When Bruno Harding and his wife decided to move from Berlin back to New Zealand last year because of the pandemic, they faced the prospect every traveller dreads: excess baggage charges.
Being a fashion designer by trade, Harding came up with a creative solution to the problem and headed to his local flea market where he found a few metres of nylon “in two perfect tones of green” to create what looks like a puffer jacket.
But, according to a post on the Facebook page of Harding’s label, Bruno’s Originals, the interior of the jacket was filled with 6.8 kilograms of clothing in the place of feathers. “Twenty-nine carefully folded items of clothing, 6.8 kgs successfully worn home. This is the outcome of that predicament. The travel coat,” the post said.
Footage of the jacket being “unpacked” in a brilliant stop-motion video was also included in the recent post.
Harding wore the jacket on his flight home in November last year. “I always thought it would be quite an interesting idea,” he told the Kiwi news outlet. “I did a bit of research into people who had failed doing similar things, like wearing five coats and five pairs of jeans and looking kind of ridiculous.”
The designer said the key to his success was in the way he folded the clothing before putting it in the jacket, which took inspiration from a folding method made famous by Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo. “The first few times I made it, I just shoved it with clothes, and it looked ridiculous,” Harding said. “I looked like a suspicious human who had stolen lots of goods who was trying to leave a store.”
Harding likened wearing the jacket to being wrapped in a weighted blanket, which he said was quite calming, especially seeing as he was nervous about his solution failing. He even organised for a friend to pick the jacket up from an airport locker, should he be asked to remove it.
In the end, Harding said no one noticed a thing, probably because passengers were also required to wear face masks and full-face shields.
Unfortunately though, Harding specialises in one-off designs and won’t be releasing the jacket under his label.