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Beauty Radar Screen: November 11, 2010

British pop duo The Ting Tings wrote a song for Tommy Hilfiger’s recent music-themed fragrance, Loud.

BERLIN — Grammy-nominated British pop duo The Ting Tings’ Katie White and Jules DeMartino quite like doing things their own way — from moving to Berlin in the dead of winter to work on their upcoming album to choosing eclectic British fashion blogger Susie Bubble (aka Susanna Lau) as a stylist for a recent visit to Germany’s capital.


“She’s never really styled anyone, so I found that quite [pleasing],” said White. “I think she picks very new designers, so for my style, that’s good.”


White added that previous attempts to put her in the latest glamorous dress have left her feeling like an unhappy wedding guest. So the DIY-oriented band had to think twice when it was approached to work on Tommy Hilfiger’s recent unveiling of his music-themed fragrance Loud.

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“The first instinct when we were approached was to say no, because it didn’t feel like something within our world,” recalled White.


The two decided to play along when they saw the project’s commitment to creative freedom. (The duet wrote “We’re Not the Same” specifically for Loud, and they perform it in the scent’s TV ad.)


They contributed ideas to the song’s video and the edgy visual combo of bright pink and gaffer’s tape — elements they themselves used on their first promotional recordings. And then they were left alone to write the music.


The song they created is a driven yet danceable tune, complete with the sounds of ripping tape and smashing bottles. It was apparently a hit with the Hilfiger crew, who, according to DeMartino, were looking to the music to energize the project.


“They tell us that the track inspired them to create and make the decision about what fragrance choices they had,” he said. No perfume experts or aficionados themselves, White and DeMartino smelled samples at the beginning of the process, but left the scent-making to the experts.


DeMartino points out that lyrics of “We’re Not the Same” are true to their take-charge philosophy, and also to the view that everything may have been done before, but it can still be done well.


“The lyric is, ‘We’re not the first, and we’re making this up’ — and that’s what I think this decade is about. In the Internet age, everybody’s able to make film on their digital cameras, and they can record a song in their bedroom, and it means anything can happen — it’s all about fusion.”


But will coordination with a global company sound like sell-out to The Ting Tings’ fans?


“It’s not [like] we’ve written a jingle for some dodgy advert,” said White. “We’ll use it on our album, it’s one of our songs.”


As for a style clash — was the arty Brit duo not expected to wear all-American Tommy Hilfiger?


“No! They wouldn’t do that to us,” exclaimed White, who admitted she may have been wearing a Tommy tank top under her sheer peach-colored blouse from Sweden’s Monki — for modesty’s sake.