Interview with Calli Roche

Communion by Calli Roche

Communion by Calli Roche

Calli Roche is a patternmaker, creative, and visionary based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work currently centers around themes of gender, sociality, and playing with the functional boundaries of the garment. She graduated with a Certificate in Freehand Patternmaking from the Training and Productivity Authority of the Fiji Islands, a Certificate in Couture Techniques and Fashion Design from Paris American Academy and a B.S. in Apparel Production and Manufacturing from Colorado State University. Calli enjoys hosting in her Brooklyn apartment, Facetiming her nieces and nephews and reading horology books. Her next project will be an examination of childhood, surrealist film and the subconscious.


Talk a bit about your work in the space


An all-white cotton and linen conjoined dress with D-ring fasteners and straps, each element speaking to legacies of sharecropping, religion, mental illness, gendered violence, immigration, and loss.

The dress was created with inspiration from the combined histories of the three wearers. The details of each segment represent the history of the individual wearer while the garment as a whole depicts the interconnected nature of struggle.

What or who has influenced your work?

My work is influenced primarily by the people who help keep me alive, my family, my mothers, and my friends who have been my mothers when mine weren’t around. I am strongly influenced by the revolutionary act that is women of color and non-binary people of color loving and supporting one another in a radical way.

Why is The Colored Girls Museum important?

I believe in the power of the colored girl to change her/their world and the power art holds as both a catalyst for change and a healing respite in the face of a system that seeks our destruction. The Colored Girls Museum provides a model for what I think is increasingly necessary, spaces for and by women of color to heal and love. My work comes from a desire to build the network of people that I need to survive. It comes from human connection and the support systems that have existed in my life and the lives of my ancestors that have allowed me to be in the place that I am. The Colored Girls Museum, and a Good Night’s Sleep specifically are not only an inspiration to my work, but also an extension of that support system and include the work and lives of other women and non-binary artists of color.