She’s With The Band

This layered outfit is my love letter to the bands and their muses of the 60’s and 70’s!  I was never one to get too caught up in what was popular in the moment.  Trends and of-the-moment looks are fun to play mix and match with, but I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer (as my Dad would say) and when it comes to style I have always stuck with what I like, whether it’s “in” or not.  That, I believe is where trends are born. It is those who bend the rules, push the boundaries and take risks that become the trend setters.  Above all else trend setters do what they love, not what they think others will love.  It’s the bold confidence of it that makes people stop and take note.

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Truth be told, this is my go-to look, I LOVE IT!  So you may see different variations on this theme pop up on the blog now and again.  This look is as “me” as it gets, which is why I chose to show off some of my beautiful home city of Winnipeg in this shoot.  This look is a little bit bohemian, rock n roll, urban and timeless with a dash of ethnic flavour.  I am a bohemian through and through, but I am also a chameleon and  I love to adapt and change with my surroundings.  Fashion is supposed to be fun after all!

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

I have always been drawn to the culture of the late 60’s with it’s freedom loving hippies, inspired bohemian fashion, Middle-Eastern and Indian influences and of course, the music!  I grew up on Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac to name a few.  There was a time when I felt I was born in the wrong era and I had many a teenage daydream about running off with my favourite band to live a life of hotel parties, glamour, rock n roll and the open road.


I am inspired by music, musicians, artists and their muses and I have found my life touched by them because of it.  Now that I’m an adult my dreams have shifted and focused, but the essence of them has remained.  Now I dream of styling bands and music artists and being a part of creating the image that they so desire, and I’ve been fortunate enough to do that on a few occasions.

She is with the band, but not in the way you think.  She has inspired and influenced them and as a result, she’s a part of them and her essence is carried with them and shared with the world.

PHOTOS BY: The ridiculously talented, Michael Sanders of Electric Monk Media

HAIR, MAKEUP and STYLING BY: Patron of Dreams

VINTAGE: lace Victorian-inspired blouse (from my Grandmother’s closet), Odissi (classical Indian dance) inspired belt, Afghani Kuchi pendant, Indian earrings, aviator sunglasses

THRIFTED: laced ankle boots from Le Chateau (my Mom’s from the 80’s), beige faux-leather jacket by XoMm

Faux-fur vest from American Eagle Outfitters,  Middle-Eastern inspired harem pants from American Apparel, black felt hat and fringe bag from H&M, rings have been collected over many years from festivals, street vendors, thrift shops and while travelling abroad.






Guests of Fashion Contest Winner!

A week ago, I posted a picture of my OOTD (outfit of the day) on my Instagram account.

photo 1

I’ve been doing this quite regularly since summer, so I never gave it a second thought, it’s just what I do and I love it.  My Husband had just gotten home from work and I was busy making dinner for our family.  Before he had a chance to take his shoes off I asked him if he could take a quick picture of me before it got too dark outside.  The kids were busy playing and dinner was ready to serve.  I quickly pinned my hair into a messy top knot , threw on my jacket and boots and ran outside to catch the light before it changed.  I remember thinking that I hoped there were no food splatters on my crisp white shirt from cooking. This is the not-so -glamourous, but oh-so-real side of a style blogger, and the reality of our busy lives that pull us in many directions all the time.

Shortly after I posted the pic, Guests of Fashion commented on it saying they loved my outfit and that they were running an #OOTD contest looking for the best outfit with Prints & Patterns and they’d love for me to enter.  So of course, I did!

photo 2

Within a short time, I realized that my picture was posted on their instagram account as their fifth and last finalist in the contest. The finalist with the most “likes” after 48 hours would be featured on the Guests of Fashion website. I considered that I had only been style blogging for less than 2 weeks and this was one of those magical moments when you are given a gift of opportunity.  Life experience has shown me that fortune favours the bold,  so I reached out to my social media community on very short notice to please go and like my pic, and that as they say, was that! I WON!

After a quick email exchange providing some personal details to the folks from Guests of Fashion over the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, Patron of Dreams is now being featured on their website!

I am so very grateful to Guests of Fashion for this opportunity and I’m feeling totally inspired and encouraged to continue on this amazing journey at full force!


Vintage: 1970’s necklace
Thrifted: Beige jacket by XoMm (to be featured on my next blog post!)

Classic tailored shirt from GAP, floral satin trousers from Forever21, blue ankle boots by DIBA


She Wore a Raspberry Beret…

…The kind you buy in a second hand store! Now that you all have that Prince song firmly planted on repeat in your heads, let’s talk about this classic, but flirtatious fall look!

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

In case it’s not already obvious, I am a vintage lover and adore rummaging at thrift stores. In all honesty, I truly do have a knack for it! After many years of thrifting, I now completely expect to leave a store beaming about my haul. I don’t know if it’s a gift from the universe, or a special talent, but I always walk away with armloads of treasures and if I happen to be shopping with a friend, they are typically shaking their heads wondering how I do it. All I can say with any certainty is that I’m passionate about vintage and unique pieces of clothing and accessories and I believe that when you love something and you pursue it, it pursues you right back. So I keep doing it, and loving it!

That said, I also love crisp new clothes and being at the cutting edge of current trends and of the moment looks that walk off the runway and into stores. There’s also nothing quite like the feeling I get when the massive September issue of Vogue  hits the shelves and I put everything aside to pour over it’s pages and fill up on inspiration!  My greatest passion though, is combining vintage and current pieces together to create totally unique looks that defy time and rules and refuse to be placed inside a labelled box of someone else’s design. These looks are self expression at it’s purist. A reflection of my mood, current inspirations, or just where my head is at on any given day.

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

This look came together in a rather magical way. I bought the wool skirt at a thrift shop and was ridiculously excited to discover it was made in Paris for Eaton’s which is one of the most influential historical retail businesses in Canada. For a bit of a fashion nerd, and lover of old things, that’s pretty cool. It was impeccably made and I loved the ‘Paris in the 1950’s’ vibe of it. The other detail that fired me up was that the label read Matta Harry, which must be a play on words after the famous exotic dancer and courtesan Mata Hari who lived in France during the early 1900’s. Her style was significantly influenced by Asia and Egypt, and for anyone who bellydances (one of my other creative passions) she is firmly planted in bellydance history, mainly for her influence on costume designs in the cabarets of the 1920’s. Her life was full of controversy and so was her death. She was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France during World War I.  Quite a story, but I digress.

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Back to the skirt!  I was immediately wanting to contrast the pale sea-foam green with a rich raspberry-red. Very French. I managed to find the perfect shade, in a beautiful fitted sweater from GAP.  Where things really get fun is when I went to a favourite local vintage shop called The Ruby Slipper.  Although I often vintage shop with no specific intentions, sometimes I get very specific about what I want.  This drives my good friend Claire nuts, and has since we were in junior high.  Not because my expectations are way to high and what are the chances that I’d find that exact thing in a vintage shop, but because I almost always DO find exactly what I wanted!   When I walked in, I told the owner of the store that I was looking for a raspberry beret. Cue Prince. No really, I did! The incredible thing is that without any hesitation, she said,”oh yeah, there’s one on the hat rack at the back of the store. It’s angora, French I think.” WHAT?!! This is what I’m talking about people, magic! I even brought the sweater to match the colour.   I also managed to find the 1950’s style leaf necklace (in the same shade as the skirt) and the divine bone colour leather driving gloves with green bead button. The luxurious fur coat, was my Grandmother’s (Thanks Gooy!), who has been a fashion inspiration to me for as long as I can remember.  And there you have it! Some things are just meant to be. As for the heels I bought at Aldo a few years ago, they were the perfect modern contrast to a vintage look. Not to mention the colours were perfection for this outfit. And well, let’s just be honest, the shoes are pretty gorgeous!


PHOTOS BY: Michael Sanders, Electric Monk Media

MODEL: Patron of Dreams (a.k.a Tara Cole-McCaffrey)

HAIR, MAKEUP and STYLING: Patron of Dreams

VINTAGE: Fur coat by Jules Perri, raspberry beret by Grandmere -Super French Angora, leaf necklace, leather driving gloves, skirt by Matta Harry, hot pink slip, antique Turkish mixed metal and turquoise ring

THRIFT: Indian Rajasthan textile bag

Shoes by Aldo, Wool Sweater by GAP





The Circus Arrives Without Warning…

The Patron of Dreams has arrived!  Please step into my parlour where I will show you beautiful and eclectic fashion, art, film, and dance as I share my creative universe with you.  My greatest desires are to collaborate with the artists and creatives of the world to bring forth new and magnificent creations and most certainly to inspire!  I wish nothing more than for this blog to ignite your creative spark or fan your already burning flames, and to remind you that there truly is magic in the world for those who choose to see it!  When the light is just right, or time seems to disappear.  When all the obstacles vanish to make way for YOU so you can bring to the world whatever it is that only YOU can do!  I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by some of the most talented and creative people in the world who inspire me and encourage my creative journey every day.  I hope to showcase some of these artistic gems on the blog as our collaborations unfold.  I am so very full of gratitude to be embarking on this new adventure and sharing my journey with you!  I hope you enjoy!

Let it be exclaimed loud and clear from the mountain tops that I owe a dept of gratitude to Michael Sanders of Electric Monk Media for all his tech savvy and incredible eye behind the camera, for this blog would truly not exist without him.  Above all, my greatest thanks is for his endless enthusiasm for my crazy creative endeavours.  I’m sincerely amazed and grateful every time he agrees to collaborate with me!  Also, to my beloved Gregory Chomichuk who is always an inspiration and constant supporter of everything I do!  You should check his blog out, he’s truly amazing!

Welcome to the Carnival!

To me the carnival represents another world.  A place where anything can happen, a place of imagination and fun where you can let your hair down and walk on the wild side.  It’s a place for the senses to be thrilled.  The carnival is magic, mystery and mischief!  This is why I chose it for my very first blog post.  In a way, I feel as though I’ve run away to join the circus with all the other interesting folks who are unapologetically living life on the fringe.  I believe the world needs more authenticity, and that is what I plan to show you.  I’ve arrived, travel trunk in hand and ready for bold adventure!  Let’s see where this crazy ride takes us!  Enjoy!

Photo by Michael Sanders @electricmonks

Photo by Michael Sanders @electricmonks

PHOTOS by: Michael Sanders of Electric Monk Media

MODEL: Yours Truly (a.k.a Patron of Dreams)

HAIR by: Laura Warren of Hat Trix Hair Salon

MAKEUP by: Patron of Dreams

STYLING by: Patron of Dreams

SCRIPT POSTER by: Artist Kal Barteski

VINTAGE: shoes,top hat, fur stole, velour vest, crinoline, crocheted gloves, travelling trunk, turkish and afghani jewelry, banjara textile belt, marching band jacket
THRIFTED: velvet skirt
Parasol from Prairie Sky Books, Lace Crocheted top by Sans Souci, Leopard print bra by Xhilaration,  Striped tights and lace bandeau by American Apparel, Pants by Patron of Dreams