The revival can be credited to Vicki Dutton who was a top Malay model (in Singapore), a dress designer and beautician. While still in convent school in Kedah, Vicki had the ingenious idea of stitching up the Malay Sarong and putting a zip in it.
The design of the kebaya Vicky probably took from the Indonesian baju Bandung. This has been described as a "baju with a sort of frontal covering which comes to a few inches above the waist, added to the kebaya".
But wheras the women from Sumatrahad worn their baju Bandung with an eight-inch wide and ten-foot long sash tightly wound round the waist, Vicky, by putting in zip and modern style waistband, had dispensed with both Indonesian sash and Peranakan silver belt.
The lovely kerosang had also been replaced by press studs. Modernisation also did away with embroidery: instead lace was used for the entire kebaya, while block printed batik was used for the sarong.
Vicki Dutton was so successful in popularizing the sarong because she wrote a column "Fashion Fling" in the earliest issue of the Her World magazine and in her column she often featured her sarong kebaya creations. She even got Hollyword film star Yoko Tani to model the sarong kebaya for Her World. Then international pop-star of that era. Annee Gronlah" visited Singapore on a singing tour and had sarong kebayas specially tailored as part of her stage wardrobe. Anneke, , more than anyone else was ot take the sarong kebaya beyond this region. well, that is until the Singapore Girl spread her wings in the Balmain version of the Sarong Kebaya.