09/23/2013 10:17 EDT | Updated 11/23/2013 05:12 EST

Shanghai-based Uma Wang's looks undulate and drape the frame, sexy without showing

MILAN - Like Venus emerging from the froth, Uma Wang's fashions for spring-summer 2014 have a dewy freshness as her materials undulate and drape the frame.

The Shanghai-based designer presented a series of pretty, wearable dresses Monday during her Milan runway summer debut that revealed without exposing their women.

The disciplined collection showed in a metaphorical progression: Deep blue fabrics represented the ocean, then the palette progressed to pebble brown, granite grey and finally black as waves crashed against the shore. The fabrics also shifted from soft sheers and silks to more sculptured cotton, linen and viscose.

A sheer black dress billowing over a long black sheath suggested a haunting presence. With the sturdier textiles, Wang created dresses that stand away from the body, almost like paper.

"I want to show a woman who is very protected. The shape is big," she said.

While the looks are alluring, they are never racy: no mid-drifts and no minis.

"I think it is in the DNA of my country, China," Wang said backstage. "Being sexy is not about showing off the shape. It's a very soft way to let people decide what is sexy."

Wang, who studied at the China Textile University in Shanghai and at London's Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, worked for Chinese brands before launching her own line in 2005. She has two boutiques in Shanghai.