Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died in a Sydney hospital a week after a serious fall at an outdoor opera event.

The 78-year-old legendary designer was attending the premiere of La Traviata last week when she fell and lost consciousness. She was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital.

On social media, her daughter Bianca Spender paid an emotional tribute to her mother.

“Today I lost my mother, my inspiration, my mentor and my friend,” she wrote.

I am lost for words and totally heartbroken.”

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose said she was at the premiere of La Traviata too, and knew someone had fallen.

“I didn’t see Carla fall but it was apparent someone had fallen and was only later I learnt it was Carla. The stairs are very dangerous at the opera and I think they need to do something about the safety and install some rails, otherwise someone might fall as well.

An obituary on Zampatti’s business website paid tribute to “Australia’s most successful and enduring fashion designer” and thanked the team at St Vincent’s Hospital for their “support and excellent care”. 

Messages of condolences have also been posted on social media from politicians and people from the media and fashion world.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that her contribution to our nation will be timeless, while former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was sad to learn of the passing of his dear friend.

“One of our greatest Australians — brilliant, innovative, elegant, creative. Embodying the success of our remarkable multicultural nation. Our sympathy and love are with her family,” he said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised the “talented, generous and inspiring” trailblazer, while actress Magda Szubanski said her “style was divine”.




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