This original article was first published here: Rolls-Royce clients seek solace in bespoke creativity during 2020
- Beautiful Bespoke commissions reaffirm Rolls-Royce’s status as world’s foremost manufacturer of luxury goods in 2020
- Highest levels of Bespoke artistry, per car, ever seen
- Faced with the challenges of 2020, clients invest time and creativity in unique commissions, creating personal items of longevity
- Designers draw inspiration from architecture, nature and rich, textural surroundings of the home during lockdown
“The Bespoke Collective scaled new heights of greatness in 2020 – that they did so against the backdrop of numerous, unprecedented constraints and challenges makes their accomplishments even more impressive. Never before have we seen such levels of Bespoke detailing in each commission, demonstrating that Rolls-Royce clients around the world have sought solace in creativity – commissioning introspective items of luxury that will stand the test of time to become lasting and poignant legacies.
I am proud to say that at a time when our industry is beset with widespread cutbacks, we have worked hard to safeguard every job. Protecting the artistry of our talented associates demonstrates a conscientious approach to craft; one that protects the precious skills found at Rolls-Royce and preserves them for the future.” – Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
During 2020, an unprecedented year, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective – a team of engineers, designers and craftspeople based at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England – brought the unique visions of the marque’s global clientele to life with outstanding levels of creativity, craft and imagination. Almost every one of the motor cars created in 2020 was tailored by this Bespoke division, a notable achievement considering the backdrop of challenging and unforeseen headwinds.
At the onset of the pandemic, Rolls-Royce designers and clients alike found themselves confined to the safety of their homes. The unique, highly personal relationships that our Bespoke Collective has with our clients did not change, however. This led to a change in source of inspiration from travel and its associated items of luxury grandeur, to rich and textural surroundings of the home, architecture and moments of stillness found in nature.
Remarkably, Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division achieved a new record in 2020. Faced with the challenges of the year, clients have harnessed the creative outlet of Rolls-Royce Bespoke to seek solace and invest time, a rediscovered commodity, to introspectively commission legacies that reflect precious items of historical and familial significance. On average, Bespoke commissions saw a robust increase over 2019, with a marked growth of personalised elements woven into the fabric of each motor car, providing further substance and sentimentality.
What follows is a snapshot of some of the finest examples of Bespoke design and craftsmanship completed by the luxury house throughout 2020.
DUSK IN TOKYO
The ‘Dusk in Tokyo Collection’, comprising Phantom, Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan, celebrates Japan’s capital city. A complex, multi-faceted white paint, eponymously named ‘Dusk in Tokyo’, characterises the coastal metropolis’ high-rise glass and concrete buildings bathed in the warm light of early dusk. Containing aluminium and mica flakes, the refractive paint creates subtle tones in low light.
The Black Leather interior, punctuated by Rose Gold Bespoke Audio grilles and on Phantom, the fascia’s Rose Gold clock case, depicts the contrast of long, dark shadows of the city’s tall buildings with flourishes of the last reaches of the waning sun on glass.
Leading the transition from day to night is the Spirit of Ecstasy, presented in Rose Gold for the first time in Japan, representing the setting of the sun.
PHANTOM ‘IRIDESCENT OPULENCE’
The Phantom’s hermetically sealed Gallery makes it possible to incorporate natural materials in a way never before possible in a motor car. In 2020, the Phantom ‘Iridescent Opulence’ took this approach to soaring new heights.
Featuring a truly Bespoke artwork which debuted as a concept in 2017, ‘Iridescent Opulence’ was created in partnership with Swiss materials specialist Nature Squared. The result is inspired by nature; a Gallery that houses over 3,000 sustainably sourced iridescent tail feathers, each shaped individually to accentuate their sheen and rich hue. These were hand-sewn onto an open pore fabric in a design that emanates outwards from the shimmering, iridescent.
Mother of Pearl casing around the clock at the heart of the Gallery. The interior is completed with a Bespoke embroidery to the rear waterfall and silver inlays on the picnic tables.
THE STEED PHANTOM EXTENDED
Complex Bespoke embroideries of a stallion embellish the interior rear doors of this elegant Phantom Extended. Signifying strength and an unremitting enthusiasm to progress, the embroidery of the steed was developed from a sketch, presented to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Collective, by a Chinese client with a very clear vision.
‘NEON NIGHTS’ COLOUR TRILOGY
The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective developed a new and dynamic colour palette, named ‘Neon Nights’, in a limited run of just four of each colour.
The three brightly coloured hues, each inspired by the natural world, consisted of Lime Rock Green, a near-luminous hue naturally found on the Australian green tree frog, Eagle Rock Red, which mimics the flowers of ‘Ōhi‘a lehua, an evergreen tree native to Hawaii, and Mirabeau Blue which takes inspiration from Central and South America’s exotic butterfly, the Rhetus periander.
WRAITH ‘INSPIRED BY EARTH’
Wraith ‘Inspired By Earth’ takes its design cues from the entire Solar System, and our own planet, as seen from space. The Royal Blue exterior references the water that covers 75% of the Earth’s surface while an air-brushed bonnet artwork depicts a satellite view of the Middle Eastern region centred on the United Arab Emirates. A hand-painted Emerald Green coachline incorporates the Sun and the eight planets of the Solar System.
The seats are made from Moccasin leather to mimic the sands of the Emirates’ deserts; Navy and Cobalto Blue accents are suggestive of rivers and lakes, and Emerald Green piping symbolises nature in all its forms. The rear ‘waterfall’ features atmospheric clouds rendered in minutely detailed embroidery using Photoflash technology. The fascia is embellished with a skilfully air-brushed satellite image of the Middle East. The Bespoke Starlight Headliner is embroidered to illustrate all the planets of the Solar System, centred on the Sun. Other Bespoke details include treadplates, a clock with metal radial background, and inlays showing the planets in silver, with planet Earth accentuated in gold.
WRAITH KRYPTOS COLLECTION
The Wraith Kryptos Collection is embellished with a cipher concealed in the Collection’s Bespoke detailing. Limited to just 50 motor cars, clients are invited to decode messages found within the Bespoke elements of the motor car’s interior and exterior.
An engraving with green enamel detailing on the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine depicts the word KRYPTOS, in code. These seven deciphered characters, in addition to the translation of the embroidered double-R found on the headrests, will aid clients on their journey of discovery as they begin to identify these letters on Wraith Kryptos’ screen printed metal fascia.
Wraith Kryptos’ Bespoke exterior hue consists of a solid Anthracite base colour with blue and green mica flakes. Inside, a Bespoke Kryptos Green leather is set against either Selby Grey or Anthracite. A beautifully elaborate, bi-coloured headliner depicts an in-motion data-stream inspired motif which is accentuated by the illuminated door pockets.
GHOST ILLUMINATED FASCIA
The innovative ‘Illuminated Fascia’ of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost debuted following two years and more than 10,000 hours of development by the Bespoke Collective. The 850 stars echo the unique elegance of the Starlight Headliner.
The fascia achieves an authentic, true luxury feel using 152 LEDs and 90,000 laser-etched dots carefully carved into the surface of the dashboard. The lights are meticulously colour matched to the cabin’s clock and instrument dial lighting and create a twinkling effect as the eyes move across the fascia. Extensive engineering work and three layers of composite materials ensure that the Illuminated Fascia is completely invisible while not operational.
THE MAHLANGU PHANTOM
The Gallery in the Rolls-Royce Phantom presented a unique opportunity for a South African client to display a highly personal work of art from globally celebrated South African artist, Dr Esther Mahlangu. Dr Mahlangu, a national icon in Africa from the Ndebele region, was the first artist to create an artwork in this way and the motor car was named ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’ in her honour.
Positioned front and centre in the Phantom’s interior, the one-of-a-kind commission is a striking expression of contemporary African art. Famous for vibrant geometric abstract paintings and murals, the 85-year old’s work can be found in many important museums and private collections around the world. In celebration of this unique commission, Rolls-Royce also produced an insightful film to showcase Esther Mahlangu’s work and cultural heritage.
CULLINAN ‘SPIRIT OF RUSSIA’ COLLECTION
Cullinan proved the perfect canvas for a series of four individual Bespoke commissions dedicated to legendary Russian mountains: ‘Elbrus’, ‘Krasnaya Polyana’, ‘Golden Mountains’ and ‘Klyuchevskaya Sopka’.
The Iced Black Diamond, Iced Gunmetal Steel, Midnight Sapphire Blue and Premiere Silver exterior hues are inspired by frosty peaks and are complemented by darkened chrome exterior detailing on each of the Cullinans. Inside, a map of Russia is depicted on the Starlight Headliner while mountain peaks are embroidered on the headrests. The engraved sill plates of each car bear an inscription naming the mountain region that inspired its design, as well as the height of the highest peak in each region.
DAWN SILVER BULLET COLLECTION
The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection cuts a dash with a unique Aero Cowling and ultra-metallic Brewster Silver Paint, in a vibrant nod to the epic Rolls-Royce trials cars of the past.
The four-seat Rolls-Royce Drophead is transformed into an adaptable two-seat roadster by the addition of the rakish Aero Cowling with vapour-blasted titanium finisher, heightening the Collection’s sense of speed and purpose. Limited to just 50 examples worldwide, the Aero Cowling windbreak proudly displays the Silver Bullet name and silhouette.
A Collection of two Black Badge Dawns and nine Black Badge Wraiths were commissioned for the United Arab Emirates. Boasting bold colour combinations and technical fibre, the Sportive Collection encapsulates Black Badge’s expressive and unapologetic nature.
In an innovative first for Rolls-Royce, the interior features a technical fibre fascia that has been intertwined with a coloured weave to match the vibrant exterior colour combinations. The hand-painted Coachlines feature a unique ‘Sportive’ motif, while woven-leather door panniers and engraved Bespoke audio frets further add to the dynamic ambience of the Collection.
ARCTIC WHITE AND HOTSPUR RED PHANTOM
Commissioned by a Texan Rolls-Royce collector, this contemporary Phantom is finished in Arctic White with a double coachline and double pinstripe in Hotspur Red, indicative of the bold interior colourway.
Inside, Hotspur Red paints an arresting scene as every surface, from the lambswool floor mats, privacy curtains to even the luggage compartment, is finished in this vibrant Bespoke colour. The ‘Lakeshore Aurora’ Gallery is designed and created by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective.
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