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Capturing the Glamour of Pat O’Reilly in Iconic 1950s Fashion Photography

Born in 1925 in Essex, Pat O’Reilly embarked on her journey in the fashion world shortly after the end of World War II. Initially working as a photographer’s assistant, O’Reilly was exposed to the behind-the-scenes aspects of fashion photography, an experience that would later influence her modeling career.

O’Reilly’s foray into modeling began when she applied for an office job at Harper’s Bazaar in London. She was hired with the understanding that her role would also involve modeling for the magazine. This opportunity marked the start of her career as a model, seamlessly transitioning from a behind-the-camera role to a front-and-center position in the fashion industry.

Becoming a Versatile Fashion Model

In the early 1950s, Pat O’Reilly emerged as a popular all-rounder in the fashion scene. Her work included a mix of editorial photoshoots and runway shows. O’Reilly’s versatility was evident in her ability to juggle different aspects of modeling, showcasing her adaptability and professionalism in various facets of the fashion industry.

International Success and Promotional Tours

O’Reilly’s modeling career expanded beyond London and Paris, as she became involved in well-paid international tours. These tours were designed to promote labels, one of the notable ones being Sybil Connolly’s brand. Her international presence not only elevated her status as a model but also helped in popularizing the brands she represented.

Pat O’Reilly’s Impact in the Fashion Industry

During the early 1950s, Pat O’Reilly’s contribution to fashion was significant. She represented the post-war shift in fashion, where modeling began to gain prominence as a respectable and sought-after profession. Her success laid the groundwork for future models and highlighted the expanding opportunities for women in the fashion industry during this era.

#1 Pat O’Reilly in her going-away suit in mushroom pink by Frederick Starke, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In Her Going-Away Suit In Mushroom Pink By Frederick Starke, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1950.

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#2 Pat O’Reilly in a fairy dress of pink tulle by Hardy Amies, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A Fairy Dress Of Pink Tulle By Hardy Amies, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1950.

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#3 Pat O’Reilly in black linen slacks and halter top by Londonus, Harper’s Bazaar UK, June 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In Black Linen Slacks And Halter Top By Londonus, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, June 1950.

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#4 Pat O’Reilly in a gray tulle ball dress by Joy Ricardo at the Empress Club, 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A Gray Tulle Ball Dress By Joy Ricardo At The Empress Club, 1950.

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#5 Pat O’Reilly in a high-neck dress in red, brown, and white tweed by Frederick Starke, Harper’s Bazaar UK, August 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A High-Neck Dress In Red, Brown, And White Tweed By Frederick Starke, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, August 1950.

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#6 Pat O’Reilly in a black velveteen lounging suit by Londonus, Harper’s Bazaar UK, October 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A Black Velveteen Lounging Suit By Londonus, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, October 1950.

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#7 Pat O’Reilly in a blue and white patchwork sundress by Ian Meredith, Harper’s Bazaar UK, June 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A Blue And White Patchwork Sundress By Ian Meredith, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, June 1950.

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#8 Pat O’Reilly in a cherry-colored silk chiffon dance-dress by Frank Usher, Harper’s Bazaar UK, December 1950.

Pat O'Reilly In A Cherry-Colored Silk Chiffon Dance-Dress By Frank Usher, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, December 1950.

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#9 Pat O’Reilly in a white piqué strapless dress by Harvey Nichols, Malta, Harper’s Bazaar UK, May 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A White Piqué Strapless Dress By Harvey Nichols, Malta, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, May 1951.

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#10 Pat O’Reilly in a box coat and teal-green tweed suit by Koupy, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Box Coat And Teal-Green Tweed Suit By Koupy, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1951.

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#11 Pat O’Reilly in a white net dress by Roecliff & Chapman, Malta, Harper’s Bazaar UK, May 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A White Net Dress By Roecliff &Amp;Amp; Chapman, Malta, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, May 1951.

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#12 Pat O’Reilly in a gray tweed coat by Digby Morton, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Gray Tweed Coat By Digby Morton, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1951.

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#13 Pat O’Reilly in a brown-and-cream check dress by Susan Small, Harper’s Bazaar UK, February 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Brown-And-Cream Check Dress By Susan Small, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, February 1951.

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#14 Pat O’Reilly in a classic tweed hacking jacket, Harper’s Bazaar UK, January 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Classic Tweed Hacking Jacket, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, January 1951.

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#15 Pat O’Reilly in a cream poplin shirt by Peter French, Harper’s Bazaar UK, January 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Cream Poplin Shirt By Peter French, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, January 1951.

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#16 Pat O’Reilly in a lavender tulle evening dress by Elizabeth Henry, Harper’s Bazaar UK, February 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Lavender Tulle Evening Dress By Elizabeth Henry, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, February 1951.

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#17 Pat O’Reilly in a mushroom-pink taffeta coat by Hardy Amies, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Mushroom-Pink Taffeta Coat By Hardy Amies, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1951.

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#18 Pat O’Reilly in a green-flecked beige tweed suit by Spectator Sports, Harper’s Bazaar UK, December 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Green-Flecked Beige Tweed Suit By Spectator Sports, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, December 1951.

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#19 Pat O’Reilly in a Lovat tweed suit by Lachasse, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Lovat Tweed Suit By Lachasse, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1951.

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#20 Pat O’Reilly in a reversible coat by Rima, Harper’s Bazaar UK, November 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Reversible Coat By Rima, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, November 1951.

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#21 Pat O’Reilly in a reversible coat by Bradleys, Harper’s Bazaar UK, November 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Reversible Coat By Bradleys, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, November 1951.

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#22 Pat O’Reilly in a tangerine shantung dress by Dorville, Malta, Harper’s Bazaar UK, May 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Tangerine Shantung Dress By Dorville, Malta, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, May 1951.

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#23 Pat O’Reilly in a long shirt over a swimsuit by Simpson’s, Harper’s Bazaar UK, June 1951.

Pat O'Reilly In A Long Shirt Over A Swimsuit By Simpson'S, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, June 1951.

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#24 Pat O’Reilly in a lilac lace pagoda-dance dress by Michael Sherard, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Lilac Lace Pagoda-Dance Dress By Michael Sherard, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1952.

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#25 Pat O’Reilly in a white satin and navy tulle dress by Jean Patou, 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A White Satin And Navy Tulle Dress By Jean Patou, 1952.

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#26 Pat O’Reilly in a black raw silk afternoon dress by Madeleine de Rauch, L’Officiel, 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Black Raw Silk Afternoon Dress By Madeleine De Rauch, L'Officiel, 1952.

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#27 Pat O’Reilly in a gray-and-white birdseye suit by Lachasse, Harper’s Bazaar UK, March 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Gray-And-White Birdseye Suit By Lachasse, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, March 1952.

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#28 Pat O’Reilly in a lace evening gown by Germaine Lecomte, 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Lace Evening Gown By Germaine Lecomte, 1952.

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#29 Pat O’Reilly in an ash-gray taffeta ball gown by Victor Stiebel, Harper’s Bazaar UK, October 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In An Ash-Gray Taffeta Ball Gown By Victor Stiebel, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, October 1952.

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#30 Pat O’Reilly in a navy-blue rep suit by Spectator Sports, Harper’s Bazaar UK, July 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Navy-Blue Rep Suit By Spectator Sports, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, July 1952.

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#31 Pat O’Reilly in a sea-green hopsack topcoat by Hardy Amies, Harper’s Bazaar UK, September 1952.

Pat O'Reilly In A Sea-Green Hopsack Topcoat By Hardy Amies, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, September 1952.

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#32 Pat O’Reilly’s hairstyle by Riché, Harper’s Bazaar UK, January 1952.

Pat O'Reilly'S Hairstyle By Riché, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, January 1952.

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#33 Pat O’Reilly in a dawn-blue tulle gown by Pierre Balmain, Harper’s Bazaar UK, September 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A Dawn-Blue Tulle Gown By Pierre Balmain, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, September 1953.

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#34 Pat O’Reilly in a white coat by Balenciaga, Paris, Harper’s Bazaar UK, September 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A White Coat By Balenciaga, Paris, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, September 1953.

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#35 Pat O’Reilly in a polka-dot organza dress by Julian Rose, Harper’s Bazaar UK, May 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A Polka-Dot Organza Dress By Julian Rose, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, May 1953.

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#36 Pat O’Reilly in a pink chiffon gown by Jean Dessès, Harper’s Bazaar UK, October 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A Pink Chiffon Gown By Jean Dessès, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, October 1953.

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#37 Pat O’Reilly in a red and brown tweed suit by Country Life, Scotland, Harper’s Bazaar UK, August 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A Red And Brown Tweed Suit By Country Life, Scotland, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, August 1953.

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#38 Pat O’Reilly in camel-hair slacks and wool sweater by Jaeger, Scotland, Harper’s Bazaar UK, August 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In Camel-Hair Slacks And Wool Sweater By Jaeger, Scotland, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, August 1953.

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#39 Pat O’Reilly in a white satin and black dress by Balenciaga, Harper’s Bazaar UK, October 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A White Satin And Black Dress By Balenciaga, Harper'S Bazaar Uk, October 1953.

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#40 Pat O’Reilly in a tortoiseshell chiffon dress by Jacques Fath, September 1953.

Pat O'Reilly In A Tortoiseshell Chiffon Dress By Jacques Fath, September 1953.

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Written by Nova Roberts

Nova Roberts is a classic Hollywood fanatic and vintage fashion enthusiast.With a love for vintage actresses and actors and a passion for all things retro, Nova is always on the lookout for the next big find. Just don't be surprised if you catch her dancing down the street in a pair of vintage heels and a full-skirted dress, because for Nova, every day is a chance to channel her inner Audrey Hepburn.

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