Fashion Documentary - Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's Welcome back to the Summer of Fashion Documentaries! This week we are looking at Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's. (You can find this documentary streaming on Netflix.)
The documentary is a history of the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman. The store opened in 1928 and has been an institution on 5th avenue in New York City ever since. The film covers different aspects of the store including styling, the connection between designers and fame, visual merchandising, and the architecture of the building.
Watch this Documentary
If you are a visual merchandiser, stylist, personal shopper, or are in retail. It will be interesting and exciting to you (especially when it comes to those famous windows!).
Skip this Documentary
If you are NOT a visual merchandiser, stylist, personal shopper, or are in retail. It will frustrate and bore you. You will think it is a long-form commercial for Bergdorf Goodman's.
I knew that Bergdorf Goodman housed the world's most luxurious brands, but I didn't know of its deep connection with designer development. (For example, Halston made hats in one of the workrooms while he had a boutique on the main floor.) Even today Bergdorf's has a reputation of launching and mentoring its favorite designers and can act as a connection between an artist and the general public.
One of the standouts of the movie is Fashion Director Linda Fargo. She decides what the store carries, and thus could be a very intimidating presence for potential designers. Instead, Fargo comes across as approachable, warm, and extremely smart.
Can You Watch This While Doing Other Stuff?
Potentially. If you are someone who wants to get straight-from-the-horse's mouth talk from famous designers stay glued to your television screen. Interviews are impressive, but they are also very short. So, hang out if you want to concentrate on what everyone is saying (and wearing!).
If you want to get a general idea of how BG's launched famous designers go ahead and turn it on while you are doing chores around the house.
Small Side Notes
Keep an eye out for Bill Cunningham! We watched his documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, two weeks ago, and he makes 2 quick appearances in this film. If you blink you might miss him!
Also, did you know that the guy who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a window dresser? L. Frank Baum launched a trade journal called The Show Window: A Journal of Practical Window Trimming for the Merchant and the Professional in 1897. The documentary quotes him as follows:
Arouse in the observer the cupidity and longing to possess the goods...to marvel at the beauty of the display.
Running Time: 93 minutes (released 2013)
You can find our next film, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, streaming on Netflix.