Iris Van Herpen and Rolls Royce Collaborate on Haute Couture Inspired Phantom Syntopia

After four years of meticulous designing and testing, Rolls Royce and Iris Van Herpen unveil the Phantom Syntopia, the newest addition to the Phantom Bespoke Collection.

No matter how limited your knowledge of cars may be, chances are you would recognize a Rolls Royce Phantom if it was in front of you. You would at least be able to appreciate how upscale the vehicle is. The first Phantoms were produced in 1925, and new models have been rolled out every couple of years since. The most recent addition to the Phantom family, the Phantom Eighth Generation, was unveiled in 2017, and minimum retail price is $450,000. In January 2020, chief executive of Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Torsten Muller-Otvosannounced that nearly all Rolls-Royces were bespoke creations. Meaning, in simple terms, that the cars could now be customized and tailored to the needs and tastes of each individual customer. These customizations add several thousand dollars to the already hefty price of the car, but have driven the brand to record car sales. People love to make things their own.

On Tuesday, March 7th, Rolls Royce announced the arrival of the Phantom Syntopia, “the most technically complex Bespoke Phantom ever produced” made in collaboration with haute couture brand Iris Van Herpen. The two luxury houses are melding the worlds of automation and high fashion to create the most complex commission ever undertaken by the Rolls Royce Bespoke Collective. The Phantom Syntopia will soon take its place in the private collection of discerning patrons of the brand.

Rolls Royce and Iris Van Herpen were a match made in heaven. Both luxury houses who specialize in innovative, one-off custom creations for customers around the world, it was truly a meeting of the minds. The Phantom Syntopia takes its name from the landmark collection by Iris Van Herpen in 2018 of the same name. The collection was designed with the principles of biomimicry, where art is inspired by the shapes and patterns found in nature, in mind. The Phantom Syntopia elevates the Rolls Royce classic interior to a whole new level with immersive sculptural elements and by reimagining the fragility of nature’s forms in a “perfectly engineered reality.”

Undeniable beauty aside, this car also promotes fantastical technological components that should not go unnoted. The exterior of the vehicle is covered in a one-off Liquid Noir paint, which at first appears to simply be a midnight black, but in sunlight reveals iridescent hues of purple, blue, magenta, and gold. 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. 

The car’s interior boasts magnificent features that were co-created in a creative and technical collaboration between Rolls Royce and Iris Van Herpen. Many of the interior elements were handcrafted in a joint effort with leading craftsmen at Rolls Royce and members of Van Herpen’s team. The Weaving Water Starlight Headliner is the most technically innovating version of the signature feature ever produced, crafted using a single sheet of leather selected from over 1000 hides. 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 highly expressive 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.

To make this partnership a full high fashion experience, Iris Van Herpen will design a one-off couture garment especially for the clients of this commission. 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 of pattern development, designing, embroidery, and petal crafting and applying.

The Phantom Syntopia will take its place in the commissioning client’s private collection in May, and, as a true one-off commission, Rolls Royce has ruled that it will never be replicated.

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