Tamara Ecclestone, covering the F1 season for Sky Sports Italia, talks about her fashion influences and her Abu Dhabi Grand Prix outfits.
'My mother has been a huge style influence'
When I was young, I loved watching my mother [former model Slavica Ecclestone] getting ready for dinner. She always looked really glamorous and amazing. I just wanted to wear jeans and dungarees, but mum tried to dress me in all these beautiful dresses and I can remember saying, "No, I'm not wearing that, get it off me!" So I was a real tomboy, but in my early teens something changed and I became obsessed with borrowing her clothes and wearing make-up.
Mum had all these great clothes and accessories from her modelling days in Milan, including vintage Louis Vuitton handbags, which thankfully she hoarded and never threw away. She was always honest with me and if I went through a phase of applying too much make-up she would always remind me that less is more. She is quite a bit taller than me and although we can share most clothes now, we can't share shoes because her feet are bigger than mine, which is so annoying.
My first proper party dress was a red strapless gown designed by Neil Cunningham for the Crillon Ball in Paris. He was a lovely person to work with and it was my first couture dress. I chose a London-based designer so I didn't have to fly to Paris for fittings and take time off school. I was only 15 and I remember wearing a tiara on the night. It was one of those real princess moments. I started choosing my own clothes a bit later in my teens when there's always that issue with fathers. Dad would often say, "you can't wear that", or, "you're too young, it's too revealing". My dad really hates red lipstick, even on my mother, so I would often put make-up in my handbag and apply more when I arrived at a party.
Today, I very rarely wear bright lipstick and I like nude lips and stronger eyes. I love MAC eyeshadows because they do the greatest colours and I wear Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser as it's so easy to apply. As a teenager, I shopped a lot in my mum's wardrobe and I also got an allowance. It wasn't huge and, looking back, it was really good fun buying an outfit that was both inexpensive and fabulous. On Saturdays, my parents would often drop me at Topshop and I'd spend the day with my girlfriends shopping for a dress to wear to a party that evening. I guess fashion and shopping is something all young girls love and it's a natural part of growing up.
I started making my own money on a regular basis when I was 20 and worked for the Red Bull Air Race and Channel 4. I remember after signing the contract with Sky Sports that I saved for a whole year and bought myself a gold Rolex watch. It is probably the most extravagant thing that I own other than my house and car. I'm proud of the fact that I bought it myself and I wear it always - it's like a milestone.
While my mother has been a huge style influence, I've also been inspired by glamorous women such as Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. But, in general, I try not to model myself on others. I think if you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, then that will really come across. It's really important to learn what works for you and I now buy classic, timeless pieces from designers such as Stella McCartney, Chloé and smaller American labels, including Rebecca Taylor, Milly and Tibi. I don't like wearing designer brands from head to toe, so I also shop at French Connection, Topshop and Zara.
I love playing around with accessories and currently I like Miu Miu for bags and shoes - I have to admit I have a bit of a weakness for shoes. A good belt also shows off your waist and I found an amazing black patent Fendi belt recently, which I wear all the time. I don't wear my hair up very often, but if I do then a pair of fabulous earrings can really make an outfit. I wear lots of little gold chain bracelets that people have given me over the years, which I never take off and are very me. I was so happy to be asked to be the brand ambassador for Moussaieff. I think the jewellery is amazing and it's great to be able to wear their designs. The coloured diamonds are my favourites, especially the pink and blue cocktail rings.
I'm not into vintage shopping. I don't know if it's because I don't really have time to browse or rummage or if it's because I'm just spoilt for choice with my mother's wardrobe. My younger sister and I are total opposites in terms of style. She's quite bohemian, but I love shopping with her as she is so honest and always picks things for me that I probably wouldn't have selected myself. I like to look after my things and I'm not one of those people who will come home and just drop everything on the floor. I have a walk-in wardrobe where everything has its place. I'm a bit of a neat freak. At a certain point I go through all my things and I'm really happy when my family or friends like something that I no longer want.
For my trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, I bought a really cute purple maxi dress with a halter neck from T-Bags. I also packed loads of lightweight throws and shawls to wear with dresses. The grand prix starts at 5pm so hopefully it won't be too hot, but I love the heat so I won't be complaining. I visited the Yas Marina track back in March and it was just so impressive. It's literally like nothing I've seen before. It's very exciting that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the last of the season. It will finish on a real high and promises to be a spectacular show.
Due to technical difficulties, the TV grid will return tomorrow.