Protect yourself against muggers with transforming vending machine skirt

Photos by Torin Boyd/Polaris for The New York Times

Japanese artist Aya Tsukioka has come up with some unique solutions for Japanese women who wish that they could escape notice by transforming into wallflowers. Her invention is a skirt that can be pulled up to transform its wearer into a vending machine, camouflage that is a lot more common than a wallflower, especially on the streets of Japan.

The facade printed on the inside of the skirt is based on a life-sized vending machine photo, while the skirt's exterior is a stylish red. Tsukioka also makes a kimono version of the transforming outfit that provides a more complete four-walled effect. She says that her inspiration came from the ninja of old, who disguised themselves under blankets at night. The stated use of the skirt is to help women hide from potential assailants, though it could probably be used in social situations as well.

For children who are too small to resemble vending machines, Tsukioka has also crafted backpacks that can disguise their pint-sized wearers as fire hydrants. This variation wouldn't be useful in the U.S., since fire hydrants look completely different here, but maybe the vending machine skirt will catch on? At $800, it would make a pricey Halloween costume.

Via The New York Times