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Btvs Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is conjectural.
Angelwings
It’s my second skin. It’s who I am.
―Spike.[src]

Spike wore a black leather duster which originally belonged to Nikki Wood. It was part of his trademark look for over two decades, as well as a practical device for the vampire to protect himself while walking under the daylight.

History

In 1977, Spike first fought the Slayer Nikki, when he commented that he loved her coat.[1] In July of that year, they fought again on a New York subway, and the vampire stripped her off the duster just after killing her.[2] In 1998, when Spike was first seem again, he still wore the coat almost constantly.[3]

Notably, in 2002, when Spike left Sunnydale to seek his soul, he left the duster behind.[4] When he returned to the town, he had abandoned his previous look as an effect of his penance, but called this attempt a “costume”.[5] After Buffy Summers called him out for holding his violence back even in emergencies, Spike needed to fight a particularly difficult demon, so he finally retrieved the duster from Sunnydale High School’s basement and was able to relish in the violence of the fight.[6]

In 2003, Spike died burning in the sunlight wearing the duster,[7] but three weeks later he returned as a ghost still wearing it.[8] He then became corporeal along with all his clothing.[9] In the next year, the duster was irreparably damaged by a bomb while Spike was in a mission in Rome. After the vampire complained that the jacket was irreplaceable, Ilona Costa Bianchi, as CEO of the Wolfram & Hart Rome branch, gave him an identical coat, along with 10 others and some new shoes that were sent to the Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles branch, allowing him to quickly get over it.[10]

Despite not being the original duster, Spike still wore these coats as often as he did the previous piece, a part of his continuing trademark look.

Behind the scenes

  • Spike’s duster cost $1,600.[11] Costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom described: “my team and I bought several beautiful leather coats and then we beat the shit out of them. We actually got transpo to chain up the jackets to the back of a tractor and drive the tractor around the lot with the jackets dragging behind to get a really nice aged effect.”[12]
  • In 2005, Inkworks produced trading cards featuring a piece of the leather coat used in the series.
  • The graphic novel Spike: Into the Light is supposedly set near the beginning of Season 7 according to its introduction, however Spike is shown wearing what looks to be the duster which he didn't retrieve until the fifteenth episode of the season. It is possible however that Spike simply wearing an identical duster.

References

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