Back in May, Movie Buzzers reported on the trailer for the Matthew Miele-written-and-directed documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, which centers on the legacy of New York City’s Fifth Avenue beacon of fashion, Bergdorf Goodman. The film features a series of humorous, insightful, and worthy interviews with a slew of fashion designers, industry heavyweights, stylish celebrities, and employees (past and present) of the store to thoughtfully justify the magic and appeal of its status as a symbol of luxury.
Known as the place to be for designer duds, viewers will get an in-depth and fascinating history behind the Vanderbilt-inspired location and why the store is one of New York’s quintessential cultural attractions since its 1899 inception. The documentary’s name derives from a cartoon by Victoria Roberts featured in a 1990 issue of The New Yorker, which captures the grandeur of the mode mecca.
Famous names attached to this documentary include actresses Susan Lucci (All My Children) and Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown), stylist Rachel Zoe (Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project), costume designers Patricia Field (Sex and the City) and Eric Daman (Gossip Girl), comedienne Joan Rivers (E!’s Fashion Police), as well as the faces behind prominent labels like Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino Garavani, Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang, and Michael Kors.
Some of the most fascinating details of the entire documentary include an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the birth of personal shopping, the conceptual designs of their city block window displays, attraction of Old Hollywood celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, and the late-Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibit from 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thus, affirming the important presence of fashion in The Big Apple and the role Bergdorf Goodman plays in it.
Also, I should mention that this isn’t entirely about the clothes we throw on our backs. There’s some valuable economic commentary about the brand of Bergdorf Goodman itself: their responsibility to decades’ worth of employees, reputation against other luxury competitors like Saks Fifth Avenue, and introduction of European businesses to the American consumer.
My opinion is naturally biased, as a style blogger; however, it’s undeniable that when you consider the merging of fashion and the art of documentary-making, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s stands among the most entertaining, visually stunning, and informative ninety-three minutes of anything else I’ve seen like it (for example, The September Issue, Lagerfeld Confidential, and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel).
If you’re counting down to New York Fashion Week in September and clamoring over who’s-wearing-whom at the Academy Awards, then this is a must-see epic that will widen your fashionable horizons and satisfy your hunger for all things stylish.
Rating: A must-see epic that will widen your fashionable horizons and satisfy your hunger for all things stylish (9/10)
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s is available on DVD and on-demand on Tuesday, August 27th, courtesy of Entertainment One.