We Sent a Fashion Illustrator to Fire Island’s Invasion of the Pines

by Eddie Roche

Yesterday our favorite illustrator, A.E. Kieren, headed to Fire Island for the annual Invasion of the Pines to capture some of the fiercest and most fab looks of the day for us. A little refresher on the Invasion: In 1976, a restaurant in the Pines denied entry to Terry Warren who showed up in drag. When his friends got word, they rallied to support and dressed up in drag on July 4th of the same year with Cherry Grove’s 1976 homecoming queen Thom Hansen (AKA Panzi) in the lead, and sailed to the Pines by water taxi. A boatload of drag queens invaded the Pines and now the event is repeated every year for a crowd of thousands cheering them on.

Here are a few of Kieran’s finds:  



Ava Effort, aka Ian Sklarsky, age 35, artist. Ian lives in Manhattan and this is his fifth Invasion. Ian is wearing inflatable arm floaties because last year he rather famously fell overboard as the Invasion ferry was departing from Cherry Grove. 

IG: @thesingeline


Christopher Sadoux, age 52, real estate developer. Christopher lives in Manhattan and this is his 12th Invasion.

IG: @christophersadoux


Dana Spitler, age 34, director of FP&A for Martha Stewart. Dana lives in Manhattan and this is his ninth Invasion.

IG: @butchiepooh


FiFi DuBois, aka James Mullady, age 27, professional drag performer. FiFi lives in Manhattan and this is her first Invasion. She sewed her outfit entirely from loofas and wash gloves purchased at Dollar Tree. Fifi won the grand prize for this look in the Voss Events Invasion of the Pines official costume contest hosted by Alyssa Edwards.

IG: @fifiduboisdq


Grayson Squire, age 26, free spirit. Grayson lives in Manhattan and this is his second Invasion. His look was featured in last year’s illustrated roundup of the best style at the Invasion of the Pines for The Daily. Grayson is shown here wearing a vintage @jpgaultierofficial top and vintage @rickowensonline skirt with shoes by @vicmatieofficial.

IG: @graysonsquire


Hucklefaery, age 50, performance activist. He lives in Brooklyn and this is his second Invasion. 

Ian Hussey, age 32, professional ballet dancer. Ian lives in Philadelphia and this is his second Invasion.

IG: @ihussey3

Jairus Abts, age 37, actor/dancer. Jairus lives in Brooklyn and this is his second Invasion. He’s dressed as a Quinceañera chair, as part of a group costume with one Quinceañera princess and 12 “damas,” or girls in the court of high honor. The costumes for the entire group were conceived, designed, and made by Andy Paluselli, and the group won for best group costume. 

IG: @special.abts



Kimona I’Wanna Laya, AKA Jesse Y. Ramos, age 66, COO of Riverside Park Conservancy. Kimona lives in Manhattan and this was her 37th Invasion. 


Lincoln Ward, age 27, professional burlesque and musical theatre performer. Lincoln lives in Manhattan and this was his first Invasion. For his Invasion costume, Lincoln was awarded the sash for Miss Pines Party-Labyrinth and will be attending this year’s Pines Party as a guest of honor.

IG: @LincolnCWard


Lucia Virginity, AKA Tony Buell, age 35, florist and fitness instructor. Lucia lives in Thomaston, Connecticut, and this was her first Invasion.  

IG: @lucia_virginity


PHC III, AKA Peter Hale Cooney the Third, age 32. PHC III is a fashion designer at large who has designed for Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, and J. Mendel Haute Couture. PHC III lives in Manhattan and this was his first Invasion.



Tina, AKA Taylor Shubert, age 25, actor. Tina lives in Manhattan and this is her first Invasion. 

IG: @taylorshubert


A.E. Kieren is a freelance illustrator and performer.  He specializes in on-location illustration, for “sketch journalism” as well as for events and entertainment. Clients include Target, Entertainment Weekly, Refinery Hotel, Sleep No More/McKittrick Hotel, MM&M, Johns Hopkins Magazine, The Dramatist, and Daily Front Row. He holds a BFA in Illustration from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI and an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from School of Visual Arts in New York City.


(Photo Credit: Barry Weisberg)

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