Zampatti Powerhouse: A Retrospective Of Carla Zampatti’s Life & Legacy Is Here

And yes, it includes the '85 Ford Laser.

There’s only one word to describe the life and legacy of the inimitable late fashion designer Carla Zampatti: powerhouse. 

Now, it’s that same powerful pretence that is being explored in a new internationally exclusive retrospective exhibition

Almost 20 months after her tragic and untimely death, Zampatti Powerhouse has opened at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, l celebrating Zampatti’s five-decade long trailblazing career, from her first collection, presented in 1965, to her recent work.

The retrospective will focus on Carla’s achievements as a pioneering female entrepreneur, fashion designer and philanthropist, centering on her pivotal creations that shaped the Australian fashion landscape.

(Credit: Courtesy of Carla Zampatti archive.)

Over 60 unique and rare archival pieces of the Zampatti company archive will be showcased, including jumpsuits and eveningwear from Carla’s formative years.

Accompanying the garments will be exclusive interviews with Carla, her clients, family and friends and business associates.

Fittingly, many of the pieces are some of Carla’s most signature designs that were once worn by iconic women, including Crown Princess Mary of Denmark’s baby pink, boat neck gown, which she wore in her official Royal portrait in 2015.


According to the Powerhouse, “themes of Private Life, Professional Life and Public Life will be explored, anchored by Zampatti’s signature designs.”

The retrospective commenced in 2019 in collaboration with Carla, before her premature passing.

Almost a year since her death in April 2021, the Powerhouse, along with the Zampatti family and eponymous fashion house are ready to bring the internationally exclusive exhibition to the public.

“Mum loved the magic of fashion, the big runway shows as well as hearing her customers’ personal stories and how her designs often played a small part in moments of significance in the lives of many Australian women,” said Carla Zampatti CEO Alexander Schuman.

An additional 40 pieces were selected from public submissions, to be featured in tandem with the landmark designs. 

Amongst them were over 40 loaned garments from the public, many of which are collectors items from Carla’s early work from the 60s to the 90s, including Carla’s iconic 1985 cherry red Ford Laser


‘As a trailblazing leader for women in business, Carla was passionate about creating looks which made women feel confident in the defining moments in their lives, evidenced by the overwhelming response we received to our public call-out. Zampatti Powerhouse celebrates the designer’s affinity with Australian women and her indelible legacy,’ said,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah in a press release.

Zampatti Powerhouse will run at the Powerhouse Ultimo from 24 November 2022 till 11 June 2023. 

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