What will appeal to Banana Republic? That’s the challenge this week for the 10 designers left in the competition. They must design an outfit in the Banana Republic palette that can go from a day at the office to a night on the town.
A much easier task then some of the others they’ve been given. Tim takes the group to visit the Banana Republic rep who tells them about the challenge and gives them the fabric they’ll be working with, all in the neutral colors and patterns the chain is known for.
It isn’t until they get back to their studio that Tim throws them the first twist. They have to work in pairs : which means they have to decide whose idea they’re going to choose, whose fabric they’re going to use, and whose model will get to walk it down the runway.
Tim gives them 60 seconds to pair off, and they all kind of stand there dumbfounded for a moment. It ends up:
Nick had actually hoped to pair with Chloe but was edged out by Emmett. How Kara and Zulema thought they could work together I’ll never know.
Time is tight. They only have until midnight to finish their designs.
Diana and Marla start working on a pencil skirt design. Andrae and Daniel come up with a sexy dress with a cropped jacket. Emmett and Chloe envision an outfit with a reversible jacket.
Santino and Nick have a hard time coming up with a concept. Nick feels Santino is taking over and not listening to his ideas. Santino wants to do something with an Asian feel that Nick doesn’t think is Banana Republic enough.
Kara and Zulema deicide to go with a navy blue dress that Kara had sketched out. Zulema said she realized that her own style couldn’t be further from Banana Republic so she would have to rely on Kara to pull this off.
Then Tim pops back in to make another announcement … because the losing garment would have two designers attached to it, both of those designers would be going home during the elimination process. Now I wonder if they would have picked their partners much differently.
Tim leaves them to their work. Diana and Marla are in utter confusion and can’t make a decision on what their skirt should look like.
Santino and Nick are speeding along on their garment, having found a happy mix of both of their designs. “The fact that you won’t see 500 trims on it, you know I’ve tamed the beast,” Nick says to the camera.
It’s two hours to deadline when Tim comes back to check on them – and give his critique.
He starts with Andrae and Daniel. Their dark, sexy dress, with its “precious” white jacket is nearly complete. Andrae explains their design to Tim: “The jacket should look like ‘no, I’m not going home with you’ and then she takes it off and says ‘but I might let you buy me a drink.’”
Tim is totally sold.
Then he heads over to the Chloe-Emmett station. “This is beautiful,” he says of their dress and jacket before they even show him that the jacket is reversible for a night out.
There aren’t many – or any—compliments at Marla and Diana’s station. In fact, they dodn’t even have fabric on their body form yet. They do have an idea: A wrap around skirt that could be somehow unwrapped and pinned in the back to reveal a night time look.
“Is the customer going to want to do that?” Tim asks. And tells them they may have to go back to the drawing board.
When Zulema and Kara unveil theirs for Tim, it’s a school-marm looking, plain navy blue dress with some white piping over the bust.
“I think the two of you are really off the mark… This is just not working for me… Yikes,” Tim tells them. You can see both Zulema and Kara are shook up. They were having trouble working together as it was.
With 1 hour now until deadline Kara is crumbling into tears. And Zulema takes charge and starts an entirely new dress out of a black and white circular print. She starts bossing Kara around, which I think makes Kara cry even more.
Diana and Marla have decided to give up on the wraparound design and go for a straight pencil skirt in a navy-gray that has a button up slit on the side. (shudder).
The next morning the pairs only have 1 hour to finish up and get their models ready for the runway.
But wait… Tim has one more twist. Instead of heading to the runway he tells them they are going on a field trip. At least this field trip wasn’t too hard to figure out. He leads them to the Banana Republic store where each team is given a window to create a display using their design and model and whatever art supplies they can buy with $200. Customers on the street will vote for the best window display and that team will win the entire challenge. The theme of the window should reflect the day-to-night design they have created.
Andrae and Daniel draw two big clocks on the backdrop of their window and have their model shift from day to night looks in front of the two clocks.
Chloe and Emmett draw lifesize sketches of their two looks on their backdrop and had their model stand between them and show off her outfit.
Zulema and Kara cut out a skyline and a bunch of circles on their backdrop to signify day and night and had their model pose in front of that.
Nick and Santino… you would have expected to be the most creative. But no. They threw up some crumpled brown paper and wrote banana republic on it (cue crickets) and that was it. The window was definitely not flattering for their dress.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse , there was Marla and Diana’s window. They created an office scene with hundreds of pieces of wadded up paper on the floor that their model pranced around in … or tried to in a pencil skirt.
The votes were cast, but the winner wasn’t revealed until after the runway. competition. All of the teams said they were fairly pleased with their garments as they went down the runway. The judges weren’t as kind.
When it was time for the Q&A with the judges all the designers were asked to stay on the runway.
The judges — including the Banana Republic rep – loved Andrae and Daniel’s design.
The Banana rep like Zulema and Kara’s dress but wondered if they had been too hurried to really finish it. “The dress is beautiful but I can’t figure out this ’80s power bitch mugler jacket,” Michael Kors says of the outfit.
When it was Diana and Marla’s turn to show off their pencil skirt and jacket Michael Kors had this to say: “I think she looks like a stewardess … I’m waiting for her to give me a coffee.”
Nina “loved” Chloe and Emmett’s reversible jacket outfit and so did Michael.
Santino and Nick try to explain their dress which has a samurai type jacket. They say it is for the the woman who works in an art gallery, in Soho.
It prompts this catty exchange between Kors and Santino:
Kors: “I know the most powerful women in the art world … they’re my customers and they would not walk into their galleries dressed like that.”
Santino: I feel like your customer is a little bit older. I think that this is a Banana Republic woman and I know lots of women who know Banana Republic and don’t know Michael Kors.”
Ouch!!! Is Santino trying to get kicked off the show???
Then the judges deliberate and call the teams back out.
Andrae and Daniel got the most votes for their window and were named the winners. Their design will be sold in select Banana Republic stores.
The team of Chloe and Emmett and Zulema and Kara are also sent off the runway.
Which just left Santino and Nick and Marla and Diana.
Not a hard choice here. Marla and Diana were sent packing.
And then there were 8.
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