Kebaya Kota Bahru
When you go to Southeast Asia, you will discover various historical places, figures and people. Its diversity in culture and values create an astonishing piece of history to date. One of the most precious historical heritage in Southeast Asia is the attire for women; the Kebaya. This traditional dress has an interesting history to it. It has literally travelled across the globe before residing in Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatera, Sulawesi, Bali and Java to the official national garment for the women of those regions.
The Arabs or The Europeans?
There are various versions to knowing the how and when it is introduced to the people in the Southeast Asia continent. One source claimed that it was brought in by the travelling Arabs to the islands that soon ventures into Malacca, Bali, Sumatera and Sulawesi. Derived from the Arabic word Abaya that means clothing, the travellers set sail to the islands for trades that soon led to the introduction of Kebaya to the locals.
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The Origin of Kebaya Kota Bharu in Malaysia
Unknowingly to some, baju Kebaya is actually an official attire for the royal bloodlines. Commoners are not allowed to wear them prior to 1600. It was hailed as the official attire for women when a European made an appearance on one. As time progresses, the rules were then beginning to change, where as if now, the Kebaya is acceptable for all level of societies – regardless of race, age and religion. Ever since then, it has become an iconic piece of clothing. Created in silk, brocade, velvet, sarong, batik and sometimes modern lace, the cultural dress has evolved in so many ways as more and more elements were blended in. Aside from the cultural influences from various nations brought to the various kinds of traditional dress we know of today.
Its High-Class Status
Kelantan holds many great histories throughout the centuries; the history of the land, the great battles that happened and the stories of great people behind the establishment of a great country we know now. Among other great things Kelantanese brought to us is its national clothing for women; the Kebaya Kota Bharu. The origin of its form is somewhat vague as there are not many information that we can gain on it aside from it originated from Kelantan. What separates this particular baju Kebaya from the rest is the designs on the front side of where baju Kebaya Kota Bharu is embellished with brooches. The creation of this Muslimah dress is loosely fitted to the wearer – exposing slight curves compared to other Kebaya where the dress will be tightly fitted to the body. Kelantan has been known for its modesty and this is displayed on their baju Kebaya. The particular designed on the front with the brooches are seen to be similar to those of baju Kebaya from Bandung City on Java Island; Kebaya Kutu Baru.
International Exposure in Fashion World
This particular Kebaya have come a long way to be the centre of the world and not just within the Southeast Asia region. To this date, fashion shows, online shopping mall, boutiques and more are providing a vast collection with high accessibility for everyone across the globe. This kind of vast exposure on the creation, plus with the unique cultural designs embellished in the dress draws people’s attention from around the world; from commoners to public figures, from office workers to fashionistas that seemed to look highly of this traditional dress.
Culture, Art and Beauty
The uniqueness of this Kebaya is what makes it so special. It displays aesthetic designs with embellishment at the front that puts the element of uniqueness to it. This Muslimah wear puts major attraction because of its cultural essence, that represents the identity of the originated country, which is Kelantan. The locals, especially Kelantanese hold great value to their identity, thus, creating more attraction to the Kebaya. The historical scripture behind the dress plays a major influence on how people perceive the dress which eventually gives them a great deal of appreciation and respect. Hence, this is physically represented in their choice of clothing.
Versatility and Style
Normally, cultural clothing was worn during festive seasons or social gatherings like wedding ceremonies, formal event and the sorts. Now, as time progresses, we are stepping into an era of versatility where cultural clothing is not that much different than normal clothing and this Kebaya is one of the few that can blend into any kind of occasions planned out. The designs and cutting that let the wearer ultimate comfortability makes it possible to be worn during other occasions besides festive seasons like Eid or Eid Adha.
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