Dear Banana Republic,
Thank you for sponsoring Project Runway. This is my favorite television show. I love the way it shows the designers actually sewing garments. So many young people love fashion and dream of becoming fashion designers but they don't want to learn to sew!
I also enjoy the personalities of these creative individuals. Something about the field of fashion design just seems to bring out very charming and interesting individuals. They are very entertaining.
I writing to say that in my opinion, last year's Banana Republic challenge was far more engaging than this year's episode. First of all, combining the team element, the Banana Republic production element AND the window dressing element into the same episode was just too much. I think you would have gotten more (obviously) and better design options if you would have let the individual designers tackle this challenge. We just had a team challenge in the lingerie episode. We don't need another one. That one was quite enough...
I think a team window dressing challenge would be fine - just not coupled with the Banana Republic challenge.
Don't you want MORE designs to choose from? Last year you had ten designs to choose from. This year you only had five. Also a team challenge prevents you from truly understanding what EACH designer would have done as an individual. Since you are looking for an individual designer to join your company for a year, wouldn't you like to know what each one sees as your aesthetic? By teaming the designers we only see, at best, a diluted view of a combination of two designers. One of them might be perfect for Banana Republic, but you will never know.
I believe that the Banana Republic challenge is the fulcrum of the series. This is the really important one. The previous episodes build up to this one and a really strong showing (even if it isn't a winner) can really make us sit up and take notice. Would Jay's Chrysler Building dress have ever been made in a TEAM challenge? Having a dress actually put into production and sold in the Banana Republic stores automatically gives validation to a designer. This should be the challenge that brings out each designer's very best work.
So, in conclusion, I hope that you will continue to sponsor this fabulous show. Next year, I hope you will consider allowing each individual designer to present you with his or her very best option for this important challenge.