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.