Avril Lavigne's NYFW Runway Show Filled Me with Angst
Avril Lavigne is an accomplished pop star with a huge business that includes clothing, fragrances and now shoes. I've been familiar with Lavigne's work since high school, when I was desperately avoiding poser-status by calling girls who didn't listen to punk but wore dark eyeliner "Avrils." Is it weird that I got a sense of satisfaction when I learned that her fashion brand was crappily made? There are straps falling off the shoulders and faux-leather skirts riding up past the crotch. And it's cheap too – the bathing suits are $22. But who am I to judge? Where's my fashion label? When have I ever put myself out there the way she does, just to be ridiculed by everyone except clueless tweens and other outcast celebs?
The Abbey Dawn show was hosted by Style 360, who put on runway shows for all the big celebrity clothing lines this season like Sammi from Jersey Shore and Daisy Fuentes. It took place at the Metropolitan Pavilion, a trade show-type space where, for some reason, everyone wanted to host an actual runway show and exhibit how cheap their clothes look in motion. Abbey Dawn opened up with the classic song "Sk8r Boi", which cut out of the sound system for some reason. It was followed by "What the Hell", Lil' Mama's remix of "Girlfriend" and a reprise of "Sk8r Boi."
The clothes were abysmal, as to be expected. And I say that in a totally sympathetic way. I don't think they should be more authentically punk, or more expensive or less crass (some shirts even said curse words and others propositioned sailors). In the same way Avril's songs suck but you can't stop playing them every morning on headphones you hope no one can hear, her clothes are guilty-pleasure pieces of crap. My feelings were a mix of hate and nostalgia as I watched teens walk down the runway wearing ill-fitting cotton dresses with screen prints of skeletons and safety pins with fake bright-coloured buns in their hair and studded heels on their feet.
The hate I have for this collection stems from nostalgia. I wonder if Abbey Dawn were available to me when Hot Topic was the only (expensive) option for my attempted mall-punk phase, would I have went with the lame brands and become a poser? Would I have skipped discovering real, good music because the packaged version of my angst was that much easier? Most likely not.
The problem I've always had with Avril's songs is that she paints herself as a misunderstood rock chick who will definitely steal your boyfriend and then leave him. As a teen, I felt truly misunderstood and boyfriendless and sad about that. If I ever got a boyfriend, an Avril probably would have stolen him. She was the enemy, because she didn't have to put any energy into proving her knowledge of skateboarding, but she got to go home with the skater because she had a hot body and long, smooth hair. Now that I'm a grown-up and get that all the skaters I wanted to date were losers and still are, Avril can fucking have them for all I care. But she's just as confused now as I was then.
I just heard she's engaged to the guy from Nickelback, but during the show, her ex-boyfriend Brody Jenner was front row and his 14-year-old sister Kylie was a model. Side note: I didn't realise at first that this was Kylie or that she was 14, so when she turned around in hotpants, I didn't think twice about appreciating her big ass on a runway. It was kind of a theme here. (Is it OK that I liked it?)
Anyway, almost every Kardashian was front row, showing love. You know who wasn't? The Nickelback guy, or the Sum 41 guy, who divorced Avril in 2009. Looks like she always wanted to prove herself to the rock dudes, but was just more accepted by the trashy reality stars, who are the industry's equivalent of those kids you knew in college who got kicked out of sororities and frats for partying too hard and to whom you just had to say, "I don't know, maybe you should chill out for a while," but who, after about a year of depression at home, started living off of their trust funds and are actually doing pretty well at ad agencies and social media outlets.
When she came out at the end of the show, Avril was handed a bouquet of roses. She blew a kiss and threw out some devil horns. She was dressed up like Skrillex for the occasion, which I guess is her version of "professional fashion designer". This was so beyond anything I usually interact with, it was out of my hating reach. I don't know anyone who likes Avril Lavigne unironically, but I also don't know how to gauge irony in anyone more then a couple years younger than me. Perhaps she's a good role model for the kids who adore her because she lets them know that even if they never really "get it" (cool music, good style, what makes a good boyfriend, etc.), they could get rich by exploiting the younger generations of their selves, just like in any other subgenre. If Avril's an insecure girl wanting to be loved and to achieve one of North America's few widely accepted versions of success, what makes her any different than me? We're both just wearing what we want to, indulging in pop songs when we feel hurt or drunk or happy and dating guys who are into girls who say they don't give a fuck when they really do. But the main thing is, I know now that even if she tried, that poser could never steal my boyfriend. She seemed about 5'2" and 100 pounds, so I could probably take her.
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