As Paris winds down, one of the city's big stories is its designers' fascination with youth. Leave it to that Italian iconoclast Miuccia Prada to crystallize it in an oddly captivating collection that combined short, high-waisted Lolita dresses with naïve animal prints (and one not-so-G-rated lounging-nude motif). "I was questioning innocence, questioning youth," Prada said backstage. "What do they mean today in a world that's the opposite?"

She is a designer who's always embraced the perverse, so about halfway through, the cat and bird and dog prints got some company in the form of holographic paillettes and crystals embroidered on sheer nude mesh insets. These, along with cutouts that bared skin on the torso, upped the provocation factor on the little-girl frocks, but it was still hard to imagine fashion sophisticates like Kate Moss and Renée Zellweger, who sat opposite each other in the front row, finding many occasions to wear them.

In the end, Prada's final judgment on our age-obsessed culture wasn't entirely clear, but it's interesting to note that the best looks in this quirky, challenging collection were the pantsuits. With their sophisticated, narrow lines, they didn't quite fit into this season's naïf narrative. But they did make playing grown-up look like a lot of fun.