Created exclusively for an American customer, this bespoke creation was developed in collaboration with couturiere Iris van Herpen.
Rolls-Royce has collaborated with Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen to produce its most bespoke Phantom build ever, dubbed the Syntopia. After a record 2022, that's no mean feat.
The one-of-one build was specially created for an American buyer and features innovative design flourishes that include three-dimensional textile sculptures that evoke the movement of flowing water. These are joined by a unique 'Weaving Water' Starlight Headliner, which the Goodwood-based automaker considers the most complex version of the feature it has ever created. As if those elements aren't special enough, the Phantom Syntopia is the first to feature a Bespoke scent, which is based on cedarwood and, adds Iris, hints of leather, rose from Patagonia, and a mild lemon. Finally, Iris van Herpen will design a one-off Haute Couture garment to match the car.
"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," said RR CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos. Van Herpen views her products similarly: "When I met the Bespoke Collective, I discovered that the world of Rolls-Royce is very similar to Haute Couture. Every garment I create is a one-off, tailor-made to my clients' individual measurements, just like every Rolls-Royce [...] On many levels, this collaboration was a natural symbiosis."
The name of the Phantom Syntopia is taken from van Herpen's 2018 collection, which "comprises a series of highly sculptural garments brought to life through movement."
Movement is clearly evident throughout the car, from the design of the paintwork to the stylish dash trim, which in Rolls-Royce vehicles is referred to as the Gallery.
The paint is just as exclusive as the car. Called Liquid Noir, the iridescent finish shows purple, blue, magenta, and gold tones, depending on the angle at which it is viewed. This effect is made possible by applying the brand's darkest solid-black paint as a base, with this overlaid "with a finish incorporating a mirror-like pigment" with color-shifting properties. Adding more drama is a brand-new application technique for adding pigment to the clearcoat, which took several months to perfect with more than 3,000 hours of testing validation. The finishing touch is the hood of the car, which has been painted with a subtle take on the Weaving Water motif seen in the cabin.
Inside, the Bespoke Starlight Headliner was made using a single sheet of blemish-free leather featuring precise symmetrical cuts that expose a silver 'liquid metal' texture made of woven fabric. This comes from the Couturiere's 'Embossed Sounds' Collection and gives the headliner a 3D effect, thanks to 162 petals made of glass organza applied to the car by van Herpen's team in a process that took almost 300 hours. After that was done, 187 of the 995 fiber optic 'stars' were placed by hand and are illuminated sequentially, starting at the rear and moving to the front. RR says the Headliner alone took nearly 700 hours to complete.
The Gallery adds another 85 petals as part of a process that took almost 60 hours to complete. The rear-seat picnic tables and the area below the Gallery ape the artwork of the hood, again with multiple coats of paint. Here, the paint was mixed with 0.9% glass particles before the Weaving Water design was applied with a clear coat mixed with 1.4% of shimmer, which took over three weeks to complete. The automaker's Exterior Surface Centre team reportedly spent four months perfecting the ratios and processes, running nine trials before coming to the ideal proportion of glass particles, which turned out to be exactly one tablespoon worth.
Combined with Magic Grey leather, the rear seats add a special silk-blend fabric with patterns inspired by light reflecting on water at night. Finally, the seats also boast the Weaving Water motif while the headrests release the Bespoke scent.
After four years of continuous development, Rolls says it will never repeat anything to mimic this, but you can be sure other highly-intensive Bespoke creations will follow.
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