Exhibit: Fashioning Lives

Fashioning Lives: Questions of Identity
on display September 21, 2008 - March 19, 2009

Exhibit Overview: An exhibition about the life journeys of Lore, Walter, and Claudia Wiener, as the circumstances of their lives make their Jewish heritage undeniable. In spite of intermarriage and conversion in one family, the elder Wieners left Germany and Austria as refugees of Nazism.

Similarly they were considered stateless Jews in Shanghai, the haven where they met and married. Immigration to Vancouver in 1949 led to the development of their successful couture business with little regard to any religious life. In a twist of fate, the secular identity that the Weiners fashioned for themselves over the years would be upended when their adult daughter, Claudia, whom they had baptized Anglican, serendipitously discovered her parents’ Jewish heritage and painstakingly researched her own place within that tradition.

The exhibition featured the fashion designs of Lore Marie Wiener, who brought haute couture to Vancouver from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Support of this exhibition comes from the BC 150 Years Community Exhibits program.