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Armstrong and Ever Carradine boast the fashionable flair many of their Hollywood peers lack. They’re fresh. They’re stylish. And — you guessed it — they’re ready for their close-ups.
LOS ANGELES — Samaire Armstrong doesn’t have a blockbuster movie coming out, but her chic L.A. style is getting plenty of notice. And unlike most starlets, who live for a designer’s sample closet, Armstrong actually designs — and sews! — the looks she wears to fashionable parties around town.
Naru, the 22-year-old actress’ line of colorful tops and skirts, sells only in the tiny local boutique Naked. But that’s not because Armstrong’s clothes aren’t in demand. She makes it all — her own clothes, pieces for friends and for the store — with the four sewing machines crammed into the Studio City apartment she shares with her boyfriend, producer Jonathan Pavesi, and their three dogs, one of which, a Pekingese called Arthur, was rescued from the Osbournes.
At her favorite coffee shop, just down the street from her place, Armstrong, dressed in jeans, a Naru T-shirt and electric blue Patricia Field pumps, explains how she became her own favorite designer: “I grew up in Sedona, hours away from a mall. My mom used to design clothes, and I started sewing in high school. It’s all about creating what you can out of what isn’t available.”
After graduating from high school in 1998, Armstrong enrolled at Parsons for a summer, then went on to the University of Arizona to study theater. But Armstrong is driven by DIY, and soon found that school wasn’t for her. “After a year I was like, ‘Why am I going to school for this when you can just go do it?’” she says. She moved to L.A. and, after nine months of auditions, landed a regular part on “Freaks and Geeks” shortly before the cult show was canceled. Small roles in “Party of Five,” “X Files” and “Not Another Teen Movie” came along. But Armstrong admits that sometimes the audition-and-wait lifestyle gets tiresome. “There’s so much downtime in acting that you have to have something to keep you sane,” she says. “For me, that is sewing. I make clothes because I think it’s fun to dress up.”