October issue editor's letter

Alexa Chung stars in the October issue, we uncover Malaysia's best beauty products and cancer survivors share their memoirs

By Kate Guest | Published: 21 Sep 2015

October issue
Photo: ELLE Malaysia

Few of us reach adulthood without being personally affected in some way by cancer. My own brush with the dreaded disease came when I was eight, and my little sister four. One minute she was sitting on the sofa in her pyjamas, hamming it up on my dad’s guitar after dinner; the next she was clutching her head and screaming.

The days that followed are a blur, but one memory never fades: the night my parents returned from hospital, having just been told it was a brain tumour that caused my sister to scream that way. It was dark when their car pulled up, and my sister was asleep in the back. Everything seemed fine to my eight-year-old eyes, but as mum stepped from the car she collapsed to her knees. My grandmother ran to pick her up and they stood and cried for a long time.

My sister was lucky. After a year of radiotherapy, the tumour shrank and she has been okay for more than 25 years now. Not everyone has such a happy story. In October, breast cancer awareness month, we hear from five women who have survived cancer, seen loved ones die from it, counselled those who have it, or are fighting it now. Read their inspiring stories, and donate to help find a cure if you can.

Elsewhere this issue we interview Han Chong, the designer behind Self-Portrait, and the man responsible for all those lace dresses you’ve probably seen on Instagram lately. Self-Portrait came onto my radar sometime last year when I became obsessed with their red, cut-out lace midi dress. When I discovered the designer was in fact Malaysian I knew we had to interview him for ELLE.

Of course, I have to make mention of our beautiful cover star this month, Alexa Chung. I’m yet to meet a woman who doesn’t appreciate that, when it comes to getting dressed, Alexa knows how to do it — not that she likes giving out style advice though. Find out why in our cover interview.

This issue also contains the winners in our very first ELLE Malaysia Best of Beauty Awards. Beauty editor Tengku Zai and the rest of the team tried literally hundreds of creams, potions, pots and gadgets to bring you the very best of the best. And we'll share them with you here on this month too.

Finally, you might notice we’ve given our shopping pages a refresh this month, adding regular workwear and weekend pages, and changing the format to be more useful and (fingers crossed) more appealing. I’d love to know what you think. As always, you can drop me a line at


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