'Avril Lavigne by Killstar' Taps Into Mall Goth Nostalgia

'Avril Lavigne by Killstar' Taps Into Mall Goth Nostalgia

Nostalgia for the early 2000s is not going away anytime soon. Baby tees, baggy cargo pants and bedazzled everything are back in style. Now it's time for the next wave, spearheaded by the multi-generational fashion icon, Avril Lavigne.

A hero to mall goths everywhere, Lavigne's fiery music, cool-girl attitude and killer wardrobe spoke to millions of young people who felt lost among the flashy stars of early reality TV and pop music. As her audience grew up, she did too. Camo pants and crudely knotted neckties made way for tutus and studs, which made way for bondage wear and leather jackets. Dig up almost any millennial's "teenage dirtbag" pictures for the TikTok trend and guaranteed there will be at least one photo with the smeared eyeliner, teased hair and vest paired with a plaid skirt. That was Lavigne's impact.

Twenty years on since her debut Let Go, Lavigne continues to appeal to her old fans while capturing a new generation with her uncompromising style, attitude and artistry. Like all of us, she's grown up too, celebrating the release of her seventh studio album, an engagement, a tour and even a return to the big screen all within less than a year. She adds to that list of accomplishments with the release of her new collaboration with alternative fashion brand Killstar.

The "Avril Lavigne by Killstar" collection brings Lavigne's signature style into a modern age. Familiar prints such as barbed wire and skeletons grace flattering bodycon dresses and sweatpants. Sexy body harnesses, edgy chain necklaces and even lingerie are sprinkled throughout the collection in an incredible size range from XS to 4XL.

Lavigne's magic and influence continue to transcend identity, mediums and generations. Read on for PAPER's conversation with the star about the release of her new collection, which debuts today.

How did this collaboration come to be?

Killstar just reached out to me! I was familiar with their clothes and wore them and so it felt like a no-brainer to get and make some cool pieces. It's kind of rock and roll, a bit gothic and kind of punk rock. I love it. With my line, we just went pink and black with barbed wire and, of course, skull and bones. The pieces are cute. They're really flattering and sexy, so it's like the perfect combination.

You are one of the most iconic fashion figures of the early '00s and your image is so intertwined with your music. What's that like to continue to be seen as such?

My fashion resonated with my fans from day one and that wasn't something I was expecting as a musical artist. Everyone was wearing neckties and tank tops and so that was crazy to experience but really cool and surreal. As far as fashion, I've always done what comes naturally to me since day one. I never really overthink it honestly. I just put on what I put on and I go through my different styles and eras and vibes. Then, it all just comes together naturally.

Have you always dressed this way or did this develop along with your career?

If we chunk it down to my career, I'd definitely say it's something that I grew into when I first came out. On my first album, it was definitely more tomboy with the baggy pants. I was more skater with a lot of Dickies and fat skate shoes, tank tops and neckties. Then like I went into my second album and I started wearing a lot of bondage pants. They were still baggy, but kind of sexy. Of course I went into a little bit of a gothic flair with black lace — a lot of black — and I'd do the black and red eye makeup with some black in my hair. On the third album, The Best Damn Thing, I got into pink and black.

Right now, I'd say it's a combination of it all. Corsets are back in and I definitely do like the baggy, high-waisted pant which is like today's version, right? I've always just loved skulls. I have skulls all around my house. That's why with this collection, I made a skull suitcase! It's so me. We made a pink one for my collaboration with Killstar. Like I said, I love the colors pink and black, so we have the maxi dress. It's my favorite piece. It's this long maxi dress and it looks like a ribcage.

These early '00s aesthetics are coming back in full force. It's interesting seeing opinions change from these things being cringy to being trendy again.

For me, I've been rocking this shit the whole time! It never went away for me. It's good that the culture is having an appreciation again for rock and roll music and fashion once again.

Is there any trend you do not want to see come back?

Low-rise jeans! I would not want to see them come back. I mean, I don't know. I actually just cleaned my closet and went through all my clothes.

Do you still have some of those like old pieces?

I have everything from every video archived! Hmm, what trend do you not want to see come back?

Low rise jeans and double tank tops.

Oh my god. The double tank top. Yeah, let's say that. I'm all about the fat skate shoe coming back, though.

You can shop the full Avril Lavigne x Killstar collaboration, here.

Photos courtesy of Killstar