At Banana Republic, Deborah tells the designers that their challenge is to make a day to evening garment. It should be sophisticated, classy, and modern for the day and sexy and fun for evening. Man, that's been done. And here's the thing: you always know when someone's wearing her work clothes out at night. I don't care what kind of day-to-evening sorcery Deborah Lloyd wants to conjure, you can still tell. I guess it's probably tough work making Banana Republic seem like they're doing something different every season. Don't get me wrong, I kind of love the place, but they make gray slacks and striped shirts. A new pocket on the pants is not going to make it "from church to safari" or whatever the hell theme they're working that year. It's still the General Store. Deborah repeats what she said last year: Don't lose your personality/remember the Banana Republic customer. Heidi makes that proposition sound sexier by adding, "This challenge is about molding your personal vision to a national brand." Put that way, it sounds kind of exciting.
The designers are given time to choose from bolts of fabrics of the style that Banana Republic will be using in their spring collection. Zulema interviews, while chuckling, "Banana Republic is completely to the left of what I design. We are polar opposites." I wonder if Zulema realizes that she just described herself as way right of Banana Republic. It's made funnier by the fact that she was kind of condescending when she said it. Then they do this weird snapshot montage of the designers looking at fabric. If they've done that before, I don't really recall. It's kind of funny. Like "Designers On The Go!" Can't stop, just take a picture! We see a quick moment of Diana interviewing that winning the challenge would be a big deal to her, and then the designers are out the door holding lots of fabric.
Back at Parsons, Tim tells everyone that they will be working in teams of two. Each team will make one design. He then gives everyone a minute to choose his teammate. Andrae goes to Daniel. Marla goes to Diana. Diana interviews that she and Marla have similar creative processes. Not a good sign, her saying that. Santino interviews that Nick was looking around the room. He says in his interview, "Dude, if you are looking for someone else to be partners with, you're barking up the wrong tree. Because I don't want Emmett or Marla or some dead weight again." Okay, so Santino seems aware that maybe Nick wouldn't want him as a partner. This is interesting. His voice reveals a little insecurity. I guess you don't have to be Dr. Joyce Brothers to assume that there would be a little self-loathing behind all of Santino's bravado. But we know what happens when one "assumes." Actually, I'm not sure that rule pertains to reality TV, but I'm going to pretend for a while longer. In the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit that I have a habit of giving people a little bit of a pass when they are as talented as Santino seems to be. God help me if I ever actually had to be in the same room with him, but the guy seems like he's got the goods. Yeah, he's a dick, but he's not competing in the "Don't Be A Dick" Contest. He'd totally lose that one.