Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 8, Issue 3–4, pp 282–290 | Cite as

The Emotional Wardrobe

  • Lisa SteadEmail author
  • Petar Goulev
  • Caroline Evans
  • Ebrahim Mamdani
Original Article


Since the industrial revolution, fashion and technology have been linked through the textile and manufacturing industries, a relationship that has propelled technical innovation and aesthetic and social change. Today, a new alliance is emerging through the integration of electronic technology and smart materials on the body. This study addresses the integration of technology with clothing from a fashion perspective, and examines its expressive and interactive potential. It proposes the concept of “The Emotional Wardrobe”: clothing that represents and stimulates emotional response through the interface of technology. It asks if fashion can offer a more personal and provocative definition of self, which actively involves the wearer in a mutable aesthetic identity. A multi-disciplinary framework combines fashion, material science and the real-time, affective computing platform, called “AffectiveWare”. By merging technology and fashion, The Emotional Wardrobe becomes a poetic interface, shifting emphasis from human–computer interaction to computer-aided, human–human communication.


Fashion Emotional Wardrobe Emotional design Affective computing AffectiveWare Electroluminescence 



The fashion aspect of this study forms part of an AHRB funded project entitled “Fashion and Modernity”. The AffectiveWare hardware and the electronics in-built into the garment have been constructed in the laboratories at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London ,under the supervision of Neil Todd. The research of the hardware and software has been kindly supported from two IST projects—SAFIRA (IST 1999-11683) and ISIS (IST 2002-37253).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Stead
    • 1
    Email author
  • Petar Goulev
    • 2
  • Caroline Evans
    • 1
  • Ebrahim Mamdani
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Fashion and Textile DesignCentral Saint Martins College of Art and DesignLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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