Zig Zag Edge is a Thing in Tory Burch’s Resort 2023 Collection. Inspired by 1940s Claire McCardell?

It’s time for a “Nothing’s New” post, y’all. This is what triggered my sewing and fashion thoughts toward the happy but slightly eye-roll event. While this little zig zag detail is not a hallmark of Claire McCardell’s aesthetic, Tory Burch’s interest and inspiration in that detail made for some interesting looks in her Resort 2023 line. I am happy because we all know there is very little that’s brand new in fashion, but there is newness in modern designers making old aesthetics their own. (I don’t even know what I’m typing, but I will leave in all my rambling thoughts in this UN-edited post).

In 1946 Ms McCardell used the windowpane check as a guide for the ziggy-zaggies. Love it!!
This two piece silhouette is showing up a lot in the fashion world today — on the streets and the runway! So sorry, no designer info. My bad.
The beaded edge is appealing — why are there no court jester vibes here?? What did Ms Burch do right?

There are many looks that Ms. Burch has adapted or been inspired by the McCardell collections. A totally in-your-face adaptation to me is this zig-zag detail in her Resort 2023 collection. You guys know that I now want to emulate both CM and TB and use that zig-zag detail.

The top is a circular cape-like shape, if you know what I mean. This means, after the ziggies and neckline were finished, all that (possibly) remained was sewing up the side seams. Judging the way the top is draping, I think there are shoulder seams. So much fun to conjecture….

I have soooo many questions, though:

1. Is the overall look too court-jester? I think the addition of beads at the points makes it even more jester-y. Are the beads in the TB collection just a fun thing, or do they serve a purpose to weigh down the hem a bit?

2. How are the zz points so sharp? If there is a faced hem applied in the usual way, there is no way I can turn the zz-s to the right side without messy looking points. No. Way.

3. Do the edges in the Tory Burch garments even have a facing? If you look closely, there might be some slick finishing with a satin stitch via serger or sewing machine.

4. Are the zz-s interfaced to keep their shape, and at the same time have some drape? Maybe just a one inch fusible strip on the edges?

5. Is there a complete lining, extending into the pointy edges? I think that the pieces may have a lined-to-the-edge treatment. Yeah, a lot of peeking at the details is involved here.

Now i want to be a fly on the Tory Burch workroom walls to see how it’s done.

What say you? I’m having so much fun getting into the nitty gritty of these pieces. Off I go to the fabric stash.


Just showed: Balmain Spring Haute Couture 2023. Where would you wear this. Sure, sure, the Couture is an opportunity for the design house to make statements. Still, this is inspiration for Project Runway’s unconventional material challenge. No? Very well carried by the model, though.

Till next time …


9 thoughts on “Zig Zag Edge is a Thing in Tory Burch’s Resort 2023 Collection. Inspired by 1940s Claire McCardell?

  1. Hi Samina, is it possible that they have finished the edges with a fine piping? I think it would be possible to do so. If after sewing the piping on, a fine wedge is sewn on the back of each point to make that sharp V. The beads hanging from each point would cover the wedge.

    Very neat sewing which ever way they sewed it! I also think it doesn’t look like a court jester because the garments are slim fitting. If they were loose silhouettes I think we would think court jester.


    1. Hi Lois, at first glance, I also thought fine piping might be it. Didn’t think of the wedge idea. Thank you! I’ll have to look closely again at the picture. Or, snoop-shop Tory Burch for real — I haven’t been to a brick and mortar shop in ages.


  2. Hi Samina – great post- I do love Claire McCardell; bought the book “Claire McCardell Redefining Modernism” by Kohle Yohannan back in 2003 (for a mere $35 – Amazon has it today for $72! – the kids could make a fortune on my sewing/fashion books when I’m gone!). Definitely prefer Claire’s windowpane points over Tory’s style. Claire’s dress looks like it is lined with the windowpane precisely placed at the points. The Tory Burch designs could definitely be piping sewed along the point seams and then a lining placed over the piping and turned out – Kenneth King shows this technique in his “Cool Couture” book, pages 47-51. I also agree the beads give it a jester-like look even if they do serve a purpose of weighting the points. Are you up to the challenge?? I would definitely do a windowpane sundress for Elisabeth!
    Have fun with it!


    1. Hi Charlene! I was considering making that fortune while I still have my senses — but these books sustain me when I want to escape the outside world. Don’t mean to be so dire!! I am totally up to the zig-zag challenge — if it works, fine. If not, I learned something. Haha. I love that you’d do the windowpane dress for Elisabeth — if and when you do, I want pictures. Would love to see dear, sweet Elisabeth!
      By the way, thanks for the Kenneth King book reference — looking it up right now. Of course, you knew I had that book. We probably bought it together. Miss you, friend.


  3. Is it OK if I like the Claire McCardell outfits best? The points are actually very easy to do with a faced edge; interface the facing with something firm-ish (like decor bond weight but for clothing) and then some strategic clipping, pick-stitching and or edge stitching. But you’re right, the photos above seem to show either a stitched edge, like a rolled hem, or what I see is possibly tiny filled piping with a lining – but that might be difficult. Maybe it’s a lining with the edge cheated to the outside so it shows? But I don’t see (myself) doing either of those and getting such a crisp line – we’ll need to see it in person!

    I think it’s not court jester-ish because of the print choices; I like the skirt prints better than the blouse/ cape prints myself. I could see using beads as weights if it were a very light fabric, chiffon or georgette. But these seem to be a bit firm, or maybe underlined to be firm.

    The bark/ wood strip dress is surprisingly good – it works somehow. Not that the poor lady can sit in it… I hope she wasn’t allergic! I could see doing a bustier with wood strips though, if the edges were finished with binding or piping to make it less grating on the skin.

    Thanks Samina!


    1. Oh Kasey, the CM outfits are preferred by my other friends, too! Read Charlene’s comment :).
      If I make this detail, I also don’t see ending up with sharp points no matter what I do, other than a rolled hem. If you know me, you know that I will try it. Hahaha. The prints seem Liberty-like; if a trial turns out acceptable, I might pull out my Liberty prints. We’ll see.


  4. Maybe the zig-zags have a rolled-edge finish, with a firmer thread or cord incorporated into the rolled-edge stitching. That would keep them in shape.


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