With her Spring presentation, Miuccia Prada left behind dainty, rarefied romanticism—and not a moment too soon. In one of her most hard-edged, sexy collections in years, Prada captured the '50s-by-way-of-the-'80s look that showed up on catwalks in New York and London, yet made it distinctly her own.

The silhouette was pinched, manipulated and focused on voluminous black and gray pleated skirts, some featuring low-slung, studded waistbands. Tops were close to the body, often cropped or cinched at the waist with ribbed cummerbunds. Bursts of color livened up the mood: Yellow pencil skirts with red polos, green blazers with blue turtlenecks, and empire-waist shift dresses all had a slightly askew schoolmarm charm .

At Prada, accessories are always as important as the clothes. The new graphic, brightly colored cone-heel pumps, some with fluorescent dabs of fuchsia and green, will surely be a hit with those who want to dip their toes in the '80s without going all the way.