Cadar (Est. 2014) According to an October 2016 article on the website, “The European- and North African-raised jewelry designer and Creative Director, Michal Kadar launched her white-diamond-and-yellow-gold collection Cadar in New York City in 2014, after successfully helming a fashion boutique in Tel Aviv. Now, she’s opened a new flagship studio and gallery on NYC’s Madison Avenue.
“The showroom will provide a welcoming and comfortable environment to host retailers, stylists, and clients for private appointments,” says Kadar. “The aesthetic is a modern interpretation of Art Deco, influenced by the architecture of the Fuller Building [where the boutique is located].”
Cadar’s official website claims that the brand’s spirit is based on purity of form. “Symbols for light, water and life appear throughout the collection and are fundamental to its meaning. Each piece is conceived with a reverence for these elements, while embracing subtle visual references, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, spiritual geometry, and Japanese artistic motifs.”
Also, according to the website, design came easily to Michal. When she was young, she spent hours by the sea collecting shells her artist-father used for his life-sized sculptures. Consequently, she developed a scrupulous attention to detail and an affinity for the process of intricate work. The rich cultural mélange of her family’s European and North African heritage fired her childhood imagination and inspired her to pursue a life in art and design.
The Cadar website further states, “From the Renaissance icons of Florence, to the sensory experiences of the desert, these disparate influences played a formative role in shaping [Michal’s] early insights into the worlds of nature and design. Kadar continued on to study a range of design disciplines, including art, fine jewelry and fashion. The last of these [inspired] her passion early on and, by the age of twelve, she was seeking out books and magazines to satisfy her curiosity for European couturiers and Japanese deconstructionists.
“Following the opening of a fashion boutique in Tel Aviv, her innovative designs quickly rose to prominence and she cultivated a distinguished clientele, including international celebrities and socialites.
“Throughout her career, Kadar maintained a fascination with the elemental beauty, power, and iconic nature of fine jewelry. These qualities, combined with her passion for transcending conventional design, inform her guiding vision and establish her as an arbiter of style.
“Michal Kadar resides with her husband in New York City, where the Cadar Collection is designed and handcrafted.”
The collections are handcrafted in New York City and Italy by local artisans. Each Collection features yellow gold and diamonds, and reflects Michal’s standards.
The collections demonstrate bold minimalism notable for its proportion and balance. The brand’s site further states, “Cadar pays homage to the architecture of the body; each curve and angle is a thoughtful study of the intimate connection between gold and skin. A delicate arc that drapes fluidly around the neck or wrist, and the embrace of a necklace or ring that moves in perfect harmony with a gesture, influence the wearer’s relationship to the jewelry.”
The Cadar Collections include three Suites that, together, create an overarching narrative. Cadar I represents Light; Cadar II, Water; and Cadar III, Life.
Encompassing light defines Suite I, which features the sun, moon and stars. The fundamental aspects of various motifs are reimagined in their purest form. A brilliant star, stripped to its base six points of light, features baguette diamonds atop a gold disc design, while the sun features twelve points of diamond light. The moon’s alluring nightscape is captured with pavé diamonds set around the jewels’ curves. The elemental shape of this group is the uninterrupted circle. Its simple geometry envelops the body and creates a canvas for light, whether the warm glow of gold or the fiery brilliance of a diamond.
Notable pieces in this collection include:
Sole, Solo and Prime Bracelets handcrafted in polished 18K gold, Unity Earrings handcrafted in polished 18K gold with 1.94TCW diamonds, Solo, Prime and Sole Pendants are handcrafted in polished 18K gold. The Sole Necklace is handcrafted in polished 18K gold with 2.54TCW diamonds. The Sole, Prime and Solo Hoop Earrings are handcrafted in polished 18K gold. Prime, Solo and Solo Stacking Rings are handcrafted in polished 18K gold, as is the TU Sole Engagement Ring. The outer ring is handcrafted in polished 18K gold with .35TCW diamonds. The Solitaire ring is crafted in platinum with 1.09CT diamond.
The beauty and calm of the ocean horizon, where water meets sky, inspired the second Suite, which explores the emotional qualities of water and its relationship to light. The core motif, in which rigid metal takes on the liquidity of water, consists of three concentric semicircles that, free to shift and sway, mimic both the play of water and the reflection of light dancing on its surface.
The earrings dangle effortlessly. Necklaces are sprinkled with half-circle “beads,” which slide about like droplets of water in unison with the body’s movement. The Suite’s statement ring is engineered with wave-like elements that rise and ebb individually to various degrees, at a flick of the hand.
The most complex Suite is a meeting of Suites I and II, Light and Water that create Life, represented by a series of intricately crafted blooms. Each piece refers to previous themes; curved petals echo the semicircular ripples of light, while a cascade of fringe flows like water beneath a floral pendant. The luminous glow of the moon from Suite I emerges again in pavé details on bangles and hoops.
“Look inside yourself – great treasures are to be discovered” is Michal Kadar’s credo and her inspiration for the Cadar Reflections suite. This collection is a contemporary take on the eye recognized as a universal symbol. The suite‘s core motif is a two-sided golden ball, punctuated by a brilliant diamond centerpiece and enveloped within an ellipse. The sharp curvature of the lens is contrasted by delicate diamond droplets that flutter like eyelashes and trickle like tears.
This collection features a Chandelier necklace with matching earrings, cocktail and reflections rings, link necklace and bracelet, hoop earring, pendant necklaces, drop earrings, and an engagement ring.
The Cadar Endless suite’s central motifs consist of a sculptural heart and pair of wings which, in combination, create a powerful duet symbolizing the essence of love. A brilliant cut diamond rests amidst a circular bouquet of hearts in the TU Endless engagement ring, while the curves of the earrings present a modern take on the classic hoop. In the Endless cocktail ring, a trio of prancing hearts mimics the sensation of love-struck butterflies. Finally, a series of tiny pleated hearts on the delicate Endless necklace unfurl like an echo across the collarbone.
The TU rings found in each collection are a play on “two” and “to you.” The rings are expressions of unity, harmony and balance, comprised of dual elements: a gold and diamond folding jacket, that envelops a platinum and diamond solitaire ring created in the Cadar themes of light, water and life.
A TU engagement ring can be worn three ways—the jacket or solitaire, each worn alone, or together. This coupling highlights Michal’s philosophy that beauty and strength exist both in union and individually.
In April 2017, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Cadar opened a Pop-up Space at Le Bon Marché marking its European entry with the goal of entering the store on a permanent basis.
“For our selection, we had left out some of the more out-there pieces thinking that the French would be more into the smaller, delicate pieces, but actually they’re loving the bolder items,” said Siham Tib, the brand’s sales director. London will be next, she said, [when] the brand’s yearlong exclusive partnership with Bergdorf Goodman [ends] in August.
“The aim is to be present in 12 key cities around the world. We’re being approached by a lot of jewelry stores, but we really want to be in a fashion environment where people are really aware of how they look, what they wear…. Michal really wants to focus on pieces people can actually wear,” said Tib.
In June 2018, the jewelry blogger Katerina Perez wrote about the Cadar pieces shown at Couture Las Vegas. In an interview with Perez, Michal said, “The story for Cadar’s new namesake collection is the idea of second skin: ‘Feathers’, ‘Fur’ and ‘Python’. We show our skin, as animals display their plumage or their patterns…
“Unlike many jewelry companies which use an abundance of varied colors in precious gemstones, Cadar’s singular vision of architectural yellow gold and restrained use of diamond embellishment creates a modern and sophisticated range of jewelry pieces.”
The level of the craftsmanship undertaken to achieve the realistic look and feel of Second Skin pieces is shown in the soft metal feel of the ‘Fur’ pieces.
Michal said that “to achieve the lightness as well as the accuracy of the gold ‘fur’ we worked on prototypes for 8 months back and forth. We wanted to properly replicate the correct look and feel, but also to keep it light. On the ring alone, there are 157 of them, all made by hand …each chain had to be cut, set with a diamond on the tip, then re-soldered…”
Each jewel within the Second Skin collection is designed to celebrate and move with the architecture of the owner’s body offering wearable comfort. The connection between the articulated gold and the skin creates a relationship between the wearer and their jewelry that transcends accessorizing.
For example, gold scales of the Python pieces are joined together with tiny gold rings that create a flexible jeweled form. The mismatched earrings, a bracelet, a ring and a small ear cuff rest against the skin and move with the body seamlessly.
Feathers has clean lines that are individually articulated to create the same movement achieved in the Python and Fur lines. One design concept connects all three Second Skin sub-collections.
Commenting on her experience at the 2018 Couture Show, Michal said, “Everyone is stopping when they see the pieces. People are chasing after me – they want to touch it, to understand how we made it. There is no better compliment to our work and my vision than this.”