Project Runway: Water Island Edition

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A triumphant Michael Kors models the latest in piñata headwear. Jean-Claude Huon (in blue T-shirt cheers him on.

Circa 1997: While Cherry Grove and The Pines were the center of gay life on Fire Island, another small enclave of gay culture thrived just east of The Pines. About 1/2 hour walk, past Egg Land (where naked old men sat, drooping their stuff in driftwood nests they built around themselves) and Barrett Beach (where daytrippers from Mid Island go) Water Island was smaller (no stores) and much more rustic.

It was half straight, filled with families that had been coming out for generations, and half gay – mostly people from the fashion industry, photographers and artists who liked a bit more chill until someone discovers a box of boas and heels…—Tom Walker