PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 August, 2005, 12:00am

Where? The Malate neighbourhood of Manila, where the likes of Filipino designers Inno Sotto and Jose Pitoy Moreno showcase their couture lines. The Casa Tesoro Building, where home-decor seekers shop for antique furniture, is next door. The area is a hot spot, with boutiques, hip bars and gourmet restaurants.

Who? Ines Delgado, the programme director at the Asia Society Philippine Foundation, opened the boutique in 2001 to bring labels from Brazil, France, Italy, Spain and the United States to the Philippines. Delgado studied art at Christie's in London.

The scene: up-and-coming Filipino interior designer Denise De Castro used a mix of stone, wood, metal and glass to give the boutique a tropical feel.

The crowd: Filipino fashionistas ranging in age from 20 to 50 who are tired of jetting to Hong Kong and Tokyo for international labels.

Fashion finds: sleek silhouettes from Theory, Seven For All Mankind jeans, satin Daslu tops and sporty Da Nang items. Bright colours and form-fitting shapes fill the racks. Filipinas love flashy and embellished items such as Havaianas flip flops with Swarovski crystals. Also popular are Castaner wedge espadrilles.

Coming soon: next season's leather accessories in snake and ostrich skin with embellishments such as metal studs will be arriving soon.

Itsie-Bitsie is at 1755 M. Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, Philippines, tel: 632 522 8592.