Documentary, Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s, in Austin Theaters May 24th

At first I was not quite sure what to expect in a fashion documentary about a historic store in New York, but then again, it is not just any store, it is a destination for shopping for people from near and far and I do mean far, as it is known internationally. After viewing it, I learned it so much more than about fashion in New York and where it all happens.

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I am writing about the fashion documentary written and directed by Matthew Miele, Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s. The cinematography and film editing by Justin Bare is very impressive in both how he sets up the shots for the interview subjects, captures scenes of the shoes as if they are gold and my favorite, the art that goes into the production of the sets for the windows. I would not have thought this would capture my attention so, but the storytelling and cinematography capture the passion behind the artists.

It is totally a fabulous creative process and it takes an entire crew of creatives to produce some awe inspiring work.

The film captures fabulous interviews with internationally known designers and key people in the fashion industry, including Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar De La Renta, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Joan Rivers, Susan Lucci, Candice Bergen, Barbara Cochran, Linda Fargo, David Hoey and Betty Halbreich.

Also providing their insight and ideas are Naeem Khan, Lauren Bush Lauren,  Catherine Malandrino, Gilles Mendel, Isaac Mizrahi, Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, Thakoon Panichgul, Narciso Rodriguez and Jason Wu, among others.

There is a scene of of a very young Barbara Streisand dancing through the story and I am sure many will recall the white suit and hat in the scene, even if we may not remember the song and the year it was done. It is just stunning and one you do not easily forget and that is the basis of this whole film about the fashion, the art and where so many are determined to become a part of the history this legendary place.

I am not one to pay $6,000 for a pair of shoes, but it is interesting to know that this store that was started by an immigrant over 100 years ago evolved into a multi-generational empire with celebrity status around the world. Be ready to stay alert while viewing this film, as I did seem to start looking at the clock at one point, then the story picked up again once I heard a very intersting story about a well known artist who does some last minute shopping. Incredible!

The 111-year history of Bergdorf Goodman echoes American history as the store comes of age.  Miele traces the tale from the store’s immigrant start to its merger with the celebrity culture of the 50s and 60s to its now vital role cultivating the design prodigies fueling a global fashion obsession.

The film is an Entertainment One release, and is rated PG-13 for a brief sexual reference. Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s opens in Austin May 24th at the Regal Arbor.

Liz Lopez

Rating B-

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