Common Thread

From intern to emerging designer to eponymous label, Lac Ann is ready for the runway at Western Canada Fashion Week alongside mentor Derek Jagodzinsky.

February 28, 2018

Photography: Aaron Pedersen

Model: Alyssah Paccoud, Mode Models

Hair: Amy Laing, Ponytails and Horseshoes

Makeup: Nickol Walkemeyer, The Vault

Words: Breanna Mroczek

Location: provided by David Lalonde

Dress and bag from LUXX Ready-to-Wear; shoes are model’s own

When Lac Ann couldn't find a job in chemical technology immediately after graduating from NAIT, he decided to entertain his creative side.

In 2015, Ann found an internship with Derek Jagodzinsky of LUXX Ready to Wear, who typically takes inspiration from traditional aboriginal dress and interprets it in modern ways. “So much traditional knowledge has been lost. I want to strengthen a new aboriginal identity and bring [traditions] back properly,” Jagodzinsky says.

During his internship, Ann was first introduced to Western Canada Fashion Week (WCFW), where Jagodzinsky has debuted new work for the past seven years. 

Blazer and skirt from LUXX Ready-to-Wear; Rilley shoe from Aldo

Inspired to create a collection of his own, Ann moved to Vietnam to “learn tailoring from the masters” and developed his signature style, “Old World tailoring meets New World designs — minimal tailoring with a little twist.’’

Ann says: “I was drawn to the quality [of tailoring] and the beauty of the details. I admire those videos on Chanel’s [YouTube] channel where they show you the time it takes to make even one square inch of their couture designs. It’s art and beauty and it’s just magical.”

Shortly after, Ann staged his own show at WCFW and won the emerging designer competition in 2016. “The biggest lesson I learned [from Derek] is how to manage your time and how to understand people. He taught me the ins and outs of doing a show.”

Blazer and dress from Lac Ann; brooch is Derek Jagodzinsky’s own

Between preparing for his second WCFW show April 26-30 and setting up a retail shop in Vacancy Hall, Ann is committed to fashion design, though in the long term he hopes to use his science background — specifically his research on activated charcoal — which can reduce environmental impact by cleaning chromium waste from leather factories.

Blazer and skirt by Lac Ann; shoes are model's own

“I want people to go outside their [fashion] comfort zone and research what they’re wearing a little bit more. You often buy a piece of clothing and don’t know anything about it, but, with my label, it’s transparent. Transparency gives it personality. I’m about bringing science and fashion together.”

Meanwhile, Jagodzinsky wants to expand his LUXX ready-to-wear offerings with knits, bridesmaid dresses, day dresses, evening wear and underwear. “I want LUXX not to have a nationality. I just want it to be a fashion brand,” Jagodzinsky says. “At the end of the day, I’m a designer, it’s not just about me being native.’’

This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


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