Calgary: Poster of a (fashionable) girl

Photography by Nicole Shabada

Looking into my fashion crystal ball, I predict the onesie, the ultimate playsuit, is on the verge of a colossal comeback. Witness the runways of BCBG, D&G and Lacoste. If your mind instantly reverts to the bubble-brained Chrissy Snow of Three’s Company, you’re on the right track.

But, today’s onesie has taken an edgier turn, especially when it takes the stage with Emily Haines, solo artist and frontwoman of the Canadian band Metric. Haines not only sports the daring ensemble when she rocks out at a show [View photos of Emily Haines on stage], but has taken a front seat in creating her saucy numbers alongside New York-based stylist Julie Clark. Her signature, one shoulder “Jane of the Jungle” minis are bold and metallic and often paired with contrasting ankle booties [Click to see some of Haines’s stage costumes]. “I really respect and have become good friends with a lot of designers who I think are doing original things that help people express their individuality, instead of some sort of weird, intellectual idea of what a woman is supposed to look like,” says Haines.

Sitting across from me, post-sound check, on the band’s Jingle Bell Rock tour, Haines oozes the same confidence she does on stage. “Fashion is important to me because, like anything else, it’s one of those things if you don’t figure out who you are within it, it will define you,” she explains.

I was thrilled when my interview magically transformed into the raddest play date of all time. Before I knew it, we were backstage, fully engaged in a game of dress-up. Haines flung open her suitcase, proudly showcasing all the costumes she was so involved in designing. “I’m always looking for designers I can rip off.”

Haines started early: her mother was adventurous with fashion and she had a quirky sense of style that set her apart from other women on the block. While other moms would wear sweatshirts, her mother’s sense of individuality would often be reflected in a pair of colorful tights or draped sari. “You’ve gotta stick behind your mom when she’s bold like that.”

Despite the –30 weather, several onesie-wearing girls braved the elements and took in the show (gotta give props to my Calgary girls for that). As Metric rocked our socks off, I couldn’t help but take comfort in the fact that being a positive role model with innovative fashion sense never falls out of style.

Poster of a (Fashionable) Girl
Current fashion fave: Rag & Bone jacket
Favourite designer: New York-based designer Ana Beatriz Lerario
Fashion inspiration: Actress Chloë Sevigny (says Haines: “I think [she] does a great job of being adventurous with what she wears and still having a very defined style that’s her own.”
What she wears on the tour bus: Hemp onesie, of course.