I fear I may have misrepresented Axis/Radius as the exclusive domain of the young and shapely. As with LA County, say, that is only its most conspicuous constituency. There are other types, like me, for instance, and on Tuesdays especially, old people--withered bald men who clutch highball glasses and haggard women in tight pants who dance way too close to my brother. So though my mother's age demographic is represented, that is the only thing she has in common with those people. That and she did go to Axis/Radius on a Friday night to see Pat in the Funk+Fashion show.

The mix was not as appalling as you might imagine. Mom was dressed in a subdued plum ensemble that looked warm. She gripped her purse strap and played cool. We arrived as late as we thought would be wise, but the show was delayed when the curtain that separated the porch from the temporary dressing rooms fell and proved more difficult to reattach than you'd think. Both Partick and Alyssa were in the show, which featured the clothes stylings of Kenneth Cole. Partick and I figured this was a safe show for Mom to see, no tight strappy leather get ups with dirty words emblazoned on them or anything like that. In fact, I am quite a Kenneth Cole booster, proud owner of three of his bags and a nice pare of shoes (thank you, Ross). The down side is...well how exciting could a designer be if I wear his label? The thrill of all those clever purse pockets would be difficult to dramatize from the stage.

The organizers must have had a similar thought, for the make-up and hair was ferociously over-compensatory. Partick and Alyssa got off light, with sort of a black eye patch painted on Partick, a red one on Alyssa (which I am thinking of adopting for my daily routine), and tasteful spikey 'dos. Other males got stuck with shaggy faux Mohawks and black lipstick, females with long wooly extensions and white lips. But no travesty of make-up or hair could disguise to Mom that Partick was the very best looking person on display, and that pleased her enough that she didn't opine about the morally deteriorating effect of loud, rhythmic music until we were in the car headed home.

(Written by Sharon C. McGovern)

From Vol. 15
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