For decades, Yvonne Dite has carefully held onto the blue and purple dress she wore on the happy evening she met her husband Bruce in January 1968.
About ten years ago she decided not to leave the mini dress upstairs in the closet, but to wear it again on each of her wedding days.
She said it felt “a little fun” wearing the dress she wore the night the two met at an event in the suburbs of Moorabbin.
Yvonne Dite wears the Carla Zampatti dress on her honeymoon in Perth a few years after she bought it. (
Delivered: Yvonne Dite
After the couple fell in love, Ms. Dite said her husband told her not to throw away the dress.
Since then, with Ms. Dite, the dress has ventured from the cloakroom to locations around the world including Thailand and Sri Lanka.
The call from Carla: “I almost fell through the floor”
During a trip two years ago, she looked at the label that said “Zampatti” and decided to send a letter with the history of the dress with photos to the fashion label started by legendary Australian designer Carla Zampatti.
“About three weeks later the phone rang at around nine o’clock one morning,” said Ms. Dite.
“”[She said] “This is Carla Zampatti.”
“I almost fell through the floor.”
Ms. Dite said Ms. Zampatti was impressed that she still had one of her early designs from 1967 when she had just started.
Two years ago, Yvonne Dite examined the label of her dress and found that it had been designed by Carla Zampatti in the 1960s.
Delivered: Yvonne Dite
She said, “It’s customers like you who make my job worthwhile,” she said.
“I thought how wonderful she is a very busy woman and she took the time to call me in Melbourne.
“Unfortunately I only had one dress, I couldn’t afford more, but I still have it and I still try on it every January.”
Yvonne Dite wears her Carla Zampatti dress from the 1960s every year on her wedding anniversary. (
Delivered: Yvonne Dite
She said during the call, the fashion designer said she hoped Ms. Dite would keep wearing the dress for many upcoming anniversaries.
Ms. Dite shared her story Monday morning on ABC Melbourne’s radio talkback during a discussion of Ms. Zampatti’s death, aged 78, after suffering a serious fall.
Other listeners shared their experiences while overseeing the designer’s pieces for years.
One woman, Sue, said she had worn Carla Zampatti pieces for 40 years in her early 30s.
“I still have the first item, a beautiful quality pure wool sweater with a straight neck and small slits on the sides,” she said.
“I imagined that with skinny pants and flats I could look like Audrey Hepburn in them.
“I wore it 24 hours a day when I was in Russia 20 years ago.”
Another woman said she kept part of the cream Carla Zampatti dress she wore as a farewell gown after their wedding 39 years ago.
“I kept the sash for my daughter’s clothes, however [I’m] I now hope my daughter can incorporate it into her wedding dress, “she said.
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Since the fashion designer’s death, people across the country have honored her influence and business success for decades.
A state funeral will be held in New South Wales in her honor.
The talent to “transcend all generations”
Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said Ms. Zampatti has the ability to attract Australian women for any occasion.
“The most amazing thing about Carla was that she was still dressing the 17-year-old for her schooling while also dressing the mother of the bride,” Ms. McCann said.
“She has really crossed all generations”
Zampatti is hailed as an advocate for Australian women and a multicultural success. (
Instagram: Carla Zampatti
Ms. McCann said not many Australian brands have matched the longevity of Carla Zampatti’s designs.
“Vogue Australia is now 62 years old and she was the only designer to have been on every decade of our release as we looked back on our history,” she said.
Chief Executive Women, an organization that represents women in senior positions in various sectors, released a statement on Sunday identifying Ms. Zampatti as one of Australia’s “special people”.
“Her success as a businesswoman has paved the way for many other women, not just in the fashion industry,” the statement said.
“Her designs were worn by influential women in politics, business leaders, royalty and actors who empowered women who were associated with their brand both here in Australia and around the world.”