Iris Van Herpen's Fang-Soled Shoes and 3D Printed Dresses

Happy (grossly belated) New Year everyone!

I've been all too busy with things, but I had to take a moment aside to share the latest from Dutch visionary designer Iris van Herpen. I've written about how much I lust for her shoe designs, but have unfortunately overlooked her clothing designs. But now that she has my eye, I'm floored
 Here are some selects from van Herpen's SS12 couture collection that she just showed in Paris. If you can believe it, these ensembles are more subdued than her previous collections, but the unbelievable detail and structural ingenuity that van Herpen brings to her designs are nonetheless still present. 

But the real triumph of this collection are these teeth/fang-soled shoes!!
 Are you drooling yet?

Click through to see more

What designer Iris van Herpen seems to understand beyond futuristic colleagues like Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan and Balenciaga (at times), is that the future does not necessarily mean space. Heavily influenced by the endless mysteries of the ocean, van Herpen draws upon the countless, bizarre creatures that live right here on our own planet.
 "Capriole" collection, 2011

 "Escapism" collection, 2011

While imagination depicts life beyond our solar system to be vastly different from ours, the organisms found in the deepest depths of Earth's oceans many times surpass even the most flagrantly wild imaginations. And with the NASA space shuttle launch program coming to an end last year, the vastly unexplored ocean may (and should) become the next frontier in the meantime.
 "Crystallization" collection, 2010

Herpen's collections doesn't come without an engineering mind--architect Daniel Widrig lent his skills to an ongoing collaboration with the designer to create the first 3D printed dresses seen on the runway. What a 3D printing machine does is take a 3D rendered image off the computer, and literally build it out of a plastic, polymer, plaster and other materials. It applies layers upon layers of liquid material until it takes the shape of the rendered image, thus "printing" the shape. Generally used to make machine parts, the process has found its way to fashion thanks to minds like van Herpen and Widrig. There is a plethora of information on how to make and operated your own DIY 3D printer!

These are certainly some jaw-dropping collections to return to fashion blogging for! I'll be more diligent about posting in the next couple weeks, including my 2012 forecast and review of my 2011 forecast; what I hoped would happen vs. how it turned out! And believe me, it did not come out the way I expected...

Check out the rest of Iris van Herpen's collections at her website: www.irisvanherpen.com, and the rest of her recently debuted SS '12 couture collection on A Shaded View of Fashion.