The sisters' problems are increased when rival couturier Maison Gille opens in competition to them, poaching some of their customers and resulting in Agnes and Betty being laid off. Evie and Alexander are seen in public and plastered all over the papers, forcing Alexander to resign his job at the treasury. Jack is becoming drawn to Emma but still feels some responsibility towards Bea and offers financial help, as does Alexander, who feels his indiscretion has contributed to the sisters' misfortune. However, with the scandalous publicity attracting a new, theatrical clientèle, Evie and Bea turn down their offers. Then Maison Gille offers to buy the House of Elliott.