Chapter (4)
Master’s Dissertation 

How does the motion of a dressed body affect the viewer’s perception of thegarment?Analysing the relationship between the body, the dress and the movement in AlexanderMcQueen’s S/S 04’ fashion show “Deliverance”.

1.0 Abstract

In this dissertation, an investigation into the relationship between the dress, themovement and the body is carried out. Based on the scholarships of fashion and embodiment,which gained momentum in the mid-twentieth century, the significance of both is acknowledged.However, it is still frequently neglected in the studies of human corporeality that the body isalmost always dressed in some type of adornment. Similarly, fashion studies often see the dressas removed from the context of the body. In the recent decade, there have been advancements inexploring dress as an embodied practice; however, there are many gaps in the discussion to fill.One such example is within the field of study of human perception. It is now widely admittedthat the body is a significant site of experiential potential and, therefore, essential to be analysedin the research; it is yet to be commonplace to acknowledge that this body is most likely alsodressed, which consequently means that the dress plays an integral part in affecting humanperception. In this dissertation, another property of the body is taken into consideration; namely,its inherent state of motion, and the question posed aims to elaborate on the intricate relationshipbetween the body, the movement and the dress. The chosen case study brings all three together inan unusual garment showcase. Alexander McQueen’s fashion show from spring/summer 2004,called “Deliverance”, has been inspired by a 1960s film by Sydney Pollack, “They Shoot Horses,Don’t They?”, an adaptation of a novel of the same title from 1935, written by Horace McCoy.As the designer set out to translate his inspiration into a collection and later a performance, hedecided to utilise the movie’s central theme, a Depression-era American dance marathon, andmake the show in the contest’s image. Therefore, the models presenting the looks are engaged inan exaggerated form of motion, dance moves and improvisations in order to communicate the3context and message of the “Deliverance” collection. The primary source for the analysis is arecorded video of the show, which will be supported with stills and photographs from the event.A visual analysis of particular movements will be carried out and positioned against a theoreticalframework exploring the theories of perception aesthetics, as well as a study of embodiment andaffect.

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Central Saint Martins
MA FC: Fashion Critical Studies 

Jul 20’
London Collage of Fashion
BA (Hons) FDT: Womenswear 


Dominika Szmidt is a versatile, technically proficient and multi-skilled researcher and strategist with art direction and design experience. Born in Poland, based in London for many years. Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Communication. London College of Fashion BA Fashion Design Technology.

Among her areas of focus are semiotics of a fashion object in relation to overconsumption, within the context of contemporary, western civilization, as well as the future of the craft in a technologically advancing fashion industry.