Tuesday 7th December 2021
Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page

 


Silk comes to Rolls-Royce. Image by Rolls-Royce.

Silk comes to Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce finds a more luxurious material than leather...
<< earlier Rolls-Royce article     later Rolls-Royce article >>

 


News homepage -> Rolls-Royce news

What's this then?

This is the Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity, a concept to show off exactly how luxurious the interior of Rolls' massive saloon can actually be. Usually seen swathed in leather and studded with wood (and even jewels) the interior of the Phantom Serenity uses a material not normally seen on the inside of a car; silk.

"Having revisited the history of the amazing interiors of the elite Rolls-Royces of the early 1900s, 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."

Rolls sourced its silk from China, the source of some of the best quality thread around, and then shipped it to a textile mill in Essex where it was painstakingly woven into 140-thread-per-inch cloth. It took two full days to weave just 10 metres.

The style of painting employed in the design of the Serenity silk is a centuries-old technique known as 'unconscious painting'. Much of Japanese painting technique is learned through very fine and detailed rendering of classical forms within nature; branches, leaves, flowers, bamboo etc.

The work can be painstaking with the same form rendered again and again. The purpose of this repetition is to imbue in the artist an innate understanding of these natural forms until their balance and nature is understood without thought.

In order to paint a calm and beautiful image the artist must be calm of mind. Mood becomes all-important, as it will influence the balance and mood of the work. A meditative state results where the brush can flow freely in the artist's hand - a state of 'unconscious painting'. So, in preparing to paint the panels for Serenity, the serene state of mind was all important. The branches needed to have life, movement, spontaneity - but with grace and calm.

"From renaissance times to the modern day, eminent people have surrounded themselves with rare fabrics such as silk to signify their power and position in society, whether at home or on the move," explains Giles Taylor, Director of Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "In the early 20th Century, as closed Rolls-Royces replaced luxurious carriages, these opulent fabrics began travelling with their owners in the rear compartments of the world's finest motor cars."

As discerning customers in the early 1900s moved from horse drawn carriage to motorcar, the style for many of their luxury automobiles was the Sedanca de Ville. With open cockpits, chauffeurs continued to sit on leather, a naturally robust material suited to exposure to the elements. However, luxurious fabrics remained the upholstery of choice for the occupants of the rear compartment.

Only when automotive leather became more refined did patrons of the prestigious marques accept it as a luxury material. At the same time, the increasing availability of artificial fabrics to the wider car industry meant that leather was seen as a luxury, and the best leather, the ultimate luxury. Today, only the finest hides make it into a Rolls-Royce.

"The desire for the finest, most opulent fabrics endures amongst the cognoscenti around the world, including many Rolls-Royce owners," continues Taylor. "The thought that fabrics such as silk have been discounted from use because of their delicacy only spurred us on to go further than any other car maker is capable of doing. The result is Serenity."

Fancy it on the inside of your new Rolls-Royce? You have only to ask and Rolls' Bespoke Division will oblige. And if sir has to ask, then sir can doubtless not afford...



Neil Briscoe - 3 Mar 2015

Earlier articles featuring 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom

2014-10-04: Phantom Metropolitan is no urban myth


2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.

2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.2015 Rolls-Royce Bespoke Serenity Phantom. Image by Rolls-Royce.









www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com    - Rolls-Royce road tests
- Rolls-Royce news
- Phantom images






All-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre coming in 2023. Image by Rolls-Royce.
Rolls raises Spectre of EV
British luxury firm previews the model that will spearhead its electric vehicle roll-out.
 
Rolls-Royce gathers whole range in Geneva. Image by Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce gathers whole range in Geneva
Bespoke and Black Badge products dominate Rolls-Royce show of strength.
Rolls-Royce takes Cullinan to Monterey. Image by Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce takes Cullinan to Monterey
The 'Rolls-Royce of SUVs' will form centrepiece of large Bespoke collection display in California.

 
 215 Racing
 9ff
 A. Kahn Design
 Abarth
 Abt
 AC Cars
 AC Schnitzer
 Acura
 Alfa Romeo
 Alpina
 Alpine
 Amari
 APS Sportec
 Arash
 Arden
 Ares
 Ariel
 Arrinera
 Artega
 Ascari
 Aston Martin
 Atalanta
 Atomik
 Audi
 Austin
 Auto Union
 Autodelta
 Autofarm
 Autosport
 AVA
 Avatar
 Axon
 Aznom
 BAC
 BAIC
 Bentley
 Bertone
 Bloodhound
 Bluebird
 BMW
 Bosch
 Bowler
 Brabham
 Brabus
 Breckland
 Bridgestone
 Brilliance
 Bristol
 Bugatti
 Buick
 Burton
 BYD
 Cadillac
 Callaway
 Caparo
 Capstone
 Carlsson
 Caterham
 CCG
 Chang'an
 Changfeng
 Chevrolet
 Chevron
 Chongfeng
 Chrysler
 Citroen
 Climax
 Connaught
 Cooper Tires
 Corvette
 Cummins
 Cupra
 Dacia
 Daewoo
 Daihatsu
 Daimler
 Dartz
 Datsun
 David Brown
 David Brown Automotive
 DDR
 De Tomaso
 Delta
 Detroit Electric
 Devon
 Dodge
 Donkervoort
 Drayson
 DS
 Eagle
 Eagle E-type
 EDAG
 edo competition
 Eterniti
 Evisol
 Exagon
 FAB Design

 
 Factory Five
 Faralli & Mazzanti
 Fenix
 Fenomenon
 Ferrari
 Fiat
 Fisker
 Ford
 G-Power
 Geely
 Gemballa
 General Motors
 Ginetta
 Giugiaro
 Glickenhaus
 GMC
 Goodwood
 Google
 Gordon Murray
 Gordon Murray Design
 Gray Design
 Great Wall
 GTA
 GTM
 Gumpert
 Hamann
 Hartge
 HBH
 Heffner Performance
 Hennessey
 HERE
 Holden
 Honda
 Hulme
 Hummer
 Hyundai
 I.D.E.A
 Icona
 IFR
 Infiniti
 Ionity
 Isis
 JAC
 Jaguar
 Jeep
 Jensen
 Jetstream
 JJAD
 Joss Developments
 Kahn
 Kamala
 Keating
 Kia
 Koenigsegg
 KTM
 Kumho
 Lada
 Lagonda
 Lamborghini
 Lancia
 Land Rover
 Lexus
 Liberty
 Lightning
 Lincoln
 Lister
 Loma Performance
 Lorinser
 Lotus
 LupiniPower
 Luxgen
 Mahindra
 Mansory
 Maserati
 Mastretta
 Maybach
 Mazda
 McLaren
 Mercedes
 Mercedes-AMG
 Mercedes-Benz
 Mercedes-Maybach
 Mercury
 Metrocab
 MG
 Michelin
 MINI
 Mitsubishi
 MMI
 Monte Carlo
 Mopar
 Morgan
 Mosler
 MTM
 NAC MG
 Nissan
 NLV

 
 Noble
 Novitec
 Opel
 Overfinch
 Pagani
 Perodua
 Peugeot
 Piaggio
 Pininfarina
 Polestar
 Pontiac
 Porsche
 Preview
 Prodrive
 Project Runningblade
 Project Velocity
 Proton
 Protoscar
 Qoros
 Radical
 Range Rover
 Red Bull
 Renault
 Reva
 Rimac
 Rinspeed
 RoadRazer
 Rolls-Royce
 Ronn Motor Company
 Rover
 RUF
 Saab
 SAIC
 Saleen
 Saturn
 Scagliarini
 SCG
 Scion
 SDR Sportscars
 SEAT
 Sin
 Singer
 Skoda
 Smart
 Soleil
 Spada
 speedArt
 Sportec
 Spyker
 SRT
 Ssangyong
 SSC
 Startech
 STaSIS
 Subaru
 Suzuki
 Suzusho
 TAD
 Tamiya
 Tata
 Techart
 Tesla
 THINK
 Thunder Power
 Tojeiro
 Tommy Kaira
 TomTom
 Toray
 Toyota
 Trabant
 TranStar
 Trident
 Tushek
 TVR
 UKCOTY
 Vanda Electrics
 Vauxhall
 Velozzi
 Vencer
 Venturi
 Veritas
 Vizualtech
 VL Automotive
 Volkswagen
 Volvo
 VUHL
 Webasto
 Westfield
 Wiesmann
 Xenatec
 Yamaha
 Zagato
 Zarooq
 Zenos
 Zenvo



 
 






External links:   | Irish Car Market News |

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2021 ©