I stumble upon Bergdorf-Goodman when I was writing about visual merchandising as an art form for one of my class. I don’t think there are stores in Indonesia that regards Visual Display as seriously as they do in Bergdorf’s. When i heard about the documentary, i was actually excited, because they were mentioning the window display as well. But apparently this video served as a more extensive introductory to the alternate universe behind the luxurious façade of Bergdorf’s-Goodman (and no, it is not Narnia).
If fashion is a religion, and Vogue is the bible, one of its sacred shrines is Bergdorf’s-Goodman. An actual emporium that takes up a whole city block on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. The documentary of the sacred fashion ground is christened under a line from a New Yorker cartoon by Victoria Roberts. Funnily enough, in the documentary itself, Susan Lucci, the famed soap opera queen gushes about her post-mortem plan, “Don’t scatter my ash at Barney’s or anywhere else, I want my ashes to be scattered at Bergdorf’s.” The documentary itself open with introduction to the company before introducing a few key players in their system. The introductions consists of numerous designers rehashing their encounter and gushing about how coveted a spot on the floor of Bergdorf’s-Goodman is, recounting the tale of being discovered and given an opportunity of a lifetime (Kors and Bobby Brown, among others), and the name itself is synonymous with luxury and the highest form of fashion.
Linda Fargo. This is the women every working designer want to impress and need to gain her approval, that is if they want a chance to display their merchandise on the floor of Bergdorf’s. In the documentary we follow Linda, who were portrayed as a slightly more likable, less cold version of Wintour, as she was looking into a collection by Ally Hilfiger. Ally is an american heiress, socialites, daughter of the renowned Tommy Hilfiger, and at the time she just started to build her fashion brand, NAHM. Fargo eventually give her a ‘no’, rejection coated by encouragement and various sugar-coating, making Fargo looked indecisive and meek. I think i’d take Wintour harshness anyday now. (FYI: NAHM officially shut down last fall and Hilfiger currently pursuing her other dreams of writing a book instead).
Betty Halbreich. Apparently everybody love Betty. She’s no bullshit antique works with her clients. Because maybe that’s what personal shoppers are for, make you buy overprice expensive stuff but at least you know you looked good in them. Betty is the most interesting character in the documentary for me. Her comical reaction and blunt honesty was refreshing, i would not mind seeing more of her in this documentary.
David Hoey window design I stumble upon Bergdorf’s-Goodman when I was writing my paper, i still remember it was their 2010 Holiday Window ‘Wish You Were Here’. In this documentary, we follow as Hoey bustling his team 7 weeks prior to the unveiling of the window of Holiday 2011, with Carnival with the Animal as the theme. I guess i wished i can see the creative process of Hoey from finding an inspiration to finding the theme, instead it only offered glimpses of the executions. The level of detail and hardwork that went into it is admirable, but Hoey himself looks jaded and bored throughout his portion of the films, which in turns disappoint me a little bit too.
If you were offended by the blunt product marketing on The Internship (2013), think again, this might give you a run for your money. Just like the windows of David Hoey, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s provides a wondrous spectacle to look at. Glossy like the lacquered sole of Louboutins. But did not convey a lot of thing after it ended.
SCATTER MY ASHES AT BERGDORF’S (2013)
DIRECTOR Matthew Miele | PRODUCER Mallory Andrews | MUSIC Parov Stelar | CINEMATOGRAPHER Justin Bare | EDITOR Justin Bare | DISTRIBUTOR Entertainment One | COUNTRY United States | RUNNING TIME 93 minutes | RATING PG-13 for brief sexual reference | RELEASE May 3, 2013
FEATURING Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, William Fichtner, Candice Bergen, Susan Lucci, Joan Rivers, Nicole Richie, Tom Ford, Georgina Chapman, Marc Jacobs, Rachel Zoe, Erika Smith, Vera Wang, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Isaac Mirzahi, Michael Kors, Diane von Fürstenberg, Tony Burch, Lauren Bush, Oscar de la Renata, Christian Loubutin, Jason Wu, Iris Apfel, Blake Mycoskie, Manolo Blahnik, Bobbi Brown, William Ivey Long, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Oliver Theyskens, Amy Fine-Collins, Patricia Field, Betty Halbreich, Candy Pratts, Lela Rose, Gilles Mendel, Eila Mell, Thakoon, Alber Elbaz, Sylvia Fendi, Laudomia Pucci, Paul Goldberger, Catherine Malandrino, Thom Borne, Lorraine Schwartz, Dawn Mello, Johnson Hartig, John Demsey.