The New York Times reports
about a Japanese designer, Aya Tsukioka, who has designed clothes that transform into vending-machine costumes. The idea is that if you're being pursued by a criminal, you can quickly transform yourself into a vending machine, and the criminal will hopefully run right past you.
Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine. The wearer hides behind the sheet, printed with an actual-size photo of a vending machine. Ms. Tsukioka’s clothing is still in development, but she already has several versions, including one that unfolds from a kimono and a deluxe model with four sides for more complete camouflaging.
Tsukioka has also designed a "manhole bag," which is a purse that looks like a manhole cover: "Lay it on the street with your wallet inside, and unwitting thieves are supposed to walk right by."
The disguises don't look very convincing, but maybe if it was dark someone would be fooled... unless they saw the feet poking out from the bottom of the costume. Tsukioka herself admits the disguises might be a bit impractical, "especially when your hands are shaking." Still, she's managed to sell about 20 of them, at around $800 each.