A Central Otago farmer is the last person you would expect to own an incredible collection of women’s high fashion. Yet we found our curiosity sparked by a recent Stuff article about a Central Otago man named Eden Hore who in the 70s and 80s quietly collected 276 pieces of some of the most highly coveted and attention-grabbing New Zealand women’s high fashion of the time. We needed to know more.
Image from Stuff
With Hore’s collection of 70’s and 80’s women’s high fashion being taken out of its boxes and photographed in Central Otago last week it prompts us to look back on fashion over the last few decades and learn more about who Hore was and how he ended up with what is now believed to be an $80,000 collection.
The Central Otago District Council now owns the collection of 276 pieces after it was sold to them in 2013 by Hore’s nephew and his wife. However, the question of why and how Hore even had this collection is what we are left wondering.
An article from the 1996 January to March issue of New Zealand Geographic gives an interesting voice and backstory to Hore before he died just a year later. Hore explained to journalist Richard Worrall he first became interested in high fashion after he hired a housekeeper in the early1960s who also happened to be a part-time model. This, of course, meant she was very fashionable. He became even more interested after being involved in the Miss New Zealand pageant which he was intending to attend as moral support for his country signer friend John Grenell and then ended up being roped into helping backstage. He helped with the next four pageants. It was then in the 70s that he began collecting. The article mentions his interest in wool and leather and the process of something going from a raw farm material to becoming a high fashion piece.
Image from Stuff
Hore had his own museum at his property near Naseby where he showcased his collection alongside a collection of 280 Jim Beam decanters, steam locomotives with carriages and a range of vintage cars.
It is clear Hore was an eclectic and entrepreneurial man as he owned a variety of animals including Tibetan yaks, wallabies, peacocks, cockatoos and Himalayan Tahr which are now near being endangered. He was the first to import American miniature horses and bred them as his main source of income.
Hores pieces are a moment in time that showcase some of the top New Zealand designers from the 70s and 80s. His collection includes pieces from Kevin Berkahn, Vinka Lucas and Rosalie Gwilliam. It is clear Hore had an eye for the finer things and enjoyed things beyond the mainstream and wanted other people to enjoy them too.
Image from Stuff
We would have loved to see Hores collection in its original museum. The recent shoot sparks the start of the process of getting the collection out to the public. We look forward to hearing what the Central Otago Council does with it as we would love to see it displayed again, maybe not alongside Jim Beam bottles this time.
If you want to know more about Eden Hore and his collection check out the New Zealand Geographic article and Stuff’s recent article on Eden Hores collection resurfacing - both linked below.
Mystery surrounds Otago farmer's high fashion collection, Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/117203951/mystery-surrounds-otago-farmers-high-fashion-collection
Fashion on the Farm, New Zealand Geographic https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/fashion-on-the-farm/
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May 31, 2021
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