Erin Salko

Steming from an obsession with 1950s suburbian nolstagia, my womenswear collection explores the instability of reality within a seemingly carefully constructed world. Within my materials I explore this idea of  an instable  reality using color theory from Josef Albers’ book Interactions of Color and techniques used by kinetic artists to create illusions of transparency and depth using opaque materials. I do this through techniques of applique, lacemaking,colorblocking,and embroidery all within the constraints of gingham and polka print. A classic Americana print; nostalgic of the housewife and suburban America. But what is the nostalgia really for in this instable world? Is it nostalgia for the way things never were? My silhouettes reflect this questioning with clean classic silhouettes, with something just slightly off coming from a feeling of being undone or disheveled. I looked greatly to the work of Guy Bourdin, whose photographs can be disillusioning, capturing a feeling of tension in this created world that doesn't quite sit in a static reality. A place stuck between two conflicting identities: the one backstage or behind the white picket fence, and the one that demands to be performed on stage.The question I have throughout the story of the collection, when living in a instable reality, is it worth breaking from the illusion to take the journey to find out just if the grass could be greener?
Image: [Sophia wears look # 1. A cotton lycra blend jersey dress and underwear, with cotton poplin hand dyed panel, embroidered by hand with french knots.]
Image: researching how color theory is used within art to create illusions I looked at kinetic artist such as Carlos Cruz Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto. Using color and repetitive geometric shapes they created 2 colors to apear as three and illusions of depth and movement.
Image: [Anastasia wears  looks #2. A cotton blouse and hand dyed cotton poplin patchwork skirt] 
Image: [Optical Mixture: 2 colors perceived simultaneously are seen combined and thus merged into 1 new color. In this process the 2 orginal colors are first annulled and made invisible and then replaced by a substitute called optical mixture]- Josef Albers
Image: [Anastasia wears look #3.Engineered gingham lace top and hand dyed skirt with wool and silk felted dots.] 
Image: To create the lace I started with cutting the pattern out of water soluble interfacing. As I sewed the separate stripes of the gingham I closed the side seams or any darts as I went. This left the garnment seamless once the interfacing was dissolved.
Image: [Sophia wears look #4. Engineered lace slip dress and cotton poplin hand dyed  skirt with hand embroidered “pleats”.]
Image: [Sophia wears look #5, hand dyed cotton gabardine jacket with extended lapels. Felted with silk and velvet dots.]
Image: [Anastasia wears look # 6. Screenprinted top, with hand dyed cotton poplin pants.]
Image: [Anastasia wears look #7. Dress with cotton poplin screenprinted skirt hand hand dyed bias stripe top.]


Erin Salko is a New York based fashion designer with a deep focus in textiles. Her work centers around the instability of our perception and the misplaced nostalgia within different fragments of Americana. She pulls from her own life growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, and further explores these ideas always through a lens tinted with humor. Her process starts with the creation of her own textiles where she holds a strong attention to the careful and precise use of color. She has an affinity for simple and classic prints such as gingham and polka dots and is always finding new ways to reimagine them.

During her time studying at Parsons she has interned at brands such as Monse, Anna Sui, and Claudia Li.

For inquiries please email 

Or reach out via instagram at @erin.salko