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The Rolls-Royce "Me"

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Rolls-Royce Torpedo
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

The malleability of automotive luxury has been unveiled on the shoreline of Lake Como in the form of the striking Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’ - short on background detail but long on presence.

The car represents the vision of a very wealthy Rolls-Royce customer who worked with the marque to commission his very own coachbuild. The cost of the car, like the name of the owner, is undisclosed but reportedly exceeds £10 million. And so it was, this weekend at Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este that the one-off Sweptail was presented at a press call by Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. The name of the car emerges from the swept tail of vintage Rolls-Royces from the 1920s.

The most striking feature of the car is its panoramic glass roof which is unobstructed and one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a car before, with a smooth end-to-end curvature that floods the cabin with natural light.

 

 

The secretive customer approached Rolls-Royce in 2013 with a very specific request informed by his background as a connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private jets. The client collaborated closely with design director Giles Taylor who helped bring the vision to life: a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

““Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” said Giles Taylor. “Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture. It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”

 

The iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille, the largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The size and scale of this regal-looking coupé is imposing; from the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasise its length.

The car comes with identifier and registration number, 08, two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand-polished.

 

The two-seat configuration simply adds to the image of a car that isn’t concerned with pragmatism, just bygone opulence for the hell of it or as Rolls-Royce puts it, it “exudes the romance of travel for its own sake.”

Inside, precedence goes to the exquisite materials with switchgear kept to a minimum lest it divert attention from the visual luxury of the cabin. It’s a haven of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary. This contrasting dark/ light, Ebony and Paldao, is set off by light Moccasin and ‘Dark Spice’ leathers that cover the seats, armrests and dashboard top.

Even the customer’s laptop has been taken into account in the tailored design phase. Secreted in the outboard walls of the car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop. The case has been hand-constructed and wrapped in the finest leather to match the car’s interior.

Another personalised ‘wow’ is that the entire centre console houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the owner’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action positions the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up. No spillages there, then.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said the car is “in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”

Photos: James Lipman

Cannes Film Festival Closing Round-Up

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And so another year of Cannes is in the can as the parties drew to a close and the winner of the all-important Palme d'Or was announced.

While The Meyerowitz Stories by director Noah Baumbach played out well, it was satirical comedy The Square that won the big prize, awarded by jury members including Jessica Chastain and Will Smith. It was directed by Swede Ruben Östlund and tells the story around an art installation in a gallery.

 

 

Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for You Were Never Really Here while Diane Kruger took Best Actress for In The Fade. The actress plays a wife who seeks revenge for her husband's death in a terrorist bombing.

Sofia Coppola become only the second woman to win the best director award at Cannes for The Beguiled. 

Elsewhere, Amfar threw the closing big party of the event sponsored by Moët & Chandon. Here are pictures from party...

 

Model Bella Hadid gamely pours the champagne on stage

 

 

Guests glam it up, just look at those shoes - hers, not his!

 

Valery Kaufman, Hailey Baldwin, Carine Roitfeld, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk and Hana Jirickova

 

Shimmering at the gala

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer Party - Cannes

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The film premieres and parties continue apace in sunny Cannes with the afterparty for The Killing of a Sacred Deer this week.

Attendees included Colin Farrel, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic and writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Nikki Beach, the linchpin pop-up venue of the Cannes Film Festival, hosted the event and here's what we saw...

 

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan get joyous

 

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban 

 

 Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy at the party 

 

Costumier Sandy Powell 

Island Yachting

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You don’t have to travel to the other side of the globe for crystal clear waters and luxurious stays. Specialist tour operator, The Discerning Collection makes that clear with the addition of luxury yachts to its portfolio. Abigail Parkin

The privately owned company features exclusive, hand-picked hotels and villas across a number of Greek islands. Its yacht announcement this month only adds to the indulgence with two yachts and a catamaran ready to cast off for those island tours.

 

 

Based in Corfu, two yachts, Jeannous a 65’ super yacht (sleeps 6), Argentous, a stunning 57’ luxury yacht (sleeps 8) and a state-of-the-art catamaran, Aurous (sleeps 10) will all be available for sole charter from May – October 2017.

They come with skipper and private chef so you can try sailing alongside your skipper or group around the  BBQ, all, of course, while enjoying the lush scenery en route. Guests can dine on board throughout the day, but can later sample one of the charming tavernas on shore in a picturesque Greek village. Head north to the Faraway Islands or south via Paxos and Anti-Paxos down to Kefalonia or east towards the mainland.

 

 

Facilities include equipment such as wakeboards, water skis, paddleboards and inflatables – perfect for the youngsters.
 
The Discerning Collection offers seven nights aboard Argentous from £1,460pp (based on 8 sharing), Jeannous from £1,580pp (based on 6 sharing) and Aurous from £1,400pp (based on 10 sharing).

Prices include flights and transfers, breakfast and lunch daily as well as tea, coffee and all soft drinks.

See: www.discerningcollection.com)

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