Having watched Bill Cunningham New York I decided to watch Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s as, who knows, maybe I do like fashion after all.
The film is basically a brief history of Bergdorf Goodman, the famous department store that takes up a full block on 5th Avenue. There are a lot of talking heads from all the bigwigs in the fashion industry as well as people that have worked n Bergdorf’s over the years. The most fun fact that I took from the film was that a successful personal shopper can make in excess of $400,000 pa. I know the dollar is pretty weak at the moment, but that’s still a substantial amount especially considering that some retail managers in the UK only earn around £18,000 pa.
The film is split up into ‘chapters’ which include: The Designers (which I found to be the most interesting part of the film. Even though I’m not particularly interested in fashion, it is still interesting to see how Bergdof’s affected some very successful designers including Vera Wang, Dolce and Gabbana, and Oscar de la Renta), The Building (again interesting as I have a proclivity towards architecture and space. Another fun fact: the top floor is a sixteen bedroom penthouse apartment that to live in, Goodman had to claim to be a caretaker of the building due to city planning laws), The Shopping Experience (follow a great personal shopper. I say great because I wish I had the confidence to exert her personality type), The Window Displays (an ongoing arc), and probably some other chapters (I grew bored towards the end so did some online banking).
It also featured the late, great Joan Rivers in a few segments which is always welcome.
If you’re interested in fashion, this is probably for you. If you’re interested in history, like me, it’s also kind of for you up to a point. After about the hour mark it feels very much like more of the same. Also they use voiceover several times which I’m not a fan of as it just feels like they couldn’t find a better way to give this explanation. When you’ve committed to talking heads or vérité, damn well commit to it. Voiceover in feature documentary is usually lazy and hack and dampens an otherwise okay film. But that’s just me being mildly crazy.
Fine. Not a bad way to spend an hour and a half. I’m through with my fashion films for now.
Netflix prediction: 5*. Stop predicting everything 5*, Netflix