St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney, April 15: Following the passing of Australian womenswear designer, Carla Zampatti, on April 3 a State Funeral has been held at St Mary’s Cathedral in the heart of Sydney’s CBD today. The cathedral was at near capacity with prominent Australian figures, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister of Women, Marise Payne, and Former foreign minister, Julie Bishop among those in attendance.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 15: Julie Bishop attends the State Funeral for Carla Zampatti at St Mary’s Cathedral on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Brendon Thorne – Pool/Getty Images

The service opened this morning with a suite of historic images from Zampatti’s life before an echo of her voice reverberated throughout the cathedral. The late-Zampatti reflected on her life, what it was to be a hard working woman and mother in Australia and how her designs influence women from around the globe.

“It kind of took a lot of courage, probably more courage than I’ve ever had to draw upon, and it was tough but it taught me that I was really, really strong and that I could do it,” she says in the audio.

“I think you learn more from tough times than from good times. You learn what you can do, you learn your strength, so I think if you get stuck in a corner, don’t stay there … find a way to get out because I think it’s really, really important. Once you’re out of it, and you’re breathing again, you’ll feel much, much stronger and nothing will touch you.

Carla Zampatti
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 16: Fashion designer Carla Zampatti is seen on the runway during the Carla Zampatti show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 20 Collections at Carriageworks on May 16, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/WireImage)

“I’d like to be remembered as someone who helped women achieve … by giving them a product that they could wear to give them confidence.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher opened the service, likening the designer as “a reigning monarch, the queen of fashion.”

Carla Zampatti’s granddaughter, Brigid Schuman, and her close friend Jillian Broadbent gave the main readings while Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Zampatti’s three children, Alex Schuman, Bianca Spender and Allegra Spender, recited the Words of Remembrance.

The Archbishop delivered a reflection on Zampatti’s life, calling her a “brave spirited woman”. “The single mother courageously built her own fashion house from scratch,” he said.

X-Mas with John spender and his wife Carla Zampatti and there children Bianca and Allegra (dark hair). December 25, 1986. (Photo by David Richard Trood/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

“None of us knows what Carla said to her creator upon her return to him. Though I suspect the choirs of angels are about to get new uniforms,” he quipped. A flutter of laughs rang out around the cathedral.

To finish, the Archbishop noted her final days. Zampatti died in St Vincent’s Hospital on April 3, after falling on the steps of the Opera House at a gala outdoor premiere of La Traviata in Sydney Harbour. She was 78.

“It was fitting that it was opera on the harbour. Popular and accessible,” he said. “For she was not all haute couture but for beauty, for women in every walk of life.”

The Australian flag atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge today flied at half-mast in honour of Zampatti.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 15: The flags atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge fly at half-mast in respect for Carla Zampatti on April 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

May she rest in peace.