Fashion icon in Malay society during 60s’

Exposure of music and film contribute to the fashion of 50’s and 60’s. In this post, I will mentioned a significant fashion icon who successfully create their own sense of fashion taste and make an remarkable and recognizable image with her style through her filming and singing career.

Peplum(Greek)-peplos which its designed fit the torso.In modern fashion, it gain its attention in the mid 19th century and it was introduced by Christian Dior with his New Look silhouette during 1947. The fashion related to the thin waist, tulip flower design with mermaid elements .(Wong, 2015)

During 1960s, filming become one of the hottest activity. Movies of studio Merdeka, Keris Films and Malay Film production lead by Sir Run Run Shaw involved several beautiful screen sirens and one of them were Saloma.(Carlito and profile, 2012)

Puan Sri Datin Amar Salmah Ismail, who is better known as Saloma (1932–83), was a Singaporean-Malaysian singer who became famous in late 50’s until the early 80’s.  She is one the the most memorable women in Malaya.

She can be regarded as the inventor or originator of the Malay women fashion trend. Saloma seems dare in trying or introducing something new.Saloma appeared in the style of dress ‘foreign’ to the community at the time. She created the popular trend such as trend of wearing which is tight, body shaping, showing chest and shoulders.Peplum fashion became the must in Malay women society that time.(, 2015)Madu Tiga is one of the good examples that portraying her peplum style. Her peplum styles reverberates till today and became one of the inspiration of the fashion designers today.

Other than Peplum fashion, she also introduced traditional classic kebaya to all malay women and her style still be maintained till today and being applied by Malaysia as well as Singapore airlines.


image above shows the fashionable wearing of Saloma during 60s. We can see the top half consist of figure hugging top and the mid length “bell ” sleeves and slight peplum fllare and the bottom would be a mermaid type cut of dress.

Video above shows Saloma wore a beautiful kebaya in film”Masam Masam Manis”. Her femininity is well expressed with the kebaya.


image above shows 2012 trend of fashionable clothes for Raya. This shown that her fashion style lasts till now and being innovate into the better one. Proven fashion today actually is a innovation of 50s and 60s.

Annotated Bibliography

Carlito, D. and profile, V. (2012). POP YEH YEH RESEARCH TRIP: Saloma. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2015]., (2015). Jenis-jenis Kebaya di Malaysia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2015].

Samat, S. (2014). Sam Syadeed Samat: Saloma: A Shadow of the Malayan Fashion Muse (Sad Stories behind the Style). [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Jun. 2015]., (2014). Fabulous fifties – Nation | The Star Online. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Jun. 2015].

Wong, G. (2015). Know Your Trend: The Peplum | tongue in chic. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2015].

Yassin, K. (2015). IN EVERY SHAPE: What would Saloma wear? – Nation – New Straits Times. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2015].

YouTube, (2015). SAAT YANG BAHAGIA (KARAOKE) P.Ramlee & Saloma versi filem “Masam Masam Manis” (1965). [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2015].


One thought on “Fashion icon in Malay society during 60s’

  1. Avoid having too many references in a short post.

    Ok overall some good references eventhought poorly cited.

    Try to develop a specific topic focus and thesis statement (Fashion and Malay Women of Malaya of the 1950s / Evolution of the Modern Malay Women in Fashion Publications/ etc.)

    Drafts an outline and show me.


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