A model search with a difference

An unknown woman models garments from the Eden Hore Central Otago collection. The Eden Hore...
An unknown woman models garments from the Eden Hore Central Otago collection. The Eden Hore Central Otago steering group is keen to identify her and others captured modelling the collection. Photo: supplied
Decades after his death, intrigue continues to surround Eden Hore, the high-country farmer with a collection of haute couture gowns in a tractor shed.

But now new mysteries are drawing the attention of those pulling at the threads of the iconic fashion collector’s story — who were the women modelling the designs and when will it go on display in Central Otago?

Deemed of national significance, the Eden Hore Central Otago collection features more than 270 garments of couture fashion amassed by Mr Hore.

In a typically Kiwi fashion, he displayed the garments in a tractor shed on his Maniototo station, "Glenshee", where he hosted parties and fundraising concerts.

Today the collection offers insights into New Zealand fashion in the 1970s and 1980s, including leading New Zealand designers and fabric use techniques of the time.

The Central Otago District Council (CODC) bought the collection in 2013, and the Eden Hore Central Otago initiative is charged with telling the unique tale.

Fashion historian and Eden Hore Central Otago Trust patron Dr Jane Malthus and steering group member Claire Regnault have been researching the designers, fabrics and occasions represented by the collection of women’s fashion for a new book set to be released next year.

Research had uncovered a lot of information about the man and his gowns, but fragments were still missing, Dr Malthus said.

"For example, when we started searching through the photo archive, we began to ask ourselves, ‘who were the models?’

"How were they chosen? Where did they come from? Who modelled Eden Hore’s gowns at his famous garden parties at Glenshee ranch? Does anyone recognise them?" Dr Malthus said.

The pair were undertaking a model search to identify

Mr Hore’s models and were keen to hear from people who could help identify them.