The Peranakans - Bedroom

 

Introduction
Introduction

Ancestral Hall
Ancestral Hall

Bridal Chamber
Bridal Chamber

 Living Room
Living Room

 Kitchen
Kitchen

 Bedroom
Bedroom
Beaded Slippers
Jewellery

 Library
Library

 Bibliography
Bibliography

 Credits
Credits

Back to Index
Project Narrative

    

A place where the art of beauty is hidden......

A  place where you would go when you are tired......

to rest and relax......

Peranakan Fashion

      Do you want to know more about fashion, then this is the place for you.

     Male Peranakans in the past wore the Kain pelekat as casual attire. In case you didn’t already know, the Kain pelekat is a type of Indian cloth made of cotton about 2m long and 1.2m wide. It is a cotton sarong in a checked pattern of muted tones (this type of cloth is also worn by women in Medan and Penang). It is woven with a central panel in the patterns and a border. The cheaper ones were made with synthetic yarn.

Sarong Kebaya

     Nyonyas are considered to be one of the most elegant dressers in South East Asia. There is more to Peranakan dressing than just a long blouse over a long skirt. Nyonyas wore sarongs with various styled blouses as a 2-piece ensemble known in Malay as the baju panjang which consists of a long tunic worn over a sarong. Wealthy towkays' wives usually wore a neat-fitting garment that enveloped them from head to foot. And, in order to make the garment look neat and stiff, this long sleeved tunic would usually be starched. Fastened with brooches (kerongsang), the tunics are worn with colourful sarongs.

Did you know the sleeves of the tunic are exceptionally tapered to show off any bangles or jewellry worn by the Peranakan women.

     Here is a little history for your information. Early tunics were made of cotton gingham in a small check. This usually came in a sombre brown or reddish brown – a sharp contrast to the colourful tunics and sarongs worn by the rich women.

      Do not be mistaken that Peranakan dresses revolve around the baju panjang! Peranakan women too wear stiff organdie dresses only when entertaining guests or venturing out of the house. However, these ladies wore only an inner blouse with sarongs at home. This fashionable blouse is hip-length and called a "short dress" in Hokkien. The V–shaped neckline of the baju panjang would reveal the inner blouse and its high collar. Complete with a large square hankerchief (saputangan/setangan), you’re all set to paint the town!

Kebaya top
Kebaya top

      Peranakan fashion did not lay stagnant. Eventually, at the end of the 1920s, Nonyas wore a much shorter kebaya that ended around the hips. Her body hugging kebaya was secured with three brooches, all of which are joined to form a chain. Today, Peranakan fashion is at its peak again especially since fashion themes are based on a fusion of east and west. Peranakan cloth too is an exotic fusion of Malay and Chinese cultures where fabric patterns are large and striking and the hues are attractive and vibrant.

Us in Baju Kebaya

The 6 of us in Baju Kebaya

"The feeling is undescribable." - Jeanette
"I felt like a Peranakan." - Junting
"The patterns and designs are unique." - Layshan
"I felt that I have to try to look feminine to match the baju kebaya." - Siew Men
"I did not feel comfortable in it. Imagine! The nyonyas have to wear this everyday!" - Peiyu
"Wearing the baju kebaya is so tiring. I have to maintain a good posture and be careful of my movements." - Ellince.