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Fashionista NOW: Kebaya Fashion Inspiration For 2011

Why I love kebaya and why you may be tempted to wear them – Let’s find out.

Kebaya is one of the traditional signatures of the country which is shaped like a blouse-dress or closely similar to a tunic worn by women here and other parts of south east Asia such as Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Burma and southern Thailand.

In Indonesia, kebaya is the national costume of Indonesian ladies and it is worn almost daily by Indonesian first ladies.

Female flight attendants of Malaysia and Singapore Airlines wear kebaya as their uniform with modern tight-fitting interpretations.

The Garuda Indonesian female uniform is said to have retained the more traditional features as the kebaya is designed in a simple yet classic Kartini style kebaya which originated from the 19th century kebaya of Javanese noblewomen.

While the airline rocking kebaya chicks wear them for work, we, on the ground, wear kebaya for fun! It must be the historical fashion influence of our mothers and the ladies in the family tree who have been rocking the traditional elegant kebaya since the beginning of time.

There are so many reasons to love kebaya and with the celebration of Eid just around the corner, let’s just find out what they are, as a gesture of deep appreciation of this history-laden fashionable kebaya.

The body-shape flaunting feature of the kebaya is very pleasing to my eyes. Dresses or blouses do not do justice to the womanly curves if they hide them, don’t you think? At least that’s how I see it.

The batik sarong gives off a bohemian feel.

With the perfect kebaya, you can look ethereal like an angel, without a hassle. The detailing of the kebaya makes it visually-appealing.

With the sheer types of kebaya, you can have fun with layers. You can wear a body-fitting tube under the traditional blouse or just rock it out the way our nenek (grandmother) used to by wearing it, over a lacy black bra. But only if you’re above 18, of course. Or if your nenek lets you.

In the picture above, the young lady is wearing ‘nyonya’ kebaya which is a type of kebaya that is worn by the Chinese ancestry in Malacca. They are also called the ‘Peranakan’ people.

The distinct feature of the ‘nyonya kebaya’ is that there is the use of batik with Chinese motifs, printed or hand-printed silks. To complete the look to its traditional form one usually wears the hand-beaded shoes or ‘kasut manek’ which is unfortunately not worn here.

There’s something very classic and elegant when you’re wearing Kebaya. I think it’s the retro feel that the traditional blouse seem to exude and the accompanied intricate details of the blouse and sarong that add up to the appeal. A loose shawl can be included as an accessory.

Another fun thing about wearing kebaya is that, you can wear any type of batik or sarong of your liking. Or you can give it a modern fashion interpretation by pairing the traditional blouse with a maxi skirt or a pair of skinny jeans.

And because kebaya is usually made up of thin sheer cotton/silk/lacy brocade or velvet material, it is quite practical for the weather, which is something of a perk if you’re a bit allergic to heat. With kebaya, you can also spice up the central opening of the blouse by clipping on a fancy central brooch (kerongsang) over the flaps where the blouse meet.

When a lady smiles in her kebaya, you will melt away because the kebaya transforms her, making her appear more feminine than she usually is in her throw-on dusty jeans, don’t you agree?

So, the question is: Will you be wearing a kebaya this Raya? I hope you will!

© All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.

Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.

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