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Project Runway, Episode 3: Banana Republicansby Sandy McFarland -- 01/10/2004
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To recap Episode 2: The designers’ assignment was to create a dress out of white cotton. “Envy” was the word of the day. Tara was the “winner,” getting immunity on the next challenge, Mario, the loser, and was sent home. Nora and Wendy were also chastised for their lack of substance in their design. Now, we are down to ten designers and eleven models.
The designers are competing for a layout in Elle magazine, a mentorship with the design team of Banana Republic, and $100,000 to create their own fashion line. The models are also competing for their own spread in Elle. Supermodel Heidi Klum hosts, with Tim Gunn, head designer of the Parsons School of Design, as her sidekick.
At the apartment, Jay is mourning the loss of his pal Mario. He says it's time for an attitude change. He will inject his work with himself and play the game. Starr is realizing though she may not be one of the best of the designers, she is good enough to "run with the pack." Robert is reinventing himself, after living in Russia for three years, and a failed marriage.
The designers meet Heidi at the Banana Republic Studios, where she shares the next challenge. They will be designing a holiday party dress that would appeal to the Banana Republic customer. Deborah Lloyd, head of design for Banana, explains the details of the challenge. The design has to work for the customer and be sexy, yet sophisticated. She continues that Banana Republic has two major themes they are highlighting. The first uses the colors yellow and pink, and is called "Sexy Secretary" or "Grandma's Attic." The second theme is "Art Deco," mainly using black and white. We see flashes of different garments using the various color combinations and styles that the Banana Republic people are looking for. Deborah instructs, "Use your personalities in this challenge. You are designing for Banana Republic. Please remember that." Banana Republic then allows the designers to choose their fabrics from the vast collection they have provided.
Starr is the happiest I have seen her. She shops Banana Republic, and it's her favorite store! She literally squeals with delight. Austin latches on to a bolt of cream and roses fabric. Jay is frightened, this is so not him! Heidi speaks up, "Now that you know your challenge, let's get back to the runway, and don't forget your fabrics. It's time to pick your models. Let's GO!"
At the Runway, there are eleven models left; only the last model standing will win the layout with Elle. Heidi instructs the designers to pick wisely. As winner of the last competition, Tara will have the first choice of models. She chooses the lovely Martinique. The order for the rest of the designers is picked at random. Vanessa chooses Morgan, Austin goes with Melissa. Kevin takes Olga. Starr likes Joy. Wendy picks Audrey. Alexandra wants Erin. Nora grabs Jenny, and Jay calls for "the jolly green giant," Julia. Robert is last to pick and he is worried. Either Allison or Josieane will get eliminated. Once again Josieane is saved from the clutches of being OUT, as Robert selects her. That said, Allison must leave the runway, never to return again. Nora, feeling guilty for not picking Allison, starts crying.
Heidi sends the designers off to begin their challenge. This time they will have two days to complete their designs. "Good luck," she wishes the designers. "See you at the Runway!"
At the Parsons School of Design we see the designers, for the first time, drawing their designs out and making actual patterns. Austin wants to make an afternoon party dress. Jay doesn't think his brand of design will work well with the Banana Republic themes. He and Robert kiddingly yell and curse at each other, which annoys Wendy. She says that because she is 40 years old, her agenda is different. (Lighten up there, Wendy, nobody likes a spoilsport!) Tara and Nora are wrestling around, and now it's Kevin who's calling THEM childish. Just as Nora is about to be slam dunked into the garbage can, Tim enters with news for the designers.
Tim has a letter from the Banana Republic people that he appoints Vanessa to read. In a nutshell, the letters says that whoever wins this Banana Republic challenge will see their party dress manufactured and sold in select stores nationwide, and online, as part of Banana Republic's winter line. The camera now pans to show Austin jumping gleefully up and down in slow motion. (Ok, ok. I'm crackin' up!) The stakes have risen. Unfortunately, since this is such a huge prize for the winner, immunity will not be granted for the next challenge. Tim says, "Chances are better that you would be struck by lightning, than having this happen for you. Back to work"
The climate has certainly changed in the workroom. Nora is working with a pretty silver satin. Robert, wanting to loosen up, tries to get contenders for a mud or Jello wrestling match. Everyone is very serious and VERY intense. Wendy has finally figured out that her mom-to-all approach wasn't working, so maybe she should start designing. Starr says there couldn't be a challenge that is better suited for her creativity than this one, as she works on a black and dark pink dress. "Art deco is my favorite stuff," she adds. Kevin is working on a black design, though he thinks many will use black in this challenge. He feels confident. Robert is pulling out leopard fabric, saying he wants to make a subtle dress. (Heh, heh... leopard? Subtle?) In fact, Robert is working on three designs at once, as he can't make up his mind. He decides to sleep on it, which shocks Kara. Starr and Kevin start bickering about a crack he makes about her design, so Robert steps in and says, "On that note, it's time to get a drink!"
Austin and Wendy opt out of the party and head back to the apartment. The rest of the designers go out for a night on the town. Austin in his night shirt, and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter's... (Oh... sorry. Must be the season.) ANYHOO, Austin who is in his nightshirt, pulls on some very long socks and states that his reason for being here is not to party, but to work and prove himself as a designer. At the bar, with blue drinks in hand, you see Vanessa being a dancin' fool while everyone seems to be having fun! Nora shimmies (is that a word?) [Associate Editor’s Note: According to my spell check, yes.] down the sidewalk... and (burp), wonders aloud if her parents are proud. (Most the time Nora, just not now dear.)
It is 9:30 a.m. at the Atlas Apartments and time to get up! Nora looks a bit green. Jay is rubbing his eyes. Austin is so glad he didn't partake in the festivities.
Back at the Parsons workroom Robert has gone from his leopard design to an ice blue satin piece. Nora's design looks complicated, sexy, and sophisticated. It is a satiny silver and she can see herself in this dress. She is trying to make up for her last challenge. Alexandra's dress is also a satiny silver, that she could see at a party in the Hamptons or St. Barts. Poor Jay had been "sweating balls" over this challenge, but he spotted a picture of the Chrysler Building and he realized that THAT building was ART DECO! Hence, his inspiration for his design.1 2 Next-->
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