Emma: Romola Garai Version

Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love;
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

In today’s tutorial, I am wearing a locket that my grandmother gave to me a few years before she passed away. The front is engraved with the words “I love you” and a rose, delicately colored. I wish I could get a picture of it to turn out! This verse is on the inside.

And now, drum roll, please!

The long-awaited Romola Garai “Emma” style!

First off, the braid in the movie is fake. The rest of the bun, I’m not so sure about. It might be the actress’s real hair, or it might be a hair piece, also. The bun varies during the different scenes from messy to somewhat neater, to very carefully arranged. (Click on the individual words for examples.) My tutorial is for the messy/middle version, but I really like the very last one! For that bun try the pin curl recycle all the way down at the bottom of this page.

1.  Using your favorite method, make your hair curly if it isn’t naturally.  Mine was curled with a pin curl bun the day before.

2. With the top half of your hair, make a regular bun, but only go around once so that the ends stick out the top. If your hair is much shorter, you could just make a ponytail. Make sure you leave a sizable section for the braid.

3. Fold the curls over the top of the bun and pin the individual curls artistically randomly. I know that isn’t very descriptive, but you just need to experiment on your own hair and figure out what works for you!

^ Here are my curls in progress.

4. Braid the remaining section and wrap it around the “bun.”

My curls kind of got lost, but you get the idea. I like it! I think this is a style I’ll try to incorporate into my rotation.

Discussion questions:

1. Which version of “Emma” did you like better? The new one had its moments, and some elements were better than the other versions. In my opinion, however, the Gwyneth Paltrow version told the story better, was more artistic, and overall, had the complete package. I wouldn’t show the Romola version to someone who didn’t already know the story.

2. New camera angle! What do you think? I’m working on fixing the exposure issues . . .


25 thoughts on “Emma: Romola Garai Version

  1. Oh, and I thought you ladies would like to know– I have now had 25,000+ visitors from 50 countries on 6 continents!

    Thank you for being a part of Rapunzel’s Resource!

  2. Thank you for the tutorial! It’s great! I will have to try that one on my sister. 🙂

    I like the Romola version of “Emma” best. I thought it included a lot more from the book that the other versions left out, and I loved the music, casting, Mr. Knightly, most of the costumes…. I loved it! 😀 Interesting take, kind of different from the other versions, but I like how they did it. I do like the Gywneth version too, but I like the new one better. 🙂

  3. Elizabeth,

    Thank you for doing this!! I’m so excited to try it out. You did it in a much easier way than I have tried (and my way just didn’t work out so well). I too liked the “arranged” photo the best. I like how she has the little ringlets hanging down.

    I actually thought both versions of Emma – the Gwyneth Paltrow & Kate Beckinsale versions – had parts that the other had skipped and I enjoy these two the most. And I would have to agree, I wouldn’t show the Romola Garai to one who doesn’t know the story.

    Thank you again for doing this tutorial!

  4. Great tutorial! 🙂 I should try this next time I curl my hair.

    I liked the Garai version a lot better. It was much more enjoyable to watch, and written in such a way that the characters are easier to understand and/or sympathize with. The costumes were way better. The one thing I really like about the Paltrow version is Northam’s Mr Knightley, but now I think the new one is just as good, or almost.

  5. Oh thanks so much I can’t wait to try this!

    Well this is the only version Ive seen so far so I can’t compare it to any other version but I really loved it, I thought Johnny Lee Miller made the perfect Mr. Knightley, and I liked Ramola Garai as Emma, the other actress’s who have played Emma looked a little weak and sickly compared to her, I think a lot of the actress’s who played Emma would be better as Fanny price but that’s just my opinion.
    ok sorry didn’t mean to ramble I just love Jane Austen.

  6. Thanks SO MUCH for this tutorial–I like to try and find hairstyles for everyday that are simple but look “neat” and this is perfect!

    Question…do you have a long-hair way of doing the infamous “messy bun” aka pull your hair through a ponytail holder halfway through…etc.? I love the look but it doesn’t look right when I try it since my hair’s too long.

    As for the Emma…I wrote a review on my costume drama blog…


    …but to make a long story short, I like the Gwyneth Paltrow version better. BUT I did like it (the 2009 version). I just wasn’t crazy about Mr. Knightley. Not the actor himself, but the role he played, you know?

    Ok, I’m rambling now. 😉 Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. {{Quote}} 1. Which version of “Emma” did you like better? The new one had its moments, and some elements were better than the other versions. In my opinion, however, the Gwyneth Paltrow version told the story better, was more artistic, and overall, had the complete package. I wouldn’t show the Romola version to someone who didn’t already know the story. {{Quote}}

    I, personally, went into the Romola version not knowing the story, and I loved it! I saw the Gwyneth Paltrow version before.. .a loong time ago, so I didn’t remember anything about the story line. However, I do remember a few select parts.

    I liked “Harriett” better in the newer version, as well as Mr. Elton.
    As far as Emma herself, I prefer the newest.

    My only regret is Mrs. Elton. I liked her much better in the Gwyneth version!

    BTW, I have been looking all over for an “Emma” hairstyle tutorial, and I’ve finally found one! Yay!!
    God Bless,
    Allison Elizabeth ♪


  8. That hairstyle is very beautiful! Our family just saw the new Emma and are among the ones to like it as the best version… mind you this is just my opinion, but I thought I’d share since you asked what we thought. I was never an Emma fan until I saw this new one. I saw the A&E one (with Kate Beckinsale) once and the Gwyneth Paltrow one a few times. Even though I had read the book I always thought the Gwyneth Paltrow version was confusing where this one gave enough time to say who people were and develop their characters more. I was never crazy about Jeremy Northam as Mr Knightly either(I hope that statement isn’t to offensive to any of you ladies 😛 ). I think the new version cast Emma perfectly when they chose Romola Garai… she is what I pictured her to be like from the book with her wit and temperament… and I don’t know why, but I loved the new Knightly (and I wasn’t even that crazy about him in Mansfield park) And as a last fact before I ramble to long, I would have to agree with Marian about the costumes… I liked them a LOT (especially that the majority of them were more modest then most Austen films. Always a bonus when you have brothers watching it with you)

    Anyway, that’s my two cents… thanks again for posting the how to. I can’t wait to try it!

    The Lord bless you!

  9. Thanks so much for breaking this hairstyle down for us! It looks beautiful and I can’t wait to try it!!!

    I personally liked the Romola Garai better than the others I’ve seen. It was nice to see the characters fleshed out a bit more and to understand everyone’s motives for their actions, etc. I thought that all of the characters were acted very well with the possible exception of Emma (Romola seemed a bit too modern and/or undecorous at times) but even that just contributed to understanding why Mr. Knightley is annoyed with her behavior and she grew on me/matured by the end… I still love the feel of the Gwyneth Paltrow version, too, so I plan to enjoy each version for itself! 🙂

    I have a request- I know you said that you watched some ice skating before, and I was wondering if you could do a tutorial for Tessa Virtue’s (ice dancing) hairstyle for the free dance the other night in the Olympics. It is really lovely, but I’m having trouble figuring it out!

  10. Ooh, this looks like lots of fun – I was kind of hoping you’d do this style!

    I LOVED this version of Emma (and it looks like I’m not alone). I’ve read the book, seen the Beckinsale version, and part of the Gwyneth version; but in the Romola Garai one I thought that the characters seemed well-fleshed-out and fit their book counterparts and I loved the costumes…I wrote a review here:
    I just wish that PBS hadn’t cut scenes from the U.S. broadcast!

  11. Wow, I love your blog! I just trimmed 4″ off of my hair, so it’s about waist length now, but I’m a sucker for new hairstyles – especially ones copied from movies! This one in particular has been on my ‘to-try’ list. 🙂 So I’m glad to find your tutorials – they’re great!

    This version of Emma was definitely my favorite … Emma is my favorite Jane Austen book anyways, and I’ve seen the Beckinsale and the Gyneth version, too. Mr. Knightley is just perfect in this version … in my humble opinion, that is. 😉

    Thanks for all the work you put in this … I’ll try and remember to send you some pictures when I try your tutorials. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Sarah’s Request: Kate Beckinsale’s “Emma” « Rapunzel's Resource

  13. Great series of tutorials! I am definitely adding a link to you to our resources section.

    I liked Kate Beckinsale best as Emma. I think she’s the brattiest, and I think her acting was the most understated. I also favor the costuming and art direction in that version — possibly the best costuming of all the Austen adaptations, in my opinion.

    Aside from some inexplicable overacting on Romola Garai’s part (she’s normally so great!), I loved the new version of “Emma”. I felt like this version really focuses on Emma’s growth and maturity, and makes both her and Mr. Knightly much more human and lovable. Big bonus points for the beautiful soundtrack…I thought the costumes were pretty bad, though.

  14. Lovely! I tried this on myself and it turned out great! I used bandna curls to make my hair curly. Oh…..and you said that you used a pin curl bun to make your hair curly….could you (or someone!:D) give me a link to where that may be on your blog?


    • You can use several different types of pin roll buns to make curls. This is one of the easier ones if your hair isn’t too thick. Click here.

      • Ohh….okay! Thank you, Elizabeth!!! My siblings and I do Irish Ceili (pronounced Kay-le) Dancing….which is a *very* hyped up version of ECD balls, etc! I’m planning on doing this hairstyle for the next Ceili we will be attending this month….I’m planning on spraying it quite heavy! 😛 Thanks for the tips and I’ll try the curl bun you mentioned above….my hair isn’t too thick, so it should work! Thank you!

      • Ok! I tried it with the pin roll bun! It worked great and stayed in perfect shape! I love this hair style! Thanks!


  15. Pingback: On Emma « Life's a haiku

  16. I love you I love you I love you. I’ve been looking for this for forever! I watch the BBC version again and again and the whole four hours I’m either staring at Knightley or staring at her hair. In the miniseries the hair that’s pulled across the top is also curly. Could this be achieved with sponge curlers and a looser bun?

  17. Pingback: Emma Masterpiece Classic: Romola Garai Hair Tutorial From Rapunzel’s Resource « All Things Austen

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