Archive for the ‘( re ) + you’ Category

Behind Scenes of Lanni’s Design Process


A glimpse into lanni lantto’s eco-fashion label ( re ) – started in 2008 – behind the scenes of redesigning from thrift shopping to eco research in Europe to the runway. Creating art that brings caring for our environment full circle.


Creative Collaborators

Behind every great photo shoot is a team of talented artists.  As I get ready for another LOOKBOOK shoot, I’d like to thank the following artists who have brought
( re ) to life in the past.

The Historic Ithaca State Theatre
Photographers: Dan Taylor & David Kossack
Photographer/Editor/Graphic Designer: James Orlando, extraordinaire.
Models: Asia Dillon, Kel LeMonce, Moina Snyder, Ashley Boehm, & Stephanie Carrion
Hair & Make-up: Jodi Baldwin & Oubon Phommanyrath
Wardrobe Stylist: Heidi Brown

6/28/11 Q: How do you begin?

Alyssa contacted me via my website and asked a GREAT question worthy of posting, because it’s the “how to begin” that stops most people from ever beginning!:

A: I guess my one question is, where did you begin?  I’ve been sewing, etc since I was 6… but I’ve never been to design school…  It’s awfully easy to doubt yourself out of things, as I’m sure you know!

L: I have no background either. I moved to DC to try to find a job in women’s rights & empowerment.  I applied to my “dream job” and I didn’t get it. I had begun to take my old skirts and make designs on them with old fabric, as a hobby.  At that same time, an old friend called and asked if I wanted to house sit his farm house in Ithaca, NY.  I took a LEAP OF FAITH, packed up my car and decided to try and make my hobby a reality.  God provided the rest for me after I made that decision- to pay the bills/rent I landed two amazing adjunct teaching jobs. I cleared one of the rooms in my house into a studio and started to buy pieces from thrift stores.  With NO idea of how to sew I watched youtube tutorials and literally just picked up a needle and thread. I made tea and put on good music and just let the inspiration muses speak through me.  Most of all, I believed in myself as worthy.  It’s very easy to look at another designer’s work and compare yourself- especially with no background- and think that you don’t belong or everyone will criticize your work.  I doubted myself and sometimes I still do.  But I know the feeling when I see a piece come together on the mannequin, I imagine it’s much like that feeling in the universe when everything is in alignment, it just feels right.  Then when I see that piece on someone else and they LOVE it I think that helps keep you going too.  So my advice is to first believe that you are worthy to be creating and second get your pieces around people who will genuinely compliment you.  Once you just say, “I belong here as much as anyone else” then you treat it is your trade/job.  I began by calling myself an eco-fashion designer when people asked what I do. It felt weird and at first I felt like I was lying to them, like I needed the big fashion label and mounds of press before I could declare that statement. But honestly, I think that statement needs to come first- then the rest will follow. After creating my studio space in Ithaca- I came up with a name that embodied what I was doing, which would become my label name.  In the course of 2 years, I entered eco-friendly fashion shows, bought a website domain space, contacted other like-minded designers for community support and made friends with creative photographers and videographers, took sewing lessons and invested in a sewing machine, slowly built up my studio with 2nd sewing tools and clothing racks found at thrift stores and estate sales, designed a logo and printed clothing tags, made contact with local business owners to sell my clothing, used my tax return to design my website with a local designer, attended seminars on how to sell on etsy, the list goes on.  I’m always evolving and my goal right now is to take lessons on how to sew from a pattern- but I didn’t feel like I needed to know everything before I even started.  Just commit to starting (& commit to making a positive impact in the world) and the rest will fall into place!

6/4/2011 “Make Do & Mend” 1940’s Upcycle Video

Make Do & Mend

“She’s wearing a patchwork dressing gown, the lining was formally a dust sheet, material found in the attic, a pair of her husband’s trousers.” The 1940’s wartime video, the best part is the end!


5/6/2011 Inspiring the Next Generation

I’m excited to get back into the classroom.  We all know the most open and receptive students of living a sustainable life are those young enough to simply grow into it, as a lifestyle!  Luckily, I have the opportunity to present at a local high school; will be going through What is Eco-Fashion, Where do our clothes come from, Recycling v/s Upcycling, The Difference You can Make, and showing examples of upcycling designers across the world. Then my favorite part for this age group will be showing 6 of my pieces and asking THEM to tell me what they are made of!  I’ve never done this before, I’ve usually explained.  It will be fun to hear what they think and literally watch them thinking outside the box.  As always, I hope to inspire them to rethink and react!

4/18/11 Heidalas Ithaca Inspiration

Heidi Brown has her own Upcycled label called “Heidalas” and I came to know her while living in Ithaca, NY.  One of the first designers I met that reaffirmed to me that other people actually DO what I want to do!  Yet, we do things according to what feels right for us.  I remember telling her that I wanted people to know where my clothing came from- the past lives of the table cloth dress.  She felt the opposite, that she wanted to create beautiful clothing without branding it as upcycled.  I always found that interesting and equally respectful- and necessary in this new era fashion revolution!  Check out her darling designs at

3/24/2011 1980’s Message re: Your Fashion Passion!

Mr. T says, “Table the Label and wear your own name!”  It’s all about individual style!

02/20/2011 “Behind the Seams” with TRAID

If we are all creative beings meant to inspire… then TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) has given me enough inspiration to drop my ‘day job’ & upcycle my way to the galaxy and beyond. YES..they ARE that amazing..

While eagerly scavenging the charity shops in London, I came across one of TRAID’s “Behind the Seams” events where you could purchase anything in their store for 1£ and remake it right there. With the help of Lyla, Head of Education (shown below), I made a tie skirt for 3£s in 1 hour.

They also have a newsletter called, “Behind the Seams” which is the cleverest of terms and to which when I use, can stake no claim in creating.  Many thanks to Fizz & Paula Kirkwood for letting me visit them in their TRAIDremade studio in Brighton, UK.  I still have my zipper broach & hound’s tooth coat bag!

Please become as obsessed with them as I am:

02/20/2011 Interconnected Web of Upcyclers!

I’m currently teaching (& learning from) my 2nd “Redesign Your Wardrobe” Workshop which is divided into 3 sessions.  One of the assignments is for each participant to research 4 upcyclers and share their methods with the class.

I was extremely delighted when photos from Supayana’s gorgeously vintage upcycled collection was one of our “discovered & forever uncovered” designers!  This brought an extra smile to my face as Yana and I became friends at the Paris Ethical Fashion Show in 2009.  Russian born via Brooklyn now residing in Montreal, she is a pioneer of successfully producing upcycled pieces.  Visit her site at

01/31/2011 Call for Upcycling Designers!

Are you a fellow upcycler that lives in the UP of Michigan?

Do you love to recreate clothing?  Have a passion for piecing things together?

If so, please CONTACT ME right away.

I’m putting together a very exciting project that will begin production early 2011!

12/2/2010 Why am I here? Why are you?

Welcome to my “blog”. I look forward to sharing with you…

What would you do to spread the message of truth & love?

For me, it meant learning how to sew.

I never thought I’d know how to work a sewing machine. I didn’t learn how to sew because I wanted to.  I learned because I saw a way to spread a message.  To save fabric from the landfills in a stylish and creative way.

We are all rich.  You have been blest with at least one gold coin.  A gift given to you, unique to your soul, that is meant to be shared with others & used to do good in this world.  It is no coincidence you are here.  You have a purpose..& we need you.  It would be a great loss to you, to others, to all life if your gift were not known and so remained unused.

What gift can you inspire upon the world that doesn’t create more waste, harm to animals, that awakens the muses in our hearts, that shines brightly igniting light bulbs over our heads?

Take it from me.  With faith and trust you can do anything.  Base it in love and go forth–bear hug the world!

xo- Lanni

( re ) + you

Buy ( re ) items online @ Etsy!

Visit my online Etsy stores:

Main Store – Remade clothing for the more elegant “pro-sumer” (feel good about “con-suming”) plus unique vintage finds! Click Here

Recycle Your Tshirts – Send me your Tshirts and I’ll custom make headbands, arm bands, neck warmers, & fabric rings for you.: Click Here

+ Shop Local

Buy  ( re ) pieces in historic downtown Marquette, Michigan at:

– Zero Degrees Artist Cooperative

– Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Peter White Library