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Gone are the days when women wanted to get married at 22 with a big-ass rock weighing down their hand, but Matthew Miele seems to forget this in Crazy About Tiffany’s, his ode to the luxury brand. Through a flashy series of graphics summarizing the company’s history, Miele makes clear within the first three minutes that he is not interested in exploring how Tiffany’s went from a stationery store to a luxury retailer.
He instead attempts to track the cultural impact of the Fifth Avenue mainstay and situate it as an American institution as relevant now as it has ever been. Almost everyone Miele interviews is involved with Tiffany’s as either an employee or a stylist. This, of course, presents a one-sided picture — we might as well read the Tiffany’s Blue Book.
We do meet a handful of design scholars unaffiliated with the company, but the only dissenting opinion is that of Erica Sutton, a Cornell BFA student. Sutton points out that today, Tiffany’s represents an antiquated view of love and success. Miele struggles to construct an argument proving Tiffany & Co.’s continued importance to anyone but the super-rich in part because he fails to provide a coherent narrative arc. One moment Baz Luhrmann’s discussing the Chinese economy; the next Katie Couric’s throwing her fiftieth-birthday party (which, by the way, looks amazing).
This is all to say that Crazy About Tiffany’s lacks urgency. Were Miele to parse out Tiffany’s early-Aughts identity crisis or why it is that the brand has only ever had one female design director, maybe then his documentary would be something to get crazy about.
Crazy About Tiffany’s
Directed by Matthew Miele
Opens February 19, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Available on demand