"I'm a winner, too, for having a daughter like her," her mom says, and Irina is very moved. It's terribly sweet. She has a really nice family, despite her old-school Georgian dad who has not always been supportive of his daughter going into fashion, but now seems to be at least supporting her in this competition. "Good luck for you," he says, raising his glass. "To Irina," Tim Gunn adds, "and to the American Dream." Aw.
Finally, he is off to Dayton, Ohio to visit Althea. Despite presumably living in NYC for many years and no doubt traveling in many service elevators, he is flummoxed by the freight lift he has to ride to get to her loft. It earns both a "yikes," and an "egads," both of which are hilarious in every way. Althea says in an interview that she came back to her hometown to work so that she could really focus. "I'll have plenty of time to get to New York afterwards," she says. Her explains to Tim that when she came home from Los Angeles, she started watching a lot of SciFi movies, and that her collection was thus inspired. So weird! I mean, all of them have these random "inspirations" that seem... unlike anything they appeared to be into on the show. Althea just did not seem like a Trekkie of any kind to me, before. "I was really inspired by these women in these movies," she says, adding that she wanted to translate that strong woman vibe into her clothes. "All right, I'm intrigued," Tim Gunn says, unable to fully cloak the skepticism in his voice.
Althea, like Irina, has knits in her collection, and the ones Tim sees are so good, he wants to see more. However, when he sees some kind of confusing coat/dress thing made out of what looks like an entire bolt of sweatpants material, he is beyond concerned. "It looks like Edwardian era, but she's visiting the Old West," he says. "This can't walk down that Bryant Park runway!" Althea trusts him, and takes it in stride. She does have this annoying thing where instead of discussing things, she says "yeah, yeah" like whatever he's saying she's already thought of, but I will chalk that up to her being smart enough not to argue with an industry expert. She says in an interview that she knows that editing is a very important step. Tim tells her that she has a lot of editing to do, yes, but that she has a lot of really great work behind her. "Just don't lose sight of who you are," he insists. Althea says she is thinking that if she stays true to herself, she can create something that is unique and make a big statement.