"When you think of tattoos, you think of a sailor off stranded someplace, wouldn't you say? This is a completely different concept," Jeffie Pike said from the garden of her Hancock Park home.
So what's this lady from Hancock Park doing talking about tattoos?
Pike is in the business of manufacturing colorful designs that are transferred onto the skin. They look like, but aren't, tattoos. Are they decals? No, Pike hesitates to call them that. She prefers J'Attoo, a name she coined for her paisley, floral, abstract and geometric patterns.
New Fashion Form
Pike says she set out to create a completely new "form of fashion," so she hired five designers, including makeup artist Jeff Angell, whose face-and-body painting had inspired her, to come up with "chic" looks that could be lifted from paper and applied to the body with a wet sponge.
Glancing off in the direction of the Wilshire Country Club, Pike explains why a tanned, blue-eyed, fourth-generation Californian wanted to create washable tattoos. "First of all," she says, "it's affordable opulence. For $3.50, you can buy a little jewel, wear it once and throw it away. I wore a real pearl dog collar with a J'Attoo jewel to the Academy Awards. I think they're bikini to black tie. I've worn them with T-shirts, jeans, anything."