Displaying Saris - Fashion Gallery of the National Museum of Singapore

Vidya Murthy


The Fashion Gallery of the National Museum of Singapore, instead of outlining a traditional historic story of garments and especially the sari, focuses on which women wore what, how they wore their clothes and more importantly what kind of individual choices they exercised in assembling their wardrobes. The display shows how the sari was transformed in Singapore through the years, 1950-70. The changed silhouettes and versatile properties of synthetic materials reveal the transformations that modernity brought about in the Indian community. The collection process and the oral histories together not only offer a social history of this Indian women’s garment, but also show how women were active agents who shaped for themselves an identity that was exciting.

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