A catwalk covered in fluffy purple clouds with a towering mirror backing—could this be a reference to purple drank? It's such an inventive use of cough syrup, and Henry Holland does like a drug reference (remember last season?). But the evening's soundtrack of lazy, spun-out hip-hop came not from the southern U.S. but from nineties-era L.A. and was evocative of Holland's teenage memories. Those memories also informed his choice to base his latest House of Holland collection around Baz Luhrmann's film version of Romeo + Juliet. Made in 1996 when Holland was 13, it was prime fodder for the unfused, romantic teenage brain. "It is really a love letter to that film," as Holland himself put it. The only drug on offer was that of over-hormonal teenage love.

What Holland merged together here were an idea of chola girl gangs with the feuding boys of the film; he had researched documentary photography of such girls in the Los Angeles of the nineties and wanted the idea to reflect the Mexico City of today. Not for these girls the Juliet role—they were more the John Leguizamo-as-Tybalt types. They even had tooled and painted leather holsters; this time keys and phones were toted rather than guns. The collection was best in its tougher aspects: the use of rough chino for dresses; a baseball-top minidress; "the wrong denim," as the designer put it, in light blue inset with lace, but in boyish shapes. His "toxic gingham" pieces also stood out; they eliminated any notion of the too-pretty that could have been conveyed with an overconcentration on silky shifts and shirtwaister shapes. Religious iconography and tattoo designs by the L.A. tattooist Alex Garcia permeated throughout. The designer explained that they met when, "I went for a tattoo but chickened out."

Holland might be unashamedly rifling through the nineties, but his personal connection to this collection made it endearing. It resonated emotionally with his client base, too. Pixie Geldof, friend and ultimate fan of Holland, declared after the show: "It was all of my Romeo + Juliet fetishes come true!" Enter Harry Styles stage left and you see the power of global teen romance in its present form. No wonder it addled their brains in 1996.