Bespoke Serenity PhantomDel Stewart

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has brought Serenity to this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, unveiling the new standard in authentic, bespoke luxury motoring to the world’s media.

Showcasing the tireless efforts of the Bespoke designers and craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood to “Take the best that exists and make it better,” Serenity introduces a completely new level of individualised luxury applied to a Rolls-Royce Phantom – already considered by owners and admirers alike to be “the Best Car in the World.”

Sir Henry Royce’s maxim, “When it does not exist, design it,” inspired the latest generation of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke designers to ask what wholly new approach to luxury would delight the most demanding and exacting people in the world – Rolls-Royce customers. Their answer came from Rolls-Royce’s deep understanding of the most precious, beautiful and natural materials.

Silk would prove to be the route to a new definition of luxury, one that guarantees every customer a canvas for completely unique design, every time.

The marque’s Bespoke Design team took inspiration from the opulent interiors of Rolls-Royces that have conveyed Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses and world leaders. Add to this, contemporary interpretations of furniture design combined with Japanese Royal robe motifs and Rolls-Royce designers have delivered a truly innovative, thoroughly modern and tranquil Rolls-Royce interior.

Delivering authentic modern luxury, Serenity reintroduces the finest of textiles – silk – to create the most opulent interior of any luxury car. This unique design demonstrates the levels of craftsmanship, creativity and attention to detail only Rolls-Royce Motor Cars can offer.

More than ever, Bespoke is Rolls-Royce.

The fabric of the ultimate Phantom
“Having revisited the history of the amazing interiors of the elite Rolls-Royce’s of the early 1900’s, we felt inspired to share this heritage with our new customers in a very contemporary way,” comments Giles Taylor, Director of Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The choice of Phantom for this project was obvious, but creating the motif that would define this most opulent and modern of automotive interiors would require considerable new expertise.

Cherica Haye and Michelle Lusby, both Textile Arts graduates from the Royal College of Art and Plymouth University respectively, joined Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Design department to help realise the direction of the core motif for this magnificent one-off Phantom.

“Some of the most opulent silk motifs come to us from the Orient, where imperial families’ and rich merchants’ robes were made from the finest silk materials,” comments Lusby.

The ultimate example of the most opulent robe design became the junihitoe, a highly complex handmade ‘twelve-layer robe’ of silk worn only by female Japanese courtiers. The colours and the arrangements of the layers were very important, with the colours given poetic names such as ‘crimson plum of the spring’.

In addition, during the Japanese Edo period (1615-1868), the merchant and artisan classes commissioned beautiful clothes to demonstrate their wealth and good taste. Clothing developed into a highly expressive means of personal display, an important indicator of rising affluence and aesthetic sensibility.

A new aesthetic known as iki, or elegant chic, meant anyone with real taste focussed on subtle details, whilst those with style and money found ways to circumvent rules that forbade the use of certain colours, such as red, by applying them to undergarments and linings.

“The rear compartment of a Phantom is the most tranquil, beautiful place to be, a place where time and the outside world simply slip past,” says Haye. “This tranquillity made us think of the Oriental tradition where Emperors would take to their private gardens to reflect in solitude under the blossom trees. The blossom motif is one that is cherished in Far Eastern culture and has been beautifully applied to Royal robe design over the centuries. We felt it was the perfect representation of tranquillity and serenity for a beautiful modern interior from Rolls-Royce.”