Breaking the Mold

The unexpected is always in stock at this French-inspired Pearl District boutique.

By Megan Udow January 19, 2010 Published in the February 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

29 cornershop cover rinyiw

Rachel Gorenstein scours the globe for designer items for men, women, children, and home.

Image: Amy Ouellette

WITH ITS STARK white walls and dizzying mix of upscale rarities—from chunky pewter necklaces and stuffed toy monsters to exotic wood chess sets, sleek candelabras, and designer denim—the Pearl District boutique Moulé could easily be mistaken for one of the neighborhood’s fine art galleries.

Owner Rachel Gorenstein’s eclectic, modern shop is the only US location in a small series of boutiques launched by her mother throughout Canada. Taking its name from the French word for “molded,” Moulé reflects Gorenstein’s personal philosophy that we’re shaped by our environment. “The clothes we wear, the gifts we give, and the things we surround ourselves with communicate to the world who we are,” she says. And judging by Moulé’s merchandise, Gorenstein has a cosmopolitan spirit: there are gold-leaf bowls from India, leather Christopher Kon bags from New York, knives from France, and Japanese ceramics.

And lest we forget about the clothing, Gorenstein also stocks her shelves with pieces that showcase her keen eye for quality cuts and fabric—like sumptuous angora cardigans by Rogan, undergarments with embellished straps by VPL (for a flirty game of peekaboo), and soft ribbed camisoles from Beautiful People. Not to mention the clean, tailored coats and blouses from Gorenstein’s own label, Rachel Mara. “We don’t do logo-driven,” she says. “We’re subtle.” Because anything else would be, as the French say, passé.

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