Yesterday afternoon's outing began with a long meander around Mango, involved a small financial breakdown at a tram stop in the middle and then ended with the delightful discovery of Prickig Katt. If it's true that all's well that ends well, then I think we can confirm that all is indeed well by the culmination of my afternoon.
I'd been on my way to Pop Boutique when I stumbled and fell and found myself standing in Prickig Katt, staring around in awe. It was so overwhelmingly full of wonderful things that I didn't know where to begin. My eyes darted, from the hats suspended from the ceiling to hundreds of beautiful rings, from decorated dressmaker's dummies to the ingenious display devices that had been used. After quite a long period of browsing - a fair few other customers had come and gone - the shop assistant asked if I was okay. I grinned and laughed and she carried on chatting, but of course this whole exchange was taking place in Swedish and I had absolutely no idea what was being said. Eventually I gave up my facade of linguistic understanding and declared that I spoke English but "oh God isn't it all just so nice?!". "That's good to hear", she replied, and I was a little shocked that it seemed not every customer wrote an Ode to Prickig Katt upon leaving.
From the Fair Isle moustache jewellery to heritage style capes and everything you can imagine in between, I wasn't really sure how to go about beginning to describe the possible loot held within the walls of Prickig Katt. Yet it occurred to me, both as I scurried around the shop and as I reviewed my pictures of it, that what had struck me most about Prickig Katt was how inventive it was. Recently, hundreds of stores have popped up all over the world, selling this style of goods and they all seem to blur into one forgettable stream of twee.
Prickig Katt seems different though; it has an edge and it has a story, something we should all know by now that I absolutely love. The use of empty Red Stripe bottles as display devices epitomises this tone. There was just something about the juxtaposition of glitzy jewellery against the rawness of the bottles that, to me, really showed the evident passion and the talent of the store's proprietors. Add into the mix the fact that the central bottle has a page of a book wrapped around it, suddenly lending a feeling of literary accomplishment to the whole fiasco, and well... I have no words.
Somewhere in our frenzied exchange, the shop assistant, who I gather is more than merely a shop assistant, handed me a postcard with the shop's contact details on. I've stalked the website a little (http://www.prickigkatt.se) yet not been able to determine any 'who, what, where' details about the masterminds behind Prickig Katt but this has only endeared me more to the whole operation. The About Us page instead offers us this delightful snippet about the business philosophy.
"Spotted Cat has been around since 1996 and has the greatest interest and goal to find it as the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, crowning or how you choose to express it. We want you to dare a little more, stretch you extra, realize you are something and invest in your own personal style. Or as Dolly Parton said "- whoever you are was yourself!" "
The wording of this has been jumbled slightly in translation but it really does sum up the feeling you get when you walk in the shop. There's such a wonderfully haphazard selection of goods and there seems to suddenly be the possibility to wear them all at once and for it to look delightful. It is perhaps fortunate that my bank balance couldn't stretch to more than one item (a ring that I will show in a separate post soon) or I'm pretty sure this sense of limitless possibility would have translated into making me a bit of a laughing stock. But who knows - maybe it would have worked? Perhaps I just needed to 'stretch myself extra', literally.
As you can probably gather from the quote above, Prickig Katt translates to Spotted Cat in English. In keeping with the theme of the store though, this is not merely a cutesy name for a cutesy store full of cutesy items. Instead, the Spotted Cat seems to be a figurehead for the whole business - he scouts out the inspiration, he designs the collections, he arranges the shelves and then, at the end of it all, he'll sit down with a glass of sherry and be your best friend too. (You can read all about this on the website; it's taking all my willpower to not just quote the whole thing.) The concept of the Spotted Cat is perfect. It embraces the idea that shopping and dressing and creating are all part of one fluid experience, one which begins with inspiration and ends with a 'product' (by which I more referring to an outfit than to the individual items within it) but then continues on in an endless inspiration > product cycle.
Prickig Katt was a wonderful place to be and a wonderful place to shop and you'll leave with some wonderful things to wear. As somebody who is a bit of a plain old sponge cake in terms of core outfits, I know that it's the icing on the cake that makes all the difference, and I hope that I'll be returning to Prickig Katt many times in the future when I'm in need of some decoration.