Vanessa Williams had much to celebrate on her 49th birthday last month. Her list of accomplishments is endless: acting, singing, being the first African-American Miss America and now co-authoring the book You Have No Idea with her mother, Helen Williams. And, throughout it all, Williams has always maintained her admirable classic and elegant style sensibility.

Designer Kevan Hall has been the man behind the mirror for many of Williams’ glowing red carpet looks — including some milestone moments in her career. “I first met Vanessa when she came to my atelier to select an outfit to wear when she was asked to sing at the inauguration of Arnold Schwarzenegger as California’s 38th governor in 2003,” Hall tells

Since then the designer and muse have been inseparable. “Kevan’s dresses are always a combination of luxury, ease and uniqueness. His range is huge and he’s always willing to shape the garment to fit the mood and, most importantly, it fits the person wearing it,” Williams tells us.

Here, Hall walks us through a few of those looks, from the red carpet to the TV screen.