Ernst Dryden

1887 – 1938

Ernst Dryden, Project for Vogue2021-12-08T23:18:04+00:00


Ernst Deutsch was born in Vienna and educated at the renowned School of Applied Arts. In 1911 he was active in Berlin as a successful graphic artist and was inspired by the extremely matter-of-fact poster style of Lucian Bernhard. An innovative ‘factual elegance’ distinguished his work. In 1919 he returned to Vienna, a decision that may have been connected with the increasing allegations of plagiarism in the journal Das Plakat in 1917 and 1918. He changed his name to Ernst Dryden and opened his own studio. In the twenties, Dryden created an all-encompassing graphic image for the exclusive Viennese menswear shop Knize. Consequentially, his artistic development led him towards a commercialised Art Deco style and in 1926 he became artistic director of the journal Die Dame. In this capacity he was drawn to Paris, the hub of the fashion world, where he created a huge quantity of fashion designs, front pages and graphic posters. In 1933 he left Europe for the United States. Within a year he became sought after as a film costume designer and fashion designer. His designs can be seen in the films The Garden of Allah, Lost Horizon and Dr. Rhythm. He also designed and dressed many of the film stars of the time including Marlene Dietrich. His decision to work in the area of costume dramas and spectacles was a natural development considering his previous work in the fashion world. In March of 1938 Dryden died of a heart attack. It was only a few days after he’d learned of the ‘Anschluss’ (annexation) of his home country to Nazi Germany.