Some of the country’s most powerful political, business and fashion leaders have gathered in Sydney to farewell fashion mogul Carla Zampatti.
Thursday’s official farewell was what Zampatti’s daughter described as “the best dressed funeral”, with guests adorned in her iconic designs, there to celebrate the 78-year-old’s life and work.
After founding her eponymous label in 1965, the Italian-Australian designer was remembered as a trailblazer in the industry, bringing practical, fashion-forward designs to the working women of Australia.
Zampatti’s pieces have been worn by everyone from Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, to former prime minister Julia Gillard and Denmark’s Princess Mary.
St Mary’s Cathedral was filled with Zampatti’s famous friends and fans, as well as hundreds of white orchids.
Attendees included former governor-general Quentin Bryce, who spoke ahead of Zampatti’s three children.
Julie Bishop, and former PMs Malcolm Turnbull and John Howard attended with their wives, Lucy Turnbull and Janette Howard.
Television presenters, and long-time Zampatti-wearers, Melissa Doyle and Natalie Barr, were also present.
Zampatti’s children spoke of their mother’s warmness, ambition and her lasting legacy in the fashion world.
Her son and current CEO of Carla Zampatti, Alexander Schuman, said they referred to the label as “our other sibling, sometimes the favourite child”.
“She was a demanding boss and a demanding mother and saw that as a good thing because she’d achieved more than she ever dreamed of, and she wanted the same for you,” Mr Schuman said.
His sister, Bianca Spender, who is also a designer, said their mother loved a hug and called everyone ‘darling’.
“She was alive to beauty in any form,” Spender said.
“Dance, visual arts, fashion, architecture. The creativity of others genuinely inspired and uplifted her.”
“If she were alive today … I’m sure she would say this is the best-dressed funeral she has ever attended.”
Zampatti’s other daughter, Allegra Spender, commented on her mother’s strong feminist roots and commitment to seeing women thrive.
“We are very proud of you mum. We are committed to continuing your legacy of inspiring, empowering and supporting women,” she said.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said Zampatti was unlike another famous name who died recently, Prince Philip. He will not receive a state funeral, because he was not a reigning monarch.
“Here in Australia … it could be said that Carla Zampatti was indeed a reigning monarch, the queen of fashion.”