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Books on Nyonya Kebaya, Batik and Nyonya Cuisine

The Nyonya Kebaya: A Century Of Straits Chinese Costume

Book Description

Sheer, romantic, alluring, yet sedate, the Nyonya kebaya has become a recognizable and enduring Malaysian fashion icon. Originally a long, straight, Arab-inspired top of plain woven cotton, it was adopted by the Nyonyas, the womenfolk of the early Peranakan community, a subgroup of the Chinese, who gradually transformed it into a shapely, embroidered, translucent blouse, fastened with a set of chained brooches and worn with a matching hand-drawn batik sarong and beaded slippers. The Nyonyas, a mix of women from the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Burma and Thailand who married Chinese traders in the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore from the sixteenth century, were true multiculturalists. Their knack for combining the best of cultural influences from Chinese, Malay and European, contributed to a rich Peranakan heritage well known for its distinctive cuisine, architecture, furniture, porcelain, costumes, embroidery, beadwork, silverware and jewelry.

This book showcases the collection of Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, whose admiration for the artistry and skill that goes into producing these Peranakan works of art, has encouraged her to build up an outstanding collection of Nyonya kebaya and matching accessories. Following an introduction to the history of the kebaya and its evolution, readers are treated to a feast of delicate embroidered kebaya, colorful batik sarongs, beaded slippers and jewelry, as well as the processes of making a kebaya, the wealth of embroidery motifs, and how the timeless beauty of the kebaya is being brought into the future.

About the Author
Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi, is a passionate proponent of local arts. She has been collecting Nyonya kebaya and accessories for over a decade.

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The Straits Chinese: A Cultural History
 

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Batik: Fabled Cloth of Java

Book Description

Here in all their radiant colors and intricate patterns are 150 examples of the finest batik in the world, developed to a rare art form on the Indonesian island of Java.

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Batik: Design, Style, & History (Paperback)

Book Description

A comprehensive and richly illustrated survey of batik, a glorious textile art and popular Indonesian cloth.
Every aspect of batik is rich in symbolism: its colors, motifs, and designs, as well as the way it is made, folded, and worn. Formerly a family and tribal signifier, and then a symbol of Indonesian independence and identity, it is now a fabric in demand all over the world. Fiona Kerlogue explores the origins of batik in the Indonesian archipelago; the materials and methods of production; regional traditions and differences; motifs and symbolism, including Malay, Chinese, and Islamic meanings; modern influences, such as industrialization, war, and independence; batik as traditional and modern costume; and batik as an art form.

An illustrated index of motifs and their meanings, glossary, bibliography, and international listing of batik collections complete this authoritative yet accessible work. 205 illustrations, 168 in color.

About the Author
Fiona Kerlogue is a Keeper at the Horniman Museum in London. She has taught and lectured extensively on textiles in Britain, Southeast Asia, and the United States

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The Best of Singapore's Recipes: Nyonya Specialties

Book Description

The secrets to Nyonya cuisine - often synonymous with delectable delicacies prepared by meticulous cooks - are now unveiled in The Best of Singapore's Recipes: Nyonya Specialties. The first book in a collectable series of six, The Best of Singapore's Recipes: Nyonya Specialties by Mrs. Leong Yee Soo introduces one to the Peranakan's rich heritage of culinary treasures.

From dips and sauces, snacks and appetisers, main courses and festive specialties to cakes and desserts, all the dishes that adorned the tables of the Peranakans of yesteryear can be found in this delightful volume. A wide and exciting repertoire of Nyonya recipes are featured in this book - whipping up Nyonya delicacies will now be a pleasurable and delightful experience!

About the Author
The late Mrs. Leong Yee Soo represented the last bastion of Peranakan cooks whose attention to detail are legendary and for whom cooking skills were developed to a fine art.

Having spent the major part of her life thinking about, experimenting with and teaching food preparation, Mrs. Leong passed on the results of her years of research and experience in this wonderful collection of recipes.

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The New Mrs. Lee's Cookbook: Nonya Cuisine

Book Description

Mrs. Lee Chin Koon first published Mrs Lee’s Cookbook in 1979 at the age of 70. With more than 50 years of cooking experience, Mrs. Lee wrote the cookbook in order that her grandchildren and future generations would continue in the tradition of Nonya cuisine. Mrs Lee’s Cookbook has since had numerous reprints and has become widely accepted as an authority on Nonya cuisine.

29 years later, Shermay Lee, her granddaughter is relaunching the cookbook for a new generation. This revised version makes it possible for any novice to cook classic Peranakan dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Mee Siam and Pong Tauhu Soup. New useful sections such as a glossary of ingredients and basic kitchen equipment, illustrated step-by-step guide to basic cooking techniques and other sections have been added to make Peranakan cooking more accessible. Each recipe is illustrated and is a step-by-step guide providing clear instructions on preparation and methodology.

About the Author
Shermay Lee is an investment banker-turned-chef. A sixth-generation Peranakan with a strong culinary tradition, she started cooking at the age of 5. She learnt the rudiments of cooking first from her grandmother, Mrs. Lee Chin Koon, then later, at the renowned classical French culinary institute, Le Cordon Bleu in London. Prior to that, she graduated from Brown University, USA, in Political Science and History. She has opened her own cooking school, Shermay’s Cooking School, in Singapore and has plans to publish other cookbooks.

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The New Mrs. Lee's Cookbook, Vol. 2: Straits Heritage Cuisine (Hardcover)

Book Description

In the 19th century, people of all races flocked to Southeast Asia to trade and seek new life. Among their traditions and beliefs, they also brought with them the cuisines of their hometowns, which blended over time. The New Mrs. Lee’s Cookbook Vol. 2: Straits Heritage Cuisine is a collection of recipes that testify to this unique culinary heritage.

A Peranakan, the late Mrs. Lee Chin Koon (1907-1980) compiled her own collection of recipes that included a mix of Nonya and local dishes, and published Mrs Lee’s Cookbook in 1974. The cookbook has since had numerous reprints, and has become widely accepted as one of the authorities on Nonya and local cuisine in Singapore.

Now, three decades later, these well-loved recipes have been faithfully and lovingly reworked by her granddaughter, Shermay Lee, into two fully illustrated cookbooks. The first, The New Mrs. Lee’s Cookbook Vol. 1: Nonya Cuisine was launched in 2003. It won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2003. This second cookbook, The New Mrs. Lee’s Cookbook Vol. 2: Straits Heritage Cuisine features a delightful mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian recipes, and also includes anecdotes explaining their origins. New useful sections have also been added, including:

• a comprehensive illustrated glossary of ingredients

• a glossary of basic kitchen equipment

• step-by-step illustrations of basic food preparation

• a list of useful contacts

About the Author
Shermay Lee is an investment banker-turned-chef. A sixth-generation Peranakan with a strong culinary tradition, she started cooking at the age of 5. She learnt the rudiments of cooking first from her grandmother, Mrs. Lee Chin Koon, then later, at the renowned classical French culinary institute, Le Cordon Bleu in London. Prior to that, she graduated from Brown University, USA, in Political Science and History. She has opened her own cooking school, Shermay’s Cooking School, in Singapore and has plans to publish other cookbooks.

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