A couple months back, one Heather Brundage got into the spirit of skin and color signaling, and rather than just jaw-jaw about it (my bag), she actually built clothes to do it. Check out these three posts, as she describes the stages of her idea, from conception to model showing off the dress.
Heather used temperature-sensitive materials. It doesn’t get at both dimensions our eyes can sense on the skin — concentration and oxygenation of blood in the skin — but it’s cool.
Another suggestion would be this: Have a person wear a dress matching his or her own skin tone, and then just cut out little square-sized holes in the dress! (Never a bad idea to have more reasons for removing more fabric from a dress.) This would best harness the oximetric capabilities of our eyes, optimizing our ability to see the emotions on the skin of the person. I talk about this idea in the context of hospital gowns here… http://changizi.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/why-patients-are-safer-in-nude/ , but what’s good for the hospital also may work for the single’s club.
Mark Changizi discusses his discovery that our color vision appears to have evolved for the purpose of seeing skin coloration in the first chapter of his book, The Vision Revolution. He is a professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Other pieces of mine on skin and color vision: