Painting the No Name Collective at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend

Architect and designer, Sarah Ruplin, holds a very special place in our heart. Because, you see, if not for her efforts and vision, there would be no 2nd Skin at all. In fact, body painting itself would not have been even a 2nd Thought to Matthew and Laura Lee. And so, while technically, Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, is not the specific birthplace of our artisan painting concern, its conception was most certainly fertilized during the 2009 Fall edition.

Let us briefly, flash backwards then:

The time was early September in the bygone days of 2009 when Matthew was spending some quality time in the good company of his dear friend, DJ partner, and bandmate, Mister Arthur Arbit, who also happens to be the founder and director of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend. Ms. Ruplin was also in accompaniment as they drank various libations over much colorful discourse when the subject turned to Sara’s own work as a fashion designer and her vision regarding how her upcoming runway show would transpire. As she mentioned her desire to have her models body-painted and queried about the specifics of such a possibility, Mr. Mikas responded that, not only was such a thing possible, but it was also quite within the realm of his abilities regarding both skills required and the equipment possessed, to provide.

And thus, Sarah’s “No Name Collective” line of deconstructed clothing took on a retro-futuristic look with make-up reminiscent of the classic 1980’s science fiction films, Liquid Sky, and Blade Runner.

See for yourself:

Body painting is like a cool breeze.

White dusting

turn, please.



As it turned out, with this being everyone involved’s first experience with the applied craft of body painting, the models, the designer, the attendant press, and not insignificantly, Mister Mikas himself, were all quite pleased, excited, and surprised by the results. In fact Sara’s comment later in the evening that perhaps Matthew may have stumbled upon an intriguing new niche market did not go unconsidered.

And, when there appeared some pleasantly photo-heavy press concentrating on the No Name Collective’s debut runway show in this coverage of the Fall 2009 Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, well, the point already well taken, was driven home.

Body painting was the thing to do!

The next day at work while running down all of the enticing details regarding the dressing of various naked models up in a coat of paint to his co-workers in the scenery shop’s painting department, his friend and fellow artisan laborer, Ms. Laura Lee Gulledge, chimed in rather exuberantly stating how much she would love to work upon such endeavors. Well. It was really no surprise, and actually was something of a welcome serendipity. That two male and female tradespersons, who were co-workers within the scenic-painting field would make quite a dynamic duo when it came to performance in this newly discovered realm of urban night-life body painting seems only natural.

And if you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen the results.

And now you know the history.

Which leads us up to our most current encounter with Sara Ruplin’s No Name Collective at the Fall 2010 Williamsburg Fashion Weekend. This year Ms. Ruplin’s line was inspired by Japanese Kabuki Theater, and it was with much enthusiasm that she enlisted the two talented members of 2nd Skin to help her realize the make-up which would make her runway show complete. And it was with an even greater enthusiasm that we agreed to make everyone involved look amazing.

With that being said, we’ll now share with you some our own digital images from that evening along with some of those from Lower East Side photo-documentarian, Angus Smythe. if you’ll continue to bear with us…

Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Angus captures Matthew painting one of Sara’s returning models from her first event.

Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Here Laura Lee dries a layer of make-up on a woman who also had visited our XXX Fortune Telling Tattoo parlor.

Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
And you can see the results of our efforts upon the Samurai!

In fact, these following images from Angus rather flatter us with their vivid portrayal of our lovely models and our completed work:
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
And finally, a look at the entire cast as they gathered backstage:
Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
And some gorgeously artistic captures of the show itself as taken by Carly Sioux of

You may also view a full video presentation of the No Name Collective runway show filmed by Unartig. Or look at more photos of our behind the scenes photos from the night in this set we kindly put together for you. And, if you wish, you may even glimpse back to 2009 for the proof of Matthew’s initial body painting endeavor, which brings us forward here to this very day, at this very blog.

So, until the next WFW (coming February 2011), where you’ll be seeing even more fantastic work from your favorite 2nd Skin… we’ll leave you with this ancient Samurai maxim that just as well fits our own disciplined Way of the Brush:

Painting the No Name Collective @ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend

 “To know and act are one and the same.”


One Response to “Painting the No Name Collective at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend”

  1. Matt Mikas – Hello old friend! This is Mary Grace wanted to share my email address with you in hopes you may shoot me an email sometime.

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