Nicolas Ghesquière's men's collection for Balenciaga never hits the runway like its women's counterpart. It's something of a shame—not to mention a missed opportunity—given that it keeps the men's offerings farther under the radar then they might be. Can't say that about the house's other half.

Nevertheless, the men's and women's collections at Balenciaga are inextricably linked, right down to shared prints: Usually, what appears in one will surface, in some tweaked form, in the other. Here, a bird-and-flower pattern that turned up as tights and a blouse for women's pre-fall came back as a bold shirt print. A single-breasted peacoat in red wool had its analogue in a ladies' caban.

But more than specific pieces, the two collections share the house's detail-driven, quasi-futuristic spirit. That was evident here in the oily-looking printed jacket, the leather pants, and vinyl jeans. This season, lug-soled, creeper-style lace-ups have a metal grate hinged at the front—the steel-toed boot gone robot sartorial. A fully reversible shearling-and-camel jacket felt just as forward-leaning. Ultra-functionality and mutability was, in fact, the driving theme of this new collection: pockets unbuttoned (via open-faced snaps, no less) to reveal other pockets lurking beneath; a duffel coat's leather-accented hood unzipped into a mini cape.

Between said duffel, a teddy jacket that came in several different colors, the shearling bomber, and a boiled-wool collared navy raincoat lined in brilliant gold, Balenciaga had some of the best outerwear in an outerwear-crammed week. No runway required.