Despite the dreary atmosphere of the damp autumnal night outside, the mood inside The Saint Bar & Kitchen this Wednesday was far from drab. In the soft lighting of Ensemble’s first ever Exposé, we were all transported to an evening of sophistication, filled with cocktails, fabulous food and, of course, the highlight, gorgeous dresses. Margaux Woellner, the brains behind the event and the owner of one of St Andrews’ newest and most exciting student-owned businesses, launched her dress rental business in style. Speaking before the event, Margaux mentioned how much work she had been putting into organising everything, from the music choice to the seating arrangements. Margaux’s attention to detail definitely paid off.
After passing through the doors, into the hubbub of an extremely well dressed crowd, guests were welcomed by close friends’ of Margaux, and invited to order a drink from the bar. The delicious cocktails set the mood for the rest of the evening. Despite initial concerns over ticket sales, thanks to publicity from St Andrews’ newspapers, societies and students, Margaux never needed to worry. The full reception area spoke volumes for the level of interest that St Andrews’ students have for this exciting business venture. Before dinner, guests were treated to a performance from the illustrious Other Guys, who never fail to add some style to an evening.
After the performance, guests took their seats to select their dinner from the hand-picked menu, put together by Margaux and the host The Saint Bar & Kitchen. While food was ordered, served and enjoyed, models passed by wearing the best Ensemble has to offer. The models themselves added an element of individuality, with some of them wearing the same dresses, to emphasise how versatile Ensemble’s dresses really are. With minimalistic makeup and natural hair styling, the focus was very much on the dresses.
Margaux’s main reason for holding the Exposé was to “show off how wonderful our dresses really are”. Fighting against the assumption that rental dresses must be old and worn out, Margaux hoped to prove to guests that all dresses available to rent from Ensemble are high-quality and well-kept. I’d say she definitely achieved that. The gorgeous models displayed Ensemble’s high standard dresses, in a range of sizes and dress lengths. From Balmain-esque two-piece outfits, to classic LBDs and full-length ballgowns, Ensemble really has something for every girl and every occasion. What makes the range all the more impressive is that they have all been lent by St Andrews students. The lending-renting basis upon which Ensemble operates means that the lenders get a commission every time their dress is rented, and the renters get a variety of dresses at a good price. With prices starting at just £5 per night, renting from Ensemble is totally worth it! For those of us who stress over finding a new dress for each event they attend, Margaux and Ensemble are here to fill a gap and relieve the unnecessary burden the stigma of wearing the same dress twice. After leaving the glamour of the exposé, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t run home to see when I next need a dress for an event so I can take advantage of this brilliant business!
While Margaux is enjoying her current levels of success and is still working hard to make Ensemble a common name around St Andrews, future expansion beyond dresses or into menswear are definite possibilities. Ensemble is definitely one to watch, and Margaux has the dedication and drive to make this business the best it can be. The Ensemble Exposé was a beautiful night, a taste of the success to come.
If you are unfamiliar with the brand or if I’ve managed to convince you that you need to rent a dress, check out the beautifully designed website for more information: https://ensembledresses.wixsite.com/ensembledresses