One-off Phantom model features an interior swathed in Chinese silk, rare smoked cherrywood, mother of pearl, bamboo and arctic white leather

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity, revealed today at the Geneva motor show, is a one-off show car to highlight the work of the British manufacturer’s bespoke design department.

The Phantom Serenity has an oriental theme and is inspired by the “amazing interiors of the elite Rolls-Royce’s of the early 1900s”, according to director of design Giles Taylor. The concept also celebrates “the historical role played by silk as a symbol of regal and imperial power”.

The Goodwood-based firm’s design team has taken design cues from contemporary interpretations of European furniture combined with Japanese Royal Kimono designs for the one-off show car.

The Phantom cabin features China-sourced hand-woven silk adorned with hand-painted crimson blossoms. In addition to the silk upholstery, the Phantom’s interior features rare smoked cherrywood, mother of pearl, bamboo cross-banding and arctic white leather.

Bespoke mother of pearl paint that is the most expensive one-off paint ever developed by Rolls-Royce, applied in a three-stage pearl effect and then hand-polished for 12 hours.

Two parasols featuring the Serenity motif are held by bespoke leather loops incorporated into the boot lid.

A two-colour coachline with three colour blossom motif adorns the Serenity's exterior and echoes the interior. It has been applied by the squirrel-hair brush of Rolls-Royce's coachline expert, Mark Court.

Cherica Haye and Michelle Lusby, Textile Arts graduates from the Royal College of Art and Plymouth University respectively, joined Rolls-Royce’s bespoke design department to work on the motif of the Phantom Serenity.

The bespoke team sourced silk from Suzhou, China, a town renowned for its creation of imperial embroidery, and had it hand-dyed by Chinese craftspeople.

It was then transported to one of Britain’s oldest mills, based in Essex, to be hand-woven into ten metres of the fabric – enough to clothe the interior of Serenity – in a process that took two days.

The numerous colours of silk thread were blended into a warp which has 140 threads per centimetre to result in the 'Smoke Green' colour of the underlying silk fabric. 

Once prepared, the silk was transferred to London where the blossom motif designed by Haye and Lusby was embroidered onto it. The final touch was the detailed petal by petal hand-painting of crimson blossoms directly onto the silk.

One-off commissions are making up an increasingly significant part of Rolls-Royce’s business, with 85% of its cars now commissioned with some level of bespoke content.

“Celebrating the historical role played by silk as a symbol of ultimate elegance, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke Design team has created a magnificent one-off Phantom which will set a new benchmark for luxury individualisation in the motor industry, and reaffirm that Bespoke is Rolls-Royce," said the company's chief executive, Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

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Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Phantom

The Rolls-Royce Phantom comes with opulence befitting its huge price tag. It is the benchmark for ride quality

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