When my friend Megan told me we had to meet Karolina in Stockholm, I had a feeling this would be a woman with a unique perspective in her way of dress, drawing from a vast sweep of cultural references (many of whom I had to look up!). Her minimalist tendencies do not constrain her from taking anything in fashion for granted.
You would be mistaken to think that her signature monochromatic dressing is dull. Quite the contrary – she mixes new Balenciaga (by Demna Gvasalia) with a tailored trouser and Margiela Tabi boot like a pro. Even if her daily wears consist of shoes more relevant to taking her kids to park.
Practicality may reign supreme, but the day we visited Karolina at her beautifully curated home, she had a few other things in mind: a few pairs of heels and plenty of those cinnamon buns!
Describe your style in three words.
Contemporary, comfortable, casual.
Where do you like to shop in Stockholm? And Paris?
Rarely do I shop for clothes in Stockholm. It is a small city in a small country and the selection is accordingly. But I don’t really mind as I am not a frequent shopper. I buy few things, but I buy them carefully and well thought through. I don’t like to have a massive wardrobe where half of it is rarely used. I’d rather get rid of these pieces and not get too nostalgic about them either. I have a very small wardrobe that is easily coordinated and I can use the same things over and over again.
Shops I like to visit are Acne studios for menswear, and Rodebjer for their new beautiful store in Stockholm. Céline has also recently opened. For skincare we have COW, a small boutique with a good selection of non-traditional beauty brands.
In Paris I always have a stroll on rue de l’universite to window-shop the antique stores.
When it comes to style, what’s most important: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
Quality and innovation! Quality by itself is not always exciting, and innovation without quality can be cheap. For me the two together are the most important. But I wouldn’t choose something that is not comfortable, and beauty is subjective and somehow a given…
Would you say you have a go-to look or uniform for getting dressed everyday?
I am very classic or uniformal in a way. A pair of black trousers with a black silk t-shirt, very casual! Or a button up shirt! But I like it to have an interesting cut, like my Vetements button up shirt for example, together with nicely tailored pants, like Celine or Marimekko. For color, I like to wear something beautiful from one of my best friends’ brand called Sies Marjan.
Do you have a fashion muse?
I love to watch pictures of Renée Perle, the muse of photographer Jaques-Henri Lartigue from the 1930s. She had a very effortless elegant style with wide pants and tanks. But perfection is not interesting. I get mostly inspired when I see older women dressed effortlessly but aware, in a youthful, yet appropriate way. Natural is beautiful.
Since moving back to Stockholm, how has your wardrobe been influenced? Is it more minimal now?
I moved back to Sweden when I was pregnant with my 2nd son. The climate in Sweden is much colder than in Paris. For many months of the year staying warm is a priority. But my style has always been more minimalistic.
In what ways do your designs for Marimekko overlap with your personal style, and in what ways are they completely different?
I am consulting Marimekko on their accessory, shoe, and jewelry lines and building the collections together with 3 designers. I am quite minimalistic myself and monochrome in my dressing. This is a contrast with Marimekko, which is based on a great heritage of beautifully bold and colorful prints. This is Marimekko’s signature. But they are also known for their basic and classic styles. I love working with this mix. It is amazing to see how a bold print can change a simple style.
And how has your career, and style, changed since becoming a mom?
Practicality and comfort is more important. I wear a lot more flats. I like to wear nice clothes, but I must be comfortable running around in the city every day, picking up my boys at daycare, and then playing with them in the park. But this is beautiful because when I am off work, I keep my mind on my family and not as much on work.
When you travel, what you always pack in your suitcase?
I always bring 1 or 2 books that I’d like to read, but very rarely do I even open them.
OK. Rapid Fire!
Heels or flats? Flats.
Fitted or flowing? Flowing.
Lake or ocean? Ocean.
Blow dry or air dry? Air dry.
Minimalist or maximalist? Minimalist.
Skinny-dip or skinny jeans? Skinny dip.
Licorice or fika? Licorice.