Petra Collins Drenches Gucci’s New Eyewear Ad in Colorful Fever Dreams of Her Childhood

A spot with haunting magical realism

You know what’s funny about other people’s nostalgia? No matter how distant from your own experience, romanticized memory somehow always feels familiar.

To promote Gucci’s 2017 spring/summer eyewear collection, photographer Petra Collins created “A Hungarian Dream.” The video—which has that tantalizing familiarity, even when it’s alien—is fueled by her own childhood recollections.

Imagine bike rides through the dusk, and watching TV with your dozing grandma, laced with the oversaturated quality of old-school Gucci.

Set to a Baustelle cover of Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face,” which lends a Stranger Things vibe (without the wall-bending monsters), the video conveys kitschiness without actually being kitschy.

It kicks off with the kids stealing Grandma’s oversized, sparkling eyeglasses, an act that pulls them into a world of magical realism that only children can unlock. They escape through a window and into an adventure made extraordinary by details whose strangeness reveals itself only through the filter of time.

“Glasses are a facetious concept,” says Petra Collins. “The act of putting them on and seeing through them can make you feel completely different.”

In the case of the children, Grandma’s eyeglasses take them to a rock ‘n roll fever dream in a gilded Budapest bath house, studded by listless models fanning themselves. The glasses on display (many from Gucci’s just-debuted “Hollywood Forever” collection) look as exaggerated on their faces as Grandma’s specs do on the kids.

Learn more about the eyewear at the dedicated subsite, or read other people’s gushy reports by monitoring #GucciDreamscape. We can’t guarantee these same trippy results, but when your specs run nearly $900 a pop, you can afford to imagine your own.