Since Banana Republic is a major sponsor of this show, I knew that a challenge involving them had to be coming up soon. This is the episode. The difference in this year's version of the challenge is that the designers worked in pairs and both designers in the winning team were sent home. Another twist was that the teams had to create a window display for their outfit prior to the runway show. These displays, complete with the models acting as living mannequins, were set up in the windows of Banana Republic's store and voted on by random people on the street.
The two main sources of drama in this episode were the teams of Zulema/Kara and Marla/Diana. Zulema and Kara disagreed so much with each other that they ended up totally redesigning their outfit two hours before the deadline. If they had come up with that design a few hours earlier they could have executed it better and they probably would have won.
Marla and Diana, on the other hand, were Wishy and Washy. Marla, a women in her fifties, acted like she was too afraid to stand up to a kid like Diana and tell her she didn't like her design. She waited for Tim to do it. Ultimately, I think Tim's advice was their downfall. Diana's original idea for a pencil skirt that could be buttoned to the back to reveal a sexier layer underneath sounded promising, but after talking to Tim they went with something dowdy which got them eliminated. I'm not sad to see Marla go, but I thought that Diana was finally starting to balance trendy ideas with wearability.
Tonight's winners were Daniel and Andrae. After his outburst in the first episode, Andrae has calmed down and is letting his work speak for him. The dress he created with Daniel was OK, but I wouldn't wear it. Emmett and Chloe disappointed me with their reversible jacket. The skirt was great, though, and their window display was my favorite. Santino, as usual, felt that he knew what Banana Republic should be selling better than the BR buyer sitting right in front of him. Nick turned on him a little bit on the runway, and I was surprised that there wasn't a little backstage drama after that. Perhaps they are saving that for next week.