Kebaya, the traditional blouse found in virtually every country in Southeast Asia, has evolved with the changing tides of history. Marked by the culture of the country in which it is worn, it varies from a relatively loose blouse to a high-corseted jacket in lace or other luxury material.
In Indonesia, the kebaya is probably found in as many varieties as there are ethnic groups, but what is predominantly understood as the "kebaya" derives from the kebaya as it is known in the Javanese tradition of the elite. It is fairly tight and worn with a special woman's brassiere -- the long torso -- to cover up eventual unsightly bulges of the flesh.
While kebaya may be viewed as femininity personified in terms of women's clothing, and designers have indeed raised it to the level of high fashion, artists have often linked it with the Javanese tradition of make-believe.
Taken from The Jakarta Post, August 2003
Malaysia Kebaya (Nyonya Kebaya)
The Nyonya Kebaya is a beautiful, translucent, figure-hugging embroidered blouse worn with a batik sarong by Peranakan ladies.
It is this and much more. A nyonya kebaya is a work of art, a labour of love, a heritage, a traditional costume that is timeless. An attire for all occasions, it is elegant, feminine, alluring, sensual, glamorous and fashionable for all ages.
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