This installed a yearning for what I believed would be the joy of actually living in that white penthouse in that satin robe. That vision was reinforced by incidental set design in the film Holiday Inn, a classic family favorite. The nightclub scenes have silver artificial trees with tinsel where was annually swept away by Fred Astaire in his exquisite tuxedo, and his partner in sequined gown. Again the sophistication was heady and tantalizing.
We were a natural tree family ourselves. The scent of the real tree was a pretty good consolation for the reality of my suburban house as dreams of the penthouse danced in my head.
The penthouse is still in dreamland, though as an adult I face the fake/real decorating dilemma, and then “natural” fake or stylized.
I decided a little of each: a forties nightclub-worthy wreath for the door, with a real tree inside. Fantasy and reality are both best served with each other. Keeps things grounded.
Here is one of Fred’s great dance numbers from Holiday Inn, “Easy to Dance With,” with those big, gorgeous trees.