Rock chick Grainne's grungy new look divides fashionistas
From screen goddess to street urchin in one drastic, and frankly ill-judged, makeover? Or a new departure from a style rut? Irish style counsellors are divided on Grainne Seoige's edgier new look.
In an uncharacteristically sharp critique, Style Wars judge Ian Galvin said the TV star has gone from glamour to butch in one fell swoop. And she's been advised to sack the stylist.
Mr Galvin, who is chairman of Aurora Ireland and the man who brought Karen Millen to Ireland, said the TV star's new look does nothing for Ireland's sexiest woman.
"I think it makes her look very butch. Obviously she has a stylist who is trying to make her look very rock 'n' roll but it's not working," he said.
"I can see what they're trying to do with her -- they're trying to make her look cooler and edgier but there's a fine line between rock chick and what you have there. Cheryl Cole could get away with that and she'd look a lot slicker but not Grainne," he said.
"Those skinny jeans do nothing for her. They make her thighs look heavy. They're not in any way flattering."
In a straight-talking critique the fashion expert pulled no punches saying: "It's sending out a very confused message. She's wearing biker boots and skinny jeans and then she has a pearl necklace around her neck with a lady's handbag? The whole outfit clashes.
"My advice would be to take a leaf out of Kate Moss's book. Kate wears skinny jeans with killer heels and Grainne's body shape would suit that far better. The Cuban heels are only an inch-and-a-half high. She needs a higher, skinnier stiletto," he added.
But it was definitely top marks from one of Ireland's leading haute couture designers, Jen Kelly, who believes the only way is up for GMTV's newest addition.
"It's a thumbs up from me. It's the archetypal response to change. Her new look and new image are all part of the massive change in her life. People who are very image-conscious go through a period of changes to their style until they finally relax into their new world. Keep going Grainne.
"She needs to go a little further. She's always so elegant so this is a funkier new departure. And she can only add to that tapestry."
Aisling Kilduff, from Design Centre, treaded carefully when she gave the TV presenter faint praise -- labelling the look "brave".
"I think it's not unusual that when people break up from a relationship they try to recreate their look. She has been stuck in a rut for a while. I think that she's brave and she is a young girl and it's no harm to change the look that she's always had," she said.
"Has she got it right? I think she's brave. I have no problem with the look. It's toned down, it's relaxed and she is trying new things."
But she added: "It probably takes a bit of time to recreate a new look rather than sticking to the glamour the whole time, but she is going in the right direction."
Another top fashion consultant, who wishes to remain nameless, said the gaelgeoir beauty should maintain the glamorous look.
"Grainne should stick to being a goddess. Nobody does Hollywood Forties glamour quite like her. Her face is her fortune. And you know they say that when a woman approaches 40 she has to choose between her face and her figure. Grainne is all about the beautiful face. She's like Nigella Lawson in that."
She continued: "The EastEnders look with the tight jeans, T-shirt and big necklace just doesn't work for her. Admittedly she tried to do it right. She wore the same colour from head to toe, and she wore Cuban heels. But in spite of that, it didn't work. She should stick to just being fabulous. Which she is."
Dress designer Synan O'Mahony liked the look: "I love it. I think thumbs up to anyone who can pull off skinny jeans. But a few more accessories wouldn't have gone astray."