"It's an investigation of our history, of our European past." With that big idea in mind, Miuccia Prada sent out a focused collection of nipped-waist dresses, as well as tops and skirts in pleated burlap or silk, most of them layered with a low, hip-slung apron. Sometimes the fabrics were dotted with fraying holes, as if moths had descended and started munching en masse. Other times it looked as if spray-paint artists had gotten their hands on them, dipping the ridges of a pleated brown frock in a rusty red or scrawling graffiti squiggles across the front of a skirt.

The history part came in with prints that looked like painted Roman tiles; they magnified as the show progressed so that faces in profile eventually abstracted into random assemblages of square dots. They made for an interesting juxtaposition with the images on the walls of the Avenue Foch mansion, which provided a look at Miu Miu's own roots in the form of Warhol-esque screen prints of ad-campaign stars including Lindsay Lohan, Kim Basinger, and Kirsten Dunst (who was in the audience).

Prada's perforated tops and skirts last season have proved to be quite influential (witness all the laser-cut materials on Spring's runways). So—who knows?—maybe there's hope for bulky burlap and aprons. But in an uncertain future, the odds look better for the less-challenging and sexier silk numbers.