This question jumped into my mind while I was reading the thread over on the Edge about fashion divas Michelle, Sasha and Johnny. I know a lot of you-all are into fashion (like our favorite skaters are ), so maybe you can help me out here.

When I see on TV these runway shows by famous designers, and the models come out looking like space cadets or something -- I never see outlandish costumes like that on the rack at Marshalls (hey, gotta support figure skating sponsors) when I go shopping for my wife's birthday.

So I have three questions. 1. When the buyers from the big stores come to these shows, is there a separate show that they don't show on TV of the actual clothes that the designers are offering for sale?

2. If they do not intend to offer these clothes for sale, what is the purpose of the show, other than for the famous designers to applaud and congratulate themselves?

3. Do designers and fashion houses employ ordinary sized and shaped models to actually get the fit right? The customers, after all, are not going to be 6 feet tall, 90 pounds.

I once saw a cute Chanel dress advertised at Saks, so I went in to inquire about the price (true story). The lady said, oh I think it's in the threes. (Well, come on now, $300 for a dress? That's a little steep, I thought. Oh, what the heck -- nothing's too good for my sweetie!)

So the lady said, I will call and find out where the size ten is -- I think it's either in Paris or Rio. (I'm thinking, wait a minute, did she say THE size ten?)

Actually, it turned out it was in the "fours."