Home / Social media / Cars / The one-off Rolls-Royce Phantom Syntopia by Iris van Herpen is a Haute Couture-inspired masterpiece


Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Phantom Syntopia, its latest, and most technically complex, bespoke commission to date, which explains why it’s a one-of-one. The collaboration with Dutch fashion designer and haute couturier Iris van Herpen is based on the principles of biomimicry, representing the elusive, ethereal beauty of fluid motion in solid materials through its “Weaving Water” theme. To create the shimmering exterior that may well cost more money than I make in a year yet still looks like it was destined for an 80s speedboat patrolling Miami marinas, the Bespoke Collective developed a one-off Liquid Noir paint. Liquid Noir paint. Iridescent in sunlight, the paint shows purple, blue, magenta and gold undertones depending on the angle of view and the lighting. To get this effect, Rolls-Royce’s darkest solid-black paint was overlaid with a finish incorporating a mirror-like pigment, selected for its colour-shifting properties. To add the shimmer, the team developed a new technique for applying pigment to the clearcoat – a process that took several months, including over 3,000 hours of testing and validation alone. To further enhance this paint, Syntopia’s bonnet features a subtle rendering of the Weaving Water motif that appears throughout the interior, too. The car will soon be added to a private collection of Rolls-Royce patrons. Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, called the Phantom Syntopia “a clear statement of Rolls-Royce’s standing as a true luxury house” and praised the collaboration with Iris van Herpen as a natural symbiosis.

Phantom Syntopia’s interior suite incorporates magnificent features created in collaboration with Rolls-Royce and Iris and these include a Weaving Water Starlight Headliner that took nearly 300 hours to complete - it takes just over 20 hours to build a complete Volkswagen GTi. In addition, 187 of the 995 sparkling fiberoptic ‘stars’ were individually placed by hand alongside the artwork; illuminating sequentially, starting from the rear and moving to the front, they create a feeling of movement. In total, the entire Headliner alone involved almost 700 collective hours of work. Can you imagine that bill when charging by the hour? It’s no wonder it's a one-of-one car. “Phantom Syntopia is the most ambitious, singular and highly Bespoke Phantom we have ever created, and a clear statement of Rolls-Royce’s standing as a true luxury house. Building on two decades of joint undertakings with the world’s most celebrated design houses, artists, horologists and jewellers, Phantom Syntopia secures Phantom’s standing as the ultimate blank canvas for Bespoke personalisation. In collaborating with internationally renowned designer and Haute Couturière Iris van Herpen, we once again redraw the boundaries of innovation, craftsmanship and Bespoke possibility; not just for a motor car but across the wider luxury sector.” says Torsten. 

“For this special collaboration, I was inspired by the concept of ‘Weaving Water’ and transformed the sense of being in movement into an immersive experience of fluidity inside the Phantom. I wanted this to become a state-of-the-art experience being overwhelmed by the forces of nature. The powerful movement of the Phantom is woven into the shifting three-dimensional waves inside the car to embody the ingenuity of nature. When I met the Bespoke Collective, I discovered that the world of Rolls-Royce is very similar to Haute Couture. Every garment I create is a one-off, tailor-made to my clients’ individual measurements, just like every Rolls-Royce. My clients come to our atelier in Amsterdam for fittings, just as Rolls-Royce clients are invited to Goodwood throughout the design and craft process. On many levels, this collaboration was a natural symbiosis.” comments Dutch designer Iris van Herpen.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off the behind-the-scenes things and inspiration that resulted in this amazing one-off Rolls-Royce Phantom that epitomises Haute Couture and the inspiration that the motoring world can draw from the world of fashion design: Reinventing Haute Couture: Iris van Herpen | Rolls-Royce Inspiring Greatness | Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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