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Let’s take a trip in the way-back machine to 1996. Guys still wore their jeans baggy, or at least loose. Biggie on the charts with two dudes doing the Macarena, and Alanis singing about how ironic things are. Or were they? They just seemed like coincidences, bad luck, not irony, but what ev.

Then comes Danny Boyle‘s “Trainspotting,” that pierced the zeitgeist and surged into our veins like a hit of heroin. Bursting with energy and style in every frame, it ironically made the gritty life of a junkie look glamorous/rebellious to the naive teens of Scotland, and made drug use soar in its aftermath. Heroin chic, indeed.

Very skinny jeans, and gray not blue. Ewan McGregor.

Shrunken fitted top, on a straight male, go figure. Love the poster behind him. Mark Renton is cocked and loaded. Ewan McGregor.

I just like how Boyle framed this shot. The red reflections in the puddle, nice touch. Ewan McGregor and Kelly Macdonald.

Again, nice composition. It’s also an invitation to Diane’s world. Even though she’s jailbait, she’s more mature than Mark, and she’s the one to prod him into maturity, wanting more out of life than the next hit. Kelly Macdonald.


This is where Mark gives his, “It’s shite being Scottish,” speech. He’s speaking of not having a future and hating his present. One can see beauty and purity or desolation and isolation in this landscape. Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller.

Spud’s eyewear could either be retro hip hop or retro new wave. Ewen Bremner.

The off kilter perspective tells you Mark is changing directions. He now embraces being “one of us,” happy yuppie consumers. He’s also wearing the denim leisure suit, but not matchy-matchy, and shrunken. The jacket is dark blue and the pants are grey, makes it modern and not so 70’s. Ewan McGregor.

Costume designer, Rachael Fleming, stayed within the confines of their socioeconomic level, but gave each clothes that reflected their personality. And now, skinny jeans are the jean of choice.