Simpson has been credited with the diabolically Marie Antoinette–esque remark, “A woman can never be too rich or too thin

The lifestyle has caught on uptown: Her eponymous catering company has supplied organic vegan food for such fastidious fashionistas as Diane von Furstenberg, Valentino Garavani, and Donna Karan

” But while that might be her most famous diet-related bon mot, it’s not her best. She is also reputed to have said to her future husband, one night when he was weighing giving up the crown: “Darling, you can’t abdicate and eat it.”

San Francisco, 1942: The socialite Irma Schlesinger puts her chubby 12-year-old daughter on a diet. The girl, the future Nan Kempner, promptly takes up smoking as an appetite suppressant. (She opts for Parliaments, her mother’s brand.) Kempner-along with pals like Pat Buckley (both women are pictured up top alongside Wallis Simpson)-goes on to inspire the term “social X-ray,” coined by Tom Wolfe in his 1987 satire of Manhattan manners, Bonfire of the Vanities, to describe the city’s skeletal social set. Weiterlesen