Each constellation is completely unique
Slide onto a crafted leather seat and gaze up at a headliner that seems to twinkle like a starlit sky. The Starlight Headliner’s unique effect is achieved by fitting delicate fibre optic strands at varying depths and at different angles – to cause light to escape in multiple directions and at different intensities. The brightness of each ‘star’ can be adjusted to suit your mood: bright enough to relax and read under, or dim enough to create a subtle and relaxing glow.
The constellation of each Starlight Headliner is completely unique to the owner. Typically, it takes nine hours to craft, but a personalised pattern needs its own template, which can take more than 17 hours to complete. Two Rolls-Royce craftspeople marry their skills to create this extraordinary feature. It’s the perfect alliance of traditional craftsmanship and modern-day technology.
First, the leather is perforated with 800 to 1,600 holes, each carefully counted. Fibre optic lights are set into these holes. The craftsperson then ensures that the height of the fibres is correct on the concealed side, and that they’re set perfectly on the visible leather surface, ready to shine.
Any personal aesthetic is catered for
Since its launch in 2007, when the Starlight Headliner debuted in the Phantom with 800 lights, it has been extended to the whole length of the roof with 1,340 lights. With such skilled craftspeople creating the Starlight Headliner, they can take on any personalised aesthetic.
For example, the extraordinary Celestial Phantom took the Starlight Headliner to an entirely new level. Built to honour the significant moment when the first New Phantom was unveiled at the Home of Rolls-Royce, the Starlight Headliner depicts the constellations exactly as they were over Goodwood on that historic day.
One owner wanted the lights to be configured in the shape of his coat of arms, another asked for the configuration to represent the Ursa Major and Minor constellations. While for another customer we created the Rolls-Royce logo that lights up separately from the rest of the stars.
As one press review put it: ‘Could all this be accomplished by a robot? Probably, but it’s not. Instead, Rolls-Royce hires dexterous, detail-obsessed individuals from the textile realm and others. The tangible result is a totally different take on heavenly creationism that’s still almost impossible to comprehend.’