Rolls-Royce have once again shown that bespoke cars are their bread and butter, but whoever commissioned the newest Phantom Syntopia either loves high concept art or are some kind of supervillain. Though, the two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive.
According to Rolls-Royce’s marketing, this one-of-one commission is a “symbiosis of nature, art, and science brought to life through sculptural movement.” This philosophy has been implemented by haute couture designer, Iris van Herpen. The term Syntopia is actually derived from one van Herpen’s 2018 collections that focused on highly sculpted garments that were given life through movement.
This has been made most plain on the three-dimensional Weaving Water Headliner. This is a reimagining of the signature Rolls-Royce Starlight Headliner, and it was created using an arrangement of 162 glass organza petals woven into a delicate sheet of silver metallic fabric. Of all the leather options for the headliner, just a single piece was selected from 1,000 hides as the most beautiful and unmarred.
This whole Headliner was part of a long four-year process of development until they reached a result they were happy with. It took 300 hours to make an attach the glass petals, and overall, 700 hours were spent making this Headliner.
This isn’t the only aspect of the car that a stupid amount of time was spent on. The gallery on the dash took 60 hours. That’s a long time, but it pales in comparison to the 3,000 hours spent on testing and validation for the paint. The paint has a unique aspect achieved through a pure black base with an overlay of mirror-like pigment in the clearcoat. This will reflect light in gold, magenta, purple, and blue depending on the angle you view it from.
Iris van Herpen said that he “was inspired by the concept of ‘Weaving Water’ and transformed the sense of being in movement into an immersive experience of fluidity. I wanted this to become a state-of-the-art experience being overwhelmed by the forces of nature.”
This extends to the rear seats which were designed using a silk-blend to evoke light reflecting on water at nightfall. In the provided pictures, you can definitely see this in play and the longer you look at the Headliner, the more it takes you in.
Despite Rolls-Royce’s boss, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, calling it the “most ambitious, singular, and highly Bespoked Phantom” they have ever created, you can’t help but feel it was Jared Leto’s “Joker” who commissioned it. Which for most people who saw Suicide Squad (2016), isn’t a good thing.
For more, check out the incredibly rare Ferrari Enzo up for auction.