Susan Abraham: Life story and Fabulous Photos of the iconic Models who defined the 1950s

Susan Abraham, a renowned fashion model from the 1950s, embodied the charm and elegance of that era. Born in 1930 in Burma, Susan’s early life was a blend of different cultures and locations. She grew up in Dublin and Connecticut before eventually moving to London, where she began her modeling career. Despite being hailed as a classic English rose, Susan was of Irish American descent, like the famous Grace Kelly, to whom she was often compared.

Early Life and Background

Susan’s unique background played a significant role in shaping her personality and career. Growing up in diverse environments, she developed a sophisticated yet approachable demeanor that later became her trademark in the modeling world. Her family moved from Burma to Dublin, and then to Connecticut, exposing her to various cultures and styles. This cultural mix influenced her distinct look and style, setting her apart from other models of her time.

In London, Susan shared a flat with Myrtle Crawford, another aspiring model. This move marked the beginning of her successful career in fashion. Susan quickly made a name for herself, posing for prestigious magazines like Vogue and the short-lived UK Vanity Fair. Her spontaneity and enthusiasm in front of the camera made her a favorite among photographers..

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Iconic Photographs and Style

Susan’s approach to modeling was refreshing and genuine. Unlike her predecessors who often treated the camera with a sense of detachment, Susan was known for her lively and cheerful demeanor. In most of her pictures, she can be seen giggling or flashing a broad grin, capturing the joy and excitement of the moment. Photographers like John Deakin, Don Honeyman, and Henry Clarke were captivated by her natural charm and often chose her for their shoots.

Local Fame and Career Highlights

Despite her undeniable talent and charm, Susan’s success was largely confined to the local British fashion scene. She was a prominent figure in London’s fashion circles, but like many of her contemporaries, her fame did not extend far beyond the UK. Her career was brief but impactful, leaving a lasting impression on those who worked with her and admired her photographs.

Personal Life and Retirement

Susan’s modeling career came to an end shortly after her marriage in January 1955. She married a young man whose family background was like hers, with both their fathers heading major British oil companies. The wedding took place in Knightsbridge, a fashionable and affluent area in London. After her marriage, Susan chose to retire from professional modeling, although she occasionally posed for her favorite photographers, such as John French.

Life After Modeling

Susan’s life after modeling was one of relative privacy. She dedicated herself to her family and personal pursuits, stepping away from the public eye. Her occasional appearances for photographers like John French were a testament to her enduring beauty and grace, even as she focused on her role as a wife and mother.

Susan Abraham passed away in 2020 in the UK, at the age of 90. Although her career in modeling was relatively short, her impact on the fashion world during the 1950s was significant. She remains remembered as a classic beauty who brought joy and authenticity to her work. Her photographs continue to inspire and captivate those who appreciate the elegance and charm of that golden era of fashion.

#1 Susan Abraham in a barleycorn jersey tweed suit, 1951.

#2 Susan Abraham in a bottle-green wool dress with a bolero-like bodice, 1951.

#3 Susan Abraham in a button-through dress in gun-metal gray jersey with dove-gray stripes, 1951.

#4 Susan Abraham in a cocktail suit with a lampshade jacket and self-checked black velvet skirt, 1951.

#6 Susan Abraham in a sheer organdy tiered gown, 1951.

#7 Susan Abraham in a Swiss voile blouse with a stiff collar and fly-away cuffs, 1951.

#8 Susan Abraham in a boxy wool jacket in canary yellow over navy-blue jeans, 1952.

#9 Susan Abraham in an elaborately pailletted evening gown, 1952.

#10 Susan Abraham in Fath’s sophisticated tortoise-shell colored wool suit, 1952.

#12 Susan Abraham in a pale gray tie-silk dress ringed with white, 1952.

#13 Susan Abraham in a pleated white organza evening dress, 1952.

#14 Susan Abraham wearing a moss-green hat in peach-bloom velours, 1952.

#15 Susan Abraham wearing a mustard-colored suede cap, 1952.

#16 Susan Abraham in a back-buttoning blouse in yellow velours, 1953.

#17 Susan Abraham in a column of delphinium-blue satin, 1953.

#18 Susan Abraham in a smoke-gray jacket with a stand-away collar, 1953.

#19 Susan Abraham in a black-and-white tweed dress, 1953.

#20 Susan Abraham in a bold black and white basket-tweed coat, 1953.

#21 Susan Abraham in a dress and jacket suit in white surah, 1953.

#22 Susan Abraham in a gray wool suit faintly striped with pink, 1953.

#23 Susan Abraham in a grayish-olive green suit, 1953.

#25 Susan Abraham in a mole-brown backswept faille gown, 1953.

#27 Susan Abraham in a raspberry silk and mohair dress, 1953.

#28 Susan Abraham in a shining ball dress of lavender satin, 1953.

#29 Susan Abraham in a short barrel coat of sulphur yellow brushed fleece, 1953.

#30 Susan Abraham wearing accessories all in beaver, 1953.

#31 Susan Abraham in a fitted coat of black worsted duvetyne, 1954.

#32 Susan Abraham wearing a black ribbed velvet painter’s beret, 1954.

#33 Susan Abraham in a beautiful ball gown of bluebells embroidered on white silk organdie, 1956.

#34 Susan Abraham in an evening dress of eglantine satin, 1956.

#35 Susan Abraham in a bold cotton shirtwaist dress, 1957.

#36 Susan Abraham in a champagne-colored coat in linen hopsack, 1957.

#37 Susan Abraham in John Cavanagh’s strapless evening gown, 1957.

#38 Susan Abraham in lovely, airy floral print chiffon, 1957.

#39 Susan Abraham in a short evening dress of cotton, 1957.

Written by Willow Rutherford

Willow Rutherford, a retro fashionista and vintage music lover with a special little sidekick in tow. When she's not busy chasing after her adorable baby girl, you can find her scouring thrift stores and estate sales for one-of-a-kind pieces. With a love for all things vintage and a passion for motherhood, Willow is always on the lookout for the next big find.

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