Beautiful Kebaya by Anne Avantie

My graduation ceremony is on Wednesday, 16 November 2011. It is only a month away. I need to get my Kebaya ready ASAP. I meant to do this like 6 months ago, ever since I done my paper on my Law Degree. But as always, I wait till last minute. A good Kebaya doesnt happen in short time, and rushing is a NO NO NO!

Well, I always thought a month is enough, but I guess I was wrong. I hope my Kebaya turn out just like how I want it to be. Please please please!

Talking about Kebaya, maybe not everyone know what it is, especially if you’re NOT from South East Asia. So, what is Kebaya?

According to Wikipedia Kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore, southern Thailand. The earliest form of Kebaya originates in the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom as a means to blend the existing female Kemban, torso wrap of the aristocratic women to be more modest and acceptable to the newly adopted Islam religion. Aceh, Riau and Johor Kingdoms and Northern Sumatra adopted the Javanese style kebaya as a means of social expression of status with the more alus or refined Javanese overlords.

So therefore, me as Indonesian, proudly say its from Indonesia. Kebaya is sooooo Indonesia its became our National Costume.

To me personally, Kebaya is a very beautiful traditional dress. It is highly feminine, fit your body really well, and makes you looks so beautiful in an exquisite way. Its just so freaking beautiful! I wish I have more vocabulary to explain how amazing it is. The beauty of this dress is undeniable!

Nonetheless, it is possible to make some generalizations about the Kebaya. Most Kebaya are made from a lace brocade. Most kebaya fabric uses a floral motif either printed or woven into the textile and its length can fall somewhere from above the waist to below the knee. It usually, but not always, has long sleeves. It is usually fastened at the front, and if not, then gives a semblance of doing so. Some variations of the Kebaya will use a batik sash, which is coordinated with the kain, draped over the shoulder as an added accessory.

Although women in the market can be seen wearing daily simple Kebaya, we can also see exquisite variations of them in government gatherings and parties and high society social functions. Kebaya is popular for engagement and wedding party, graduation ceremony, and National functions. Most of women in Indonesia are getting married in Kebaya that can be described as “works of art” with their hand embroidered detailing and beading.

For weddings or formal events, many designers are exploring other types of fine fabrics like laces to create a Bridal Kebaya. Famous designers such as Anne Avantie have helped to promote the Kebaya not only as a important part of Indonesian clothing history but as a very beautiful item of clothing that Indonesian women are proud to wear.

If you have anymore question about Kebaya, you can easily Google it, ok! Just kidding, click this link and/or this link to a more comprehensive knowledge about Kebaya. In English!!!!

Now that we know more of it, lets talk about my graduation Kebaya. I already order it from the famous Kebaya maker lady in my town earlier today. Apparently she is the only the best one in town. She said it should be ready by 15th of November….fiuuhhhh…JUST IN TIME. It is soft caramel chocolate gold-ish brocade color. Total cost is Indonesian Rp 1.250.000,- or about USD$ 140,-

Below is the design idea from Sekar Kinanti for my Graduation Kebaya. Dont you worry, I’ll put the picture on my blog once its done. Cant waiiiiiiiittttttt!!!!

Front view

Back view


14 thoughts on “Kebaya

    • ƗƗɐƗƗɐƗƗɐ ƗƗɐƗƗɐƗƗɐ me toooo!!! Am excited about looking all feminine in a traditional way ☺

      Thanks a lot John!

    • I am sure it is hot if you wear it outside under the sun. But we usually wear it on special or formal indoor function.

      It is a very delicate dress, so you have to be careful wearing it. But it should be comfortable because usually it is costume made to fit your size.

  1. Tabea, Mizz Rainbow,

    when I think about what is lost with that tradition and how women often follow modern fashion in such an ugly way here in Sulawesi Utara, it makes me sad.
    Salam hangat from

  2. Indonesia has such a rich cultural potential, it’s a waste to give it up. There are so many possibilities to combine traditional with modern, but only imitating western style will transform world culture into boring uniformity.

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