Julia Restoin-Roitfeld




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When asked what it was like to grow up with Carine Roitfeld as her mother, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld recounts one occasion when she was 15 and Carine took her to see a newly released film that she described thusly: "‘Oh, there’s this new English movie, they have a playlist with all the bands you like, let’s see it.’” Mama Roitfeld was turning her daughter on to the 1996 British comedy/drama Trainspotting. Directed by Danny Boyle from the Irvine Welsh novel, the movie stars Ewan McGregor as Rent, a Scottish heroin addict, well before his Obi-Wan years.

Who can forget the famous first scene of the film as we are introduced to the gang? Rent tells us his philosophy of life which is both profane and eloquent as we see a typical day in the group’s life accompanied by Iggy Pop’s "Lust for Life"… “Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?”

I would have thought it was pretty cool if my mother turned me on to the Trainspotting soundtrack like Carine did with Julia, you can see it in the stack of albums in Julia's apartment pictured above. The soundtrack includes a mix of great songs like "Born Slippy" by Underworld, "Temptation" by New Order, "Nightclubbing" by Iggy Pop, and "A Final Hit" by Leftfield that bring back the exuberance and energy of the film whenever you hear them.

I think Vladimir and Carine with their heroin chic looks would fit right in with Rent and the gang (not so much Julia).

The plot is fairly simple — it follows four friends, Rent, the smartest of the group, and his three pals, the sweet hapless Spud (Ewen Bremner), suave Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), and psychotic Begbie (Robert Carlyle) as they deal with their personal demons. Some of the group fare better than others. Trainspotting is both depressing and life-affirming. Some reviews insist that the film glamorizes the life of a heroin addict; on the contrary, the scenes of Rent going through withdrawal or when their friend Tommy (Kevin McKidd) dies alone from AIDS are very sad and disturbing. But there is still an undeniable joie de vivre in the film that leaves you with a smile on your face.

Trainspotting and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld photographs courtesy of twitter.com, barneys.com. theselby.com, and Fashion Spot.

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