Kebaya

The kebaya is an open tunic with long sleeves, a collarless neck and front opening. It is a hip-length garment and is gently shaped to flatter the figure. It is fastened in the front by a set of three leaf-shaped or jewelled brooches (kerosang), usually connected by a chain. This kebaya is made from white translucent voile and decorated with lace, which is sewn onto the edges of the plain fabric. Beautifully embroidered motifs of rose blooms complete with stalk and leaves run down the centre of the piece and along the bottom, as well as on the sleeves. Such forms of kebayas were commonly worn from the 1920s onwards among Nyonyas in the Straits Settlements. Eurasian women in the Dutch East Indies were perhaps the first to wear white cotton kebayas trimmed with handmade European lace in the day. Being of a translucent material, this garment would have been worn with an inner, possibly long-sleeved undershirt.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
Straits Settlements and Indonesian Archipelago
Dimension
Gross measurement: 73 x 72.2 cm
Accession No.
2011-01122
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr and Mrs Lee Kip Lee
Category
Garments and Accessories