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July 1, 2021

Gorgeous Portrait Photos of American Model Joan Olson in the 1950s

Born in 1929 in Minneapolis, American model Joan Olson entered beauty contests which led to modeling gigs in LA when still in high school and later at USC. She was a princess in the Pasadena Rose Queen Royal Court and had to wear brown lipstick for TV and said it looked awful - this was the 40s, the technology was still pretty basic.

Joan Olson as a model in the 1950s

Her career was taking off, Olson dropped out of college and went first to New York, where she was with the Ford agency, and then to Paris. She mainly worked in photography, did not do much runway as she was 5’5” and so considered a ‘junior’.
“Many covers for US and French magazines, of which these from Seventeen are just a few. The photographer’s names I remember are Frank Scavullo, Art Kane, Ray Solowinski, Carmen Schiavone and Gene Heil in New York, André Ostier in Paris and Regi Relang in Munich.”

“Close friends of hers in the modeling profession included Tippi Hedren, Ivy Nicholson, Brynne Johnson, Barbara Stetson and June Ross. Helen Ryan, who shares one of the Seventeen covers with my mother, was my godmother. Two prominent photographers, Art Kane and Ray Solowinski, were respectively married to June Ross and Brynne Johnson.”

“Joan met my father, Charles Buchet, in 1952 in Capri. They married in Paris, with couturier Jacques Fath as best man. Shortly after I was born we moved to New York where we lived for 14 years and my 3 brothers were born. Our mother continued modeling through the 50s, although at a less frantic pace with 3 young children. When the 4th was born in 1959 she retired from the profession. Sadly Joan died in 1971, at age 42, all too young and so beautiful.” - Written by Joan Olson's son, Charles Buchet.
These gorgeous photos are portrait of a young and beautiful Joan Olson as a model in the 1950s.

Emilio Pucci with model Joan Olson wearing his zebra-striped dress, Florence, 1952

Joan Olson in black bouclé shetland stole with oversized insect pin, both by Schiaparelli, Paris, 1952

Joan Olson in black velvet and satin spiral that wraps to a point on this small hat with voilette by Le Monnier, photo by Georges Saad, 1952

Joan Olson in mink jacket by Weil, coiffure by Pierre Jacy, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1952

Joan Olson in Royal Pastel EMBA mink coat by Max Reby, photo by Guy Arsac, 1952

Joan Olson in taupe little cap with honey-colored voilette by Christian Dior, photo by Andre Ostier-Heil, 1952

Joan Olson is wearing veiled astrakhan hat with two large feathers by Jacques Fath, photo by Georges Dambier, Arachnée, September 1952

Joan Olson, coiffure by Carita, photo by Guy Arsac, 1952

Joan Olson, photo by Milton Greene, 1952

Joan Olson in a smock jacket by Bessie Becker, photo by Regina Relang on the Zugspitze, 1953.

Joan Olson in a smock jacket by Bessie Becker, photo by Regina Relang on the Zugspitze, 1953

Joan Olson in loose coat of geranium-red wool, the below-the-waist belt gathers the back pleats, by Jacques Fath, photo by Regina Relang, 1953

Joan Olson in small fine straw and black velvet cloche with silk voilette by Janette Columbier, photo by Georges Dambier, 1953

Joan Olson in small pink boater adorned with brown and pink feathered bird, violette is sheer brown, by Legroux Soeurs, worn with black dress by Manguin, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1953

Joan Olson in sporty twin-set of gray and green stripes by Korrigan Lesur, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1953

Joan Olson in striped gray and white straw hat worn with matching jacket by Jean Barthet, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1953

Joan Olson wearing a hat by Jean Barthet, photo by Regina Relang, Paris, 1953

Joan Olson in a blue-striped white organdy dress, the bodice is embroidered in natural strass and beads, by Pierre Balmain, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson in a romantic cream and black floral print dress bordered in black gros-grain ribbon by Mad Carpentier, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson in black cotton alpaca sheath topped by a black and white striped bolero by Jerry Gilden, photo by Clifford Coffin, Vogue, July 1954

Joan Olson in classic beige suit, the skirt is bell-shaped, jacket has nipped waist and low neck that shows a bright blue scarf by Jean Patou, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson in dinner ensemble, coat is reversible red and white raw silk matelasse, quilting worked in both directions, worn over red silk dress, by Lanvin-Castillo, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson in lilac organdy print evening dress with sheer organdy cape by Jean Dessès, bracelet by Vendôme, photo by Philippe Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson in satin evening gown worn with beautiful full-length lace coat, by Jean Patou, photo by Roland de Vassal, 1954

Joan Olson in silk halter dress with wave-motif print in shades of blue aptly called "La Mer", by Pierre Balmain, photo by Joseph Grove, 1954

Joan Olson, photo by Regina Relang, 1954

Sophisticated day-suit by Christian Dior on model Joan Olson, photo by Philippe Pottier, L'Officiel, 1954

The draped bodice sculpts this jersey gown with pale pink silk, skirt falls loosely, two satin bows adorn the bodice worn by model Joan Olson, by Grès, photo by Pottier, 1954

Joan Olson, photo by Regina Relang, St. Angelo, 1956

Joan Olson in black flannel sheath dress and double-breasted jacket by Donald Brooks for Darbury, hat by John Frederics Charmer, pearls by Coro, white bag by Ronay, car is a Jaguar, photo by Tom Palumbo, Harper's Bazaar, February 1957

Joan Olson in black-and-white herringbone tweed short chesterfield jacket with black velvet collar and lined in red satin by Hayette, worn over black cotton sheath, hat by John Frederics, photo by Tom Palumbo, Harper's Bazaar, February 195

Joan Olson in salt and pepper tweed linen suit by Towncliffe, beret by John Frederics Charmer, white calf bag by Prestige, photo by Tom Palumbo, Harper's Bazaar, February 1957

Joan Olson in white full-length cape of a light-weight tweed by Petite Juniors, chiffon hat by John Frederics Charmer, photo by Tom Palumbo, Harper's Bazaar, February 1957




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