Venture into the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Centre for Fashion and amongst an incredible collection of 30,000 pieces that revolve around fashion; you’ll find the campaign backdrop to sass & bide’s Speakeasy collection.

Working closely alongside Senior Curator and sass & bide friend Roger Leong, an incredible team of creatives rallied to create a unique and bespoke set for our latest collection. Leong explains, “The Powerhouse Museum is a gutsy souvenir of 19th century Industrial architecture. It has a grittiness and monumental scale that can be overpowering at times. I think the Speakeasy collection has plenty of guts and it stands up to this mighty edifice with a sassiness that lives up to the brand’s identity.”

Our visual story centers on one of the Museum's and the world’s most coveted pieces of furniture; Marc Newson’s iconic Lockheed Lounge. Newson himself is, arguably, the most famous designer of his generation and according to Leong, his timeless piece and Sass & Bides winter collection share a common thread. “Both the Speakeasy Collection outfits and the Lockheed Lounge share a fluidity of movement and powerful energy. They are statement pieces. They are contemporary with a touch of nostalgia for the Machine Age and the Art Deco period,” Leong describes. Widely considered one of the most important design pieces of the 20th Century, the Lockheed Lounge stands as a beacon for Australian designers who know exactly what and how to strive for success.
For Leong, the Lockheed Lounge represents a moment in the late 20th century when artists and designers were grappling with ways to draw inspiration from the past without falling back into mere quotation while at the same time finding new idioms for the future. “The fact that it still commands our attention today suggests that it has become a timeless icon. I think its success is very much due to its immediacy of communication. When I first saw it, I immediately thought of vintage airplanes and surfing, certainly not that traditional piece of furniture the chaise longue. I think that’s what Marc Newson has done throughout his career – reinvent the way we look at everyday objects,“ he explains.

Certainly throughout history, design and fashion have always told a story; and the stories in the MAAS Centre for Fashion are endless. While it was the underground bars of the 20s and 30s that inspired The Design Collective’s Speakeasy Collection, the MAAS fashion archives are filled with their own tales from the 20s and 30s. “We have drop-dead elegant examples of Paris haute couture by Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet – two great icons of the period who created modern women’s style,” cites Leong. 

Anyone interested in how the past intersects with the present and future of fashion will embrace the MAAS Centre for Fashion. A treasure trove of history, it’s an incredibly diverse collection that provides the curators with the scope to put fashion into a broad context.

To mark and commemorate the collaboration between the Lockheed Lounge, The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and sass and bide, we recently donated a number of key pieces from the Speakeasy Collection to the MAAS Centre for Fashion. The time capsule continues…

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