Since they got their start almost a decade ago, Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have always set their sights high, designing for the upper crust. For Spring, they tried something different, taking inspiration from—and aiming at—the Williamsburg neighborhood where they live. The results were one part Madame de Pompadour and another part Brooklyn hipster. "Baroque in the street" is what the duo called it backstage.

The French court feeling came courtesy of brocades in sugar-almond pastels and a clever toile de Jouy they created in collaboration with the artist John Gordon Gauld that depicts not Versailles' gardens but Bedford Street storefronts and the B-burg Bridge. The low part of the high-low mix came through in the way the clothes were styled. We're not talking Lena Dunham-in-Girls disheveled, but there was a studied irreverence to all the layering. Take the shirtdress worn unbuttoned underneath a ticking-stripe corset top, and the T-shirt so oversize it was almost a dress that slouched sexily off one shoulder. Or the overalls: With those, Wolk and Morais tapped into one of the season's surprise front-row trends. And don't forget the models' colorful Converse low-tops.

We'd call the overall look "chicks who tweet" more than "ladies who lunch." If that proves disorienting to Ruffian's longtime supporters, a rifle through the showroom racks will reveal a neat and trim pair of white jacquard pants and scads of bow-front blouses, among other uptown crowd-pleasers.