Saturday, 10 August 2013

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorfs

Have you seen this film yet?
If you enjoyed The September Issue, Bill Cunningham New York or Diana Vreeland The Eye must Travel you will love this. Fashion documentaries are almost becoming a genre of their own and rightly so. The producers know their audience and cater to them beautifully.
Unlike The September Issue there is no hero/villain relationship. Linda Fargo is a dream, Andrew Bergdorf is a dream, the designers rave about the store, the shoppers rave about the store event eh window dressers rave about the store.
This does nothing to dent the aspirational element of the Bergdorf Goodman name, probably exactly why they allowed this documentary to happen.

By far Betty Halbreich is the hero of the greatest element of the piece. She is an asset to Bergdorfs in her personal shopper capacity. She is endearing and lovable with a wit and brutal honesty that unnerves. It is claimed in the documentary that she told one customer uncertain about a potential purchase 'Well, it's ugly but, it's less ugly than what you came in so, you might as well buy it' and they did!
It seems not only are designers clamouring to get their wares on the Bergdorf shop floor, they are also clamouring to sing the company's praises. Michael Kors was making his clothes and running his own store when Bergdorf's asked him to come in one day. This single event seems to have launched the designer into mega-stardom. And it's not just him. Lagerfield, de la Renta, Zoe, Miyaki and Wang all happily lend their faces and voices to this film to speak with great admiration and fondness for the New York institution.
One must wonder at how such boundless adoration is achieved and if the film has it right it comes down to commitment and charm. Two qualities we could use a little more of in this world.

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