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Black dress ensemble. Irma Cescotti made this black silk dress, consisting of a bodice, skirt and underskirt, in about 1905. The bodice and skirt are trimmed with ruched organza and narrow black cotton velvet ribbon. Irma Cescotti was born in Isera in Trentino in Northern Italy in 1876. She moved to London in about 1900 and found work in a family household. In 1905, she married Pietro Cocco, an Italian shoemaker and repairer with a business at 418 Portobello Road, North Kensington. Irma might have trained as a court dressmaker in Italy: the careful and accomplished way in which this dress is made testifies to her skills. After her marriage, she continued to make clothes for herself and her growing family, and possibly for private clients.
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