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Carla Zampatti's funeral: Aussie stars turn out to farewell designer

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

A slew of Aussie stars have turned out to pay their respects to the late Carla Zampatti at her state funeral in Sydney on Thursday.

The iconic fashion designer passed away at the age of 78 on April 3, a week after she suffered a serious fall while attending an opera in Sydney.

Carla Zampatti attends opening night of La Traviata on March 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia
Fashion designer Carla Zampatti (pictured at the opening night of La Traviata on March 26) has passed away aged 78. Photo: Getty Images.

The likes of new Sunrise host Nat Barr, Big Brother's Sonia Kruger and ex-MP Julie Bishop gathered at St Mary's Cathedral on a sunny Autumn afternoon to honour Zampatti and her lasting legacy. 

Zampatti is survived by her three children: Alexander Schuman, from her marriage to Leo Schuman and Bianca Spender and Allegra Spender who she shared with her second husband, former Australian lawyer, politician and diplomat, John Spender.

She was also the proud grandmother or 'Nonna' to nine grandchildren.

See just some of the celebrities who attended Zampatti's funeral below.

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Nat Barr

Natalie Barr attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Natalie Barr wore a crisp white suit to the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti. Photo: Getty Images.

Sonia Kruger

Sonia Kruger watches as the hearse departs at the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
An emotional Sonia Kruger watched as the hearse departed the funeral. Photo: Getty Images.

Georgie Gardner

Georgie Gardner attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Former Today host Georgie Gardner chatted with funeral guests outside the cathedral. Photo: Getty Images.

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Julie Bishop stunned in an off-the-shoulder dress with feather detailing. Photo: Getty Images.

Alexandra Smart

Alexandra Smart attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia
Ginger & Smart designer Alexandra Smart paid tribute to her fellow designer. Photo: Getty Images.

Bronwyn Bishop

Bronwyn Bishop attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Former MP Bronwyn Bishop wore pearls and a red lip for the sombre occasion. Photo: Getty Images.

Angela Bishop

Angela Bishop attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti died aged 78 on 3 April 2021
Bronwyn Bishop's daughter, Angela Bishop also attended the funeral. Photo: Getty Images.

Melissa Doyle and Jackie Franks

Melissa Doyle talks to Jackie Franks as they attend the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Ex-Sunrise host Melissa Doyle chatted with marie claire founder Jackie Franks. Photo: Getty Images.

Sam Armytage and Richard Lavender

Former Editor in Chief Harper's BAZAAR Australia Kellie Hush, Sam Armytage and her husband Richard Lavender attend the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Sam Armytage (back to camera) and her husband Richard Lavender paid their respects. Photo: Getty Images.

Sam 'devastated' by loss

Former Sunrise star Sam Armytage was left 'absolutely devastated' by the sudden death of her friend, Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti on April 3.

Just hours after the sad news of Zampatti's passing was announced, the 44-year took to Instagram to share a touching tribute.

"Absolutely devastated at the loss of my beautiful friend Carla Zampatti this morning," Sam began her lengthy post.

"She was a creative genius, a wonderful generous elegant woman & very much a part of many of my favourite memories.

Sam Armytage paid tribute to late design Carla Zampatti on Instagram. Photo: Instagram/sam_armytage.
Sam Armytage paid tribute to late design Carla Zampatti on Instagram. Photo: Instagram/sam_armytage.

She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. And will live on forever in my heart, & my wardrobe. Vale Carla."

Sam has stepped out in Carla Zampatti numerous times however there is one special piece by the late designer in her wardrobe: the white, high-neck wedding dress she wore to marry her husband, Richard Lavender on New Year's Eve last year.

The newlywed made sure to include a snap of her happy day in a series of photos she posted in Zampatti's honour. Sam also shared a pic of herself at the 2019 Logie Awards wearing a red-hot, one-shouldered Carla Zampatti gown.

Social media tributes also came from Kylie Gillies, Packed To The Rafters star Rebecca Gibney, model Megan Gale and I'm A Celebrity star Toni Pearen.

Bianca Spender and Carla Zampatti arrive at the 2015 Women of Style Awards at Carriageworks on May 13, 2015 in Sydney, Australia
Carla Zampatti with her daughter Bianca Spender, who is also a fashion designer, at the 2015 Women of Style Awards. Photo: Getty Images.

Death of a 'fashion icon'

Italian-born Zampatti, who launched her eponymous label in 1965, attended the opening night of the opera La Traviata at Mrs Macquarie’s Point on March 26, where she posed on the red carpet.

Later that evening, it's believed Zampatti fell and, per the Daily Telegraph, was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital after "losing consciousness".

The publication reports that the designer was "in a coma" and "never woke up".

Her bold and distinctive label, Carla Zampatti, is ubiquitous with Australian fashion and has been worn by countless high-profile women including Princess Mary of Denmark, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and actors Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett.

Zampatti was remembered as 'Australia’s most successful and enduring fashion designer' in a statement posted to her fashion label's Instagram account on Saturday afternoon.

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