When Mario Testino, quite possibly the hottest photographer working in the fashion industry, heard about a concept called Skin Jewellery by J Maskrey, he apparently liked the idea so much he told Maskrey he wanted shares in her company. 'We said no,' says Susanne Maskrey, the inventor's sister. 'Even though we really like Mario, and we always send him the latest pieces.' Testino evidently recognises a brilliant flash of inspiration when he sees it. Skin Jewellery is a stick-on, peel-off form of body art, like those tattoos children plaster on each other at parties. Although the principle is the same, however, Skin Jewellery is rather more evolved, not to mention expensive: the selection on sale at Joyce in Hong Kong is made entirely of Swarovski crystals, starts at about $300 and soars to $10,000. Given that Skin Jewellery lasts for about three wearings - with judicious handling, and the application of eyelash-glue, its lifespan can be extended for just a few more outings - it is not a cheap fashion statement. The idea took off 18 months ago when J ('Everyone calls her J, that's her name,' insists Susanne Maskrey, although persistence finally reveals the initial stands for Jeanette) was in a New York supermarket, and decided that hundreds-and-thousands would look delicious sprinkled on the human body. At the time, she was a make-up artist in London, having moved there from Hong Kong, where she had been working at MTV and the now-defunct Le Salon. People liked the hundreds-and-thousands idea. Then Sonia Rykiel commissioned some stick-on lip designs, Lancome wanted a crystal eyeliner and soon J decided to move on from confectionary to grown-up glitter. Now she has her headquarters in north London's Coronet Street, which sounds more ladylike than it actually is. 'Everything's there, there's a sex shop next door, it's a great area,' says Susanne, who still lives in Hong Kong, but commutes to London once a month to help her older sister with the burgeoning business. The Maskrey duo appear to be a lively pair, certainly judging by Susanne's unusual take on life, generally, and the commercial fast-lane in particular. The company card features a photograph of a young woman wearing Skin Jewellery in her groin area, and when this journalist reeled back at the close-up nature of the shot, Susanne remarked: 'Eye-catching, isn't it? That's what we want.' Susanne has a fashion label, which unfortunately cannot be named in a family newspaper as it is a four-letter-word, and includes a range of T-shirts which exhorts all sorts of intimate contact. 'People love it! They say, I want, I want. Sex sells, man!' Indeed. But why are the Maskrey girls so. . . - ? 'Weird?' says Susanne, cheerfully. 'I don't know. Our mum's great, she's Australian Malaysian Chinese, I think we get a lot of inspiration from her. She can buy a top for $20 and make it look like $20,000. We can create a party scene wherever we go.' In the same way, Skin Jewellery is unlikely to be confined to the blushing wallflowers among us. Although the exquisite butterflies, for instance, can perch discreetly on a shoulder-blade or ankle, the pieces are intended to be stuck to any part of the human anatomy which happens to spring to the (often overheated) mind. 'Kylie Minogue wanted a black diamante nipple piece to wear under a see-through dress,' recalls Susanne. 'It's great if you want to meet guys, they say, 'Can I touch you'? You know how everyone on the MTR stares at you funny? If you wear Skin Jewellery, everyone's smiling. It's weird, it attracts an amazing energy.' It has also attracted the bright lights of the music world, including Boy George, Lauryn Hill (who wore a design called Hot Wings to the MTV Video Music Awards and then commissioned a piece for her next video), Bjork and, appropriately enough, an individual called Skin, who plays in a band called Skunk Anansie. Keeping in with the music industry is important for anyone in the fashion business these days (note how Olivier Theyskens' career went into orbit just because Madonna wore his clothes to an award ceremony), and J has the advantage of having a foothold in that arena: she still does makeup for Simply Red's Mick Hucknall and The Corrs, and seems to go to all the right parties. 'She rings up and says 'Marilyn Manson is sitting right next to me!' ' says Susanne. 'It's a crazy world out there, man. Crazy! But we love it, it's so fun working in the industry, especially in London and Paris. There, you do a shoot and they send over a thousand different outfits, and in Hong Kong, you do a shoot and they send over two pairs of shoes.' Last week, Skin Jewellery held its first couture show as part of London Fashion Week. Why call it couture? 'It was jewellery to start with, but now it really is couture,' says Susanne. 'Couture is disposable too, you only wear it once or twice.' The new look includes designs with pop-up stones which Susanne estimates will cost at least $2,000. She waves a hand over her body, and says that she wore the pop-up designs on millennium night 'and I had 10 guys jumping on me'. Do the sisters worry about lesser imitations waiting to leap out of the woodwork? 'I went to a fortune-teller and it was amazing,' says Susanne. 'He said that people will always copy, but that if you have new inspiration and ideas, you will always be the leader. Look at Prada, swamped with copies but it's still the leader. This can be endless as long as you have the imagination. He said that the whole world would be wearing Skin Jewellery!'