New Yorker

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 March, 2006, 12:00am

Where? In the hub of Makati, Manila's fashion and business district. Close by you will find other chic boutiques, the famed Ayala Mall and five-star hotels including the Shangri-La.

Who? New Yorker was founded in 1935 by local fashion maven Pilar Romack, who pioneered the ready-to-wear industry in the Philippines. It eventually expanded into a custom-made business, with one-off creations designed by Romack's daughter, Baby Gozum. Today, the store is run by Liz Lirag, Romack's daughter from her second marriage.

Fashion finds: this is a great place for women looking for something different. The store specialises in custom-made couture pieces with a vintage feel - all creations are made using vintage fabrics (or new fabrics made to look vintage). Their signature pieces include dresses with embellishments and beaded embroidery. They can create evening gowns, bridal wear, daywear, suits and accessories. For inspiration, Lirag has an extensive archive of items and material they have used and created over the years. The store also sells a limited selection of vintage designer pieces from Valentino, Balenciaga and Balestra.

The vibe: vintage fabulous. The 1,300-square-foot space is reminiscent of a 1950s atelier and customers will be more than comfortable in their spacious salon surrounded by classic creations.

The crowd: the boutique was a favourite with former first lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos in the 70s and 80s, as well as dignitaries, film personalities and foreigners. These days, it is frequented

by Manila's glitterati and plenty of Hong Kong glamour gals, including Audrey Chiu, who is also a partner.

Extras: you can purchase some of the store's beautiful beaded belts at Lane Crawford for $6,900.

New Yorker is at 1004 Pasay Road (Arnaiz Avenue), Makati City, Manila, Philippines, tel: 63 2844 7753; e-mail: