dress with a pleated black cape and Miu Miu peep-toes, she could be the subject of one of her most memorable shoots, capturing a traveling caravan in an ancient churchyard. The texture and light of film — as opposed to digital — is important to her as an appreciation of heightened sensuality, just as Chopin is on a rainy day, or reading a book at a cafe instead of going to a party. In pink eyeshadow, thick eyelashes and a mod, knit Jeremy Scott printed dress, Saga truly is the grown-up, modern 60’s version of her childhood fairy tale spent in a far off land called Thingvellir.