At the beginning of this year I was lucky enough to meet Lalla Bronshtein, the mind behind the fashion label LallaxRecycledRevolution (or LallaxRR for short). We sat down to talk all things upcycling, creativity and ethical fashion, as well as getting a cheeky try on of one of her handmade pieces. I loved learning about the unique approach, quirky aesthetic and genuine passion behind this line, and I have a feeling you will too.
Over the years Lalla (pictured) has dabbled in many creative areas, including running an eco-friendly menswear line whilst studying at art school, making music, and working now as a TV/celebrity stylist. Her passions have always centred around creativity and fashion in some way, but it was only after life took a crazy turn that she truly discovered the recycled revolution. When things took a turn for the worse in her personal world, Lalla found herself in a kind of no ‘no mans land’ where she struggled to think clearly.
In an odd twist of fate, she turned to charity and vintage shops. She kept her creative spark alive by hunting out unique, secondhand clothes. A bit of a fashion treasure hunter, if you will. It was only after she had filled her flat with these pieces (it’s not hard – charity shops are pretty cheap after all), that she realised there was a way to help these vintage pieces begin a new journey. Instead of adding to the production toll and wastefulness of making completely new products, she could both help the environment by using existing fabric, and give these clothes a new life.
So Lalla began taking existing pieces and materials and combining them to create new, one off garments. When her friends cleared out their wardrobes she would take their old clothes for upcycling, pairing pieces of items together in new and exciting ways. She stopped throwing out clothes, finding ways for them to become something new instead. A top and skirt could become a dress, the sleeves from one item could be added to the body of another. The more she did it, the more she loved it and the more others noticed. After realising she could take her ideas further, and having created more upcycled pieces than she could use herself, Lalla approached ASOS marketplace, who loved what she was doing. And so Lalla x Recycled Revolution was born, with a core goal of combining authenticity and history with a modern design edge.
So how does this upcycling process actually work? Well that’s part of the fun. Sometimes it’s spontaneous; when buying a piece Lalla immediately knows what to add and how to adapt it to her vision. Sometimes she goes into her studio and begins mixing and matching, experimenting until she finds something she likes. She’ll then sketch out her design and work with a local seamstress to make it come to life. As Lalla explained to me
‘The creating is a real process, but you never know what the end piece will look like until it’s ready. The reveal is the best part, you never know how much it’ll look like the design. Adding a new layer of life to something gives me a whole new level of satisfaction that designing from scratch doesn’t, because you never quite know if it’s going to work – it’s a constantly changing thing!’
When the garment is created, the seamstress returns any waste fabric, which is then transferred to the next creation process, creating a completely zero waste line of production. The aim is that each piece is on trend and high end quality whilst maintaining its eco-friendly status; someone else’s trash is quite literally converted into a new treasure.
I think one of the best things about Lalla’s designs is that they really don’t look recycled in the way people imagine. With events such as Emma Watson’s recycled plastic dress on the red carpet attitudes to reused materials and ideas around upcycled designs are changing and expanding for the better.
‘Back when I did the menswear label there was much more stigma around recycled fashion and what it could be. These days there’s more professionalism and so many interesting approaches’
Lalla x RR is created for people who usually wouldn’t buy secondhand, aiming to change their thinking through being designed in a way that you wouldn’t guess they had ever been a different piece of clothing before. There’s a piece for everyone’s taste, whether it’s minimal like me or quirky and patterned. There are also items for every occasion, whether it be an evening do or just a trip to your local coffee shop.
The line has been on the ASOS marketplace for a year now and so far reactions have been great. The next dream for Lalla is to sell her pieces physically in high end settings like Selfridges, Harrods or Liberty in London. She would also love to explore teaming up with other charities like Oxfam or Macmillan to try out new collaborations. The future is looking very bright for Lalla x Recycled Revolution.
‘To me the name Recycled Revolution means change, and being on that journey. Each piece I create is on the ultimate journey of being remade into something new, whilst ultimately helping to care for the environment and changing mindsets about what recycled fashion can be. My name Lalla literally means spring, the symbol of new life, so in a way it almost feels like fate that this is what I do!’
Photos by Gianna Scavo.
Dress by Lalla X RR, sunglasses by Sideroot
This post was created in collaboration with Lalla X RR
Until next time, stay magic y’all.