The only sex symbol Britain has produced since Lady GodivaI’m not sure I agree with this statement, but I applaud the brassy candour with which it was delivered. The words are attributed to the late Diana Dors who would have celebrated her 86th birthday this week. Busty, blonde and beautiful with the kind of adorable chubby cheeks more usually seen on cherubs in Italian frescoes. Diana was a symbol of lush, voluptuous allure, perfect for a bleak Britain in recovery from the war. She was consigned to roles that flaunted her looks, and attracted gossip column inches that focussed upon her poor romantic choices; so far, so Marilyn! However, Diana began her film career long before Marilyn, as a 14 year old contract player with the Rank Organisation. Although a tragically underused dramatic actress (the marvellous ‘Yield to the Night’ was a notable exception), she wasn’t one to bemoan or reject the cheesecake roles that became her trademark.

Where Marilyn fought the blonde bombshell typecasting, Diana not only cheerfully accepted the roles and public personae thrust upon her, she actively encouraged it. Multiple autobiographies were published, each with a soft-focus cover shot featuring a good few inches of cheeky cleavage. She may not be the only British sex symbol since Lady Godiva, as she claimed, but she was quintessentially and deliciously British. Sassy and brazen, certainly, but delivered with a warm honesty; she was the girl next door and the girl of your dreams at the very same time.

Diana said, “I’m the kind of girl that things naturally happen to. When they don’t, I give them a little push.” In other words, seize every opportunity, make the best of every situation and aim high. I can’t think of a better role model for right now, but if you need help overcoming that native British reserve, just wriggle into your favourite frock and put your best foot forward. A cheeky little number like our very own ‘There’s Something About Kitty’ dress should help. 100% British all the way – from design and tailoring to manufacture. Made with exquisite quality black luxe crepe and sumptuous faux snow leopard detail you’ll look as hot as Diana and be a lot warmer than Lady Godiva.