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Exhibition, Featured

The Salesgirl Who Became Boss
Daniela Monasterios Tan

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Emm’s Boutique was founded by Emily Cheng in 1972, and has been in Peace Centre since 1976. In her store, we find a snapshot of fashion history and the aspirations of women she has dressed for almost fifty years. Emily’s entrepreneurial story is part of the larger narrative of women’s lives, social expectations and labour policies that encouraged women to join the workplace. With disposable income, fashion acted as a social shell that women adopted to enter new spaces, asserting their professionalism and competence. Emily’s customers required office and leisure wear for the multiple roles that they balanced; daughters, wives, mothers and employees. 

Fashion researcher Daniela Monasterios Tan presents a video installation and window display inspired by Emily’s archive of magazine and newspaper clippings from the 1970s and 1980s. Entitled after a Her World Magazine feature from 1979 where Emily narrates how she went from salesgirl at Trend Boutique, to fashioning herself into her own boss. Utilising dresses from Emms Boutique, Daniela took gestural inspiration from advertisements as well as the professions of women who have come to Emily Cheng for decades. The work playfully centres the female body and the process of creative self-fashioning. In this way, The Salesgirl Who Became Boss reanimates the women who balanced social expectations, professional and personal aspirations in evolving contexts.

Pictures in the Mind
4 to 20 January 2023
Part of Singapore Art Week

Exhibiting at Emms Boutique #03-16
Mon to Sat: 11.30am to 6pm
Sun: 1pm to 5pm

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Event Information

4 January 2023 –
20 January 2023
Peace Centre
1 Sophia Road 228161 + Google Map