Friday, June 07, 2013



By Chuck Graham,

Even if you are one of those self-styled elitists who look down on everyone with money, “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” is still worth a look.

Documentary filmmaker Matthew Miele is granted deep access to the famed fashion shop of Manhattan’s incredibly wealthy, but he is not there to revel in the warmth of wealth.

He takes on the attitude of an anthropologist, really, to examine the mystic of this fabled center for style setters worldwide.  Being at the pinnacle of seducing the extremely wealthy, we begin to appreciate the amount of effort that goes into the seduction of those at the peak of their financial prowess.

Amazingly enough, Bergdorf-Goodman’s is still in the hands of the family that began this remarkable enterprise more than 100 years ago. Knowing what makes rich people tick is a family secret more closely guarded than the formula for Coca-Cola.

Nobody is about to reveal that secret here. Whistleblowers aren’t lining up to air the dark doings of Bergdorf-Goodman’s behind the mask of proper appearances. Instead we get lots of candid comments from the likes of Joan Rivers, Isaac Mizrahi, Karl Lagerfeld, Candice Bergen, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani and many more.

And yes, there are customers who look at the price tags and suffer sticker shock, right on the spot. True, there is a certain joy in hearing that…and in remembering that famous quote by J. Pierpont Morgan, “If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.”


But mostly, “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” is more engaging than you might think. That’s the point.

Girlfriends will find plenty to enjoy in the fashions displayed and the eccentricity of the designers, always sucking up all the pink air in the room and daring anyone else to be more exceptional.

Whether you ever plan on visiting Bergdorf-Goodman’s or not, Miele makes sure the time spent with his film is worthwhile.  He gets it, and so will you.


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