Alexander McQueen - It’s Only a Game, Spring/Summer, 2005. Dress and obi-style sash of lilac and silver brocade; jacket of lilac silk faille embroidered with silk thread; top of nude synthetic net embroidered with silk thread

McQueen designed the 2005 collection It’s Only a Game around the idea of a chess match between America and Japan. Each ensemble corresponded to a particular chess piece.

The queen (bottom) wears a short, thigh-high dress, which is wide at the hips, a silhouette based on the eighteenth century. A kimono collar, obi sash, and an undershirt beautifully embroidered to look like tattooing are all drawn from Japanese culture. Next to her, the king (top) appears as an American football player, with shoulder pads and a helmet covered in Japanese tattooing.

In the runway show, the models moved as if they were pieces in a life-sized chess game, an idea inspired by a scene from Harry Potter. Taken as a whole, the collection revealed McQueen’s remarkable ability to look across cultures for inspiration.

Alexander McQueen - The Last Collection,  autumn/winter 2010.

Alexander McQueen autumn collection is inspired by Byzantine art, the carving of grinling gibbons and old master paintings and altar pieces including, in particular works by Jean Fouquet, Sandro Botticelli, Stephan Lochner, Hans Memling, Hugo Van Der Goes, Jean Hey, and Hieronymus Bosch. All patterns were cut on the stand by Lee Alexander McQueen. Each piece is unique, as was he.

Pablo Picasso - Neckties Series, 1960. Silk

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC:

Pablo Picasso is one of the most recognizable artists of the 20th century. He was adept at producing thought-provoking works of art in an unstable time. The art recreated on this tie is representative of Picasso’s works past World War I. The reproduction of art is monitored in France by the Société de la Propriété Artistique et des Dessins et Modules (or SPADEM). Registered artists and their heirs were entitled to a fee recovered from any unauthorized copies that the organization located. This tie is labeled with SPADEM, proving its rightful reproduction of famous Picasso works.