by Tony West
This week the Rolls-Royce Bespoke design team unveiled the one-off Serenity Phantom at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. Two young, female, textile design prodigies, Cherica Haye and Michelle Lusby are responsible for this stunning display of regal beauty.
The Serenity Phantom is like no other Phantom I’ve seen. It has a Mother of Pearl shimmering exterior and silk lined interior that pays homage to the Emperors of the Orient with striking hand-crafted artistry. The rear of the new Serenity displays a blossom motif- the same design applied to royal robes of the Far East.
In order to create this totally one-off bolt of silk for Serenity, the Bespoke team looked to Suzhou, China, the town renowned for its creation of imperial embroidery. The team sourced the unspun silk thread and had it hand-dyed by the Chinese craftspeople who have been creating beautiful silks for centuries.
The 10 meters of fabric used to cloth the interior of the Serenity was blended with other silk threads to create a Smoke Green color of the fabric. Once prepared, the plain Smoke Green silk was transferred to London where the blossom motif designed by Haye and Lusby – a uniquely modern take on centuries-old silk Chinoiserie – began to flourish across the fabric as British and Chinese craftspeople embroidered their vision of copper-colored branches and white petals.
The final touch was the detailed petal by petal hand-painting of crimson blossoms directly onto the silk. The resulting panels and swatches that have formed the centrepiece of Serenity took up to 600 hours of work per panel.
Taking its cue from the world of modern furniture design, the rear occupants’ elevated and powerful seating position has been accentuated with the valances of the seats made from rare Smoked Cherrywood. Smoked Cherrywood adorns the Serenity’s door cappings, dash fascia and rear center console, and is further embellished with Bamboo cross-banding.
In addition, the blossom motif from the silk is recreated through the finest marquetry on the rear door cappings through the use of Mother of Pearl, which is laser-cut and hand-applied, petal by petal into the wood. Mother of Pearl is also used for the face of Bespoke Serenity’s clock and the driver’s instrument dials. This Mother of Pearl face is etched with concentric circles redolent of the raked gravel seen in Japanese gardens, and is inlaid with hand-applied rubies which echo the colour of the hand-painted flowers in the silk lining.
Continuing the theme of ultimate luxury, the luggage compartment of Serenity is lined in Arctic White leather with an Arctic White carpet.
As a final touch, two parasols featuring the Serenity motif are held by Bespoke leather loops incorporated into the boot lid.
Along with a striking new interior, the Serenity Phantom will have the usual premium features like LED headlamps and tail lamps, a new front and rear bumper with a polished stainless steel highlight.
The interior features 3D navigation, 360 camera, a chrome rotary controller, and a larger LCD display.
The Serenity Phantom boasts a direct injected V12 engine and 8 speed automatic gearbox. The V12 engine has 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque.