Finding a buried treasure of handmade, unique, gold-shimmering vintage jewels is not your average daily basement discovery unless you happen to be Stefania Malacrida, daughter of Elviretta, a mysterious, as SHE IS legendary, self-taught jewelry designer of Roman Haute Couture.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, Elviretta (born Elviretta Palumbo Malacrida) graced the catwalks of Palazzo Pitti with her creations, dressing the sartorial beauties of the time with colorful pins, funky pectoral necklaces, kooky ear cuffs that are still so hot right now it’s hard to believe they’re actually 50 years old.

“Elviretta was a pioneer,” says Enrico Quinto, LDJ’s favorite vintage expert.  “The pieces here are all very creative and were very ahead of their time.”

Elviretta’s start in jewelry was serendipitous. “She didn’t even know she could draw,” points out her daughter Stefania. “One day she bought an overcoat at Faraoni (a famous Haute Couture Roman dressmaker) and didn’t like the buttons. Faraoni said, ‘I wish you could do that, signora!’ so she made them and they absolutely loved them.”

The rest is history: after Faraoni, the Roman Haute fashion houses went absolutely crazy for Elviretta: Gregoriana, Tita Rossi, De Barentzen, Le Daniele, La Mendola, Galitzine. They all killed to have her as jewelry designer for their collections.

“Elviretta bijoux d’alta moda” (the original name she picked for the brand) quickly stood for unique, rigorously handcrafted pieces. Elviretta was a maniac for details and was fiercely against mass distribution. This is also the reason she quit when industrial brands started stealing her ideas in the late 1970s. “She enjoyed making her jewels, she only did it for the fun of it. It was her passion and if you have to struggle to protect your ideas is not fun anymore.” says her daughter Stefania.

Luckily for us, we’ve got our hands on a special stash of these unique creations. Stefania herself has pulled unworn Elviretta pieces that belonged to her mother’s personal archive and are now exclusively for sale at! So get ready to discover the name that has come to light after 50 years, long-lost between sips of Martini and the indistinct chatter of the cool Roman high society ladies.

Shop the entire collection HERE!

– Livia Satriano