Romain de Tirtoff (Roman Petrovich Tyrtov) was born to a distinguished Russian family in Saint Petersburg in November of 1892, but lived the vast majority of his life in France and the USA. His working pseudonym, Erte', was based on the French pronunciation of the initials of his name. His father, a highly respected Admiral wanted his son to become a naval officer, but Romain's first love was art and design. So, in 1906 at 24 he had his first encounter with Paris, and moved there in 1910 to pursue seriously a career in design.
He did work for the Ballet Russes, for theatrical revues both in Paris and in New York, and for Opera.
His drafting of textiles, had little if anything to do with how fabrics actually move and drape, and that sometimes created problems between a rendering and a realized costume, but I just don't care. (smiling)