I hate shopping, but I love fashion.
I definitely don’t dress like I love fashion, but I assure you I do.
So, on Monday night when I attended the premiere of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, I was torn. I’ve never actually been in Bergdorf’s (large stores give me the willies and I’m not wealthy enough to shop in an establishment such as that… like, I’m pretty sure they would turn me away at the door because they would be able to smell the poor on me), but I was familiar with every single designer and clothing line mentioned in that documentary.
The first thing I do when I get my latest issue of Vanity Fair is flip through the ads in the front to see what is going on in the world of fashion. I appreciate well constructed clothes even though I know I’ll never be able to afford (or fit into) them. Let’s face it…even if I had ample amounts of money, I’m sure I could not roll up into Bergdorf’s and find a plethora of haute couture in my size (even though I am, in fact, the size of the “Average American Woman”).
But I digress.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s was a great documentary about the history and lasting legacy of Bergdorf Goodman’s. It’s really amazing how this store is very much a flagship in a possession-based culture. People honestly do gauge their worth and social status if they can afford to shop at BGs, just as designers know they have made it if their clothes/products are sold at this historic establishment.
I was fascinated to hear the history of the store and its presence in NYC. They highlighted a lot of different aspects of Bergdorf’s – from the designers whose work is sold there, to the people who work there, to the people who shop there, to the window displays. Everyone and everything was glamorous and it was intimidating to even sit and watch the movie knowing that I was wearing a $14 sheath dress from Elder-Beerman while I was sitting next to the woman who discovered Michael Kors (among other massive accomplishments throughout her career). Tommy Hilfiger was seated within my eye line and I swear I saw Vera Wang at some point early in the evening.
I have never felt so underdressed or out of place in my entire life – and yet I wouldn’t have traded the experience of sitting among these fashion icons and Bergdorf Goodman legends for anything.
It was amazing to watch the stories of the Who’s Who of the fashion world while being seated mere feet away from them. And while wasn’t quite “in” on all the jokes, I found myself chuckling along constantly because the stories were amusing and because the whole situation really was just too ridiculous for words. There was really no way that I should have been in that room, but at the same time maybe that’s exactly where I belonged because I was so far removed from the whole situation.
I loved the documentary. Sure, it dragged in parts, but it also held my attention and made me care about the people/store and not just their clothes. This film humanized people at the same time as making them still seem far beyond my social status. The women in this film were decked out in finery that I’ll never be able to afford, but at least they seemed to appreciate it. Fashion can be such a frivolous entity and it’s sometimes sickening to watch people just wear or buy something because it’s expensive or because they can. It’s another thing to know the history of the designer, or see how different collections came to be.
Though I was enchanted with Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, it is definitely for a niche market of people. For example, I would never expect my parents to watch something like this because they couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Bergdorf Goodman’s. I would say if you’re a fan of Sex and the City or watch awards shows for the red carpet, then this film is for you.