Nicole Kidman leads tributes as designer Carla Zampatti dies aged 78

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Nicole Kidman has led tributes to fashion designer Carla Zampatti following her death on Saturday.

The 78-year-old Australian icon passed away a week after being knocked unconscious when she fell on the steps at the opening night of the La Traviata opera at Sydney Harbour.

News of her death was confirmed on her official Instagram page on Saturday, in a post which read: "It's with great sadness that we announce the death of fashion icon Carla Zampatti AC today.

"Carla is Australia's most successful and enduring fashion designer, launching her eponymous label in 1965. Carla has long been celebrated for making Australian women feel confident and elegant through her exceptional design, tailoring and understanding of the modern woman."

Following the announcement of the tragic news, Kidman, who was told of Zampatti's death in Los Angeles, where she's working on a new film, told the Sydney Morning Herald: "It is with great sadness that I am hearing this news. She was a trailblazer and inspiration to all of us, female or male. We must respect her place in history, continue to talk of her and hold her close to us in memory of her creativity."

Meanwhile, Dannii Minogue paid tribute on Instagram, writing: "I am so sad to hear this news.I was so lucky to have met Carla. I have always been in awe of her style and the class she brought to Australian fashion. Condolences to her family and close friends."

Italian-born Carla settled in Australia with her family in 1950, and married twice. She's survived by three children - Alex Schuman, Allegra Spender, and Bianca Spender.