A Brief Anthology of Women’s Dreams of Holt Renfrew

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a...

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Abagail Fitzpatrick, 67-years-old
In my dream I was trying to return a Burberry umbrella that didn’t work. The store wasn’t very busy and there were all sorts of staff present, most of them young women with too much make-up on. They were ignoring me and I was getting angry. I was soaking wet and said to one girl, “just look at me, do you think I’d be drenched like this if the umbrella worked?” 

But the girl was insisting that I open up the umbrella to prove that it didn’t work, and I started to cry, telling her that it wouldn’t open, that was the problem, and even if it did, it would bring terrible luck to do so indoors.

Magdelena Cicarelli, 46-years-old
It was snowing and I was driving down the street to get to a big sale at Holt’s. I had a gift card that my husband had given me for Christmas and I really wanted to get there and buy something I could wear to Jennifer’s for New Year’s dinner. My driver’s side window wouldn’t close properly and the cold air blowing in from the street was bothering me. I kept trying to bat it away, like it was a pesky fly. When I woke up, I heard the sound of a lawn mower outside, but because of the dream, I was sure it was a snow blower. I felt demoralized, certain that it was the dead of winter, even though it was late June.

Mary Webster, 52-years-old
This is pretty strange, but the last time I had a dream that involved Holt Renfrew was right after The Dark Knight Rises shooting. It was busy in the store and I was looking at a beautiful Cavalli Pashmina that smelled of cinnamon and pumpkin. I was going to buy it when three men dressed in bright orange hazmat suits walked in and opened fire. There was panic, the sound of gunfire and screaming. I hid under my Pashmina, feeling very safe, hoping that it wouldn’t get stained by any blood.

Rachelle Maynard, 28-years-old
In my dream the store was host to a great theatrical performance. People were seated in pews, mesmerized as it unfolded. It was very beautiful. There were racks and racks of gorgeous clothes all around us, soft, almost holy lighting and Rufus Wainwright singing at a Grand Piano. His voice oozes such luxury and excess, don’t you think?

Everybody looked like a movie star, and when they were on stage they exuded such grace and ease. Fluidly, they performed the most unusual and lovely dances. In the middle of it, I realized that I was also going to have to perform, but I couldn’t think of anything I could do that could possibly compete. I remembered that when I was a girl and studied Martial Art, I could do a flying sidekick. I thought that maybe I could do that, and so I went outside and began to practice on the sidewalk in front of the store. My kicks were horrible and awkward, but I kept trying, hoping to improve so that I’d be good enough for the performance.

Amanda Beaumont, 39-years-old
I was in the store with Natalie, my 16-month-old daughter and was told by one of the girls who worked there that they no longer served women with children, and that I would have to leave. I was absolutely furious and started to yell at her. I told her that I had spent a fortune at that store and that it wasn’t fair of them to discriminate simply because I was a mother. Deep down, I knew that it was because I wasn’t pretty anymore, that I’d gained weight with the pregnancy and my boobs had fallen. I burst into tears and started to shout this at the girl, but by now there were about a half dozen staff members there. A gay man in a $3,000 suit was shaking his head, “you see, this just proves the point of the policy. Mothers are always so emotional, and we just can’t have scenes like this all the time.” And then they escorted me out of the store.

Rebecca Rankin, 21-years-old
It was near Christmas and I was standing outside of the store looking at the display windows. It was the most amazing and wonderful thing I had ever seen. Toy soldiers dressed in the most amazing clothes were marching about and little motorized cars were driving through an elaborate model of a great city.

There was also a merry-go-round that had the most astounding creatures on it, but instead of the kind of crazy music you associate with a merry-go-round, there was bird song. Flying about and perched on the animals were the most beautiful birds, all singing in unison. I was watching as it went around and around, and then I saw my Nana— who died last year– on a swan. Holding on for dear life, she was beaming like a little girl. I waved at her, and she waved back, mouthing the words, “I love you, my little cup of sunshine, I love you.”

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Photo by the United Way of the Lower Mainland

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