Heaven is a Place Called Bergdorf Goodman

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's premieres in NYC


Linda Fargo   
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At last night's Cinema Society screening of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, the obvious question, to this reporter at least, was where moviegoers hoped their final resting place would be. Vera Wang said she wouldn't mind having her ashes scattered at the Fifth Avenue shopping mecca, because she's such a ruthless shopper. Reed Krakoff, for his part, doesn't care where he's laid to rest, as long as it's next to his wife, Delphine. BG's own Linda Fargo told about a close encounter with the afterlife she once had in the store: "Back in 1998, we were trying to create Heaven in one of the windows with a fog machine and got locked in! We had to etch 'Help!' on the windows for someone to come let us out. That was the last time I used a fog machine."

The documentary gives a panoramic view of Bergdorf's history, from back when the Goodmans lived in an apartment on the seventh floor, to Elizabeth Taylor's infamous 200-unit mink-earmuff order, to the present day, when senior director of visual presentation David Hoey treks to Long Island City to supervise the construction of holiday windows. The film's real star, however, is 85-year-old Betty Halbreich, Bergdorf's sharp-tongued personal shopper since 1976. When asked what she'd be doing if not this, she dryly replies: "Drinking."

After the screening, guests made their way to Harlow, where director Matthew Miele opened up about what didn't make the movie's final cut. "There were definitely some racy stories about the dressing rooms, but it just wasn't where I wanted the story to go." Maybe his next film will be more irreverent? Could be: Miele said, "I'm currently working on a new film about another store on Fifth Avenue, equally legendary, and something everyone's going to be interested in."

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