Expanding Dress Keeps Subway Creeps at Skirt’s Length

Artist creates automated dress to stop transit harassment

You’re on subway and the handsy stranger next to you is getting a little too close for comfort.

What can you do? Thanks to artist Kathleen McDermott, you can now expand your skirt like an umbrella to freak out everyone around you. Who’s the creep now!

The not-so-discreetly-named “Personal Space Dress” expands when the outfit’s sensors notice someone entering the proximity. The hemline’s plastic scaffolding (comfortable, we’re sure) keeps creepers from encroaching during transit.

Ms. McDermott, who is finishing her MFA at the City University of Hong Kong, created the dress to prevent harassment of women who regularly ride mass-transit.

“I wanted to explore how wearable technology could impact your physical world, and help the wearers, specifically women, exercise more control over their surroundings,” Ms. McDermott told Fast Company.

Plans for the dress, part of Ms. McDermott’s Urban Armor series, are already online for all you DIY-ers.

Urban Armor# 2: The Personal Space Dress from Kathleen McDermott on Vimeo.

Expanding Dress Keeps Subway Creeps at Skirt’s Length