aka So Woods
Sophie Boisgallais © Claude Guillaumin
I was born in Paris to a family of artists. My parents were both musicians, and introduced me to the piano at age 5. My father, Jacques Boisgallais, won the 1971 Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris (1971), and my mother, Colette Bailly, a disciple of Max Deutsch (one of Schoenberg’s last pupils), devoted herself to composition. So I grew up in the great shadow of Pierre Henri.
After my mother’s death, it was my aunt, the designer Christiane Bailly, who introduced me to haute couture. Sometimes I modeled or helped my aunt out with the design during projects for some of the biggest Parisian fashion houses, from Jean-Louis Scherrer and Paco Rabanne to Hermès. I would spend hours reading fashion magazines and art books at my aunt’s apartment.
My first job was at Courrège. I remember everything was white from floor to ceiling. People were even dressed in white! I helped with anything and everything and had so much fun.
During evenings at the apartment on the Rue de Roi de Sicile, above Bettina Rheims’ studio, I had the chance to interact with big names from the worlds of fashion and architecture. (My aunt’s husband, Antoine Stinco, had designed the Jeu de Paume contemporary art museum.) One of the most frequents guests on these evenings was Azzedine Alaïa.
In the 1990s, holding a letter of introduction from Didier Grumbach (president of the French Federation of Couture), I moved to New York, where I worked for fashion houses like Thierry Mulger, Inès de la Fressange, Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, and the trendy Showroom Seven International. During my New York years, I met a number of contemporary artists and scoured the city’s art galleries.
Back in France, I wanted to create a personal website to share my passion for photography through the field in which I had worked, fashion photography. But soon the idea of an “imaginary museum” took hold of me, and I began putting together the first photo galleries and biographies of the great photographers.
The Blog de SoVeNa is entirely designed and written by myself, Sophie Boisgallais, under the pseudonym So Woods.