Look at All the Lovely People

A few weeks ago, when Kiri and I were exploring the South Bank of the Thames, we unknowingly stumbled across the infamous skater hangout (and such cleverly named)- South Bank Skate Park. 

Covered in graffiti down to every last possible inch, it really is a living canvas of others' artistic expressions and a bewildering wonder to behold. 

As we looked on, snapping a few artful photographs ourselves and watching the daring skaters practicing plunging down steep ramps (possibly also just showing off), and preforming complex jumps and flips on their boards and bikes; I couldn't help but ponder that the skaters are in fact as much of a tourist attraction as the graffitied walls of South Bank Skate Park itself. 

Consider how eerie it would be if there were no skaters to show off their tricks. This beautiful urban display of art would not carry the same tenor with it. Would tourists be as attracted to it if they walked by just to stare at walls plastered with color but no human spirit to fill the void? 

The same can be said with other "touristy" areas dotted throughout this spectacular city. Take Brick Lane and it's graffiti, Buckingham Palace, or  any of the Royal Parks, the list is truly endless. While I admit it might be nice to have a whole park to myself, there's something to be noted about how the presence of human entity can truly alter and enhance any given area, not only in London, but around the world.

There is an unspoken need and comfort for the presence of human energy all around us. It's what we as humans crave, other humans. Not necessarily in an intimate way but their presence, their passion, likes, dislikes, appreciation for the big and small things in this life. It's what our hearts knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly, beat for. It's what makes this life so grand and so worth living.  

An Ode to Doughnuts & the District Line

Contrary to what everyone might be thinking I have not been swallowed by a black hole, carried off by a pigeon or any thing of the sort. I have, quite simply been sucked into the very real black hole of the life of a Fashion Design student. Twelve A.M. booty calls to the printer? Check. Experimenting with ink until my hands are dyed black? Also a check. Three A.M. nights and six A.M. mornings? My favorite. 

I've debated turning this into a master post or not of the last month and a half but I have decided to post one small bit at a time over the next couple of weeks to catch up. 

I've got more issues than Vogue. 

I could spin my words like a broken record and write about the wonderfully mind-numbing madness of Uni but I will spare everyone the gory details. Basically I am finishing up the last two weeks of diagnostic courses (a bit of a taster in each possible Fashion pathway: Design, Media and Business) before preparing my final sketchbooks and portfolio as a whole. It's all very exciting stuff- using so much glue until my fingers get stuck together is how one might find me on a Thursday night. Weekend trips to my still favorite museum the Victoria & Albert (also simply known as the V&A to us locals) to spend a afternoon in the twinkling cafe sketching and people watching remains a high favorite of mine. 

Paper Manipulation. Property of Haley Sieben.

Getting Funky. Property of Haley Sieben.

Property of Haley Sieben.

Getting Creative, One Paper-cut at a Time. Property of Haley Sieben.

Property of Haley Sieben

Fairy lights in the V&A Cafe. 

The selection of pastries isn't too bad on the eyes either. 

Outside of school I have the pleasure of writing that nothing has slowed in excitement. I have the privilege of continuing work with a company I greatly admire- J.Crew- and have been working as a Personal Stylist at their one and only Collection store in South Kensington (it's most likely a good thing that I can't afford a single piece throughout the store). As a design student I was floored when I learned our CEO Mickey Drexler would be visiting from New York during one of my shifts. Yes, the Bossman of a company I deeply admire came to our store and I was so greatly privileged to meet him! To say I was a bit nervous would have been an understatement. Surrounded by an entourage of about ten merchants, buyers etc from the home office, turned the store a bit nutty but we managed. 

"Welcome to the Team." I have such a cool job. 

This month has been filled with exploring the murky watercolored banks of the Thames and finding the perfect burger joint- the clear winner being Gourmet Burger Kitchen as voted on by Kiri and myself.

Eye Spy the London Eye. Excuse my horribly (awesome) pun. 

Cats meander about on their own, and stop to pose for your camera as well. 

So many choices it's unfair. 


Down in Leicester Square.

One more for good measure, I hope you are all hungry now- I know I am.

But the really winner wasn't a burger at all. Nay, it was in fact doughnuts. And not just the sub-par doughnuts that you find left out in the office break room three days later, no these were Dum-Dum Doughnuts, located in Box Park down off Shoreditch High Street, and they were by far the best thing I've ever tasted. Ever. Baked not fried (so hey they're healthy no?) and piled up with options such a PB&J, Strawberry Creme, Apple Fritter, and Dark Chocolate it was a match made in confectionary heaven. Kiri and I made our selection, and after trying to convince the owner to start selling pumpkin doughnuts (and failing); he threw in a few free mini cinnamon roll doughnuts and sent us on our merry way. 

Welcome to Dum-Dum's

We've got Apple Fritter & Dark Chocolate Cronuts. 

Or perhaps you're more of a Creme Brûlée & Maple Syrup kind of person?

Really the possibilities are endless. 

When we finally reached home we dug in and pretty much devoured a box of doughnuts. Well, maybe not the whole box. And they were absolutely ding dang delicious. So delicious in fact that I could hardly choose a favorite- I suppose we will just have to return and taste test them all over again...

Until next week- I will have a brand spanking new post ready to go I pinky promise- Love to all!

xx Haley