The ‘magic of the spec­ta­cle’


A Man­iototo high coun­try farmer’s his­toric fash­ion col­lec­tion shows a ‘‘magic of the spec­ta­cle’’ and is cul­tur­ally and na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant, the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil has been told.

For­mer mu­seum cu­ra­tor and con­sul­tant Tim Walker pre­sented a re­port on the Eden Hore fash­ion col­lec­tion, made of 276 gar­ments from the sev­en­ties and eight­ies, to coun­cil last week.

Walker said the col­lec­tion was one of the ‘‘most ex­cit­ing’’ pieces he had worked on and there was a high level of in­ter­est in the col­lec­tion.

Hore, who died in 1997, ex­celled as one of Cen­tral Otago’s ‘‘big sky thinkers’’ and was col­lect­ing the ‘‘magic of the spec­ta­cle’’, Walker said.

‘‘He is col­lect­ing the magic of the de­signer, the chore­og­ra­pher, the show. These are glimpses of magic and what is im­por­tant in the 1970s and 80s, New Zealand had an avant garde sec­tor ... it doesn’t now.’’

The coun­cil should own and lever­age off the un­ex­pected re­la­tion­ship be­tween high coun­try and high fash­ion which would form the col­lec­tion’s ‘‘core story’’, he said.

Peo­ple in­creas­ingly wanted au­then­tic sto­ries, and sto­ries ‘‘deeply rooted in place’’, he said.

‘‘That is what makes it a na­tional trea­sure - the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two...The key here is to work out what are the sto­ries that Eden Hore al­lows Cen­tral Otago to tell. Who was this man? What is he col­lect­ing? Why is he col­lect­ing? What was his pur­pose?

‘‘When I came to Cen­tral Otago a lot of peo­ple rolled their eyes and said he was a strange bug­ger who kept all these dresses in a barn. It is im­por­tant to see his in­ter­est and high fash­ion in the con­text of ev­ery­thing else he did. He was not a tra­di­tional col­lec­tor. Fash­ion is an ex­pres­sion of some­thing else in him.’’

Hore was an ‘‘im­pre­sario’’ - a show­man, pro­moter and pro­ducer, and had an ap­proach to busi­ness based on a smart, me­dia-savvy and show­man-like en­tre­pre­neur­ial ethos.

The story strat­egy should change from ‘‘Eden Hore Col­lec­tion – 1970s, 80s Ex­clu­sive Fash­ion’’ to ‘‘Eden Hore Cen­tral Otago’’ and a strate­gic coali­tion model was the way for a suc­cess­ful Eden Hore Cen­tral Otago strat­egy. A steer­ing group and Me­moranda of Un­der­stand­ing should be de­vel­oped and Te Papa should be ap­proached to for­malise a part­ner­ship, he said.

Mod­ern Clas­sics: Gar­ments de­signed and made by Pat He­witt from the Eden Hore col­lec­tion.

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