The luxury automotive industry sees a bespoke piece that has been touched by haute couture, while having all the hallmarks of a Rolls-Royce.
March 9, 2023: It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that the Rolls-Royce Phantom Syntopia is one of the most marvelous cars to ever exist. Given that the brand will never replicate the design, the car is a bespoke piece par excellence - something truly rare to come across. For this Phantom Extended, Rolls-Royce collaborated with Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen.
Inspired by the concept of “Weaving Water”, the car strives to bring an “immersive experience of fluidity” inside the Phantom. Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says, “Phantom Syntopia is the most ambitious, singular and highly bespoke Phantom we have ever created, and a clear statement of Rolls-Royce’s standing as a true luxury house.”
The luxury car gets its name from Iris van Herpen's landmark 2018 collection, designed on the principles of biomimicry in which art is inspired by patterns and shapes found in nature. It's not every day in the automotive industry that two luxury houses collaborated to create a collectible which transcends every boundary of innovation and ingenuity. Which is why it's absolutely understandable that the brand took four years to complete this unique masterpiece.
The interior suite is as revolutionary as Ms. Herpen’s haute couture garments. The highlight is the Weaving Water Starlight Headliner crafted using a single sheet of flawless leather, selected from over 1,000 hides. Precise symmetrical cuts reveal a silver ‘liquid metal’ texture made from woven nylon fabric underneath, used in Iris van Herpen’s ‘Embossed Sounds’ collection, giving the Headliner a three-dimensional appearance. It is finished with 162 delicate petals made of glass organza. In addition, 187 of the 995 sparkling fiberoptic ‘stars’ were individually placed by hand alongside the artwork to cleverly create a feeling of movement. In total, the Headliner alone involved almost 700 hours of work.
The driver's seat was trimmed in leather and the rear compartment in luxurious, inviting fabrics. The front seats of Phantom Syntopia are finished in Magic Grey leather while the rear seats are covered with silk-blend fabric. The seats are quilted with a Weaving Water motif, inspired by a tufting technique to get a three-dimensional depth while achieving a smooth, seamless, uninterrupted surface.
Jonathan Simms, General Manager, Bespoke, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “Phantom Syntopia is the most technically complex commission we have ever created and it was an exceptional experience to work alongside and collaborate with the incredible team at Iris van Herpen's atelier.”
The car is not only the first one to have its own bespoke scent (with notes of cedarwood, iris, leather, Patagonia rose and mild lemon), but it also has its own scent releasing mechanism housed within the headrests. It includes innovative materials initially used in the field of medicine to ensure a long-lasting sensory experience.
For the exterior of the car, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective developed a one-off Liquid Noir paint which took more than 3,000 hours of testing and validation. Shimmery in sunlight, it reveals purple, blue magenta and gold undertones.
Iris van Herpen for Rolls-Royce Phantom Syntopia.
Transforming the luxurious drive into a mesmerizing haute couture experience, Ms. Herpen will design a one-off garment – echoing the Weaving Water theme – especially for the clients of this vehicle. The car will find its place in the clients’ private collection in May.
- By Pritha Debroy