All artistic practices inevitably borrow from the past, but fashion, in particular, seems to revel in revivals. Whether skillfully appropriated or brazenly duplicated, the familiar frequently finds its way back to the runway, be it in 1940s wide pants, '50s flared skirts, '60s babydoll dresses, '70s bell-bottoms or '80s cropped tops.

Both "Pleasure in the History of Fashion" at the Setagaya Art Museum and "Paris Haute Couture" at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo take us back to where most scholars believe such sartorial obsessions began.

"Pleasure in the History of Fashion," a chronological display of fashion illustrations from the collection of Western-clothing scholar Akira Ishiyama, starts by swiftly moving from Jean-Jacques Boissard's 16th-century monochrome "The Dresses of Different Nations" to colored fashion plates of 19th-century periodicals.