Not exactly reclaim the night…

A Japanese fashion designer has designed a dress which folds out into a vending machine costume. Why, you ask? For women to hide from potential attackers, reports the New York Times.

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.

The NYT sees the costume as part of a trend:

Take the “manhole bag,” a purse that can hide valuables by unfolding to look like a sewer cover. Lay it on the street with your wallet inside, and unwitting thieves are supposed to walk right by. There is also a line of knife-proof high school uniforms made with the same material as Kevlar, and a book with tips on how to dress even the nerdiest children like “pseudohoodlums” to fend off schoolyard bullies.

Actually, a book on how to dress your kids so they are less likely to get bullied is quite a sensible idea – if it actually works.