Can. You. Believe.

I have a masters degree. Moi! A. Masters. Degree. After two years, two cross-continental moves, six (going on seven) apartments, one long-ass dissertation, countless sleepless night, an existential crisis (just kidding but not really) and the severe compression of my social life, I am officially over-qualified and unemployed!

Now I know you’re wondering what did I even study!!! Same, girl, same. My degree was titled “MA Fashion Studies” and if you’re thinking: oh fashion so you’re a designer – Imma have to stop you right there. This may sincerely be a shock to many, but there is much more to fashion than clothes. Wait what. 

I know.

Think about it. Fashion is an expression of identity and culture. It’s a memento of history and an indicator of society, politics and perhaps most inherently, capitalism.

Now if this is news to you, you’ll be very surprised to hear that I spent the last two years writing papers and articles, designing research exhibitions, dissecting fashion labor, producing magazines, and investigating museum archives, all this culminating in a 40,000 word thesis -also known as the most stressful project of my life (I’ll be doing a simplified overview of this in the next couple of posts sans footnotes and analysis etc etc in case you were curious how the f you write an entire thesis on fashion).

Anyways. It’s all done. Six years of tertiary education, many highs, many many lows and many many many pinch me moments. Being a guest at the same fashion show as Bella Hadid? Check. Celebrating a friend’s birthday under the sparkling lights of the Eiffel tower? Check. Moving in with strangers I met on the internet not once but twice? Check. Meeting some of the most fabulous people I could ever imagine, losing some I never thought I could live without. Check check. At the totally intended risk of sounding cliché, these few years abroad have been my little coming of age moment; my political awakening and I gotta say man, I think I’ve found my voice.

This shit has been the biggest privilege of my life and it will never cease being surreal to me. This bish that grew up in the very South of the Africa went to PARSONS one of the best fashion schools in the world and made it out with a masters degree. Let me tell you I have no idea where I’ll be this time next year but, to paraphrase Bowie, I can promise it won’t be boring.

Words: Yolanda Senekal