JAPAN: Japanese designer offers a "vending-machine dress" for women to elude pursuers
- Title: JAPAN: Japanese designer offers a "vending-machine dress" for women to elude pursuers
- Date: 12th November 2007
- Summary: (L!3) TOKYO, JAPAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) DESIGNER AYA TSUKIOKA WEARING CAMOUFLAGE SKIRT AND WALKING DOWN STREET CAMERA FOLLOWING HER FROM BEHIND TSUKIOKA RUNS, PLACES HERSELF NEXT TO ROW OF VENDING MACHINES AND UNFOLDS HER SKIRT TO DISGUISE HERSELF AS A COKE VENDING MACHINE PAN FROM REAL VENDING MACHINES TO TSUKIOKA'S COKE MACHINE DRESS SIDE SHOT OF TSUKIOKA HIDING IN CAMOUFLAGE TSUKIOKA COVERS HERSELF WITH DRESS AND HIDES IN BETWEEN WALLS PEOPLE PASS BY TSUKIOKA HIDING BEHIND HER SODA MACHINE DRESS
- Reuters ID: LVA40IRFPJBBYYMCAKU9XCG6KX0E
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Duration: 00:01:11
- Topics: Entertainment,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Story Text: Japanese designer Aya Tsukioka's coke-machine dress allows the wearer to blend into the urban landscape and provide self-protection from suspicious stalkers.
Japanese fashion designer Aya Tsukioka has never been assaulted or stalked to date, but nevertheless, she stays vigilant - especially when she walks in the bustling streets of Tokyo.
As a female designer, she had been contemplating how to make clothes that could also provide self-protection for women.
And here's what she came up with - a life-size vending-machine dress behind which the wearer can hide when it's fully open. When it's folded, one can wear it as a skirt.
Designer Tsukioka says she got inspiration from Japan's ancient ninja spies, who would camouflage themselves as part of objects such as walls by hiding behind dark-coloured cloths hundreds of years ago.
In Tokyo's urban landscape of Tokyo, many pedestrians just pass by Tsukioka's soda machine in disguise, without noticing the trick - let alone the fact somebody was hiding behind it.
"I just walked passed without noticing it. It was perfectly blended into the urban landscape so it looked so natural, said Hiroaki Murase, a 24-year-old businessman.
Others observed more cynically. saying the dress is too troublesome for a woman to use - especially when she is in danger.
"To be honest, I doubt if this is practical. If I were a women trying to escape, I'd just run instead of doing this," said another businessman Tadakazu Kuraya, 24.
Designer Tsukioka admits that whether this dress can be of practical use is yet to be seen, but is confident of the fact that her camouflage largely go unnoticed at least in the streets of Tokyo.
"Vending machines are in every corder of Japanese streets and we take it for granted. Besides, a vending machine provides space just enough for one person to hide. That's how I came up with the idea of making a coke-machine dress," said Tsukioka, 29, who works at Musashino Art University in western Tokyo.
Tsukioka says the coke-machine dress even symbolizes the characteristics of the Japanese society. She says that although the idea of camouflaging oneself as a soda machine may seem far-fetched - or even absurd - to people in many other countries, such a trick could prove effective in Japan, where vending machines are everywhere and people - according to Tsukioka's observations, tend to want to hide rather than fight back when confronted with danger.
Meantime, the soda machine dress is not the only urban camouflage, "self-defense" items that Tsukioka has invented.
She has also created a "manhole bag," a bag that looks like a manhole and can be used to hide valuables in it. If you sense being followed by a mugger, just spread it on the street so the mugger - the theory goes - would just walk by.
The soda machine dress and the manhole bag are still in development, and not ready for sale, Tsukioka says.
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