Carla Zampatti’s family make funeral arrangements
At the gates of her mother's Woollahra home, Carla Zampatti's daughter Bianca Spender on Monday met the funeral director who will help the country farewell the fashion icon as generations of women paid tribute to the legendary designer and her clothes.
Hailing her as the Italian Chanel, it wasn't just models and media personalities like former foreign minister Julie Bishop, Nicole Kidman and Rebecca Gibney who wanted to celebrate how she made women feel and look confident in her designs.
Women neither rich nor famous but from all walks of life took to her official farewell page to share their stories of wearing her designs at milestone events like school formals, weddings, christenings, but also just everyday.
One woman said she paid for her first Zampatti dress on lay-by at $5 a week.
No date has been set yet for the state funeral for the trailblazing designer who died on Saturday, aged 78, a week after she was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital after falling on steps from an outdoor grandstand at Sydney's Opera House after attending the premiere of La Traviata.
Her children - fellow designer Bianca, 45, Allegra Spender and their older brother Alexander Schuman, who has been running the Zampatti business, were understood to be at their mother's eastern suburbs home yesterday as they grieved together and planned the funeral.
Many women posted photographs of themselves dressed in Zampatti on the website myfarewelling.com as they wrote about how inspiring she was and of her charity work through her foundation.
"My best friend and I wore two of your beautiful dresses to our Year 12 formal back in 2009. Fast forward 10 years, I wore mine to a glamorous work event in London," one client called Chloe wrote. "Your timeless design took me from a girl with big dreams to a woman living out her dreams."
Another customer, Jenepher, wrote: "I have never met you but for 40 years you have been a dearest friend. You have made me strong and capable as well as elegant and sexy."
Yet another, Lucy, wrote: "You not only led the way in modern Australian women's fashion but also showed that women could be talented, strong and classy at the same time."
An admirer called Leisa wrote: "Carla Zampatti was the epitome of class!! From a teenager I would go to David Jones and adore her collections. To me, Carla was a designer that belonged with Chanel, Dior & Lagerfield."
To her family, she was their mother and grandmother, survived by nine grandchildren. Bianca Spender posted: "I lost my mother, my inspiration, my mentor and my friend. I am lost for words and totally heartbroken."
Her family thanked the team at St Vincent's Hospital for their care.
Originally published as Carla Zampatti's family make funeral arrangements