The NY Times was not impressed but surprisingly, Rolling Stone liked the Bergdorf’s documentary. The fabled store, for most of us a “look don’t buy” almost museum-like experience now that prices are at levels that only work for billionaire budgets, is still arguably the most glamorous shopping spot on earth.
Review via Rolling Stone :
“Is shopping an art form? It is at Bergdorf Goodman, the Manhattan store that’s been selling luxury for more than a century. Don’t expect Matthew Miele’s dazzling doc to be a salute to consumerism. In tracking Bergdorf’s from tailor shop to couture mecca, Miele reveals the blood, sweat and financial muscle that go into building a myth. Top designers, from Armani to McQueen, fought to get in. We go to work with Linda Fargo, the fashion director who keeps barbarians outside the gate. Personal shopper Betty Halbreich unleashes her tart tongue on elite stars. And David Hoey and his team design those iconic windows that pop eyes on a global scale. You don’t have to be in vogue to enjoy this stylish ride through Bergdorf’s. It’s a surprise package to die for. Miele and his virtuoso cinematographer, Justin Bare, show how fashion can be aspiration, a model for dreaming the impossible.”–Rolling Stone
“It’s clear that top fashion designers aspire to a presence at Bergdorf Goodman, the high-end Manhattan department store, given the numbingly relentless litany of encomiums in Matthew Miele’s documentary “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s.” In this glossy, fawning valentine to conspicuous consumption (the title derives from a Victoria Roberts cartoon in The New Yorker), the stars — Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, the Olsen twins, Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Michael Kors and others — dutifully pay tribute. Thank heaven for a bubble-popping Joan Rivers, who blithely observes, “People who take fashion seriously are idiots.”
Of greatest interest here are portraits of Bergdorf players: Linda Fargo, the sensible, influential and straight-talking if flamboyantly attired buyer; Betty Halbreich, a winningly acerbic in-house personal shopper; and David Hoey, who creates the renowned store windows. (The preparation of his stunning 2011 holiday displays is a highlight; passers-by take pictures of them like awe-struck peasants outside a castle.)
Almost absent is conflict, except for a cursory account of recessionary speed bumps, the loss of clients after the Bernie Madoff scandal and the frustration of designers denied entry into the collections. The end credits offer a number from Barbra Streisand’s 1965 TV special in which she sings and dances in Bergdorf’s after hours. It’s a sequence with more charm than the rest of this brazen screen plug.”–NY Times