Emojis are small, digital icons used to express an idea or an emotion. Emojis originated on Japanese mobile phones in 1997; in 1999, Shigetaka Kurita created the first widely used set of emoticons for NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode mobile internet platform. Emojis reached their worldwide prominence in the early 2010’s after being introduced by many mobile operating systems like Apple and Samsung. Today, smartphone users electronically depict emotions through text message via emojis; thus, emoticons have been adopted as a visible representation of our invisible emotion.
Clothing color is representative of our mood, making the way we dress a means of communicating our emotions to others. Clothing color being used as an indicator of emotion is a long-standing custom: wearing all black for mourning was adopted by western culture in the early 19th century. Today, although to a lesser degree, we still use the color of our clothing to express how we feel to those around us. Therefore, we project our emotions to others through our wardrobe choices making the color of our clothes a portrayal of our invisible emotions.
Emojis and clothing color serve as a context for media and attention as they both are visible depictions of invisible emotions. In transforming these objects into technological and physical indicators of emotional states, they are removed from their original context and charged with a new meaning, becoming semiophores. In our technologically dependent society, emojis are a ubiquitous way to reveal our emotions to those we frequently communicate with. Whether you type a blushing face when your heart is warmed, a laughing face when someone cracks a joke, or a single-tear face when you receive bad news, emojis indicate to others what you are currently feeling. Thus, emoticons are transformed in my collection as a perceptible means to express the hidden emotions we feel. Similarly, clothing color is a more subtle way that we disclose our emotions to the world around us. Dark, drab, bold colors such as black or grey suggest that one wishes not to stand out and remain unobtrusive; therefore, they can be indicative of sadness, loneliness, or trouble. On the other hand, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow evoke feelings of happiness and optimism; one who wears these colors may be projecting their own vibrancy and elation. Hence, the colors of our clothing are symbolic of how we feel, giving them a context for my collection. Clothing color is an observable way that we as humans exhibit the emotions we otherwise conceal, relating clothing color to emojis for the purpose of my collection. We utilize clothing color and emojis to articulate our feelings, making them visible portrayals of our invisible emotions and transforming them both into a powerful means of expression.