Most Famous Duffel Coat Wearing Bear Inspired by Evacuees
It was great to see the interview on the BBC website today with Michael Bond, author of the infamous Paddington Bear series who said that the inspiration for the character of Paddington himself actually came from him own memories from before and during World War II and the children he saw on television be evacuated during this period.
The interview goes on to say that the reason that Paddington wears a label around his neck reading ‘Please look after this bear. Thank You’ is because of the labels he saw on the necks of the evacuees who were sent from the most dangerous parts of Britain away from their families to safer more rural regions.
Even Paddington’s small suitcase, which he is sat on the first time we are introduced to the Bear from darkest Peru, was inspired by the small amount of belongings that the evacuees were allowed to take with them when they left. But where the inspiration for the marmalade sandwich comes from is still a mystery!
And the origin of the Duffel coat is very straight forward, Mr Bond himself was wearing a Duffel Coat himself during the time he was writing the book which gave him the idea to adorn his own lovable character in the same signature outfit.
Though the Duffel Coat itself has been around for a lot longer than even Paddington himself, the popularity of this style of coat has always remained high, and even today is one of the best selling styles of coats we see, especially for girls, as it provides the warmth and comfort required by a high quality coat along with a style that seems to transition every fashion we see, a bit like Paddington himself!
If you want to hear more about the origins of Paddington, then check out Michael Bond’s podcasts on his life and influences and his experiences in World War II.