Cat Priem: The Quirky And The Dead

Cat Priem creates outrageous, yet spectacular wearable art inspired by her love of traditional Dutch jewelry and an urge to preserve dead animals. Describing her style as “rich maximalist,” Priem uses bits and pieces of everything from plastic toys to curiosities and gemstones in her designs. Her collection “Trophies of a Serial Killer” was based on friend’s cat who brought his owner a freshly caught robin; the legs of the bird became the first piece of the collection.

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (aka Mata Hari) is a big inspiration on Priem’s work, “partly because of the jewelry she wore, which suited her extremely well, her erotic lifestyle and of course her life as a double spy and the fact that she was charged with high treason and subsequently executed. Not too common a lady,” explains the designer.

Death, taxidermy and the afterlife are all big themes that surround Priem’s designs. Her unique, one-of-a-kind pieces include a chandelier style necklace with a plastic pig head as well as rough edged silverware rings with gold embellishments set around deep coloured stones.

As if to explain this morbid fascination, Priem confesses: “Skulls and anything sinister really fascinated me as a child.” And that, is the innocent of appeal of Cat Prime in a nutshell.

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—Retna Wooller

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