Power. Beauty. Sex. Fragility. Artifice. Over the years, MiucciaPrada has addressed them all on her runway. For her spring collection,she sought to reconcile two oppositional characteristics of womanhood:“toughness and the poetic part,” she explained backstage. “I tried tomix them together, because this is mainly what women have to deal within reality. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream.”

Fashion is the very stuff of dreams. We look to it to make dreamsseem, in the transient moment, a little less impossible. It is also thestuff of commerce. No one plays one off the other more deftly or morebrilliantly than Prada, a process that once again took her to thatcompelling point where clothes to ponder meet clothes to wear.

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