Bianca Spender Inspired By Mum, Carla Zampatti, While Creating AAFW Resort 24 Line

The ideas, influences and intrigue of Bianca Spender's latest designs.

Bianca Spender was around the Australian fashion industry long before she carved her successful career as a designer. 

The daughter of the late fashion legend Carla Zampatti, Spender grew up with unique behind-the-scenes insights into the industry she would later make her own. As Spender launches her latest collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, even cites her mother as a creative influence, divulging, “It was mum’s distinct and unwavering creative vision and passion for dressing women that inspires me to grow as a designer every day.”

We sat down with Bianca to get the inside scoop on her latest stunning collection. 

Marie Claire: What does showing at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week mean to you?

Bianca Spender: Showing our collections on a body and on a runway has always been important to me. It’s about creating an experience within the room and leaving an impression of the clothes in people’s bodies through elements of set design, lighting and casting to build on the vision and mood.

What is on your mood board right now?

As a designer, I will confess, I don’t follow a traditional creative method. I love letting fabrics and colours guide me, so this is usually the starting point for the collection boards. 

This season was all about how it felt on the body, so it started more from the clothes than from imagery.

We began with a sense of softness. Varying shades of neutrals, earth tones and rich blues are layered together. It has been very inspiring to create a restrained colour palette with so much depth.

This year our runway celebrates 15 years of the brand. We were deeply inspired by the journey of the design and looked to our archives to influence the collection.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Who is the Bianca Spender wearer?

The Bianca Spender woman is not defined by her demographic. She is a dreamer, she is curious, she takes risks and has a deep consideration for our planet and its people.

Tell us about your new collection.

The starting point for the spring/summer ’23 collection was a sense of softness. I was thinking a lot about how we can be gentler with ourselves and others. The collection explores this through a feeling of ease, redefined utility, round edges and fluid drape. Colour has played a huge role in the collection. I was really drawn to a range of neutrals that could be complimented by unexpected flashes of pure colour.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Which Australian fashion creatives have inspired your career?

Dance, movement and performance has always had a profound impact on my work in design. I am deeply inspired by the way the body can be shaped and moulded through dance. Rafael Bonachela of Sydney Dance Company has long influenced the collections and collaborations I have done.

Mark Vassallo and I have done a plethora of shows together over the years. His astute direction for the Bianca Spender brand has been an ongoing source of inspiration for me.

It would be amiss to not mention my mum [Carla Zampatti]. It was mum’s distinct and unwavering creative vision and passion for dressing women that inspires me to grow as a designer every day.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

What does the future look like for Australian fashion?

Australian fashion really leads in the world of ease. Our style codes are so distinctive as we have quite a relaxed approach to dressing and it has been interesting to see the world adopt this sensibility and predict this will continue to build!

About The Bianca Spender Summer 23 Show At AAFW 2023

Commemorating 15 iconic years, Bianca Spender’s Summer 23 runway presentation paid homage to the designer’s life and upbringing in the world of fashion. Inspired by the concept of ‘softness’, a deep sense of relaxed comfort we all crave (especially in the Australian summer) was woven through each and every piece, contrasted with more structured concepts of traditional tailoring.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Under a calming blue light in an intimate setting, the show kicked off with a monochromatic nod to laidback suiting, one of many timeless looks Spender revisited. In soft, earthy tones, button down, loose-fit jackets and waistcoats worn with drop waist drawstring maxi skirts; off-shoulder oversized blazer dresses in midnight black, and a show-stopping backless slip dress in vibrant emerald, among the many standouts.

Hemlines hovered towards the ankles, as waists remained low, in silks and satins which flowed like liquid. Simplistic, sensual, and effortlessly feminine, Spender’s rekindled love for drapery and patternmaking is effervescent.

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