Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Virtual Session Series Concludes with Interview with Fashion Writer Hafsa Lodi

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair’s (ADIBF) Virtual Session series came to an end last Thursday with an interview with fashion journalist and author Hafsa Lodi about her new book Modesty: A Fashion Paradox.

During the talk, titled ‘How Journalism, Social Media and Storytelling Combine in Modesty: A Fashion Paradox’, Lodi examined how the modest fashion trend has grown to become both a multi-million dollar industry and a political movement. She also discussed how Instagram and other social media helped her research her book, and offered tips for aspiring authors about how to get their works published.

As the 30th edition of ADIBF was postponed until next year, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) instead held a series of Virtual Sessions where the scheduled guests presented their talks online.

Lodi was a fashion journalist for 10 years, working for publications such as The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, before she wrote her non-fiction book, which examines the causes, controversies and key players in the global modest fashion trend.

The book features a number of personal stories from her own life about her quest to dress both modestly and stylishly. For example, Lodi recounts a time when she was living in the USA and was looking to buy a prom dress, yet the only items on sale in major department stores were all very revealing. Eventually she bought a dress and her mother had to alter it to make it more modest.

She concluded by stating that while some Western retailers think modest fashion is just a trend or a runway fad, this is not the case, as it is an everlasting lifestyle for many women and so will always be relevant.

Since the ADIBF Virtual Session series began in April, it has featured some of the world’s most acclaimed authors and experts to share their stories and experiences with online audiences. The guests have included Emirati children’s author and illustrator Maitha Al Khayyat; Saudi Arabian film director Shahad Ameen; Swedish behavioural expert Thomas Erikson; the American education and environmentalist Stephen Ritz; Lemn Sissay, the award-winning British-Ethiopian poet; and Annabel Karmel, the children’s cookbook author.

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