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Poinsettia Dress by Okishima & Simmonds

over eight million poinsettia plants were sold in the UK in just two months

Hi-res images are available to download here.

The traditional Christmas poinsettia has been given the haute couture treatment by floral stylists, Okishima & Simmonds, in celebration of International Poinsettia Day this Saturday, 12 December.

Fashioning the dramatic ombré gown from over 300 freshly cut stems of red, variegated and cream poinsettia and styling it amongst sea of poinsettia plants, Okishima & Simmonds have re-imagined the Christmas classic.

“We love to create unique designs that merge the floral world with the fashion world and International Poinsettia Day has given us an exciting opportunity to do that,” says Jessica Simmonds of Okishima & Simmonds, who were commissioned on the project by Stars for Europe, the EU-wide poinsettia campaign. “We wanted the dress to flow so that it looked as though it was growing out of the poinsettia beds beneath, so used the traditional red poinsettia for the skirt and showcased other colours through the bodice.”

Poinsettias are as much a Christmas classic as the Christmas tree itself, and are known as ‘Christmas Stars’ in much of the world. In 2014, over eight million poinsettia plants were sold in the UK in just two months , an increase of 15% on the previous year, making the poinsettia the best-selling houseplant after the year-round orchid. The poinsettia fashion shoot was set in the vast poinsettia glasshouse of Hill Brothers Nurseries in Chichester.

As well as festive houseplants in shades of red, pink, apricot and white, poinsettia make excellent cut flowers and last up to two weeks in water. The trick is to snip the stem and immediately dip it into hot water at 60˚C for 20 seconds then into cold water for 10 seconds before arranging in a vase.


ABOUT INTERNATIONAL POINSETTIA DAY - #POINSETTIADAY

International Poinsettia Day is celebrated on 12 December and marks the death of Joel Robert Poinsett, the US diplomat and botanist, who introduced the poinsettia to the United States from Mexico in 1828.

ABOUT OKISHIMA & SIMMONDS www.okishimasimmonds.com

Okishima & Simmonds is the partnership of fine art graduates and trained florists, Jessica Simmonds and Chikae Okishima. They use flowers to style weddings, events and fashion shoots from their London studio.

ABOUT HILL BROTHERS, CHICHESTER www.hillbrothers.co.uk

The family-owned and managed Hill Brothers Nursery was founded in 1920 and, now based in Chichester, covers over 8 acres of ornamental pot plant production. Hills currently produce approximately 3 million plants a year - including half a million poinsettias - for the UK consumer and also directly supply UK supermarkets.

MEDIA CONTACT:

All the hi-res images are available to download here.

Press site: www.stars-for-europe.com

Consumer site: www.christmas-star.info

For more information, hi-res images or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Hannah Dunne
Tel: 020 8237 1108
Mobile: 07533 076185
Email: hannah@purplespotted.com

Caroline Marshall Foster
Tel: 020 8237 1107
Mobile: 0795 654 7695.
Email: caroline@purplespotted.com

Liz Anderson
Tel: 01952 501594
Mobile: 07976 061092
Email: liz@lizanderson.co.uk

Floral stylists: Okishima & Simmonds
Photo credit: Stars for Europe. Photographer - Julian Winslow
Make-up: Harriet Simmonds
Model: Tara Francis-Smith
Grower: Hill Brothers Nursery, Chichester

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR POINSETTIA

• Inspect before buying. Dense foliage and yellow-green flower buds are a sign of freshness. Don’t take any standing in breezy entrance areas.

• Keep them in a bright, warm spot (around 20° C). They can even be close to a radiator, but not in direct sunlight or near draughts – so keep away from open doors and windows.

• Don’t overwater them by leaving a pool of water in bottom of the pot or saucer they’re sitting in. Only water when the soil is almost dry (preferably with lukewarm water).

• To keep your poinsettia going long after the festive season, do not fertilize during its flowering period. Afterwards, fertilize monthly using conventional nutrients.

• To produce colourful leaves for years to come, keep the plant in complete darkness for at least twelve hours per day for several weeks.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Poinsettias got their name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the man who introduced them to the US in 1828.

• Poinsettia Day is 12 December, commemorating the death of Poinsett on 12 December 1851.

• Poinsettias originate from Mexico and have been associated with Christmas since the 16th century.
• Poinsettias are not just red! You can get them in cream, pink and vintage apricot.

• Poinsettias make great cut flowers. Immerse the stems in hot water for 20 seconds and they’re good to go!

• Poinsettias are grown in black-out conditions for days so that they develop their colourful leaves.

• Poinsettias are non-toxic, but still not recommended as a snack.

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