This month, three exhibitions display fashion as cultural artifact. "High Style and Hoop Skirts: 1850's Fashion," at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (465 Huntington Ave.; 617/267-9300;, demonstrates how 19th-century innovations (crinolines, synthetic dyes) inspired over-the-top designs in America and Western Europe. Through March 13. • The Honolulu Academy of Arts (900 S. Beretania St.; 808/532-8700; traces the evolution of traditional Far Eastern clothing with "From Flat Fabrics to Contoured Body Form: A Story of Asian Costumes." Through January 16. • Stockholm's Moderna Museet (Skeppsholmen; 46-8/5195-5200; is hosting "Fashination," which features present-day artists, photographers, and designers—Vanessa Beecroft, Steven Meisel, Viktor & Rolf—whose provocative work defies easy categorization. Through January 23.
—Jaime Gross