Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have a rarefied vision. They make confectionary-sweet clothes for the good life and seem not to care too much about their hip quotient. With the fashion pendulum swinging back toward the pulled-together, there were many pieces in their Spring collection that looked right. Take, for instance, a one-shoulder cocktail number in hot pink satin-faced organza with a frill running down one side. But there were others, like a ruff-neck coat in that same shocking hue, that will never see the south side of 14th Street.

The designers said they were working with twin inspirations: Madame de Pompadour and seventies punk. The former, unsurprisingly, was the more obvious, bursting forth in wallpaper florals and outsize, at times over-the-top, ruffles. You had to look more closely for the hard edges, but they were there—in the form of a jeweled gold belt punctuating an organdy blouse and silk skirt, or a row of buttons that created an interesting rippled effect on the sleeves of a short, nipped-waist, white cotton dress.

Those sound like minor details, but for Wolk and Morais they could be the beginnings of an intriguing new direction—one that might help them cultivate a fan base in the downtown scene.