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September 27, 2022

Barbara Goalen: The Most Photographed Woman in Britain in the Fifties

Born 1921 in British Malaya, Barbara Goalen became a model at the age of 24. She came to international prominence between 1945 and 1954, then gave up her career at the height of her success.

Barbara Goalen as a model in the early 1950s

Described as “the most photographed woman in Britain” and “arguably the first British supermodel”, she epitomized post-war glamour and modeled for both Dior and Balenciaga.

Goalen’s elegant wasp-waisted shape was the perfect fit for the post-war ‘New Look’ fashions and she had what Vogue has described as the “mink and diamonds” look, thanks in part to her gamine short haircut (later more bouffant), arched and elongated eyebrows and high cheekbones.

Goalen died in 2002 in Putney, London at the age of 81.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see portraits of a young Barbara Goalen as a model in the early 1950s.

Barbara Goalen in a form-fitting side-wrapped dress designed by Susan Small as seen in Vogue UK, December 1950

Barbara Goalen in beautiful tulle evening gown with glittering sequined bodice by Susan Small, Harper's Bazaar UK, August 1950

Barbara Goalen in black and white check shirtdress under an orange jacket fitted like a waistcoat in front and swinging loose behind by Robert Piguet, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, April 1950

Barbara Goalen in black poult jacket, bloused, belted and high-collared, over mauve-and-white checked shirt and wine-red boater, by Victor Stiebel, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, March 1950

Barbara Goalen in evening dress by Susan Small, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1950

Barbara Goalen in evening dress by Susan Small, Harper's Bazaar UK, October 1950

Barbara Goalen in filmy white organdie dress with a low-backed bodice glittering with sequins and a tiered skirt dipping behind by Harald, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, May 1950

Barbara Goalen in fitted navy blue wool suit with horseshoe neckline filled in with matching vest, skirt is made up of two petal-shaped pieces, by Christian Dior, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, April 1950

Barbara Goalen in hand-knit dress in white spintex, beautifully pleated in rib-stitch with low back and two straps across by Angèle Delanghe, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, December 1950

Barbara Goalen in lace dress and manteau by Balenciaga, photo by Henry Clarke, L'Album du Figaro, April-May, 1950

Barbara Goalen in pale silvery faille dress with silver belt and black tulle petalled hat by Molyneux, photo by John French, Harper's Bazaar UK, May 1950

Barbara Goalen in shirtdress of bright navy chiffon with the pleats stitched down by Christian Dior, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, April 1950

Barbara Goalen in tailored Cavalry Twill suit with Persian lamb cravat by Deréta, Harper's Bazaar UK, October 1950

Barbara Goalen in velvet dinner dress from Harvey Nichols, Harper's Bazaar UK, October 1950

Barbara Goalen in white-sequined embroidered bodice with jet black accents and black faille skirt worn with black velvet hat and gloves, all from Debenham & Freebody, photo by Henry Clarke, Harper's Bazaar UK, February 1950

Barbara Goalen, London Collections, photo by Norman Parkinson, British Vogue, March 1950

Barbara Goalen in ballerina-length dress in pale caramel tulle, over it a coat of deep coffee lace fastened with a turquoise satin sash by Harald after Dior, photo by Richard Dormer at Covent Garden, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1951

Barbara Goalen in black lace over pleated pink tulle dress by Susan Small, photo by John Deakin, Vogue UK, November 1951

Barbara Goalen in crisp white piqué dress, the skirt with rows of insertions, the tiny bolero hooks unto the bodice converting it to a day-dress by Atrima, photo by Keith Ewart, Harper's Bazaar UK, June 1951

Barbara Goalen in elegant suit of black ottoman silk with a raised horizontal rib and a front-flaring basque on the long jacket by Lachasse, worn with silk spotted veil, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, September 1951

Barbara Goalen in gorgeous evening gown by Herbert Sidon, Harper's Bazaar UK, December 1951

Barbara Goalen in greatcoat of luxurious pile fabric 100% llama at Harvey Nichols, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1951

Barbara Goalen in sleek black satin sheath with floating train of tulle in back, the satin is embossed with velvet and ostrich by Mattli, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, September 1951

Barbara Goalen is wearing a hat with a spray of white egret feathers by Rudolf, opera glasses by Asprey, photo by Richard Dormer at Covent Garden, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1951

Barbara Goalen, photo by Anthony Denney, 1951

Barbara Goalen in short black velvet jacket over faille dress with bell skirt by Marcus at Harvey Nichols, photo by John Deakin, Vogue UK, November 1951

Barbara Goalen in 100% alpaca cloth coat with lynx collar at Harvey Nichols, Harper's Bazaar UK, October 1952

Barbara Goalen in a greatcoat in a porridgy tweed, welted and cuffed, with gold buttons by Matita, handbag by Finnigan, Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, August 1952

Barbara Goalen in a Hardy Amies town dress, photo by John French for the Daily Express, London, 1952

Barbara Goalen in liquorice-colored ribbed bouclé coat with a collar and cross-over sash of black Persian lamb by Digby Morton, hat by Rudolf, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, September 1952

Barbara Goalen in long-haired fleecy coat in alpaca and wool at Marcel, velvet cloche at R.M. Hats, pigskin case at Elizabeth Arden, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, January 1952

Barbara Goalen in romantic evening dress in white organdie patterned with black and gold dandelions, the bodice fans out, offset by one red rose, from Worth's Boutique, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, July 1952

Barbara Goalen in stone-and-white herringbone, single-breasted coat by Aquascutum, photo by Keith Ewart, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1952

Barbara Goalen in straight-laced nightdress in fine, white lawn, softened with tucks and frills of broderie Anglaise by Janet West, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, July 1952

Barbara Goalen, photo by Elsbeth Juda, The Ambassador Magazine (a British textile trade publication), 1952

Barbara Goalen, photo by Elsbeth Juda, The Ambassador Magazine (a British textile trade publication), 1952

Barbara Goalen, photo by Elsbeth Juda, The Ambassador Magazine (a British textile trade publication), 1952

Barbara Goalen, photo by Elsbeth Juda, The Ambassador Magazine (a British textile trade publication), 1952

Barbara Goalen, photo by Elsbeth Juda, The Ambassador Magazine (a British textile trade publication), 1952

Barbara Goalen in a shaggy woollen suit with sleeveless sling cape by Sybil Connolly, photo by Milton Greene in the village of Trim, Ireland, 1953

Barbara Goalen in back-belted checked Donegal tweed coat by Sybil Connolly, photo by Milton Greene on Parliament Street, Dublin, Ireland, 1953

Barbara Goalen in close-fitting jacket with the look of a bodice over a halter-neck dress by Dorville, jewelry from Wilson & Gill, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, February 1953

Barbara Goalen in magnificent duo of coat and dress in champagne and chartreuse green brocade by Roecliff & Chapman, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, October 1953

Barbara Goalen in oatmeal wool jersey dress with a side-fastened line by Henry Gowns, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, February 1953

Barbara Goalen in pale apricot fluid velours coat, sleeve sinset with triple stitching by Spectator Sports, felt hat by Lady Vassar, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, February 1953

Barbara Goalen in pale turquoise grosgrain dress and jacket embroidered with braid by Roecliff & Chapman, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, February 1953

Barbara Goalen in wool coat with beaver shawl collar by Sydney Cohen, fur hat by Otto Lucas, photo by Richard Dormer, Harper's Bazaar UK, November 1953

Barbara Goalen, fashion doyenne, chooses as her personal hairdresser, Martin Douglas and René at 30 Davies Street, W.1, Harper's Bazaar UK, January 1955




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