This past weekend, local clothing boutique Elizabeth-May partnered up with Scaramanga Bags to showcase the “St Andrews look” for the fall season. I met up with the managers of each business, Natalie Anderson (Elizabeth May) and Katie White (Scaramanga Bags) on Sunday morning and they explained to me how some good old-fashioned Twitter stalking of the others’ business swiftly led to this spontaneous collaboration.
With two bags of clothes and outerwear and another bag filled with leather satchels and totes, we walked around St Andrews to capture some street style photography, with 3rd year student Catherine Hicks modeling the various styles. Natalie explains how Elizabeth May is known better for their sequined maxi dresses, unsurprisingly experiencing a surge of sales late October right before ball season hits the students. And although Elizabeth May is already well prepared for this year’s dress delivery in early October, they also want to show the casual style that the boutique offers, one that Natalie says is actually more true to the unique St Andrews town style.
With a laugh, Katie tells me that it’s quite the opposite for her; Scaramanga wants to show how their rustic leather bags can be dressed up. With the aid of the cute outfits brought by Natalie, the look is student-sophisticated. As some of the bags are made from distressed leather, they have that gothic feel you often associate with St Andrews ruins. However, with the right scarf (Natalie pulled out scarf after scarf like bunnies from a magician’s hat!) each outfit was made perfect.
Scaramanga Bags have three shops across Scotland: one newly opened in Edinburgh, Cupar, and luckily for us (as of August 2013) St Andrews. Katie told me the owner of Scaramanga was in India when he came across the leather satchels. Since then, he has brought business back to the UK. Katie assures me jokingly that it is no sweatshop feat, but the bags are handmade by Indian women. The owner takes a trip every year to oversee the production. Katie is waiting in suspense to see if the “Gold Collection” will make it in stores before the Christmas rush, a new and a little more high-end collection. Wanting to make mark in the fashion industry they are expanding their range from casual to more luxurious, which will undoubtedly appeal to St Andrews’ wide range of fashion tastes and budgets.
After enjoying the calm Sunday morning outside shooting, we wrap up all the merchandise and head back to Elizabeth May’s headquarters on Market Street. Natalie tells me excitedly about the upcoming Autumn/Winter launch being thrown this Friday (RSVP here!) With exclusive sneak peak to upcoming collections, a trip might go a long way to secure a sartorial photo shoot at your favorite St Andrews ball this season. And not to mention, with every purchase you get a 10% discount, and even a free gift bag with secret Scaramanga merchandise.
All photos courtesy of Katie White (Scaramanga)