Rodena Waldmann Blog

Bathing in Budapest: Empress Sisi    


A BRIEF HISTORY OF WHERE BEAUTY MEETS INSANITY Empress Elizabeth ("Sisi") was technically minor Bavarian aristocracy who married into the Austrian royal family. However, she was Empress of the Austro-Hungarian empire and felt an enormous affinity towards the Hungarian people. For these reasons, she was very much considered an adopted Hungarian. She was also a certifiable nutcase. As a nutcase and demi Hungarian, I feel we have a love connection. It's mostly the nutcase part that seals the deal. In fact, as a child, her father and fellow nutcase sat her down and told  his darling daughter that if "you and I had not been princely born, we could have performed in the circus." Who can't relate to that? Certainly I am not princely born, yet I strongly feel that...

Bathing in Budapest: Beauty    


THE DAILY FACIAL Hungarian woman are known for their frequent visits to the facialist. I generally prefer to do my own facials, enjoying the therapeutic/ritualistic aspect of it. I also enjoy not spending $200 to have someone rub my face unless it involves fancy machines I don't have at home. However, in Hungary facials are fairly cheap and viewed as a regular maintenance, rather than luxury, issue. Hungarian women are also rather, um, vain and prize looking good even when money is tight. I'm sure the historical tradition of the bathhouse as social meeting place has also impacted the view of the spa as an integrated part of daily life. So, from this fairly small country comes a fairly large beauty industry. Beauty is serious business in Budapest and the...

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Inspiration: Bathing in Budapest    


DAILY DETOX AT THE GYOGYFURDO Budapest, "the world's spa capital", is renowned for its significant thermal water reserve. The earth's crust in the Carpathian Basin is very thin, allowing waters to rise easily to the surface, thus yielding more thermal springs in Budapest than in any other capital in the world. In fact, the Romans colonized Budapest as the capitol of Aquincum due in large part to the extensive thermal springs populating the region.  When the Huns invaded Hungary, bathing fell out of favor. Europeans during the middle ages were not tremendous fans of soap and water. In fact, Isabella of Castille boasted in her old age that she had bathed only twice in her life, once on the night before her wedding and once again prior to her coronation....

Inspiration: Print on Print    


HOUSE OF HACKNEY Javvy Royle and Frieda Gormley, married couple and founders of new interior brand 'House of Hackett', epitomize the print heavy eclecticism popular in late 60s design and re-emerging with young, "maximalist" designers. The duo, inspired by traditional British brands such as Colefax and Fowler, seek to re-invigorate the classic British bric-a-brac aesthetic in an extensive array of homeware products ranging from wallpaper to fine bone china.  Editor of Elle Decoration, Michelle Ogundheim describe's the pair's work as "mad cap and wonderful...epitomi[zing] something that has been missing from interiors for quite a while." The couple come from a background in fashion, Royle having been a product designer, and Gormley a former buyer for Topshop. "It goes back to outfit building," says Gormley, who regards each aspect of the...

Inspiration: Building Roots in Bombay