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Robe to Blouse and Sarong
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - 15:36 | Views - 116


The sarong kebaya, a long-sleeved blouse worn with a tubular skirt or sarong, is the focus of an exhibition opening April 1 at the Peranakan Museum here.

The 58 outfits in the show, which will include mounted textiles and other artifacts, are meant to illustrate how the garment evolved among the Peranakan, descendants of the early Chinese migrants who settled around the Straits of Malacca, and the influence that Islam and Indian, Dutch and Portuguese styles have had on the costume.

“The sarong kebaya is no longer a daily wear for young Peranakans today, but they are considered important expressions of Peranakan identity and are still worn during special occasions, such as Chinese New Year — just like the way the Chinese do not wear qipaos and cheongsams on an everyday basis, but wear them during festive occasions,” said Jackie Yoong, the co-curator of “Sarong Kebaya: Peranakan Fashion and its International Sources.”

Ms. Yoong says she wears the style herself, even though she is not Peranakan: “I have a few for different occasions: the more elaborate are suitable for dinner parties, the simple ones are perfect as thin jackets for work or play.”


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