Caroline Blomst is waiting patiently in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in Melbourne with her partner, photographer Daniel Troyste, when I arrive to chat to her about blogging and its influence on the world. Not 10 minutes ago Blomst published her first blog post from Australia. It was a short post about the flight over, her first impressions of Melbourne Fashion Festival and her excitement about visiting Sydney to launch her forthcoming exhibition.
Over the past seven years, Blomst has moved from the depths of cyberspace to the centre of the fashion world, as a renowned and admired fashion blogger. It’s obvious quite quickly that Blomst is as perplexed as I am as to how a smart, yet almost ordinary girl from Stockholm builds a personal blog that garners so much traffic (last month her blog had 6.5 million page views, with 750,000 unique page visitors). If there is any explanation at all, it’s that Blomst still has the same simple, unwavering principles as when she first began in 2005: to photograph the elegant youth on the streets of her hometown, Stockholm, and post their pictures on her fashion blog, Caroline’s Mode.
While the idea was not all together revolutionary, it was devoid of the relentless self-indulgence that leaves most blogs in the dark. “We started blogging because we wanted to share Stockholm’s style with the rest of the world,” she says, turning to Troyste, who affirms her answer in Swedish before she continues. “We got a lot of attention really quickly,” she explains, “so we moved from Stockholm to the rest of the world.”
She is reserved about her rise to international fame, comparing the ascent, in an endearingly clunky manner, to a gradual hill rather than an explosion. “It’s never been an overnight thing. I have grown with it, so it’s not surprising – it’s very flattering though,” she says.
Blomst is in Australia for the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival as the face of Swedish cider brand Rekordelig and to open her own exhibition in Sydney, based on the photographs from Caroline’s Mode. The exhibition features 15 handpicked photographs from her collection, titled Stockholm Street Style.
The conversation turns to the role of blogs in fashion commentary. “The magazines still have the power, but bloggers are very personal, and their power is increasing,” she says.
Fashion bloggers the world over are realising the strength of the internet and Blomst’s images, for one, are more immediate than any magazine could hope to keep up with. While printed magazines worry about editorial and page layouts, the bloggers are posting fresh content, however pedestrian, for hungry fashion addicts the world over. It all adds up.
When asked about the social standing of Caroline’s Mode, Blomst recounts a story of a recent collaboration. “I recently did a project with a Swedish clothing chain. When I first visited them, their inspiration boards were full of photos from Caroline’s Mode. So I guess I get inspired by designers, and brands get inspired by bloggers.”
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Blomst’s persona is her unwavering dedication to the publication. She refuses to backlog material, or place advertisements in the copy. “Everything I post today, will be done today,” she says.
Before she heads out onto the street to capture some of Melbourne’s street style, I ask her to sum up what she’s seen so far. “I think it’s more fun than the rest of the world. The rest of the world is more serious.”
Stockholm Street Style opens at the Somedays Gallery in Surry Hills tonight and runs until April 15.