Angelina Jolie, who? Judging from this photo from the June 1996 premiere of "Eraser" in Hollywood, Williams was one of the first to serve a large dose of red carpet leg.
Two years later, Williams brought her character from "Dance With Me," Chayanne, to the party with this sultry red carpet pose.
One of the first celebrity models for the Red Dress Fashion Show, here is Williams during her second turn for The Heart Truth event, back when NYFW was Olympus Fashion Week in 2005.
It looks like Williams took some styling notes from her "Ugly Betty" character Wilhelmina Slater with this number at the 2007 Golden Globes. The larger-than-life hair, body-skimming gown, and touch of fur brought forth a wild side that we'd not seen from the actress before.
Just a few weeks later, Williams toned it down at the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. A blunt bob, luminous skin, and a stand-out gown that turned heads up and down the carpet provided her winning combination.
Ladies and gents, Vanessa Williams has arrived. In the summer of 2007, she wore this festive little black dress to receive her well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Continuing her awards season rounds, Williams was gilded in metallic grays during the 38th Annual NAACP Awards where she won the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series honor for "Ugly Betty."
At the 60th Annual Directors Guild Awards, Williams pulled her hair up high and showed off a bright yellow cocktail dress with just the right amount of sheen.
Yellow carried on as the color of choice for Williams from the DGAs to the Screen Actors Guild Awards where this canary Escada gown proved victor.
The little black dress never fails—not today, and not in 2008 when Williams wore this midi-length dress to the The Cinema Society and Dolce and Gabbana's screening of "Filth And Wisdom" at New York's Landmark Sunshine Theater.
Well hello there, ice queen. Williams went wintery in this metallic cocktail dress with barely-there florals for the 2008 opening of the New York City Ballet in November 2008.
For spring, though, the "Ugly Betty" star went for a regal approach in purple, giving a nod to her leggy moment in 1998.
Pretty in pink was the motive for Wiliiams at the January 2011 Golden Globes where she wore this sequined Roberto Cavalli gown.
Right on trend for spring, Williams wore this stunning white maxi dress with a gold, belted touch to promote her book, "You Have No Idea."
Fifty and fabulous?! Yes indeed. Although this picture was taken two months ago, a then 49-year-old Williams showed us that age is nothing more than a number in this sequined mini that kept all eyes on her at the M&M's Better With M Party in New Orleans.