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July 18, 2024

Phantom Syntopia: Rolls Royce and Iris Van Herpen’s haute couture-inspired car

Arushi Sakhuja 
No matter whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, chances are when you see a magnificent Rolls Royce Phantom you would instantly be able to recognise the upscale mode. The beauty of the marque will leave you spellbound, but what catches one’s attention more is the Bespoke Collection.
Inspired by haute couture and luxury, after four years of meticulous designing on  March 7, Rolls Royce and Iris Van Herpen unveiled the new Phantom Syntopia (the newest addition to the Phantom Bespoke Collection). The first Phantoms were produced in 1925, and new models have been rolled out every couple of years since. In January 2020, the chief executive of Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Torsten Muller-Otvos announced that nearly all Rolls-Royces were bespoke creations. 
Phantom Syntopia  
Photo Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The arrival of the Phantom Syntopia is the most technically complex Bespoke Phantom ever produced with two luxury houses melding the worlds of automation and high fashion. “In collaborating with internationally renowned designer and Haute Couturière Iris van Herpen, we once again redraw the boundaries of innovation, craftsmanship and Bespoke possibility; not just for a motor car but across the wider luxury sector,” shares Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “For this special collaboration I was inspired by the concept of ‘Weaving Water’ and transformed the sense of being in moving into an immersive experience of fluidity inside the Phantom,” added the couturier. 
Adding to the aura of the collaboration, designer Iris van Herpen will also design a bespoke Haute Couture ensemble to complement the Phantom Syntopia. The sculptural design of the dress will feature the same Weaving Water themes explored in Phantom Syntopia’s Starlight Headliner. This one-of-a-kind garment is expected to take roughly six months to develop. “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 client’s individual measurements, just like every Rolls-Royce,” the designer added.
The name Phantom Syntopia is derived from Iris’ iconic 2018 collection, based on the principles of biomimicry, in which art is inspired by patterns and shapes found in nature. Similar to the collection, which features a number of sculpted garments brought to life through movement—Phantom Syntopia embodies the same fluidity through its ‘Weaving Water’ theme. 
The Phantom Syntopia elevates the Rolls Royce classic interiors to a whole new level with immersive sculptural elements and by reimagining the fragility of nature’s forms in a ‘perfectly engineered reality’. On opening the magnificent coach doors, the eye is immediately drawn to the Weaving Water Starlight Headliner, the most technically challenging version of this signature Rolls-Royce feature ever produced. It was crafted using a single sheet of flawless leather, selected from over 1,000 hides. The interior features three-dimensional textile sculptures that capture the essence of flowing water. The one-of-a-kind ‘Weaving Water’ Starlight Headliner is the most complex in Rolls-Royce history, the artwork for which was exclusively hand-crafted by specialists at the Home of Rolls-Royce and Iris van Herpen’s Amsterdam atelier. Precision cuts reveal a silver liquid metal texture that is made from the same woven nylon fabric used in Van Herpen’s ‘Embossed Sounds’ collection, giving the Headliner a three-dimensional appearance. Combining traditional haute couture techniques with innovative technical design, the themes are continuous throughout the car’s fascia. The Gallery, which spans the interior of the Phantom, includes 85 petals all handcrafted by Van Herpen’s team, amounting to almost 60 hours of work. 
pleating details
Photo Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
To pay tribute to Rolls-Royce’s heritage, the Phantom Syntopia dives back into an era where the driver’s seat was trimmed in hardwearing leather and the rear compartment in luxurious, inviting fabrics. The front seats of Phantom Syntopia are finished in Magic Grey leather, distinguished by its lustrous finish. 
On the outside, the car is painted with a stunning shimmering exterior that was developed with one-off Liquid Noir paint which is iridescent in the sunlight. It reveals purple, blue, magenta and gold undertones when viewed from different angles. To master this effect, the marque’s darkest solid-black paint is overlaid with a finish, incorporating a mirror-like pigment, selected for its colour-shifting properties. Additionally, upon close inspection, the car’s bonnet features a subtle rendering of the Weaving Water motif that is present throughout the interior, which is produced through careful redistribution of pigment during the finishing process. 
Phantom Syntopia  
Photo Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The car is the first Rolls-Royce to come with a bespoke scent made in collaboration with the clients of the machine. Rolls-Royce said in a statement that the Iris Van Herpen-designed Phantom Syntopia “will take its place in the clients’ private collection in May” and it will never be replicated. 
Details on the bonnet
Photo Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Photo Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
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Arushi Sakhuja


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