Carla Zampatti Retrospective
Zampatti Powerhouse presents a retrospective of the fashion designer Carla Zampatti.
The red exhibition entrance speaks to the power and monumental achievements of Carla Zampatti as a fashion designer and businesswomen.
It feels like Carla Zampatti needs no introduction, but the exhibition reminds us that in 1965 when she started Australian women left the workplace when they got married.
Of her contemporaries – Trent Nathan and Prue Acton only Carla Zampatti has endured.
From the beginning Carla Zampatti wanted to give women clothes that they could work in.
Spanning five decades, the 100 outfits in this exhibition speak to this ambition.
Classic and timeless are overused fashion terms. This is not true of Carla Zampatti’s oeuvre.
The pieces presented show how timeless and classic her designs are. Many though decades old would be totally wearable today.
Using colour, fabric, draping, embellishments, and buttons to elevate classic tailoring, the exhibition shows how Carla Zampatti created her distinctive look.
The clothes speak to a kind of practical elegance adapted to the environments within which Australian women operate.
That the clothes are so immediately recognisable as from Carla Zampatti highlights for me how underrated she was as a designer.
The European sophistication of the silhouettes that are refined and elegant is clear but these clothes cannot be confused with those from European designers that her designs echo.
The distinctiveness of the looks speaks to a design discipline based on creating wearable clothes that inspires confidence in the wearer.
This in and of itself is an extraordinary achievement and one that is rightly celebrated in this exhibition.
Zampatti Powerhouse at the Powerhouse Museum until 11 June 2023.
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