Viva Vivanco

Mariano Vivanco is probably the most prolific fashion photographer you’ve never heard of. A clue or two: he photographs regularly for Dolce & Gabbana: group shots, a lot of spread legs. He was behind the camera for all those high-style fuchsia spreads for Dazed & Confused magazine. Still nothing?

How about those shots of oiled-up French rugby players clad in birthday suits, a few in briefs, some with hands down their pants, all well-endowed… If that rings your bell like it rang mine, you may take to Vivanco’s new book, NinetyFive Chapel Market.

It is a collection of black and white portraits taken between 2000 and 2003, at the start of his career when he was living in a North London flat—95 Chapel Market to be exact—snapping test shots for local modeling agencies.
The book features the pubescent U.K. models that passed through his living room before they became ‘super.’ There is Essex boy, David Gandy, now the poster boy for Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance Light Blue. We see Calvin Klein model Jamie Dornan, slightly slouched and only slightly CK material. And one Sienna Miller—pre-Jude Law—staring away from the camera, not through it. It’s strange how the subtleties Vivanco shows us helped build these celebrities. Stranger still is how little we know about him. Perhaps Vivanco’s camera gives more than it takes. 

TEXT BY Andrea Francis