IF YOU TRY to think outside the box for a moment, Rolls-Royce would probably stand out as one of the automakers that is the automotive industry’s equivalent of a fashion company. The British company’s stylish creations often incorporate materials, colors and techniques that are unusual in the fashion industry.
The new Phantom Syntopia follows that trend and takes it to the next level. Rolls-Royce describes the vehicle you see in the gallery below as the most technically complex bespoke Phantom ever.
The vehicle was created following the Haute Couture fashion philosophy in collaboration with innovative fashion designer Iris van Herpen. For the uninitiated, Haute Couture is the process of creating exclusive, made-to-order high-end fashion designs, which first emerged in the mid-19th century when Paris slowly began to become the center of the world’s fashion industry.
This unique vehicle is based on the Phantom Extended, which Rolls-Royce describes as “the ultimate blank canvas for personalization,” and has been developed and built over the past four years.
This highly exclusive Phantom takes its name from Iris van Herpen’s collection for 2018, which was inspired by patterns and shapes found in nature.
The Phantom Syntopia follows the same overall design recipe, which focuses on the beauty of fluid motion in solid materials. Rolls-Royce calls this theme Weaving Water.
“For this special collaboration, I was inspired by the concept of ‘Weaving Water’ and transformed the sense of movement into an immersive experience of fluidity inside the Phantom. I wanted it to be a sophisticated experience overwhelmed by the power of nature. The Phantom’s powerful movements are woven into three-dimensional waves that shift inside the car to embody the ingenuity of nature,” says fashion designer Iris van Herpen.
The Weaving Water approach can be seen first when you open the door and look at the front end, which was the most technically challenging component of the Phantom Syntopia for its designers. This part is made using a single piece of leather selected from more than 1,000 hides.
The impressively precise symmetrical cuts were all done by hand and give the headliner a three-dimensional, fluid-like appearance. The process of applying the 162 delicate petals alone took van Herpen’s team nearly 300 hours at the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood.
Combining all the other operations of designing, preparing and building, the headliner involved around 700 hours of collective labor. Another very interesting detail is the design of the picnic table that reflects the Weaving Water theme on the Phantom’s front hood.
This unique finish was achieved by combining multiple coats of paint and varnish containing different amounts of glass particles.
The formula was refined over four months by the automaker’s Exterior Surface Center before it was ready to be applied to cars with nine trial versions made before finding the ideal proportion of glass particles. [sources/photo special]