20 Nov 2011

Beading on Indonesian Kebayas

I am wearing an Indonesian kebaya in brown with embroidery and beads paired off with a silk sarong. 

As a Malay woman who occasionally aspires to look traditional, glamorous and sultry, the Malay kebaya is always my best option. It meets conservative requirements by being long sleeved and modest. Yet because it is figure hugging, and the material used, often transparent, it is also an alluring outfit to wear. To top it off is the corset one needs beneath to emphasise womanly curves and show off an hour glass silhouette. This makes the kebaya a seductive wear. A sneaky sexy traditional dress if you like. And can I confess, that I like?

 Incredibly intricate detailing on my sister's traditional Malay wedding gown.

The picture shown above is one captured at my sister's wedding. She is in her traditional wedding gown that has intricate lace workings and elaborate beading done to it. 

Ummi (step-mom) in an elegant modern baju kurung with embroidery and beading that is simple yet exquisite.

What makes a kebaya outstanding is the little details like the lace and the beading craftmanship. Indonesians are master artisans in this and their shores have long drawn shoppers from around the world.

It's all in the details. This dress does not lack in finery, even little sparkling beads is sewed on to the bottom hem of the dress. 

The dress had a long and dramatic train that made it ever so grand. 

When I discovered that Mus, my step-mom's Indonesian assistant knew how to bead I was overjoyed and determined to learn the art of beading from her. Before embarking on my beading adventure I thought I'd give you a little background on where beading is often employed in my country Malaysia and in Indonesia. Aside from the kebayas, our traditional baju kurungs in all its styling often carry beading work, making them beautiful art pieces to behold. 

In the next posting, I'll share with you what Mus has done with my step-mother's kebayas. With beading, she transformed the kebayas from beautiful to stunning. 

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