The Evolution of Erica Strange

We look at the fashion on Being Erica and talk to the show's star, Erin Karpluk.

Photo by Regan Reid

Photo by Regan Reid

Photo by Regan Reid

A lot has changed for Erica Strange since Being Erica debuted on CBC in 2009.  Canada’s favourite time-traveller has evolved from a down-and-out operator at a call centre to the co-owner of a publishing company, 50/50 Press. And as Erica has developed, so has her fashion sense. In season one if Erica wasn’t in her pajamas, she’d probably be dressed in an H&M or Smart Set dress. Flash-forward three years and a more successful Erica Strange is dressed in Ralph Lauren and Alice + Olivia.

On a show that takes the audience on a trip across the decades, the costumes are essential to the storyline. “The clothing, the hair and the makeup, more so than anything, help the audience and helps me to believe that we are in fact time-traveling,” says star Erin Karpluk. “If I’m in high school wearing Doc Martens and a baby doll dress, I carry myself much differently than when I’m in the office at 50/50 in the present, where I’ve got my Stuart Weitzman’s and my little Nanette Lepore dress on.”

In real life, Karpluk says she is more “rock and roll” than her TV character. “[Erica]’s more feminine and there have been times when I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Oh my god! I look like a doll,’” says the 32-year-old Alberta native. That’s not to say that Karpluk doesn’t enjoy the costumes she wears on the show. When discussing an Alexander McQueen dress that Erica may don in season four, Karpluk squeals with excitement. “It’s our favourite. Obviously.”

Along with the high fashion, season four will bring fans lots more time-travelling and, most importantly, more romance. Erica’s relationship with her Irish beau, Adam Fitzpatrick (Adam Fergus) will continue to develop and be challenged throughout the season. We’ll learn more about the mysterious Dr. Tom (Michael Riley) as well as Erica’s friend and business partner, Julianne (Reagan Pasternak).

But there are rumours that this fourth season will be the last. “If it is [the last season] I think that it’s going to go out on an amazing note,” Karpluk says. “Regardless of what’s to come, every ending has a beginning and that’s something that I can take from this show and move forward with.” It sounds like Erica wasn’t the only one learning a thing or two in therapy.

Being Erica’s season premiere is Monday, September 26. – Regan Reid