As found on google, synonyms for the word “sensual” include: bodily, hedonistic, fleshy, voluptuous, sultry, and sexy. But Ella, creator of Sensual at Best, challenges modern definitions. To feel truly grounded and in tune with your body….to get out of your own mind and find a warmer, softer place….to connect- truly connect- with others…
The power and stability that come from how your body experiences life and senses when it utterly removes judgment and negativity…that’s sensuality. And the exploration of that feeling is what Sensual at Best, as a brand, depicts.
Inclusive to all bodies, all genders, and all humans, Sensual at Best uses 100% recycled fabrics and materials. This can be attributed to Ella being thrifty girl before it became cool. She always had garbage bags of clothes at her door from cousins, and picking through them was her own version of Christmas. “If you don’t have to SEARCH, you’re not shopping,” Ella comments, reflecting on highschool halls filled with Vineyard Vines and Lily Pulitzer. Hand-me-downs and thrifting shaped Ella into a versatile chameleon when it came to style, feeding her curiosity on gendered clothing. You could’ve caught her wearing heels and a short plaid skirt one day and a butch tracksuit the next. And that same flavor continues in her current designs. What could look like a fierce run-way look on one person, could look casual and comfortable for a kick-back on the next. Her clothing knows no gender, no size, no bounds. Her designs have one goal in mind…to make you feel like your goddamn best! “The gender lens is such a barrier and it leaves a lot of people out of the conversation. It’s not something that I’m interested in fitting into artistically or personally, and I don’t want to ask anyone else to.”
When it comes to her process, Ella says sewing and making clothes just feels right. When in her “chaotic headspace,” (you know- the headspace us artists find ourselves in when we have all these feels we just need to release), Ella’s always been the type to get emotional and dramatic, and make a big ol’ mess. She relates the symmetry of that process to making clothes: ripping fabrics, cutting a bunch of pieces up, then patching things together. Rejuvenated by this freeing process, she usually doesn’t even start with a sketch. Her visuals live in her mind, and then her hands do the work. Talk about a natural! Side note, she also credits her lack of drawing her designs to the fact that her bodies look like a ten year old drew them. But her clothing, when pulled into fruition, is far from ameature.
What does the future look like for Sensual at Best? Ella dreams of a pop-up show in Palmer Square Park. Ideally, there would be light snow and the models would be wearing a mix of reds, blacks, faux furs, leather, puffy downs, and earth tones. Reflecting on the devastation of the previous year, but with a naturally hopeful aura, models will exit a u-haul and strut down the path as park-goers, bench-sitters, and joggers have no choice but to peak- The Cure and Beach House lightly blaring from a distance. Keep your eye out!
Ella’s modern take on glamour is achievable, resourceful, and extremely creative. Much like her fabrics were salvaged from garbage and thrift stores, her charm and aptness for making others feel sensual and beautiful is a shimmer of hope in an otherwise exclusive, gendered, skinny-washed clothing market.
Follow Ella on Instagram at @sensual.at.best and check out her website at sensualatbest.com. She’s accepting commissions <3