Erin Gabriella began making wedding dresses for Barbie when she was five, and she has never stopped. But today she is making beautiful vintage-inspired wedding gowns for every (Bushwick) bride with a strong sense of style and a desire to wear something unique yet affordable. We stopped by her newly open studio ONB2 , asked her a bunch of questions, and of course took lotsa pictures!
BD: So first off, who are you?
Erin: My name is Erin Gabriella, the head designer and creator of ONB2.
BD: What got you started in wedding dress design?
Erin: I actually went to school for it, but I would have to say that before I chose this as my career path and my education, it was a hobby. I used to make clothes for Barbie with my Dad and I was like, I want to make wedding gowns for her and, you know, our budget was pretty tight growing up so you should just learn how to do it before going out and spending the thirty dollars for a wedding dress for Barbie.
BD: So was it always wedding gowns with you?
Erin: It was! Even at five years old I was making Barbie this sleek little long sleeve shift dress and trying to figure out how to bead it, but it was so small and my hands were so little it just didn’t work out. Yeah, it started that young.
BD: Where are you from?
Erin: I’m from originally from Ohio. Toledo.
BD: You said that you have a background in fashion?
Erin: Yeah, so my bachelors is in fashion and textiles technology. It was kind of the beginning of using photoshop for anything other than photo editing. It was very new technology and the way that you could instantly see your results was something that was really fascinating to the fashion industry. When I got my degree it was all about using technology, the digitizer, the pattern making, all of these programs to create a whole line, I didn’t have to touch fabric at all. So that’s where it all started, but I kind of got taken away from the reality, the real aspect of fashion was taken away with technology. Now I don’t use anything at all.
BD: You start with drawings.
Erin: Yeah, everything’s done by hand. Hand made, hand drawn. I drape everything or I flat pattern it which are old techniques that I think a lot of people aren’t skilled in anymore because everything is done on computer.
BD: Bushwick has a very strong style, does that factor into your dress design?
Erin: It does, my whole concept is green fashion. Everything that you see here has something old in it. I would say in between 10-90% of a dress is a post-consumer product. It’s the lace that I’m reusing or it’s the silk, the trim that I’ve pulled off of one ugly dress and put on something else and it’s suddenly beautiful again. It’s a mixture of thrift shopping and donations and bringing that sort of hipsterness into the look.
BD: Last question, what’s the price range?
Erin: The price range is very low. By using recycled materials I don’t have to wait on the fine silk from France. It’s a one-of-a-kind garment that you’re receiving and we range between $300-$1200 per dress.