Java Silks owner/designer Julie Irving

Java Silks owner/designer Julie Irving

Julie Irving knows paradise and how to dress for it. She grew up on the beaches of southern Australia before traveling the world to exotic places like Java, where she fell for the hand-stamped, lightweight, one-of-a-kind Javanese silks; the perfect, natural fiber to keep you cool in summer. Julie designed her pieces--from tunics to scarves--to layer or be worn alone and at an impressively affordable price point.

Now a Sarasota local by way of Aspen, Julie brought her thriving business, Java Silks, along with her. Here, I caught up with the woman with a passion for silks....

Must have one?  You can find Julie's pieces online at Java Silks as well as in downtown Sarasota at Sigrid Olsen on Pineapple Avenue.


What drew you to the use of silk in your designs?
I’ve always loved the feel and sensual sheen of silk. During my travels I found an array of hand-blocked prints that I knew I wanted to use in my collection.

Some women shy away from owning silk because they think it’s a sensitive fabric and difficult to care for – what would you say to them?
Actually, it’s a remarkably strong and resilient fiber and was first developed in Ancient China in 3500 B.C. That’s a long pedigree. I always recommend hand or delicate machine wash, no need to dry clean.

Black-White Drawstring dress

Tell me about the woman you design for….
She radiates a fun, carefree approach, loves color and stylish comfort.  She is ageless.

Siesta Sand tunic

What is your favorite piece from the collection?  How do you wear it?
The drawstring dress is my go-to piece because of its versatility. I can wear it anywhere from a beachside brunch to a dinner party,  which is perfect when traveling.

Tangerine Drawstring dress

Lastly, since you’re a new Sarasotan, tell us what you’ve loved discovering about our beautiful coastal city?
I have been overwhelmed by the genuine friendliness and hospitality that everyone has shown me. I am an Aussie and they make me feel at home here. What’s not to love?

Turquoise Kurta

To read Heather's Fashion IQ in our March issue, click here. >>

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