Are you keeping score? This Diva sure is! Let’s kick it back to the beginning of the season and compare which contestant I thought should be the winner and loser with who the judges picked! Feel free to play along – I’ll link back to the recaps of each episode so you can remember who YOU thought should be in and out. (Thank you to Lifetime for providing the challenge descriptions!) And at the bottom, we’ve got side-by-side pics of each finalists’ portfolios from the entire season! Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
The designers must use a garment from another designer’s suitcase to create a new look.
Diva’s Winner: AJ‘s gritty-meets-pretty cocktail dress
Judges’ Winner: Gretchen‘s sheer-backed, cap-sleeved dress
Diva’s Loser: Ivy, for “making pants out of pants”
Judges’ Loser: McKell, for her tacky dress with even tackier styling
The designers must create a look that defines the Marie Claire woman. The winning look will be featured on a billboard in Times Square.
Diva’s Winner: Mondo‘s fabulous houndstooth skirt
Judges’ Winner: Gretchen‘s overpraised jumpsuit
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Jason‘s silver bathrobe and the bullshit symbolism that went with it
The designers must design an outfit using party store supplies.
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: Andy‘s heavy metal cocktail dress – and matching glove!
Diva’s Loser: Casanova‘s “transvestite flamenco dancer at a funeral” gown
Judges’ Loser: Sarah‘s blue and silver palm tree nightmare
The designers must design an outfit inspired by a Philip Treacy hat.
Diva’s Winner: A tie! Michael D‘s plunging avant garde top AND Valerie‘s cropped white vest
Judges’ Winner: Michael C‘s metallic wrap dress
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Kristin‘s black and pink disaster
Episode 5: There Is an “I” in Team
The designers are assigned to two teams and must create a six piece collection.
Diva’s Winner: Michael D‘s black lace cocktail dress with its breathtaking back
Judges’ Winner: Casanova‘s beautiful lace blouse (and divalicious breakdown)
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: AJ‘s miserable shirt dress
Episode 6: You Can Totally Wear That Again
The designers must create a fashionable look from bridesmaids dresses.
Diva’s Winner: Mondo‘s black and pink mod/Jersey Shore dress
Judges’ Winner: Michael C‘s (super ugly) black cocktail dress
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Peach and her green ruffled skirt
Episode 7: What’s Mine is Yours
The designers must create a resort wear look. (Diva’s Edit: And construct each other’s designs!)
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: April‘s black lingerie-inspired dress, constructed by Christopher
Diva’s Loser: Ivy‘s depressing top and giant pants, constructed by Michael D
Judges’ Loser: Casanova‘s grandma blouse
Episode 8: A Rough Day on the Runway
The designers must create an American sportswear look inspired by Jackie Kennedy.
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: Mondo‘s purple houndstooth skirt and striped blouse (my personal favorite look of the season)
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Michael D and his Pilgrim skirt
The designers must create a high fashion look and a ready-to-wear companion to appear in a L’Oréal Paris ad.
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: Mondo‘s multi-print ballgown and fabulous RTW dress
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Ivy‘s ocean-inspired hurricane of ugly
Episode 10: There’s a Pattern Here
The designers must create an original fabric look using HP/Intel technology.
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: Mondo, his beautiful soul, and his incredible print
Diva’s Loser: Christopher‘s forgettable top and pants
Judges’ Loser: Valerie‘s self-plagiarized plunging cocktail dress
Episode 11: A Look in the Line
The designers must create three looks for Heidi’s activewear line.
Diva’s Winner: Mondo‘s chic but wearable dresses and leggings
Judge’s Winner: Andy‘s skeletal loungewear
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Christopher‘s 11th consecutive snooze-fest
Episode 12: We’re in a New York State of Mind
The designers must create a look inspired by New York City.
Diva’s Winner: Mondo again, for another mixed-print cocktail dress
Judge’s Winner: Michael C‘s overpraised, slutty gown
Diva’s Loser: Michael C‘s eight thousandth uncreative, uninspired, derivative dress (photo above)
Judge’s Loser: April‘s “pregnant witch” gown
The designers must create an 11th look for their mini collection to compete for a spot at Fashion Week.
Diva’s and Judges’ Winner: Mondo‘s mixed-print mini-collection, and his newest look in particular
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Michael C‘s derivative, slightly garish, poorly-constructed mini-collection
Guest judge Jessica Simpson helps decide the finalists’ fate and the Season 8 winner is finally revealed.
Diva’s Winner: Mondo, for a bright, creative, and truly unique collection.
Judges’ Winner: Gretchen‘s accessible, on-trend collection
Diva’s and Judges’ Loser: Andy‘s underwhelming collection of green and grey looks
By the Numbers:
Diva and Judges agree on 8/14 eliminations and 6/14 wins.
The Finalists’ Portfolios:
Looking at Gretchen’s season portfolio as a whole, I actually don’t hate it as much as I hate some individual looks. Without the context of the challenge and the comparisons to the work of other designers from that episode, some of this really isn’t so bad. The party favor skirt (top row, 3rd look) is probably my favorite Gretchen design of the season; of course, its hipness and youthfulness stick out like a sore thumb against this sea of muted tones and draped fabrics. But the only other looks I find remotely wearable are the first look and her high fashion and RTW looks (2nd row, last two looks). The velvet dress is much more beautiful than I remember, though I still think there’s nothing high fashion about it. And the RTW look is fairly matronly, but I think that could be solved with better styling. Overall, I’m not as nauseated by her work as I thought I’d be, though the entire last row of looks is so unfortunate, it’s truly shocking that she made it to the finals.
There’s a lot of inconsistency in Andy’s portfolio, and the only looks I like are the ones that go over the top, or “Warrior Bitch,” as Michael Kors would say. With the exception of his resort look (2nd row, 2nd look), the only garments I like are black, badass, and enhanced by leather or metallics. Like Gretchen, Andy shone in the party favor challenge (1st row, 3rd look) and the high fashion/RTW challenge (2nd row, last 2 looks). Also like Gretchen, basically everything else is underwhelming. It’s surprising that someone with this Asian-gothic-dominatrix aesthetic would put out so many sad girl/old lady looks – the Philip Treacy challenge and the group collection challenge (1st row, last 2 looks) and the make-your-own-print challenge (3rd row, look 1) are some of his biggest weaknesses because they veer so far from who Andy really is as a designer.
Mondo’s portfolio is the only one that truly feels like it reflects him as a designer, and it has more style, youth, personality, and attitude than Gretchen and Andy’s portfolios combined. His best work walks the fine line between wearable and cartoonish. He rarely goes astray because of not pushing the boundaries far enough – only in the first challenge (1st row, 1st look) did his work suffer from being underwhelming. Usually Mondo’s mistakes were from not editing down enough of his crazy – his Philip Treacy look and resort look (1st row, 4th look and 2nd row, 2nd look, respectively) just went too far. But unlike his competitors, the majority of Mondo’s work is beautiful and intriguing, and every single piece is identifiably Mondo.
© Democracy Diva, 2010.