Inspired by Oriental traditions, Serenity Phantom is upholstered with the finest imported silk. We meet Colour and Materials Designer Cherica Haye who hand-painted the blossom trees that adorn the interior.
Chinese Silk Defines Opulence
Relaxing in the rear compartment of Serenity Phantom is tranquility exemplified. It recalls the Oriental tradition of Far Eastern emperors taking to their private gardens to reflect in solitude under the blossom trees. The motif of blossom in full bloom that envelops Serenity Phantom is to this day viewed as a symbol of hope and renewal.
Creator of the blossom design is Cherica Haye, hired by Director of Design Giles Taylor directly from her final year show at the Royal College of Art in London in 2013. Shortly after taking up her position at Goodwood, the Home of Rolls-Royce, Haye began working on her vision for Serenity Phantom. This took her to the city of Suzhou in China – supplier of the world’s finest embroidered silks to centuries of imperial dynasties. Here, a six-month process began with the hand-dying of unspun silk by local craftspeople.
Haye, and her textile design partner Michele Lusby, carried the dyed silk back to one of Britain’s oldest mills, in Essex, to be hand-woven into the 10 metres of fabric needed to furnish the interior of Serenity Phantom. Together, they decided early on to use a linear weave with the silk, due to its richness and opulence.
To design the cherry tree bough for the headliner, Haye used a technique called ‘unconscious painting’. “You have to be completely relaxed and then simply paint almost as your hand leads your thinking, rather than vice versa,” she explains. “It’s a perfect technique for us. It matches everything we wanted the design to be.”