Book tribute to life, collection of Eden Hore

Photographer Derek Henderson and video operator Cam Neate work with model Ngahuia Williams on...
Photographer Derek Henderson and video operator Cam Neate work with model Ngahuia Williams on location at Poolburn. PHOTO: JODIE JAMES
Longevity is not usually top priority for fashion garments and that has proved a challenge for the curators of an iconic Central Otago collection.

Naseby high country farmer Eden Hore amassed nearly 300 items of high fashion, ranging from wedding dresses to evening gowns worn by Miss New Zealand entrants during the 1970s and 80s.

He housed the collection in a former tractor shed on his property.

Sixteen years after his death, the Central Otago District Council bought the collection of fashion garments in 2013, and the Eden Hore Central Otago Trust was formed to look after it.

The trust had looked for ways for people to see the garments, some of which had become fragile and would not stand up to handling.

Photographs were the answer and in the past month more than 240 garments form the collection had been photographed by fashion photographer Derek Henderson.

Te Papa Press publisher Michael Upchurch said the photographs would be published in a book next year to coincide with an exhibition of garments at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, in Dunedin.

Te Papa had been involved with the Eden Hore Central Otago Trust since 2017, when Mr Henderson photographed 14 gowns from the collection outdoors in various parts of the Central Otago landscape.

"This exciting book project is a celebration of Eden Hore’s visionary designs," Mr Upchurch said.

"The team of Derek Henderson, dress historian Dr Jane Malthus and Te Papa senior curator Claire Regnault will help make this a truly beautiful publication for next year."

The most recent photographs were taken in 30 locations around Central Otago, including Poolburn Dam, Dansey Pass Hotel and Glenshee Ranch, which was Mr Hore’s property.

Eden Hore steering group members Dr Malthus and NOM*d founder Margarita Robertson directed the shoot.

Dr Malthus said the book would inspire people to visit Central Otago to see its beauty.

The trust was keen to hear from people with stories and connections to the collection.

Designers who had items in the collection included James Jaye Leathers, of Dunedin, and Joan Allison and Maree Kilgariff, of Wapiti Handcrafts.

Additionally, Dr Malthus was keen to hear from any of the 1960s Miss New Zealand contestants who had memories of Eden Hore or travelling with singer John Hore on their tours.