I’d Rather Be Dead Than Cool is a rebrand of Forever 21’s rebrand of Kurt Cobain, and his infamous statement about his own fate, coolness and commercial viability. The look is sincerely inauthentic; it’s the 90s in 2014. Forever 21 delivers the branding of suicide to appeal to a younger generation who want to look to like they don’t care about being cool. Forever 21 is forever, but not permanent, and fast fashion encourages an indefinite, non-committal self by producing nearly disposable garments in every single style. There There allows the erratic to be cool without committing to forever, offering tattoos, piercings, and grunge hair that are as easy to remove as a hat or a pair of jeans.
Fronting as a fashion brand, There There – an ongoing artistic collaboration between Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish – is behind the making of I’d Rather Be Dead Than Cool. They’ve reached Nirvana in fast fashion and use Forever 21 apparel as raw material. Creating looks with unruly blonde hair extensions, tattooed leather, and pierced undergarments, There There has made the processes of body modification as impermanent this season’s trends. Spills and stains that would normally render clothing unsellable become considered statements in this collection with white school girl skirts adorned with spray painted liquid makeup.