Monday, December 22, 2014

Love and Hip Hop New York Star Chrissy Monroe Talks All Things Fashion

Chrissy Monroe is one of the new cast members of VH1's Love and Hip Hop. The Baltimore native turned New Yorker, is known for her unique style and vibrant personality. I had the opportunity to chat with Chrissy about her vintage clothing store, where she likes to shop, and her adorable chihuahua, Marge Tiffany. Check out the interview below to learn more about this fashionista.

Styling On A Budget: You're a new face on Love and Hip Hop. Can you tell us more about you and where you're from?

Chrissy Monroe: My name is Chrissy Monroe. I'm from Baltimore, Maryland, born and raised. I moved to New York approximately 12 years ago to pursue a career in theater, acting, modeling, fashion. Just everything that New York has to offer. I owned a vintage clothing store in Baltimore, where I grew up, called Funk In The Trunk, for 3 years, that was located in Federal Hill. It was quite successful and mostly had stuff from the 70s and 80s. The 80s is my favorite fashion decade. I sold the store when I moved to New York. I wanted to move on to bigger and better things. I've always been this whole fashionista. In high school, going to school in Baltimore, I was in the yearbook as 'Class Punk'. I had my nose pierced, mohawk (back then), and leather jackets. Very trendy, before my time. Everyone in school called me Madonna because I had the bleached blonde hair. I was always a trendsetter.

SOAB: So you've always had your own style?

CM: Yes. I've never been afraid to take a fashion risk, good or bad. I've always been very daring.

SOAB: So you were rocking the mohawk before it was even the trend to do it now.

CM: Yes. If I show you a picture of me from 8th grade and now, it's like my twin.

SOAB: How is Baltimore fashion different from New York fashion?

CM: Well of course New York is the fashion capital, so everything we get here is first, it's like the trendsetter for the universe.We were a little bit behind. We had our boutiques. It's definitely growing now, Baltimore is much more into the fashion industry. There were a lot of other independent boutique owners, such as myself, that brought in the styles from Europe and New York. We had the malls and stuff too. I gravitated more towards the independent labels and the things that I saw in Vogue magazine. I would go over to D.C., which was 30 minutes away to Georgetown, and there were fabulous boutiques over there as well. I always sought out those unique pieces that weren't in the malls and stuff. Even going to thrift stores and doctoring up pieces, and recreating and restyling pieces of my own. Adding studs and sequins or even painting, fabric painting leather jackets and stuff. There is a big fashion scene for those that choose to seek it out.

SOAB: How would you describe your personal style today?

CM: My personal style today is very fabulous, eccentric, over the top. I love Patricia Fields stuff. I like anything that's just different. I'm very flamboyant.

SOAB: Where do you like to shop? I know you mentioned that you were a thrift store and vintage shopper. Where do you like to shop now?

CM: I just went on a shopping trip to Milan last month. I love shopping in Europe. I was in Paris last year. I did a big shopping trip to the Champs Elysees. When I'm not in Europe and I'm here in New York, I love SoHo. There's such a variety of things. I even like shopping uptown in Washington Heights because I can find jeans that actually fit my booty. I have a small waist, and they have a lot of the stretchy jeans that are very affordable. I don't really fit into high-end, big name jeans. A lot of them don't make jeans for women built like me. That's been a challenge in my life, finding good jeans that actually fit. That's when I wear jeans, I seldom wear jeans. When I'm on the show and they ask me to dress casual, I actually had to Google 'How to dress casual'. I really don't know how to dress casual. But yea I definitely love SoHo. Bergdorf's I live! I could be in there all day.

SOAB: What do you like to splurge on?

CM: Shoes.

SOAB: I think every woman is like that, you can never have enough.

CM: Shoes and bags.

SOAB: Ok so what's your next fashion must-have?

CM: A Tom Ford bag. There's one that I'm dying for, it's crocodile. That would definitely be on my wish list. Or another Chanel bag. I love Chanel. I've always had a love for Chanel. I have a Chanel tattoo.

SOAB: Who is your favorite celebrity fashionista? Who gives you the most fashion inspiration?

CM: Right now I really love Rihanna. She's so daring, she reminds me of myself. She's not afraid to try different looks and different designers. She puts it together so well, it seems to work well for her at the end of the day.

SOAB: Do you prefer to wear heels or flats?

CM: Flats. I'm 5'9", so I have to be careful wearing too tall of a heel because I tower over everyone in the room and they're like 'Who is this giant walking in'? Flats are definitely more comfortable, but heels are much sexier. I guess it depends on my mood. I enjoy wearing heels as well, they're so girly. It depends on the outfit.

SOAB: Would you ever start your own clothing line?

CM: Absolutely. The clothing line would be precisely for women built such as myself with the proper tailoring. For taller women I like the pencil skirts that are more knee-length. Sexy but classy. I like a lot of silks and satin. Nice suits with the tapered waist, things like that. Just glamorous. I've always been a big fan of old Hollywood glamour. I watch a lot of old Hollywood movies, and sometimes the movie may not be good, but I watch just to see the costumes. I've got a lot of my ideas from watching movies like that and a lot of my inspiration for fashion from art. That old Hollywood glam, I live for that.

SOAB: Since you're big on the fashion scene do you plan on attending fashion week in the spring?

CM: Absolutely. As much as possible. As much as my schedule will allow me, if I'm not traveling. I'm going to try as much as I can to attend as many shows as possible.

SOAB: Do you have any designers that you really look forward to or specific shows that you try to attend?

CM: I'm a big Tom Ford fan. I love Versace. I love anyone new that's up and coming. I was a big fan of Jeremy Scott before Jeremy Scott really blew up. I love Moschino. Betsey Johnson I still have a love for because she was very big when I was growing up. I love Gucci. I love Fendi. Fendi had a really great line this year.

SOAB: So lastly, tell us about your baby Marge Tiffany.

CM: She is a fashion diva in her own right. She has her own couture gowns, rompers, sweat suits. She has designers that send her unique one-of-a-kind custom made pieces just for her. She's going to be featured in a magazine coming out very soon. It's a dog fashion magazine. She just loves modeling. She's a natural model. She's a natural actress. She just complies, she's a little ham for the camera. She's perfect.

SOAB: How old is she exactly?

CM: She's 7. She's now a teen. We call her a teen because she acts grown. She doesn't want to be babied anymore, but she's always going to be my baby.

SOAB: Do you have any favorite places that you shop for her?

CM: Usually just independent pet boutiques. I'll be walking around in the city and I'll see something in the window and be like 'I have to get this for Marge Tiffany!'. Build-a-Bear actually makes cute clothes for bears that fit Marge. They kicked us out of Build-a-Bear, well not kicked us out, but they were like 'Oh you can't have her in here trying on the clothes because some kids might be allergic. I was like my bad!'.

SOAB: She's adorable. I love her wigs that you put on her.

CM: Yes that's a cute idea. She loves the wigs, but she also has hats. We put little bracelets on her head like tiara's. We just experiment, it's a lot of fun.

Be sure to tune in to VH1 on Monday's to see more of Chrissy and her edgy style.