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Gerdago was an Austrian theatrical costume designer and sculptor. Born in Vienna in 1906. We know that until 1927 Gerda lived in Berlin, and in 1928-29 received her art education in Paris, where she worked as an assistant architect Oscar Strand. From 1931 to 1934 she studied as a theatrical designer. She made costumes for the theater "Femina". There, in the theater, she met with Willy Forst. She worked as a dresser on his first film.   She was a costume designer for numerous productions in Vienna's major theaters throughout the 1950s and 1960s and designed the costumes and posters for the Vienna Ice Revue shows from 1945 on. She was also known as the "Austrian Edith Head."   Forst engaged in the creation of historical costume films, such as biographies of Schubert's "Quiet implore my songs," or the movie-operetta "The Masquerade".

After the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938  her parents were sent to the concentration camp Theresienstadt, where Gerda’s father, Carl Gottshtayn, died January 11, 1943, and her mother, Ilse Margot Gottshtayn, on May 15, 1944 in Auschwitz, losing their lives in the gas chambers.   

Work began again for Gerda in 1947 for the Vienna Burg theater and in the postwar cinema. She sketched her beautiful and meticulous designs for the trilogy of films about the Bavarian Princess Elizabeth (“Sissi”), ensuring its success.    Sadly Gerda always remained in the background. From the 60s to 80s Gerdago worked for the Raymond Theater in Vienna, where she developed the costumes for all of their productions.

She died January 20, 2004 in Vienna, at age 97. 


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