Eden Hore collection gifted with three new garments
The Eden Hore Central Otago (EHCO) fashion collection has three additional garments.
They were purchased from the estate of the late Alma McElwain, who used to work for the Māniatoto farmer-fashion collector Eden Hore, and gifted to the collection by a generous anonymous donor.
Ms McElwain worked as a ‘land girl’ on Eden’s high country station near Naseby for about 12 years and was instrumental in her former employer commencing his extensive collection of ladies’ couture fashion.
It is understood that Ms McElwain piqued Eden’s interest in quality New Zealand fashion design. He purchased gowns for Alma before he started acquiring gowns for his own collection.
Among his first purchases were garments made from wool and leather, but he quickly expanded his interest to an array of couture gowns from leading fashion designers of the time.
Eden’s fashion collection, now owned by the Central Otago District Council (CODC), spans from the late 1960s through to the 1980s.
These new garments align with the era and style that Eden was collecting when Ms McElwain was in his employ.
The EHCO steering group and the CODC are delighted and very grateful to have these new garments, Dr Jane Malthus, Fashion Historian as well as EHCO steering group member and co-patron, said.
“It is very exciting to accept these fabulous NZ designer garments into the Eden Hore collection, knowing they were worn and treasured by Alma McElwain as mementoes of her time working for Eden.”
The three garments include a white evening gown with an ostrich feather trimmed cape, a Lewis Townsend Original, a gold sequinned top and trouser suit by designer Kevin Berkahn, and a woven daywear coat by designer Colin Cole.
“Lewis Townsend worked for El Jay and later for Liz Mitchell, so it is wonderful to have evidence of his own designs added to the Eden Hore collection,” Dr Malthus said.
“The sequinned Kevin Berkahn outfit gives us more evidence of his design flair and it is thrilling to accept such a fabulous Colin Cole design back into the collection.”
You can read more about the Eden Hore Central Otago Garment and Acquisition and Activity Update tabled at the CODC meeting on Wednesday 28 June 2023.
You can also find out more about the collection on the Eden Hore website Eden Hore Central Otago.
Images (Supplied/CODC): The three garments include a white evening gown with an ostrich feather trimmed cape, a Lewis Townsend Original, a gold sequinned top and trouser suit by designer Kevin Berkahn, and a woven daywear coat by designer Colin Cole.