Why Trainspotting‘s Renton Is My Style Icon

I choose Renton. There are certain characters in movies whose style has stood the test of time, becoming iconic: Alabama Worley in True Romance, Mrs Robinson in The Graduate, Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums. All mega chic women that my own everyday style has nothing to do with. No, I see more of myself in the grimy, thieving, heroin addict Mark Renton. I think I started wearing suits with trainers when I had to smarten up for meetings because that’s how Renton scrubs up for court – mostly giving in, except for trainers.
Nostalgia aside, Renton’s take on layering, for example, is genius. The autumn-winter 16 bomber jacket trend? How Renton. The long-sleeved sweatshirt? That’s Renton. His clothes are designed to make a run for it in, to go out all night and then skip home in, to be easy to get in and out of and that don’t require an overcoat, a heel, or even buttoning up. Clothes that, individually, no one wants to borrow, but together, create a look everyone wants to imitate.
What is it about '90s style that lingers? The T-shirts, the zip-ups, the low-slung jeans, the tiny hoop earrings – they must be more than a teenage hangover. Despite the fact that rave culture is dead as dead, these items continue to be photographed on musicians, models, actors and creatives in every relevant style and youth culture magazine.
Trainspotting didn’t capture the heart of British youth because of the intravenous injections of heroin – that was something only a small number could relate to. The masses and I love Trainspotting because of the music, the one-liners and absolutely because of the style, a style that in almost every way is the antithesis of fashion. Renton is dressed in the apparel of a skaghead, a junkie, but also a rebel, an anti-establishmentarian, a non-conformist. Those were the words from which the punk look was born. They’re also the words that started a French collective called Vetements.
And so, to Renton, my anti-fashion hero, and the looks he brought to my life...

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