Hot New Idom

A former Donna Karan designer brings her own brand to Nob Hill

By Brett Glass August 18, 2009 Published in the September 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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Idom owner Modi Soondarotok showcases pieces from her summer collection.

MORE AKIN TO A DESIGNER SHOWROOM than a typical clothing shop, Idom boasts the sophisticated sculptural creations of owner Modi Soondarotok, formerly a designer for Donna Karan. Though Idom (pronounced EYE-dem) struggled for two years on NE Alberta Street, it seems to have found its niche in its new location among the boutiques lining NW 23rd Avenue.

The modern yet feminine look of Idom’s eponymous house brand (think ruffles, sweet pleats, and billowy silhouettes) is belied by the old-fashioned way the clothes are produced. Each piece is sewn using hand-loomed fabric colored with natural dyes in Soondarotok’s native Thailand. The seamstresses are sourced through her mother, who helps homemakers start viable businesses.

Location isn’t the only thing Soondarotok has changed. Recently, she introduced two new elements to her line: jewelry cast by the artisan silversmiths of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Hill tribe, and jersey knits that, priced between $40 and $80, retail for a lot less than her signature silk cocktail dresses. These additions to Idom’s collection balance Portlanders’ trademark affinity for practicality with Soondarotok’s high-end aesthetic. “I wanted to find a way to make Idom more accessible,” she says. “Everyone deserves good designs, even during tough economic times.”

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