Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's and five more fashion documentaries from the last half-decade
Nicole Richie, Christian Louboutin, Rachel Zoe, Óscar de la Renta and Karl Lagerfeld contribute to Bergdorf Goodman's fashion retail story in Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's.
In Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's -- opening tonight at the Sie FilmCenter -- the story of a colossus retailer of couture is told from many angles. Famous customers, fashion designers, critics and Bergdorf's own employees help frame the New York department store's tale, through a mix of lore and personal experience.
The doc's storyline is woven around the annual unveiling of the store's holiday window displays, an intensive months-long process overseen by window dresser David Hoey. The window visuals are incredible, but it's commentary from the likes of Joan Rivers, Karl Lagerfeld, Patricia Field, Jason Wu and Linda Fargo -- Bergdorf's vice president, who has an Anna Wintour-like mystique -- that bring the 5th Avenue giant to life.
In advance of tonight's opening screening, here's a list of five other fashion-oriented documentaries that have been released in the last five years.
Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution (2012)
The story of "Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles" -- a 1973 runway show that changed the fashion world -- Versailles '73 tells how one night meant to save the dilapidated Palace of Versailles in France altered couture history forever. The fashion show became a duel of sorts, positioning American designers Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halston, Anne Klein and Stephen Burrows against French designers Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin and Emanuel Ungaro. Even without much surviving footage of the actual event, the film's producer, Deborah Riley Draper, brought the fateful night to life through conversations with the models, designers and photographers who lived it.
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie (2010)
Vidal Sassoon is credited with revolutionizing the world of women's hairdressing by inventing "wash and wear" styles beginning in the 1960s, and Vidal Sassoon: The Movie captures his story in his own words -- before his death in 2012. But it wasn't just his introduction of an ease and sleekness to the stuffy world of coiffures that changed the world, it was his liberation of women from daily hair routines that had ruled for decades. Sassoon himself said it best: "If I was going to be in hairdressing, I wanted to change things."
A Man's Story (2012)
A Man's Story is a look into life and work of Ozwald Boateng, a menswear designer and tailor to the stars. Shot over the period of twelve years, the film captures Boateng's struggles and triumphs both personally and professionally. Culminating with the English couturier's history-making menswear show at 2010's London Fashion Week, the film is a raw and honest view of one individual's determination to be a incredible designer and a better man.
Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
Bill Cunningham is known for both his high fashion and street fashion photography, and Bill Cunningham New York attempts to deconstruct the man behind the camera. Employed by the New York Times since 1978, the film explores the simple but fascinating life of a genius fashion photographer and notorious loner. As Cunningham explains both verbally and through his images, he's not interested in celebrities; he's interested in their clothes.
The September Issue (2009)
Though The September Issue is, on the surface, a look at the annual release of the fashion world's bible -- that month's issue of American Vogue -- it also delves into the perplexing figure at the helm of it all: Anna Wintour. The documentary speaks with and closely follows Wintour, as well as her right-hand woman, Vogue's creative director, Grace Coddington. Set inside the hustle and bustle of the magazine's office and along the runways of the world, this documentary peels back the layers of the often secretive world of fashion and its direct relationship to publishing.
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